Article by Angela Haldane
Q. Where should I start with my baby's eczema? He has just started to develop it mostly on his torso and the odd patch on his limbs. I have a history of eczema through to adulthood but seemed to be controlled with the use of evening primrose and fish oil tablets. He is fully breastfed at this stage.
A. Atopic eczema commonly occurs during childhood and is sometimes associated with a hereditary history of allergies. Atopic eczema affects 3-10% of infants (but can also occur in adults). Affected children exhibit dry, itchy skin with eruptions. Atopic eczema has an immunological basis.
It is best to get an allergy test for this to identify allergenic triggers such as biological washing powders, or dietary intake of citrus or tomatoes for example. We do allergy testing at Natural Ange Ltd – to read more about this go to the About section, Allergy Management.
Meanwhile, change your washing powder to Ecostore products or www.Pureblend.co.nz.
Make a list of the foods you feel that you react to, or the foods you love or loathe. These are often the triggers. Remove them from your diet for 3 weeks and then rechallenge. Observe for changes in the eczema for yourself and your baby. Your baby can inherit allergens from their parents, if you can avoid the allergens whilst breastfeeding, both of you are bound to find your eczema improves.
Natural Ange Ltd Eczema Balm is available on this website – containing the herb chickweed which soothes the itch and heals, and the herb burdock which is traditionally used for eczema. Also licorice acts to reduce inflammation. Quite often for young children and babies, I find the extra thick vitamin E cream works very well – rather than the eczema balm.
Keep up with the fish oil – the omega 3 is important for its antiinflammatory effects and will pass onto him through the breastmilk. And the evening primrose oil has studies to show that it has beneficial effects on eczema.