Understanding Child Eczema – natural treatment

Understanding Approaches To Eczema (1)Eczema symptoms include itchy, red, and dry skin caused by inflammation. The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis.  Most infants who develop eczema outgrow it by age 10, however, if the underlying cause is not uprooted, eczema is a red flag that further hypersensitivity reactions like asthma, allergy and autoimmunity might emerge. Eczema is commonly found in children of families with a history of other allergies, asthma, or other immune-system related illnesses.

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is understood as an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant.  Other factors could be malnourishment in the skin barrier and poor detoxification pathways. There is typically a trigger that initiates the symptom of eczema.  Some triggers might be hot or cold temperatures, creams, additives, foods, coarse material, animal dander, stress.  It is quite common for children who are constipated to develop eczema.  Relieving the constipation will often help.

Child Eczema – Conventional Treatment

The goal of conventional treatment for eczema is to relieve and prevent itching by identifying the trigger and soothing the skin so that the area doesn’t get infected. Lotions, creams and cold compresses can be a short term solutions to relieve itching, but do not get at the underlying cause. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines or prescription corticosteroid creams can lessen localized itching and inflammation, but do not get at the underlying cause.  Topical immunomodulator creams have been approved but these drugs have been linked to cancer, should be only used for a short time, and are not used for children under the age of 2.

Child Eczema – Natural Treatment

The holistic approach is to help the body function better so that the trigger no longer initiates symptoms.  First we need to sooth the symptoms without suppressing them; an irritation on the skin indicates an irritation elsewhere in the body.  It is our “window” into the body, telling us if we are making progress.  Then we need to identify the trigger and relieve the body of that stress, support the body’s detoxification system, and support the body’s immune system and the skin itself.

We can accomplish a lot using food, but sometimes supplements and botanicals can be helpful.

A few places to start

  • Reduce toxic load by eating organic food, reducing soaps, creams and detergents, removing additives, colorings and any non naturally occurring food chemicals
  • Avoid Tylenol (acetomenophen) because it reduce the body’s ability to detoxify by depleting glutathione
  • Conduct an elimination diet to try to identify food triggers
  • Try to eat more dark leafy greens (in children over 1 yr), berries, fatty fish, and coconut oil
  • Dandelion tea, water, and lemon are helpful to the liver.  Milk Thistle is helpful for adults.
  • Fresh pressed juice (homemade, using a juicer) – A combination of carrot, green apple, celery and beet  – will help the liver
  • Add in foods with nutrients that support the immune system and the skin – bone broth, organ meats, cod liver oil, avocado, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables are all great sources of vitamins A, C, D, E, glycine, collagen, fatty acids and antioxidants.
  • Fermented foods or a probiotic can be helpful to start to normalize gut bacteria and improve overall digestion, which will in turn help increase nutrient assimilation, modulate immune function, and detoxify

Note that these interventions might provoke a more severe flare up before reducing the problem.  This reaction is common as the body goes through a process of rebalancing.  Move slowly and use topical herbal ointments that are free of medication and chemicals to relive the symptoms.

Are you starting your baby on solids? Are they highly reactive? For more details on starting your baby off on real, whole foods that support digestive and immune health click here…

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sources:

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/atopic-dermatitis-eczema

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15878691

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021014072451.htm

 

Have you struggled with eczema?  What did you try?  What has worked for you?  Tell us in the comments below…

2 Comments

  • Joanna Chu

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Hi,

    I am located in Millbrae, California (Northern California).
    My name is Joanna and I have an 11 month old daughter with worsening eczema. It seems like the harder I try to fix it with diet and topical creams it gets worse. I am absolutely devastated and desperate for help!
    She has had eczema since she was 4 months old. She has been breast fed exclusively till about 6-7 months. After the introduction of solids it has gotten significantly worse.
    We are trying to stay away from steroid creams. She is on probiotics, vit d supplement and arabinex for constipation. For topical creams she uses calendula and shea butter primarily. We have tried others such as emu oil, paw paw ointment etc.
    We got her tested for allergies (skin prick). she is positive for peanut, egg, dog and dust mites.
    Her diet is:
    ​She will have bone broth with stewed veggies for breakfast after breast feeding (brussel sprouts, green beans​, celery), for snacks she will have a fruit (pear, papaya or banana), or chia seed pudding with arabinix powder, or baked sweet potato, for lunch she will have more steamed or stewed veggies and then she will have one of the snacks listed above and for dinner she will have bone broth and veggies. She is breast fed on demand throughout the day

    ​We also do gentle detox baths with magnesium salt and baking soda. That seems to help with the itching temporarily. I will also do evening primrose oil massages every other day. ​Other than that she is in pretty good spirits. She does not sleep well at night due to the itching. The itching gets a lot worse during the night for whatever reason. We have changed our laundry detergents to one that only has 5 ingredients (basically baking soda and salt). The eczema is now starting to spread to her forehead, upper back, arms and chest. Before it was only localized to her cheeks.
    We thought it was diet related so I have cleaned up my diet and have tried: Elimination diet, AIP diet, paleo, no wheat, soy, grains, nuts.. nothing seems to work.
    I am not eating dairy, soy, gluten, grains and nuts at the moment. I am taking vit c, prenatal supplements, biotin and calcium. I take flaxseed oil daily. I am also taking probiotics. I have been giving her some flaxseed oil too just incase she has an omega-3 deficiency.

    I am at a total loss of how I can help her. Is this something that you can help us with? Would you be open to a virtual appointment?

    Thank you
    Joanna

    • Jess Sherman

      Reply Reply February 1, 2018

      I sent you an email, Joanna – We can meet via video conference

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