What lifestyle behaviours can help manage eczema?
- by Petra Jelinkova
Managing eczema can affect every part of our lifestyle from what products we choose to buy to how we spend our time. It is so important to keep the skin hydrated at bath time with bath soaks and an eczema moisturiser. So, what other lifestyle choices can we make to help improve our child’s eczema? Here are a few lifestyle behaviours to keep your child’s eczema in check:
What is an eczema friendly diet and how does it help eczema?
Foods are not the cause of eczema but certain foods trigger eczema flare ups. Eczema skin can become inflamed from from allergens, which lead to redness, itchiness and irritation, and certain foods can sometimes be an allergen. Choosing to follow a lifestyle diet rich in foods with anti-inflammatory properties might reduce the severity of eczema flare ups. Some examples are fatty fish which contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid (a strong anti-inflammatory) and foods containing probiotics such as yoghurt and sourdough bread, as these foods can help build a healthy immune system that can fight other eczema lifestyle triggers. Fruits such as strawberries, kiwi fruit and rockmelon contain vitamin C which also helps with strengthening your child’s immune system and reducing the inflammatory response to lifestyle triggers.
What clothing should I choose to dress my child in?
Itching is a big part of having eczema, however there are ways to minimise your little one from scratching to avoid possibility of infection in the broken skin barrier. Dressing your child with cotton clothing helps the skin breathe and not keep air trapped at the surface of the skin, resisting the need to scratch.
Usually hot skin leads to an itchy skin so using cool compresses can help by taking the heat out of the skin. Run a washer under cool water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Place this on your child’s itchy skin for a few minutes and then repeat. This will help to lower the temperature of the skin and make it less itchy.
Regular bath time routine is now part of your lifestyle
Regular bathing in lukewarm water (no more than 10 minutes) helps manage eczema because it washes away any irritants that may be sitting on the skin’s surface and allows a greater opportunity to absorb moisture. It also helps to hydrate eczema skin and minimise itching. During summer, bathing also helps wash away sweat that may contain chemicals such as sodium, potassium and calcium to reduce irritation and to soothe your child’s skin.
Moisturising daily is a lifestyle choice
Make sure to keep your child’s regular moisturiser with you at all times. Moisturisers act as a barrier on the skin to keep away from unwanted bacteria and prevent infection. The best time to moisturise is within two minutes of taking your little one out of the bath while the skin is still damp – this is when the skin can absorb the most amount of hydration from moisturising. You will also need to moisturise at least twice more during the day. Ointments are the most effective moisturisers to use for eczema because they take a long time to evaporate as there is barely any water in them, locking in moisture and keeping your child’s skin hydrated for a longer period of time. Moisturisers and other skin care products for your child’s eczema can be found in our itchy baby co. shop.
This blog post was brought to you and your family with love from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional