Eczema is a skin rash that affects 10-20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the United States. Most infants outgrow it by their 10th birthday, but because it typically affects their face and scalp it can be extremely annoying.
That isn’t to say that eczema is only present in adults if it’s affected them in childhood, however, as adult eczema is most commonly diagnosed as atopic dermatitis and is often a serious condition. It is known to affect the hands and feet more than other parts of the body as well. What makes eczema worse is the exact cause is still unknown.
The condition is commonly found in families with a history of allergies or asthma, but other triggers could cause it. Things like coming into contact with rough materials, feeling too hot or cold, and reactions to soap or detergents. Respiratory problems or colds may also trigger it and stress can make it worse.
While it’s important to figure out a long-term solution, short-term relief is critical! Some topical creams are already used for this, however, they come with a list of side effects you may want to avoid.
Current Eczema Treatments
As of now, there are many popular over the counter and medical treatments for eczema. The problem is that these are far from perfect and come with their own set of downsides.
Used for a variety of skin conditions to reduce swelling, itching and redness. Side effects can include stinging, burning, irritation, acne, etc., and allergic reactions are rare but possible.
Causes the skin to shed dead cells from its top layer and slow down the growth of irritated cells. Side effects include irritation and staining of the skin/hair.
Through ultraviolet light, the overactive and inflamed skin cells are suppressed. It does, however, come with risks of burning, skin damage and even skin cancer (if there’s prolonged exposure).
Topical Immunomodulators (TIMs)
FDA approved drugs such as Elidel and Protopic work to change the body’s immune system response to flare-ups. Using them isn’t recommended, however, as there have been concerns over possible cancer risks, so they should only be used for short-term relief and never on children under 2.
Alternative Solution: Home Remedies for Eczema
Wet wrap therapy is a very simple short-term relief that helps soothe the irritated skin using water and moisturizer. Wet wrap therapy has an average reduction of symptoms by 71%, so just follow these simple steps for your child:
- Soak the wraps in warm water. Wraps can be any type of cotton cloth or clothing
- Bathe your child in warm water for 15-20 minutes and use a gentle cleanser
- Lightly pat their skin dry
- Apply lotion cream or moisturizer within 3 minutes
- Wring excess water from the wrap and immediately dress your child in the damp wrap to seal moisture
- Apply a dry layer of clothing on top
- Have them wear it for a minimum of two hours
- Remove the clothing and apply another layer of lotion. Repeat as necessary
Alternative Skin Creams
Manuka Honey Skin Cream
Created from manuka honey in New Zealand, this cream is thick in texture but gentle on skin. It’s also GMO-free and organic.
Grass-Fed Tallow Balm
One of the earliest natural forms of skin care relief, tallow is a moisturizer perfect for sensitive and allergy prone skin. This brand is sourced from grass-fed cows so it’s paleo-diet friendly, GMO-free.
Organic Calendula Oil
Skin soothing and fast absorbing, this oil can also be added to the bath for added moisture. Full of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and natural enzymes, this brand is also vegan, kosher and gluten-free.
Eczema can be a tough condition to handle, especially if it’s affecting your little one. But where there’s a will there’s a way, so just try these short-term solutions and you’ll be seeing a smile back on their face in no time!