Are you suffering from red, blistering, oozing, scaly, brownish and itching skin, welcome to the world of eczema! At my clinic, it is not uncommon for me to see 3 to 4 children per week with eczema. Distraught parents bring their children into the clinic pleading for a magic panacea to reduce their child’s itching. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that a cream or lotion will remedy their child’s ongoing itch. The reason for this, as with any condition, is that you need to treat the trigger/cause not the symptoms.
In young child, under 2, the lesions associated with eczema, first start on the cheeks and can progress to the scalp, arms, torso and legs. For many children, their symptoms will improve with age; however, in some cases will continue well into adulthood. With childhood eczema it is often associated with other allergic responses such as hayfever and asthma. At least 2 out of every 3 of my clients who present with eczema also experience asthma or hayfever. For this reason alone, you can understand that a lotion or cream will not effectively treat the cause of the eczema.
Childhood eczema can result from a number of factors including pre-existing allergies, problems with digestion, problems associated with poor liver function, nutritional deficiencies (e.g. essential fatty acids), stress/anxiety and lack of sleep. Scientists have also found a human gene (filaggrin) that can cause dry skin, eczema and asthma, and if a child presents with defects in this gene it has been confirmed that they will have a 60 to 100 percent chance of developing eczema. Alongside defects with this gene, is the fact that children with eczema can also be deficient in a specific enzyme that converts healthy fats in the body which are vital for skin health.
One of the products I have found to best support young children’s eczema is a type of probiotic called lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. This probiotic, which markedly differs from your standard inner health plus, is specific to treating eczema and some of the factors driving eczema such as digestive problems and sensitivity to allergens. Moreover, I have also found that a good quality fermented cod liver oil, gluten and casein free diet and zinc supplement can help to improve a child’s immune system, which when placed under stress can be a major factor in driving flare ups in eczema symptoms.