If your child is showing signs of eczema and you’d like to discuss your holistic treatment options, please get in touch with Dr. Jamine Blesoff. She specializes in natural medicine for children and offers free 15 minute wellness consultations over the phone. She can be reached at 773-472-0560.
Understand the signs and causes of eczema in children
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that presents as excessive dryness with red and itchy patches over various parts of the body. It most commonly appears on the cheeks, torso, inside elbows, and backs of knees in children. Though the exact mechanism is unclear, it is understood to be caused by a hypersensitivity immune response in the skin. Eczema is considered one of the 3 tenants of the “Allergic Triad”; eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis/allergies. From a naturopathic medicine perspective, I consider eczema to be a type of immune dysregulation an extension/reflection of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Our approach to treating eczema with natural medicine
Treatment may include the following:
- Both topical and oral therapies.
- Change in bathing routines such as decreasing bathing frequency, patting the skin dry, and always using moisturizers immediately after a bath or shower.
- Avoid scratching as much as possible.
Topical regimens often include therapies to heal skin and a protective barrier cream or ointment to maintain moisture. Heavier, thicker creams and ointments are more effective than lotions or salves. Look for something that includes Calendula or Stellaria (chickweed), Shea butter, vitamin E. Sometimes topical corticosteroids are useful if eczema is severe and bothersome. Start with over the counter strength cream.
Naturopathic internal oral therapies
From a naturopathic medicine perspective internal/oral therapies are used to heal the body “from the inside out” and decrease the inflammatory immune response. If mom is breastfeeding, often we will identify and remove suspected food intolerances while ensuring optimal nutritional and caloric intake needed for breastmilk production. Also anti-inflammatory and gut healing repair in mom can be helpful: Omega-3s, L-glutamine, Zinc, Quercitin.
Food sensitivities in children
In infants and children we also identify and remove food sensitivities which may include switching infant formula or exploring what solid foods baby is eating. Naturopathic therapies taken internally may include Probiotics, Fish oil, Quercitin, and Bioflavonoids to decrease the immune system reactions. For extremely severe cases with risk of secondary bacterial infections, diluted bleach baths have been shown to be effective treatments.