The itch that rashes

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The “itch that rashes” is the phrase I remember our dermatologist using when referring to my then infant son’s eczema.I later learned that this is commonly used terminology among the medical professionals because generally the first symptom of eczema is an intense itching and only later the rash appears. The eczema rash goes through stages of improvements and stages of worsening, referred to as a flare-up.

Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. There are multiple types of eczema, the most common being atopic dermatitis.

Confusingly, the word eczema is often times used specifically when referring to atopic dermatitis, even though this is only one type of eczema. Other types of eczema include: dyshidrotic eczema (blisters on palms and/or soles of feet) and nummular eczema (coin-shaped patches on the skin).

According to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, allergy.org.au, atopic dermatitis is most common in infants, where it occurs in around 1 in 5 children under 2 years of age and it often appears within the first 6 months of age. Some people outgrow the condition, while others continue to have it into adulthood. Statistically, 36% of children 6 years and under have eczema and by 12 years this has dropped to 10% which is the ongoing incidence of eczema in the adult population, here in Australia.

The causes of eczema, or the flare-up of the condition, are varied and often times very difficult to pinpoint. Generally, it is a combination of both genes and environmental triggers that cause eczema. Eczema can be caused by everything from warm, humid weather, to cold, dry weather, even stress. This is partly why eczema sufferers experience the condition for weeks or months at a time and during any given time during the year.

Atopic dermatitis happens when the immune system goes into overdrive in response to an allergen or irritant inside or outside the body.

It is important to note that eczema is not contagious. You can’t “catch it” from someone else and you can’t pass it on to someone else.

In infants under 2, rashes commonly appear on the scalp and cheeks and cause extreme itching. This itching often interferes with sleeping. Continuous rubbing and scratching can lead serious and persistent skin infections, like impetigo.

From 2 years until puberty, the rashes commonly appear in “the crease” –  behind the creases of elbows or knees as well as on the neck, wrists, ankles, and the crease between buttock and legs.

There is no cure for eczema. A good care regimen will go a long way towards making living with eczema more manageable for you and your child. Where possible, it is better to stay on top of eczema and not allow flare-ups to develop or get out of hand.  Yes, yes, trust me, I know this is really idealistic and often times not achievable. 

Natralia Happy Little Bodies is a hydrocortisone-free, clinically-tested regimen of care, specifically developed for children with eczema. The product regimen has been designed to be an all-in-one gentle, effective and efficacious option for childhood eczema management.

The 3 products in the regimen are:

eczema

Natralia Happy Little Bodies Eczema Relief Cream to relieve flare-ups. For many, this stage notes the starting point of the eczema journey. This rash cream contains soothing colloidal oatmeal and no harmful steroids, so you can use it worry-free on those persistent flare-ups that can extend all over your child’s body for long periods of time.

Natralia Happy Little Bodies Eczema Moisturizing Lotion for the ongoing management of skin hydration and to help prevent flare-ups. Going back to my notion of not allowing flare-ups to develop, this would be the everyday moisturizer to keep using even when skin is looking pretty as a picture, to help avoid the skin getting out of control from dryness.

Natralia Happy Little Bodies Eczema Body Wash and Shampoo for head-to-toe gentle cleansing. For me, this product epitomizes where the problem of eczema triggers is often overlooked: in the bathing stage, where products like traditional soaps and shampoos unfortunately become part of the problem and not the solution.

Knowledge is power – thank you for taking time to learn more about eczema and our products!

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