Low Tox Family, Natural Kids

Eczema

ECZEMA

[I am not a medical professional and this content is based on information I have read and researched]

Eczema is the most common inflammatory skin disease of childhood. It is typically characterised by an itchy red rash that usually involves the face and skin folds. Today 1 in 5 children and 1 in 2 infants suffer eczema and just two decades ago this was 1 in 15.

There are several different types of eczema with the most common being atopic eczema.

There is no known cure for eczema and it can be a lifelong condition, treatment can offer symptom control.

Conventional treatment of eczema typically involves using steroid creams. These creams do have problems associated with them. The most common side effect is skin thinning, blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, uneven heartbeat, sleep problems, and weight gain or puffiness. Another downfall of this approach, is that it only works short term because it only suppresses the inflammation, the cause remain unchanged.  This usually means that eczema patients need to undergo several rounds of treatment. Typically, each recurring cycle of eczema is worse than the previous one.

Eczema can be caused by a genetic predisposition, immune system problems, environmental triggers, or metabolic problems.

Eczema often coexists with asthma, food allergy and/or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and genes associated with eczema are also associated with other allergic diseases.

As infants, Eczema can be present on the face and cheeks, scalp, body arms and legs or behind their ears. When a baby reaches 6m+ Eczema typically flares at the same points as the lymph nodes like the neck, elbows, back of knees and groin. When immune cells attack pathogens, they release chemicals that cause inflammation.

Eczema sufferers can have a much higher amount of bad bacteria like candida or other fungi in the gut.

Filaggrin and Eczema

The FLG gene provides instructions for making a large protein called profilaggrin, which is found in cells that make up the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis). Profilaggrin is cut to produce multiple copies of the filaggrin protein, which is important for the structure of the epidermis. The profilaggrin molecule can contain 10, 11, or 12 copies of the filaggrin protein, depending on the genetics of the individual. Further processing of the filaggrin protein produces other molecules that play a role in hydration of the skin. The epidermis acts as a barrier to help minimise water loss and protect the body from foreign substances, including toxins, bacteria, and substances that can cause allergic reactions (allergens), such as pollen and dust mites. Filaggrin plays an important role in the skin’s barrier function. It brings together structural proteins in the outermost skin cells to form tight bundles, flattening and strengthening the cells to create a strong barrier. Processing of filaggrin proteins leads to production of molecules that are part of the skin’s “natural moisturising factor,” which helps maintain hydration of the skin. These molecules also maintain the correct acidity (pH) of the skin, which is another important aspect of the barrier. Eczema can be caused by a person’s inability to repair damage to the skin barrier due to a mutation in the gene called filaggrin.

Filaggrin is important for formation of the skin barrier. Typically, individuals with a mutation in one copy of the FLG gene are mildly affected, they may have symptoms only seasonally, or they may never have obvious skin problems. Individuals with two mutated copies of the gene have more severe symptoms that may be present all year round. Filaggrin deficiency has also been linked to more severe atopic eczema and to its persistence into adult life.

2. It is caused by a genetic mutation that is present in 8-10 percent of the population. These people’s skin does not retain water well, which leads to dryness and problems with eczema.

The lack of the protein filaggrin in the skin caused an inherited dry skin condition known as ichthyosis vulgaris that is strongly linked to the development of atopic eczema.

Individuals with FLG gene mutations have an increased risk of developing asthma, but only if they also have atopic dermatitis. FLG gene mutations also increase the risk of hay fever, food allergies, and skin sensitivity to nickel, regardless of whether the person has atopic dermatitis, this coupled with Environmental factors is an open door for Eczema.

A different approach

There are some holistic or alternative treatments for eczema that people may like to consider. I’ve learnt it’s important to look for a root cause to any symptom or dis-ease we experience.

Naturopathic doctors may supplement with the mineral selenium.  Selenium is a trace mineral that helps decrease eczema symptoms, including inflammation.  It prevents what is called oxidative stress due to its involvement with a specific enzyme in the body.  Omega-6 fatty acids are also used because it has been shown that eczema patients may have a defect in their ability to create them. Omega-6 fatty acids seem to be very useful at decreasing itchiness.

Homeopaths believe that eczema can be caused by an over sensitivity to allergens in the environment such as pollens, moulds, dust, animal dander, and certain foods. Over 100 homoeopathic medicines are known to be effective in treatment as well as prevention of eczema. It can successfully reduce the body’s sensitivity to the environmental allergens that cause the disease.

ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGERS
Some possible Environmental triggers could be:
Fragrance, soaps, detergents, bedding and clothing materials, lotions, wifi, mould, dust, pets, non filtered water, very dry air and VOC’s or volatile organic compounds.

FOOD TRIGGERS
Some possible food triggers:
Corn, gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, nightshade veggies, high histamine foods.

ROOT CAUSES
Some possible root causes:
Leaky gut, infections, heavy metals, mould, stress/trauma, nutritional deficiency.

Always try the lowest cost options first, like cutting out any environmental toxins from the home and avoiding certain high inflammatory foods.

MY THOUGHTS ON BLEACH BATHS

Information from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne- Diluted household bleach has been safely used for many years to help treat skin infections. A small amount of bleach added to the bath is recommended for conditions such as eczema, impetigo (school sores), boils, and infected wounds, to help reduce bacteria on the skin and improve the severity of disease.  Doctors have said the final bleach concentration is lower than a swimming pool if done correctly. Eczema is an itchy skin condition, often worsened by a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus can contribute to the flaring of the eczema and to ongoing skin inflammation. Complete eradication of Staphylococcus aureus in patients with eczema is very difficult, however some therapies can reduce the number of organisms which live on the skin. The use of regular diluted bleach baths in people with Staphylococcus aureus infected eczema has been shown to be effective and safe in reducing the number of skin infections and improving eczema control. An eczema bleach bath can kill bacteria on the skin, reducing itching, redness and scaling. This is most effective when combined with other eczema treatments, such as medication and moisturiser.

This is the advice given to MANY parents of children who suffer Eczema and skin conditions and I’m not at all making anyone feel bad if they have done this.

People who are sensitive to bleach or have allergic asthma may find that bleach or chlorine fumes can irritate their skin or respiratory system.

A scientific study for patients suffering from eczema (atopic dermatitis), dermatologists will sometimes recommend bleach baths to decrease bacterial infection and reduce symptoms. A new study found no difference in the effectiveness of a bleach bath compared to regular water baths. Bleach baths can cause stinging and burning of skin, and occasionally even trigger asthma flare ups in patients.