The itch that keeps on itching: treating Eczema in the holiday season

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By Stephanie Calapa

Summer – highly anticipated for many but anxiously dreaded for eczema sufferers. Air-conditioning, sweating, dry heat, humidity, chlorine in pools and pollen are all known triggers for eczema. What is meant to be an enjoyable time of the year for kids can often be uncomfortable and painful for the children who suffer from eczema and their families.

For those of you unfamiliar with this dreaded condition, eczema is a skin irritation that appears as patches of dry, red, scaly skin. Often referred to as the “itch that rashes,” eczema can be a very frustrating and painful condition, resulting in raw, sensitive and swollen skin from scratching. The most common type of eczema is called Atopic Eczema. Atopic Eczema affects people of all ages, but is far more prolific in childhood. About 1 out of every 10 kids will develop Atopic Eczema, and almost always before the age of five. For parents, it’s important to be aware of how it is caused and what can trigger it so that they can be prepared to treat those pesky flare ups.

It is commonly accepted that Atopic Eczema is inherited. While environmental factors do come into play, these factors are more than likely simply triggers and are almost never the root of the problem. If one parent has eczema, asthma or hay fever, then there is a 1 in 4 chance that your child could get eczema. If both parents have eczema, asthma or hay fever, the likelihood of your child developing eczema increases to a 1 in 2 chance. We recommend being aware of your family eczema history and to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms.

While Atopic Eczema is more often than not a consequence of genetics, it can sometimes be associated with allergy conditions such as food allergies, hay fever, and asthma. These conditions are traditionally more prevalent in the warmer months, which makes the hotter weather particularly difficult for children who experience eczema. Although eczema is not purely allergic, there is a clear connection between the two. Eczema often lies dormant, however allergic reactions can cause it to flare up. Coincidentally, eczema can also trigger other allergies. Up to 80% of kids with eczema develop hay fever or asthma later in childhood. It’s crucial to be aware of the likelihood of your child developing eczema and the associated triggers. That way you can identify and treat eczema efficiently and effectively.

While there is no cure for eczema, it can be managed successfully. There are many remedies parents can adopt to soothe their child’s skin. Like anything, not everything will work for everyone. As a parent, it can be incredibly disheartening when you can’t find something to relieve your child’s suffering. For many parents, this is the harsh reality of Atopic Eczema.

There is good news – there are countless creams, serums and medications to treat eczema. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for your child, which can often be a time-consuming task.

In topical creams, parents should look out for products that contain skin-soothing ingredients that create a protective barrier on the skin to prevent further irritation and infection. Products with high Zinc Oxide content work to protect and soothe irritated skin. Paraffin is a low allergy ingredient that eczema sufferers should also keep an eye out for, as well as Lanolin, which softens dry and cracked skin. Creams that contain Omega 3 can also speed up the healing process.

With summer fast approaching, it’s essential to be prepared to tackle eczema head on. After establishing the likelihood of your child experiencing eczema, be on the lookout for symptoms and know what to look for on labels so you can be equipped to treat your child’s eczema quickly and they can go back to just being healthy, happy kids.

Covitol® provides a thick, smooth barrier for long lasting protection. It helps relieve eczema, sunburn, cuts, scrapes, skin infections & nappy rash. Specially formulated with high levels of Cod Liver Oil, Zinc Oxide, Paraffin & Lanolin. Together they seal out wetness & germs to help skin irritations disappear quickly.

www.covitol.com.au

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