What is Eczema
What Is Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis?
"Quiet as a little mousey..."
Eczema is an inflammation of the skin, usually causing itching and sometimes accompanied by crusting, scaling or blisters. It is very common affecting nearly a third of Australian during some stage of their life.
Often (but not always) it will start near the crooks of the elbows or knees with small, itchy bumps. Sometimes it initially looks like small bites. It can then spread from there with itching.
Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly. Scratching the skin will make it worse. A type of eczema made worse by allergen exposure is termed "Atopic Dermatitis. Dry skin is often susceptible to a type called "Dry Skin Dermatitis".
Eczema is thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body's immune system to a perceived irritant. This can be an internal such as a reaction to a food, or external such as a reaction to pollen or a skin care product.
Common external irritants include pollen and dust mites, skin care products or very dry skin. Common internal irritants can be reactions to a fruit, nuts or dairy products. However, there are many other possible irritants and they can be very hard to identify.
The best long term solution for Eczema is to try and eliminate the cause. However, this can be difficult, especially if the cause is unknown. Sometimes the cause can be found via trial and error. Eliminating suspect items from the diet or skin for a week to check for improvement.
To bring relief, medical practitioners will often prescribe an anti-inflammatory cortisone (steroid) ointment which is very effective, but should generally be used for only a short time. Cortisone cream does have side affects which prevent long term use. The side effects, mainly thinning of the skin, are discussed here. MooGoo Eczema and Psoriasis Balm is a new anti-inflammatory balm that uses natural ingredients and so does not thin the skin.
For us at MooGoo, the solution has been to use products which are healthy for the skin. These avoid irritation and dryness and help the skin repair itself.
Eczema has grown rapidly in the United Kingdom over the last 5 years as the following as this study shows. (Link Here). Almost one in nine people have been diagnosed.
ECZEMA IN CHILDREN
Eczema in children is a non-contagious skin condition which is quite common affecting around 10% of babies. It usually appears in early childhood and disappears around six years of age. The skin becomes dry, cracked and itchy, and may weep. It often starts at the elbows or knees. Eczema can vary in severity and alter on a daily basis. In some cases, eczema may continue into adulthood.
The immune system of children is immature and so many react inappropriately to a perceived irritant. This could be something on their skin, a food or a drink. Eczema is more common in children who have other allergies, such as asthma and hay fever.
Practitioners can help try and isolate what is causing the response, or parents can try and identify the irritant via trial and error. Children will often "grow" out of the problem as their immune system matures. However, that is of little comfort right now to the baby who has eczema, and the parents who are missing out on sleep.
There is some more useful information on Infant Eczema here. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/infantileeczema.htm
Hi Moo Goo. I just thought I would send you a couple of photo’s of my son Naite, the first photo he has eczema really bad and the second photo he has cleared up using moo goo.Enjoying your wonderful work! J. Tas
"We thought all "before" photos required a sad look. When will little Naite learn!"
"Perfect for an "After" photo. Well done Naite."
Click on our "Word on the Street" page to read some of the emails to MooGoo letting us know that a real change of formula has achieved. For these people, MooGoo eliminated whatever it was they were reacting to on their skin. However, different methods will work for different people.
Probiotic Supplements Proven to Help Some Infant Eczema Sufferers
There have been a number of recent studies done which indicate that taking pro-biotic supplements in pregnancy or early childhood can help. This is a recent excerpt from "New Scientist Magazine, April 2008.
"Exposing pregnant mothers and infants to probiotic bacteria could help stimulate the growth of the immune system and potentially play a role in preventing allergies, say researchers.Probiotic bacteria are living micro-organisms that can be used to restore the ecosystem of the gut after a dose of antibiotics, or to help create a stable gut flora that is less prone to diseases like gastroenteritis... Probiotic children were also 30% less likely than their untreated counterparts to develop an itchy skin condition known as atopic eczema, which is often an early manifestation of allergies..."
However, a 2010 study of probiotics and eczema found "There is not enough evidence to recommend using probiotics for the treatment of eczema."(link here)
There are good and poor quality probiotics on the market. Ask your health shop for advice. Zinc supplements are also often suggested by natural practitioners, and this will be of help if the natural diet is lacking in Zinc.
Aqueous Creams, Sorbolene, Bath Oils, Pharmacy Creams and other Parrafin Oil Products
Itchy Face Or Scalp?
Try scratching with a Hoof!
Almost all emollient creams and bath oils for Eczema are made from Parrafin Oil. If you have a bottle around the house, check the ingredients. It is also known as Petrolatum, MIneral Oil, and (ironically) "Baby Oil". This oil is the same oil burnt in Parrafin lamps.
"A survey of 100 British children treated with aqueous cream (Parrafin Oil cream) has found it irritated over half of them. Their symptoms ranged from redness and itchiness to burning and stinging, which risk making their condition worse. "Many children reportedly call it 'stingy' cream, and in one extreme case we heard about a child who screams when it is used."
MooGoo does not use Paraffin Oil (Mineral Oil, Petrolatum) in any of its products. Judging by the rate of growth of Eczema and Dermatitis in England, Sorbolene and other Paraffin creams do not seem to be providing much relief.
Eczema Health and Advice Information.
The UK Eczema Society has a good Frequently asked Question Page here. http://www.eczema.org/about.html
BBC Health Information on Eczema. http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/allergies/allergicconditions_eczema.shtml
Side Effects of Cortisone Cream. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13098