Did you know that rates of eczema/atopic dermatitis for adults and kids have more than tripled in the past 20 years? Experts believe this massive increase is due to industrialization.
Although eczema is a genetic condition, it is a multi-factional disorder that can be triggered by an overactive immune response to environmental and other factors. As it can be triggered by many different things, then controlling the external factors can help to control and keep eczema at bay.
I’ll explore a handful of reasons of why it appears on the skin of babies, kids and adults.
- The foods, drinks, or medications that mother consumes during pregnancy can cause enfant eczema from a very early start.
- Whether a baby is born via birth canal or c-section can make a difference. Babies born via the birth canal pick up the necessary different bacteria from the mother which will help to build the immune system. This isn’t the case for babies born via c-section
- Bottle fed babies can be susceptible to eczema if they have an intolerance to cow milk.
- What the breast-feeding mother is eating or using on her skin can impact her breast milk and therefore trigger eczema on the baby’s skin.
- Antibiotics or any medication given to the baby at a young age can affect the gut or skin.
- Skincare – baby skincare products with fragrance/synthetic chemicals can trigger eczema. One fragrance in a product can have over 30 synthetic chemicals and does not have to be included on the ingredients label.
- Bed linen – synthetic bed linen can cause itching and can cause the skin to become too warm which can trigger eczema
- The flame retardant in/on the mattress and pillow can be a trigger for eczema, as the chemicals are slowly released over the years. You can purchase natural mattresses and pillows.
- Food colouring/food dye – These are all known eczema triggers, due to the inflammation they cause in the body and because of their artificial nature.
- Ultra processed /processed foods – these foods are so far removed from their natural food state with added chemicals, that as well as offering very little nutritional value, they cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to eczema
- Inflammatory natural foods – As foods that contain gluten are so far removed from their original traditional origin to what is now just really another highly processed food, more and more people are becoming allergic or intolerant. They are also known triggers for eczema.
- Processed sugar – This is a known trigger for eczema. Unfortunately, more and more of our foods contain sugar to make the processed foods more addictive. Any ingredient that ends in ‘ose’ or is a syrup is also sugar.
- Pollution – This can be both indoor and outdoor pollution. The harsh chemicals in our indoor cleaning products can be a trigger, as well as air fresheners and even our own perfumes. Outdoors, things out of our control such as car fumes and industrial pollution can cause irritation to skin and trigger eczema.
- Skincare and haircare products – You will need to become more label savvy, as the myriad of chemicals that are added to even children’s products nowadays, can trigger eczema and other dry skin conditions.
- Clothing with dyes or synthetic materials – you will never know what chemicals have been added to create the dyes in the clothes you are wearing. If you have already changed your laundry detergent and it has made no difference, then its time to look at organic cotton or other natural materials (not wool though). You should always wash new clothes before wearing them.
- Stress & no sleep – Although we don’t like to believe our kids can become as stressed as adults, they too can have eczema breakouts from stress and lack of sleep. Stress and lack of sleep can trigger the stress hormone cortisol and then can lead to eczema as well as other health conditions.
- Bed linen – Just like clothing the quality of bed linen, natural or synthetic or the dye can make a difference to the comfort of our skin.
- Hair products – As well as affecting the scalp, the shampoo or conditioner can drip onto the neck and body to trigger off eczema on the skin
- Skin products – too many skin irritating chemicals are added to make our products look, feel and smell enticing without doing any actual good to the skin.
- Perfume/ Fragrance in products – As mentioned previously, there can be over 30 separate chemicals in one fragrance.
- Laundry detergent or fabric conditioner comes with a toxic warning on the label for a reason.
- Stress from work – not getting stressed is easier said than done, but it definitely adds to reoccurring eczema.
- Cleaning products – the smell catches on the back of the throat for a reason. And just like many products…if they have toxic warnings, why would you choose to use them? Good old fashioned white vinegar didn’t need that toxic warning when our grandmas cleaned with it. Our grandmas in the 1940’s also didn’t have eczema.
- Bed linen – keep it simple with cotton, bamboo or if you can afford it…silk. Cotton can be drying to eczema but none of these materials cause irritation to eczema unless they are dyed.
Two very important facts with all of these lists is
Don’t be seduced by clever marketing
Do your own research.