If you have a child with eczema, you'll probably wish this new study from Northwestern Medicine came out before your baby was born. We sure do as both founders of AD RescueWear have children who suffer from eczema.
The study published December 5, 2016 in JAMA Pediatrics found common moisturizers a cost-effective way to prevent eczema from developing in high-risk newborns. Early studies from Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. have suggested that full-body application of moisturizers for six to eight months, beginning within the first few weeks of life, can reduce the risk that eczema will develop. Eczema can cause sleepless nights, missed school and work days and misery for everyone in the family, so this study is very exciting! The study included low cost emollients such as Vaseline, Aquaphor, Aveeno and Cetaphil.
How and why would a daily moisturizing routine work to prevent eczema? The skin barrier in high risk infants can be comprised causing allergens to more easily enter the skin and cause irritation, itching and eczema. Applying an emollient daily after bathing will help to protect the skin, keep the skin barrier moisturized and the skin barrier smooth. This is the basis of how wet wrap therapy treatment for eczema works, using moisture to plump up and heal the skin cracks.
Using a daily moisturizer will be less expensive and less stressful than having to use drugs or steroid ointments later to control an eczema flare. Previous studies on the impact of eczema have shown that families caring for a child with eczema can spend as much as 35 percent of their discretionary income (an average of $274 per month) treating eczema.The study found the least costly moisturizer in the study, petroleum jelly, had the best cost benefit for families. This easy daily moisturizing routine can mean a big cost savings over time and add to the quality of family life!
AD RescueWear recommends Vaniply as a skin barrier moisturizer as it has the same ointment consistency as petroleum jelly and is free of dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde. We've also found Vaniply washes out of lightweight eczema clothing like AD RescueWear’s Rescue Suit a bit easier than petroleum jelly. No matter which moisturizer you choose, make sure it’s alcohol free (alcohol can dry skin) and apply it daily right after bathing to damp skin to really lock in moisture.
If you or one of your friends or family members are expecting a new baby, and eczema and allergies run in the family, this is an easy and cost-effective way to help prevent eczema. The study also indicated that a daily moisturizing regime from birth may also prevent allergies from developing but more studies are needed. We also recommend using a daily moisturizer after a warm bath as an eczema treatment for babies, children and toddlers. Applied under eczema clothing, it can minimize existing eczema and stop nighttime itching.