If you or your child has eczema and you live in the UK - please visit Everything for Eczema at www.everythingforeczema.com. Gail, the owner and founder has a child with eczema and knows how frustrating and heart-wrenching it can be to watch the suffering. She has searched the world over for innovative products to help soothe your child's itchy skin. She carries our Wrap-E-Soothe products and many other products that have been designed to help your child. From effective natural creams to eczema clothing and pajamas - the goal at Everything for Eczema is to make your child more comfortable. Also, check out her website for eczema tips and advice. Below you will find our interview with Gail.
How did Everything For Eczema come about?
My daughter’s eczema appeared when she was about 6 weeks old. By the time she was 9 months old and was still waking 6-10 times a night I knew that there was no way I would be able to go back to work. During the day she was so irritable from lack of sleep and being so itchy that all she wanted was to be held and comforted. I spent every spare moment on the internet searching for products that might help her and gradually began to find little companies, dotted around the world, which had been set up by parents going through the same thing with their children. In their frustration these innovative parents had designed their own products to help both their own children and other families. I wanted to be able to bring all these wonderful products together so that they were both easy for parents to find and where they would only have to pay one delivery charge.
Do a lot of people in the UK suffer from eczema?
About one in five children and one in 12 adults in the UK suffer from eczema.
Eczema is on the rise worldwide. Are you seeing an increase in eczema in the United Kingdom?
Without a doubt. In fact a recent ten year study of eczema, The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, showed that the levels of childhood eczema seen in the UK now ranked amongst the highest in the world.
The above photo is Gail and her daughter Tallulah.
What is your favorite cream for eczema?
I absolutely love Earthbound Organics Chickweed & Calendula Cream. It has only a handful of simple, but very effective ingredients to help calm the skin and relieve the constant itching of eczema.
Is wet wrap therapy a common treatment for eczema in the United Kingdom?
Wet wrap therapy is often used in hospitals here because it is a quick and efficient way to help get a flare-up under control. Parents are now seeing the benefits of this therapy and starting to wet wrap at home, with the support of their health professionals.
Your website has a very helpful section on Top Ten Tips. Can you please tell our viewers what are your Top Ten Tips for Eczema?
Our Top Ten Tips For Coping With Eczema
Use a non-biological washing powder or consider using a natural alternative such as soap nuts. Most washing powder contains enzymes, phosphates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and optical brighteners so it’s well worth looking at natural alternatives.
Avoid fabric conditioners which are really just a bunch of chemicals and artificial fragrances that coat the surface of material to make them feel smoother.
Always do an extra rinse cycle at the end of the wash to remove as much of the washing powder residue as possible.
For those with airborne allergies, bathing twice a day can really help to remove allergens. For us the opposite was true – our daughter reacted to the water and when we reduced her baths to once a week her skin improved dramatically (we just top and tail every night). Either way keep bath water cool and make sure you moisturise immediately after bathing to lock moisture into the skin.
Steer clear of synthetic materials as they heat the skin and don’t allow it to breathe. Instead chose natural fibres such as organic cotton or bamboo.
Try not to overdress as those with eczema already seem to be warmer than the average. Try layers that can be easily adjusted to the outside temperature.
4. SYMPTOM DIARY
Eczema can flare up for no obvious reason but keeping a symptom diary may help you track down some of the possible triggers. Aim to include food & drink, creams, exposure to pet hair, changes in temperature and even trips to new places. Sometimes reactions can take a couple of days to show up or it may be that repeated exposure to an allergen leads to a reaction. Although it’s time consuming, the more information you have in your diary, the easier it will be to track down your triggers. Try our simple-to-use Symptom Spotter.
5. FOOD ALLERGIES & INTOLERANCES
The most common food group to cause problems is the Nightshade family, including peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and potatoes. Also acidic fruits such as oranges, lemons and strawberries can be a problem.
Less common allergies include dairy, eggs, gluten and nuts.
Watch out for a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars as this can upset the metabolism of essential fatty acids which are crucial in healthy skin and often already lacking in those with eczema.
Always speak to a health practitioner before eliminating a major food group from your or your child’s diet.
6. KEEP FINGERNAILS SHORT.
This is true for both adults and children as even grown-ups can unknowingly scratch in their sleep.
Keep the bedroom (and in fact, the whole house), cool.
Use a dustmite cover on mattresses, pillows and duvets.
Use only 100% cotton bedding and wash at least once a week at 60C to kill off dustmites.
Put cuddly toys into a freezer bag and freeze overnight then wash and dry to kill off dustmites.
Ensure any pets are kept out of the bedroom at all times. Dust surfaces regularly with a damp cloth.
8. MOISTURISE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
With babies, some mums find it easier to remember if they moisturise at every nappy change.
Apply moisturiser in the direction of hair growth.
Keeping creams in the fridge can help soothe hot and itchy skin.
Unfortunately there is no “magic cream”, just whatever works for your skin. However watch out for anything that contains ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate as this is a known skin irritant. For more details see our blog “What’s actually in the bottle?”
9. KEEP A LOOK OUT FOR INFECTIONS.
If the eczema starts to weep or ooze, or to smell differently then contact your doctor immediately as you may need antibiotics.
Eczematous skin tends to have higher levels of Staphylococcus aureus on it which can cause nasty infections.
10. If you feel that you/your child’s skin is not responding to treatment ask for a referral to your local Dermatology Nurse Specialist or Dermatology Department. Read up on the NICE guidelines if you are finding it difficult to get a referral.
To Order from Everything for Eczema visit www.everythingforeczema.com