Babies Children Eczema and or Psoriasis?
Babies can develop eczema and psoriasis due to multiple things such as running in the family genes and environmental factors. Eczema is caused by issues with the skin barrier. Babies are pre-disposed to eczema because their skin barrier is more fragile than an adult’s, which leads to dry skin as a consequence of a high water loss and an enhanced penetration of irritants and allergens into the skin.
Many babies and children do not have enough of a special protein called “filaggrin” found in the outer layer of the skin. Filaggrin helps skin form a strong barrier between skin and the environment. When the skin has too little of filaggrin, it has a much harder time retaining water and keeping out environmental irritants and bacteria. A high quality eczema cream preparation can protect the water loss and prevent the damage of eczema and psoriasis if caught early enough. The cause of psoriasis in babies and children is not yet known, but symptoms develop if they are triggered by certain events, often after an upper respiratory infection. It can also be due to an autoimmune disease where the immune system makes a mistake and tries to attack skin cells, thinking that they're foreign or harmful, which results in inflamed patches of skin.
Some other triggers can be:
- Air conditioning (dries out the skin)
- Winter (dry air)
- Heat and sweating
- Chlorine from pools
- Laundry detergent, room sprays, cleaners
- Allergens (perfumes, fragrances, dyes, paint, carpet, pet dander, pollen, or dust)
- Saliva from drooling or breastfeeding(can cause irritation on your baby’s cheeks, chin and neck)
- Clothing (babies should be dressed in only cotton clothes without itchy adornments)
Children with dark skin often get misdiagnosed with skin conditions. This is due to the doctor not being able to identify the problem correctly because skin conditions can look differently on dark skin than it does on light skin, visit a helpful website called brownskinmatters if you believe your child has been misdiagnosed.
A major issue that not even doctors mention are fragrances in products. From perfumes, scented laundry detergent, room sprays like Febreeze, and soap. Almost 20% of the general population is sensitized to at least one allergen and fragrance is one of the most frequently cited substances that cause reactions. Fragrance sensitivity is now seen in 1-4% of the general population, and 8-15% of people with contact dermatitis. According the the Dermatology Times, fragrances are most likely to cause allergic contact dermatitis. 90% of fragrances are made of synthetic compounds. Over 5000 different compounds are currently used to make up the fragrances we enjoy today, and companies who have ‘fragrance’ as ingredient do not have to disclose the total composition of the fragrance for competitive reasons, and this is allowed by the FDA. Without knowing the exact composition, it is impossible for a consumer to know if a product with fragrance contains an allergen of concern for them. Fragrances remains as one of the top 5 allergens causing allergic contact dermatitis.
Sodium lauryl sulphate is a chemical detergent used in many over the counter personal care products. There are also an array of derivatives and alternatives of this detergent that are included in products, such as: sodium laureth sulphate, sodium coco sulphate, sodium olefin sulfonate. All of these detergents are classed as surfactants, which mean they can break down oil and grease and allow them to easily be washed away. When eczema prone skin comes into contact with these detergents, the oil in between the skin cells is broken down and washed away. By washing away the sebum (which is part of the glue holding our skin cells together and preventing moisture loss) gaps form in the skin’s layers, allowing water to pass through the skin and out of our body more quickly. Laundry detergent, soaps, shampoos, body wash, and “bubble baths”, usually contain detergents which act as foaming agents and strip their body of the naturally occurring oils that they need.
Some of the “top” brands for moisturizing creams and emollients still use sulphates in their products. They have removed the sodium lauryl sulphate and replaced them with lesser known derivatives, but they still cause skin irritation. It is for these reasons these products may cause your child to have contact dermatitis.
Other ingredients to look out for:
Formaldehyde - common in fragrances and household cleaning products, but can also be found in anti-wrinkle clothing such as school uniforms. Also it can be found in the artificial sweetener, aspartame, which is used in many sugar free soft drinks.
Antibacterial - ingredients bacitracin and neomycin can be a source of allergic reaction which can lead to eczema. They are commonly used in antibacterial creams and ointments, some of which are used to treat eczema.
Cocamidopropyl betaine - commonly found in cosmetic soap, shampoos and shower gels, but also can be found in wet wipes and baby wipes.
Isothiazolinones - used in products to prevent oxidization and discolouration of the products, they are also commonly found in wet wipes and baby wipes.
Paraphenylene-diamine - this chemical is not designed for products that touch the skin and is normally used in hair dyes, but can be found in unregulated products, such as temporary tattoos.
If your child has developed eczema or psoriasis, your doctor will usually always prescribe them a topical steroid and see no harm in the life-long effects that it can have on your child. Steroids can cause thinning of the skin and even cause the skin color to change, which is more noticeable with dark skin. They may also cause a stinging feeling upon application to the skin, and some children develop an allergy to the treatment, especially if preservatives are used, which can irritate the skin and make the inflammation worse. Topical steroids can get through the skin and into the bloodstream, and for children who need long term treatment with potent steroids, this can potentially affect the growth of the child. Moreover, topical steroids can also possibly produce adrenal insufficiency.
Other issues that can arise:
- With long-term use of topical steroid the skin may develop permanent stretch marks (striae), bruising, or thin spidery blood vessels (telangiectasias)
- Topical steroids may trigger or worsen other skin disorders such as acne, rosacea and perioral dermatitis
- Hair may grow more on the area of skin being treated
- Fluid collection in the legs
- High blood pressure
- Bone damage (thinning)
- Cushing's syndrome - this is a rare problem caused by high levels of a hormone (chemical messenger) in your blood. Symptoms include fast weight gain, skin thinning and changes to mood.
The scenario starts out almost the same for most patients. At some point you treated your child’s eczema or other type of skin inflammation, with this “harmless” topical steroid in hopes of resolving the problem, but this is the culprit of your demise. Sooner or later, it no longer provides relief, so you consult your child’s pediatrician only to be prescribed a stronger topical corticosteroid cream. Which seems to clear it up temporarily, but once again it comes back, now with a raging vengeance. Each flare up being treated with more and more steroid cream, pills or injections until finally nothing brings relief. The skin rashes begin to intensify becoming chronic or spreading throughout the body. The most simplified reason behind this? Steroid creams are not a solution, definitely temporary, but the long-term affects that it can have on your child? Not worth it. Especially when there are so many negatives, including TSA - Topical Steroid Addiction. Doctors often prescribe things thinking there’s no chance of addition, especially with a topical cream, but they are extremely incorrect. Children become addicted more quickly than adults do since their immune system is still developing. If you, your child, or someone you know is dealing with TSA, please visit https://www.itsan.org “Advocating, educating, raising awareness, and providing support for a global community living with Eczema and Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome”.
We offer a multitude of 100% all-natural products that are safe for you and your baby, with proven results in helping suffers of eczema and psoriasis. Our Oat Butter is a great place to start. Irritated, Eczema, Psoriasis, dry or raw skin will love this soothing and nourishing shea butter that is loaded with oat extract, oat milky tops, and organic oat oil. This butter locks in moisture levels by forming a physical barrier to epidermal water loss, preventing further drying. Read more about the amazing skin benefits of oat oil here!