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Preventing and treating eczema and other skin rashes

Does your little one have a skin rash? The most common skin rash in little ones is eczema, which has two types. Atopic eczema is the most common type of eczema and produces red and often dry and scaly skin patches mostly on the face, neck, hands, in the creases of the limbs, and over the genital area. Seborrheic eczema is often related to cradle cap in babies and produces thickened, sticky-moist skin patches.

When treating eczema and rashes, it’s important to remember that they can be caused by both internal and external triggers. Whatever type of allergic skin condition, eczema, nappy rash, or itchy skin your little one has, these tips should help.

Preventing rashes

Skin rashes are often caused by food, so you may need to make the following changes to your tot’s diet

·         Avoid allergenic dairy and grain products and foods which are known to impact skin health, like shellfish, non-organic peanuts, eggs, and ‘fast foods’

·         Reduce sugary foods and refined carbohydrate foods like pasta and pizza

·         Increase naturally fatty foods like dates, avocado, nuts, seeds, sardines, and salmon

·         Add essential fatty acids like flaxseed or linseed oil to your tot’s diet

Rashes can also be caused by things that Baby’s skin comes into contact with, so try to use only gentle – and preferably organic – brands of Baby soaps, skin lotions, and clothing detergents. You may need to change yours too, because Baby comes into contact with your skin and clothing all the time!

Treating rashes

Whether the eczema or rashes are caused by Baby’s diet or external factors, these are usually effective methods of treating them:

·         Keep your little one’s fingernails short and clean to avoid infections from scratching

·         Add a pot of rooibos tea to bathwater to soothe affected areas

·         Apply diluted tea tree oil to the affected area

·         Use zinc-based sprays and creams – zinc has skin healing properties which have been recognised for thousands of years!

·         Make all-purpose wash lotion and cream by taking two rooibos tea bags, adding a teaspoon of boiling water to each, placing the tea bags in a tub of good quality aqueous cream containing minimal additives and no colourants or perfumes, letting them sit for a while, and then stirring up the cream to stain the cream with rooibos essence

If making changes to Baby’s milk or diet and following the skincare tips provided don’t work, you may need to see a dermatologist or paediatrician. Don’t be too quick to go the medical route though; often it truly is the simple steps that can have the most profoundly positive effects

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