Eczema Club reader review
"A very good informative site about this very distressing condition. As an ex sufferer myself I can really relate to this as it advocates natural remedies rather than drugs and medicated ointments. A good site for the topic."
- Susan,

Surviving Eczema is All About Attitude

Sunday, 30 March 2008

As you might notice, my focus in eczema treatment is not on the physical treatment. I highly believe in the psycho-dermatology factors that drives eczema break out.

Although not all people are driven by the psychology factors in their eczema break out, you have to admit that however small it is, psychology factors rule eczema sufferers' life - low self esteem, feels rejected by the society, even suicidal! Read my previous post about becoming suicidal because of eczema.

What can I do to survive eczema break out?

  • Stay calm - getting upset and panic will only worsen the symptom
  • Whenever possible, DON'T scracth! - scratching will trigger chain effect of itches on your skin with eczema patches
  • Use lots of moisturiser to avoid dry skin that will worsen the break out
  • Bathe or shower with soap less often to avoid dry skin
  • Pray or meditate - according to your believe, pray or meditate helps a lot
  • Last resort, use hydrocortico steroids - only for severe eczema break out
  • Last but not least, consult your doctor right away!

Eczema Pain is Beyond Skin-Deep

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

I recently stumble upon this great video about the current eczema treatment.

What's interesting about the video is the statement that says, although eczema can be treated, often doctors and their medical treatments only solve half of the problem.

Please watch the following video for the insight on eczema impact that is beyond skin-deep.

Video about eczema treatments that often oversee the emotional impacts of eczema

They tend to 'forget' about the emotional impact of eczema, which is, to me, more devastating than the skin problem itself - self-pity, frustration, depression, low self-esteem, and... "eww, what's that?" statement - affecting both young and old.

What to do? Eczema suffers and their relatives need to support each other to fight the negative emotional impacts of eczema, and the perception and comments by others that are both uninformed and not sensitive toward eczema and the sufferers.

The Eczema Control Plan - Worth to Try!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

I've stumbled upon one groundbreaking International report on what causes eczema. It's so groundbreaking, that it supersedes conventional medical opinions on eczema causes.

The report, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, states that until now, people believe that most eczema sufferers were having an immune reaction to some external influence.

However, the new evidence resulting from global studies suggest that in mild to moderate form, the skin disease is probably triggered by something other than an allergic reaction to allergens.

Here's the groundbreaking notion - a key factor in developing eczema is the structure of the skin barrier and the integrity of the cells' lipids and binders.

The report stated that people prone to eczema have a much thinner skin barrier than people with normal skin and this can be seen under a microscope, even if they do not have obvious eczema lesions.

To illustrate, please consider these explanations:

Normal skin barrier1: Normal skin

The very top layers of skin are cast off to let new skin come through.

Skin cells (bricks) are held together by binders (iron rods) and lipids (mortar).

Skin prone to eczema2: Skin prone to eczema

Faulty genes break down the skin barrier's binders or iron rods much faster than normal.

People with eczema also have gaps in their lipids or mortar.

This results in cracks all the way through the skin barrier.

Irritated skin after application of soap and detergents3: Soap and detergents

Irritants such as soap cause more break down and the "brick wall" starts to fall apart.

A broken skin barrier4: Dust mites and bacteria

A broken barrier lets allergens enter the skin easily.

Germs and more irritants then lead to an eczema flare.

How to protect your weaker, eczema prone, skin barrier

The report also confirm the importance of treating eczema much earlier in the cycle rather than waiting for a flare to occur.

The Eczema Control Plan, endorsed by the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc. (EAA), identifies and promotes understanding of the three stages of eczema - clear skin, first itch and redness and full flare.

President of the EAA and long-term eczema sufferer, Ms Cheryl Talent said, that if followed correctly, this plan empowers people to control their eczema and reduce their eczema flares by half.

The Eczema Control Plan allows patients to follow a simple, three step treatment regimen as prescribed by their doctor and includes:

# step 1 - use of a daily moisturiser when skin is clear

# step 2 - use of non-steroidal creams to control eczema at the first signs of symptoms and just after a major flare

# step 3 - use of steroid creams or ointments during a severe eczema flare.

To me, it's plain simple to follow and would like to suggest you to write it on a piece of paper, and stick it to the place you often visit - on your work desk, on the fridge, etc. I'd suggest my wife to try this, too.

Tiny cracks in skin barrier key to developing eczema full article

Ivan Widjaya
Skin barrier protector

Goat's Milk and Cow Colostrum Eczema Treatment

Thursday, 20 March 2008

I found interesting news on natural eczema treatment - goat's milk. To tell you the truth, I don't really like the idea of drinking a goat's milk, but maybe my wife want to give it a try? :)

I also read on the Net that some people have tried to take a supplement containing cow colostrum and egg yolk extract. According to them, it's pretty effective controlling their eczema.

However, I also found out from Dr. Weil's wellness site, that there is not enough evidence that cow colostrum will help treating eczema - He suggests to save your money on this.

Well, logically, goat's milk and cow colostrum will actually help eczema sufferer due to their properties that can actually enhance one's immune system. With the egg yolk that enhance energy, the combination of milk / colostrum with the egg yolk sounds good to try.

You can find extracts in your region's health food providers to be used as home remedies, or you can take supplements containing those ingredients.

Take heed, though - always pay close attention to your body reactions to any supplement to take. If the eczema is worsen or even other negative reactions occur, stop taking the supplements! Better yet, consult your personal doctor on this.

Please let me know if this eczema treatment is actually works for you, and share it in this blog!

Read goat's milk eczema treatment news from BBC
Read his comment on cow collostrum

Ivan Widjaya
Goat's milk and cow colostrum - cheers!

Eczema Flare Ups after Days of Terrible Weather

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Weather really come into play in new eczema patch creation :)

Especially where my wife and I live, bad weathers are really THAT bad. Does weather really that influentials?

In my experience, yes it does. The problem with all of us with eczema is that our body is built based on our early ages environmental conditions. To refer, an eczema research has shown that exposure to bacterial toxin in the home may protect infants from eczema.

Based on the research, I assume that during our early stages of life, our body build some patterns in the immune system that are 'memorised'. In later stages of life, the immune system 'remember' to protect our body from harms that was caused in the past. Therefore, a change in the exposure pattern will effect the immune system.

I have no evidence whatsoever regarding this, but I use this logic to understand why today's global warming and rapid climate changes are one of the biggest factors contributing to eczema flare ups frequency. Even some people I know are new eczema sufferers recently!

Then, what can we do about it? Protect yourself not only from irritants, but also from the weather! There's one thing that I can suggest you to do as a habit - AVOID HAVING A DRY SKIN - bathe less often during rapid weather changes, or if you insist to bathe, please use moisturising creams or soap with moisturisers in order to protect you from dry skin.

Hopefully this helps.

Eczema Club Change in Blogging Policy

Monday, 17 March 2008

I'm thinking about a change in Eczema Club blogging policy.

As you might notice, I no longer post a lot of articles anymore. Eczema Club used to be a semi-feed blog - that is, finding useful eczema-related articles from the Net and present them in Eczema Club blog with additional comment. Although it might be useful, I am thinking that perhaps my family first hand experience would help you most in your daily battle with eczema.

Therefore, from now on, I'll keep you posted with original, first hands, stories and reviews in Eczema Club. Hopefully by doing this, Eczema Club will be more useful than it is now.

Chinese Medicine 'Eases Eczema'

Saturday, 15 March 2008

A traditional Chinese herbal medicine consisting of five herbs may ease eczema symptoms, a study suggests.

Researchers found the treatment reduced the need for conventional medicines, and improved the quality of life for young patients with atopic eczema.

The study of 85 patients by the Chinese University of Hong Kong is reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.

However, UK experts warned against using Chinese herbal medicine without first consulting a doctor.

Flos lonicerae (Japanese honeysuckle)
Herba menthae (peppermint)
Cortex moutan (root bark of peony tree)
Atractylodes Rhizome (underground stem of the atractylodes herb)
Cortex phellodendri (Amur cork-tree bark)

Eczema is a group of inflammatory skin disorders that make the skin dry, itchy, flaky, red and sore. In more severe forms the skin can become broken and weep or bleed.

The Hong Kong team assessed the effects of the "pentaherbs formulation" on patients with atopic eczema - the most common type of the disease which affects at least one in ten children.

The capsules contained extracts of five raw herbs based on a widely used ancestral Chinese concoction.

In the study, 85 patients were either given the medicine, or a placebo.

Patients who took the medicine reported that their quality of life improved by a third, while those who took the placebo reported no improvement.

The researchers also found the herbal remedy reduced patients' needs for the conventional treatment of topical steroids by an average of four days a month, compared to just one day a month in the placebo group.

Inflammatory chemicals

Further analysis revealed that patients who took the herbal remedy showed lower blood levels of four proteins thought to have inflammatory effects linked with eczema.

This finding was confirmed in lab tests in which the pentaherbs formulation was added to blood cells in a test tube.

Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: "These early studies show that children with atopic eczema may benefit from a specific concoction of traditional Chinese herbs, which could eventually pave the way for this remedy to find its way into mainstream medicine.

"However, we would warn against using Chinese herbal medications without first speaking to your doctor.

"Some retailers may not be reputable and the product they sell you may be of a low standard or could contain harmful ingredients."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/03/13 00:01:31 GMT


Irritated by Eczema

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Successful eczema treatment depends on a precise diagnosis. Why? Several different conditions can cause this skin disorder.

Eczema isn't just one thing. Several quite different conditions cause the itchy skin condition. Early on, it looks like red skin that can develop oozing blisters. Later, the skin can get scaly or thick.

It's not easy to tell one kind of eczema from another. That's why you need to see a doctor about it. Successful eczema treatment depends on the correct diagnosis.

The Problem

The vast majority of people with eczema have atopic dermatitis, an allergic symptom. That's the kind that shows up early in life, almost always by age 5. Eczema that shows up later than this usually is another kind of eczema.

"Atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis (think hay fever) -- that's what we call the allergic triad," dermatologist Jeffrey Weinberg, MD, director of clinical research at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, tells WebMD.

A lot of people think eczema is a food allergy. But there's little evidence for this, Weinberg says. In his experience, food allergies cause eczema only in some younger children.

The good news is that by the time they reach their teens, 70% to 80% of kids find that their eczema is much less severe. But about half will have some symptoms throughout their lives.

The Solution

There are several treatment strategies available:

* Change how often you bathe. One school of thought says you shouldn't bathe a lot because the water evaporates and leaves the skin dryer than ever. Skin affected by eczema loses water more quickly than normal skin. On the other hand, there are those who say bathe more often -- hydrating the skin by soaking in a cool bath, and then treating the skin with emollient cream or ointment. "Both strategies have some success," Weinberg says. His advice: See what works for you.
* Use a gentle soap. "Use something like Dove For Sensitive Skin or Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar," Weinberg says. "Moisturizing is the key. After bathing, use a cream or ointment rather than a lotion. Use a product like Aquaphor, Cetaphil cream, Eucerin, or Vaseline. Those are the things that help most."
* Antihistamines -- a specific type of allergy pill -- may be very helpful to some people. Benadryl may relieve itching as well as help children sleep.
* Antibiotics may help when you have a sudden eczema flare-up. Many dermatologists think these flare-ups are linked to infections.
* Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments are the mainstay of medical treatment. They slow immune responses and relieve itching. "But you must be careful because of the side effects," Weinberg warns. "Steroids cause thinning of the skin. And you want to be careful around the eye, in the diaper area, and around body folds."
* New topical immune-modulating drugs also may help. Sold as Protopic and Elidel, the drugs offer many of the benefits of corticosteroids -- and avoid the side effects. Some dermatologists have begun to use these products as first-line therapies, although such use remains controversial.

Published August 2003.

SOURCES: Jeffrey Weinberg, MD, director of clinical research, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York. American Academy of Dermatology.

©1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Never Too Old to Get Eczema - Real Story

"I have always been aware of chemicals causing health problems but never realised just how they can creep up on you and cause a problem which seemingly doesn't have an easy answer.

At 52 I started a part time job which involved farm work and relief milking of a dairy herd every second weekend. For the first couple of months everything was fine then I started to notice red raw areas starting on my face below my nose and each side of my mouth. I put this down to being exposed to cold drying wind and rubbed cream into them from the chemist.

At first there was a some relief but then the problem became much worse. In desperation I saw the local doctor and he gave me steroid cream to clear it up which worked very well and the problem seemed to disappear. Then two weeks later it was back again and another cycle of steroid cream was started again. I hate having to use drugs that just treat the symptoms so started to carefully appraise my exposure to chemicals and what may have been the cause of the problem.

I had been told by a friend that eczema was often associated with exposure to sodium hydroxide so I had a careful look at the chemicals in the dairy which were used for cleaning the equipment. Sure enough sodium hydroxide. Although I wore protective gloves and clothing, steam coming off the hot water was obviously causing an allergic reaction with my skin hence the eczema. I had also been warned by my friend that sodium hydroxide was found in common personal care products too and once sensitized to this chemical there would be an ongoing problem no matter where the contact came from.

To my horror I found I was brushing my teeth with a toothpaste which listed sodium hydroxide as one of the chemicals about halfway down the list of ingredients. Then I found it listed in the shampoo I was using as well and it was in common soap. To further compound the problem both the toothpaste and the shampoo contained sodium lauryl sulphate which I now know is just as much a culprit as sodium hydroxide in causing eczema and skin problems.

Well to cut a long story short within two weeks of stopping the use of the products with both the above chemicals in them and using 100% synthetic chemical free certified organic products the flaking scalp I used to experience and the eczema on my face completely cleared and as long as I am careful in the dairy and leave the room immediately when the steam is heavy I don't have any problem at all with ongoing eczema.

It makes me very angry to think manufacturers don't care about the toxic effects of repeated exposure to these so called 'safe' chemicals"

Bill H. Cornwall


Eczema Club note: Well, Bill says it all - our everyday products could be triggers to your eczema. Please be sure to read and find out the nature of the ingredients listed on your everyday products, especially household items (because we tend to overlook 'save' household item, such as organic mouthwash, etc, etc) - an 'organic' claim doesn't mean it's save. Please consult your doctor regarding this issue.

Can Bath Oils Help Treat Atopic Eczema?

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

What do the papers say?

NHS funding is being wasted on eczema-easing bath oils that are of 'questionable' value, the media reported last week.

The products are prescribed to ease the skin inflammation caused by allergic eczema, but there is no clinical evidence they work, according to researchers in the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB).

The NHS spends £16 million a year on bath oils, about 70p per bath, say the papers. Bath emollients are thought to be easier to apply than topical treatments and are believed to form a protective barrier against irritants.

There is no evidence to back this up and emollients could even cause problems, such as slipping in the bath, say media reports.

What is the research?

The story stems from a discussion piece in the DTB which examines the evidence and use of both bath and topical emollients.

The article seems to have been inspired by issues of cost. Each year the NHS spends more than £16 million pounds on bath emollients; 38 per cent of the total cost of treatments prescribed for preschool children with eczema.

Sixteen bath emollients are available on the NHS, costing from 1p to 74p per bath. The main ingredient is liquid paraffin mixed with another emollient such as wool fat or isopropyl mystristate. Lauromacrogols are also added to some bath oils to prevent itching.

These preparations are intended as a replacement for soap and detergents, which can be irritants to atopic eczema.

Adding the emollient to the bath is believed to be an easier way of applying it to the whole body and can help to prevent moisture loss from the skin.

Three bath emollients contain antimicrobials and are marketed as prophylactic treatment for eczema at risk of infection or to help treat secondary infection.

But there is no published evidence from randomised controlled clinical trials that both emollients help atopic eczema, says the DTB.

Neither is there significant evidence that applying emollient ointments, creams and lotions are of benefit.

But the DTB says there is a consensus among clinicians that topical treatments are effective.

What do the authors say?

Andrea Tarr, DTB associate editor, said the article had been compiled with expert input from clinicians, GPs and the pharmaceutical industry.

'We're saying we don't know bath oils' effectiveness,' she said.

'There's an assumption that they are effective because they are being very widely used.'

Trials comparing a bath in water alone followed by topical emollients and using bath emollients then topical emollients is needed, said Ms Tarr.

'Sometimes the idea of using oils is still bound up with the idea of complete emollient therapy.'

But GPs should think about whether patients need bath emollients as well as topical emollients, she added.

What do the experts say?

Use of bath emollients for atopic eczema was advocated by the Primary Care Dermatology Society (PCDS) and British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) in a joint guideline issued last month.

Stephen Jones, consultant dermatologist at Wirral University Hospital and honorary secretary of BAD, said: 'There have been few trials of moisturisers alone but such trials would be difficult to complete.

'The lack of such trials does not mean a lack of any benefit,' he added. 'They are a tried-and-tested part of the treatment of eczema and are accepted as part of routine practice.'

Dr Stephen Hayes, a dermatology GPSI in Southampton and committee member of the PCDS, said claims bath emollients may not be effective are 'rubbish'.

'It's universally agreed among primary and secondary care dermatology doctors that emollients are underutilised.'

When patients present with atopic eczema, GPs should first ensure any irritants are identified to stop making the condition worse. Then emollients need to be prescribed, he added.

However, it will take trial and error to decide which emollients are best for individual patients.

'Any restrictions on using emollients are wrong and we will resist them,' said Dr Hayes.


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Children With Eczema Have Same Impaired Quality of Life as Those With Kidney Disease

Children with serious skin conditions feel their quality of life is impaired to the same extent as those with chronic illnesses such as epilepsy, renal disease and diabetes, according to research published in the July issue of British Journal of Dermatology.

A team of Scottish researchers surveyed 379 5- to 16 year-olds, who had been suffering from skin diseases like acne, eczema and psoriasis for more than six months, together with their parents.

They asked the children and their parents how much the condition impaired the child's quality of life when it came to factors such as pain, loss of sleep, dietary restrictions, interference with school and play, friendships, teasing and bullying and medical treatment.

They then compared the quality of life scores given by the parents of 161 children with chronic diseases in the same age group.

Only six of the 546 parents approached by staff at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and Perth Royal Infirmary preferred not to take part in the research. All the children included were attending outpatient clinics at the two hospitals.

Key findings included:

· The children in the study said that psoriasis (red scaly patches) and eczema were the two skin conditions that caused them the greatest distress. Both resulted in a 31% impairment in their quality of life score. This was followed by urticaria (itchy allergic skin rash) at 20% impairment and acne at 18% impairment.
· From the parent's perspective, eczema was the biggest skin problem at 33%, followed by urticaria at 28%, psoriasis at 27% and hair loss at 19%.
· When they compared the overall results for the children with skin diseases and chronic illnesses, the researchers found that the condition that had the worst affect on quality of life was cerebral palsy at 38%. Generalised eczema and kidney disease both scored 33%.
· Cystic fibrosis also made the top five (32%), followed by urticaria and asthma (28%), psoriasis (27%), epilepsy and bed wetting (24%), diabetes, hair loss and localised eczema (19%) and acne (16%).
· When children with psoriasis, and their parents, were asked to chose the factors that affected the child's quality of life most, parents rated bullying third and children rated bullying fourth.
· Teasing or bullying was also a key concern for the 11 children with hair loss, with six of the children and nine of the parents putting it first on their list.
· The biggest concerns for children with eczema, psoriasis and uticaria was itching or pain, while children with acne or warts said that embarrassment was their main worry.

"Our study shows that children with chronic skin diseases – and their parents – reported the same level of quality of life impairment as the parents of children with many other chronic illnesses" says lead author Dr Paula Beattie from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.

"Skin diseases are often more obvious to other children than chronic diseases such as asthma or diabetes and are more likely to lead to alienation, name calling, teasing and bullying.

"Some skin conditions can also disturb children's sleep and cause lack of self-confidence, embarrassment and poor self-esteem, especially as they get older.

"Although skin diseases may not shorten life in the same way as serious conditions like cystic fibrosis, they can cause children as much, if not more, distress in their everyday lives."

"Measuring quality of life can be a powerful political tool as it provides the patient's perspective on the health impact of different diseases" adds co-author Dr Sue Lewis-Jones from Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.

"This is particularly important when arguing for vital resources, especially in dermatology, as skin diseases are not considered to have as much of an impact on people's lives as other illnesses.

"Our study clearly shows the profound effect skin diseases can have on children's quality of life and we hope that our findings will raise awareness of the problems they face and encourage greater sensitivity towards them."

SOURCE: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Education Program Reduces Severity of Eczema

Age-related educational programs for the long-term control of atopic dermatitis in children and adolescents were significantly more effective than conventional treatment, according to a randomized controlled trial of 823 parents and affected patients in Germany.

Atopic dermatitis affects up to one-fifth of schoolchildren. Management of this chronic disease may be suboptimal due to lack of information and lack of confidence in medical treatment. While several educational interventions have been developed for adults with eczema, programs for children are sparse.

In this study, an interdisciplinary team presented standardized educational programs for the management of atopic dermatitis. Those in the intervention group participated in six weekly group sessions lasting two hours each. Participants were grouped by age: parents of children ages 3 months to 7 years; parents of 8- to 12-year-olds; and adolescents ages 13 to 18 years.

Topics included basic medical information; stress reduction, dealing with itching and scratching, and sleep disturbance; recognition and avoidance of trigger factors, daily skin care; stage-related treatment of symptoms, unconventional therapies; general child nutrition, food allergies in atopic dermatitis; and issues of coping, self-management plan.

Parents and affected adolescents completed questionnaires before the intervention began and 12 months later that assessed subjective severity of eczema, itching behavior and quality of life for parents of children younger than 13. The study also assessed clinical severity of eczema.

Significant improvements in clinical severity of eczema and subjective severity were seen in all intervention groups compared with the control group. In addition, parents of children younger than 7 years of age experienced significantly better improvement in all five quality of life subscales (psychosomatic well-being, effects on social life, confidence in medical treatment, emotional coping and acceptance of disease) compared with the control group. Parents of children ages 8 to 12 years experienced significantly better improvement in confidence in medical treatment, emotional coping and acceptance of the disease.

The authors concluded that integrating educational programs for the control of atopic dermatitis with routine care should be considered.


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Watching a Weepy Film May be a New Way to Reduce the Symptoms of Eczema

Monday, 10 March 2008

Eczema Club note: This really unique eczema treatment should also pose a question: Does being sensitive actually helps eczema suffers? I think it does. What do you think? Leave your comment about it on this post.

Research based on 60 patients with atopic eczema who had an allergy to latex, shows that those who cried while watching Kramer Vs Kramer had a reduced allergic response immediately afterwards.

The patients viewed a weather information video and the sad movie, and after each viewing various tests — including allergic response to latex — were carried out by researchers at Satou Hospital, in Osaka, Japan.

The results show that after watching the film about the weather, there was no change.

But in 44 out of the 60 patients who cried after watching Kramer Vs Kramer, there were significant changes.

They had reduced allergic responses, including skin wheals, and lower levels of antibodies to latex.

One theory is that the emotional effect of crying has some beneficial impact on the immune system, although exactly how is unclear.

A special type of silk material may be as good as some drug-based treatment for eczema.

Research by dermatologists at the University of Zurich shows that the antimicrobial material was as effective as steroid creams.

Atopic dermatitis or eczema can be aggravated by irritation and bacteria, and in the research the doctors compared the antimicrobial silk fabric — DermaSilk — with a rub-on corticosteroid.

Fifteen girls wore a dress where the left side was made of DermaSilk and the right side was made of cotton.

The right arm and leg were treated daily with a corticosteroid, mometasone, for seven days.

Results show that for both treatments, there was a significant decrease of eczema after seven days.

"No significant difference between DermaSilk-treated and corticosteroid-treated skin could be observed.

"DermaSilk showed potential to become an effective treatment of atopic dermatitis," say the researchers.

Reference:, ©2008 Associated Newspapers Ltd

Could a Water Softener Cure Your Child's Eczema?

Eczema Club Note: Water Softener is a hot topic in eczema treatment today. I'll keep you updated on anything about the use of water softener for eczema treatment. Make sure you don't miss any updates by subscribing to Eczema Club feed.

Could a water softener cure eczema?

Children are being prescribed a special type of water softener to reduce symptoms of eczema, the skin condition that affects up to one in five school-age youngsters.

The move follows research which has shown that eczema is up to 50per cent more common among primary school pupils who live in hard water areas.

Eczema can run in families, but environmental factors are also suspected of playing an important role in causing the disorder.

However, apart from allergies to house dust mites and possibly some foods, little is known about other environmental triggers that may increase the risk.

Atopic eczema is the most common form of the condition, and can affect both children and adults.

Symptoms include itchiness, skin dryness, redness and inflammation, as well as sleep loss and distress.

There is no cure, and treatments, including lotions of various kinds as well as steroid creams, are aimed merely at easing symptoms.

Researchers at Nottingham University, who carried out the research on 7,000 children, found that eczema was 54 per cent more prevalent in areas with the hardest water supplies.

They are now starting a clinical trial using water softeners.

The new trial involves 310 children aged between six months and 16 years.

The children will have ion-exchange water-softening equipment installed in their homes for between four and 12 weeks.

The units will reduce the water hardness to around zero.

To soften hard water, the minerals which cause hardness — usually calcium and magnesium — are removed.

There will therefore be a separate drinking water supply installed for the duration of the trial.

Hard water when drunk has a number of health advantages, and has been linked to lowered risk of heart disease.

Exactly how the water-softening device could alleviate eczema is not clear, but one theory is that the salts in hard water cause dryness which leads to irritation.

Another theory is that the salts themselves irritate the skin.

A third suggestion is that using hard water means larger quantities of soap and shampoo need to be used because they do not work as well in hard water, and that overuse can irritate the skin of eczema sufferers.

Reference:, ©2008 Associated Newspapers Ltd

Proven treatment for eczema and relief of red, itchy, scaly skin

Does Spirituality Play a Big Role in Managing Your Eczema?

To my family and I, spirituality in managing your eczema is very critical. You shall never underestimate the power of faith.

Spirituality does help us to get through the rough times - put things in perspective. And, the more you put your hands off you and your eczema (literally and figuratively) and devote to your Higher Being, you will see INSTANT relieve.

I am a Christian - I am devoted to the Almighty God, Jesus Christ. Although I seek what a man could think of the best solutions for my family conditions - mainstream medication and herbal treatment of eczema - JC offers my family and I the BEST solution - release your hands from the wheel of your life, and He will take control to do what's best for us. That's how faith works, and that's how you break the eczema breakout cycle.

No matter what your spirituality paths are, you have to start devoting now, and release your grasp of your eczema conditions, and do what's best but often forgotten and underestimated - stop trying to cure your eczema for a while, and start praying or meditating!

If it works for my family and I, it could very well works for you, too!

Shiitake Mushroom Eczema Treatment

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Eczema Club note: You might want to try Shiitake Mushroom for natural eczema treatment. Please note, although generally not considered as mainstream natural eczema treatment (like licorice and evening primrose oil do), appropriate use of the medicinal mushroom proves to be effective in treating eczema.

Name: Lentinuna edodes

Main medical uses:

* cancer
* high cholesterol level
* influenza, cold
* rheumatism
* arthritis

General information about medicinal mushrooms:

In contrast to general medicine, which intends to fight the illness, therapy with medicinal mushrooms concentrates on maintaining physiological homeostasis – that means restoring our bodies' balance (for example, the balance of minerals, enzymes, hormones, water, electrolytes or immune cells) and natural resistance to disease.

Medicinal mushrooms have a regulative effect, which means they can for example help to lower blood pressure in those with hypertension and increase blood pressure in those with hypotension.

These mushrooms really have a phenomenal healing potential. They are able to stimulate immune function; ward off viruses, bacteria, and fungi; reduce inflammation; combat allergies; help balance blood sugar levels.

About Shiitake

Shiitake has been mentioned in literature as highly effective medicinal mushroom for centuries. In China and Japan, but in the US as well, Shiitake or rather the extract is used very successfully in conjunction with other cancer therapies.

For some time now, Shiitake can be also purchased more and more often in Europe, which is in particular due to its delicious flavor. Only very few people know about the important health benefits of this mushroom, which is cultivated on saw dust. In order to benefit from its excellent nutritional value it is necessary to eat it often – at best daily.

You can purchase fresh and dried mushrooms, as well as highly concentrated extract and powder e.g. in tablet form.

Constituents and uses

The mushroom contains large amounts of minerals and vitamins, such as iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, B vitamins, folic acid, pro-vitamin D (ergosterin), which is essential for vegetarians. The most relevant active constituent of Shiitake is the polysaccharide lentinan which has demonstrated to stimulate the immune system and have anti-tumor effects; another active compound isolated from Shiitake, eritadenine has been shown to lower blood levels of cholesterol.

A research study by Joachim Eder of the University Weihenstephan describes the renowned effects of Shiitake. It has proven to have anti-cholesterol, antiviral and anti-tumour effects.
Extracts of this study:

…studies have been carried out to investigate in what way eritadenine, which is contained in Shiitake, lowers blood cholesterol levels; it has been shown that a lipoprotein complex which keeps cholesterol in the liver was inhibited; consequently, cholesterol processing and excretion is accelerated… To put it briefly, the blood cholesterol level (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) is decreased effectively.

…the antiviral effects have already been investigated in the 1970s. Shiitake spores and fruiting body extracts stimulated resistance to viral infections in mice. The increased production of interferon inhibits the reproduction of viruses...what has been proven in mice in the 1970s, meanwhile has been confirmed again and again in terms of humans. The reason for the antiviral effects is found in the RNA of Shiitake; which demonstrated interferon and immune stimulating activity to inhibit viral infections.

The anti-tumor effects of Shiitake are especially due to lentinan, a very beneficially polysaccharide and constituent of Shiitake; lentinan consists mainly of beta-glucan which produces a complete tumor regression in mice.
These are only a few of the active constituents of Shiitake; by far not all. This mushroom can also be used in the treatment of rheumatism; it is possible to achieve a regression of the typical symptoms (pain and restriction of movement) and even a complete recovery!

Recently, there are reports that in same rare cases sensitive people might experience allergic reactions (for example a rash which disappears shortly after stopping the ingestion). Therefore, it is recommended to start with a minor dosage of Shiitake and increase the amount slowly. Thereby, the organism can get used to it. If the rash still occurs, it will be better to stop the ingestion and take another mushroom instead.

Experience of an eczema sufferer:

Shiitake against infections, easing of skin eczemas

Ms H. takes 2-3 Shiitake tablets as soon as she feels a sore throat, a cold or an infection in the head. In the last 3 years, all infections have been gone after only a few hours. She also suffers from returning skin eczemas, which spread out and itch very much. She takes Ling Zhi extracts right in the beginning and the eczema eases faster and is easier to bear.

Important note:

In our dosage indications we distinguish between powder and extract. It is important whether you take powder or extracts, because the difference can be decisive!

Therefore we give you this information:

You can purchase powder lose, in special mixtures, in tablet form and capsule form. In the process of production the whole fruiting body is dried and then, powdered. Mushroom powder contains all minerals, vitamins etc.

Extract can usually be purchased in capsule form (note: some suppliers offer powder in capsule form!!). The fruiting body is dried and powdered. Then, the powder is extracted via hot water extraction; that means that all water-soluble ingredients dissolve in the water and are then retrieved as powder when dried. All not-water-soluble ingredients are washed out and are not contained in the extract.

This process of extraction is being used in order to maintain a high content of polysaccharides, which are decisive in treatment of serious (cancer-) diseases. Polysaccharides are water-soluble and 20-times more concentrated in the extract than in the powder! That means, to have the same effect you would have to take 20-times more of the powder.

In general, it can be said that powder is used for discomforts and non-life-threatening diseases and the extract is especially used for acute and serious diseases, like for example cancer; often the extract is combined with the powder.

It is understandably that extract is more expensive than powder, which is another reason why you should make sure whether you buy powder or extract. Unfortunately, there are some suppliers who try to make powder look like extract and do not declare this appropriately.


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Omega 3 Fish Oil and Eczema

What is the Role of Omega 3 Fish Oil in Eczema Treatment

Eczema or excema, known as dermatitis in the medical dictionary, is a skin condition in which it becomes red with little cracks and spots. People usually use creams and other medication to treat this illness. However, this provides only temporary solution and the irritation returns after a few days. Recent studies in the field of eczema treatment have revealed that eating fish or fish oil capsules can prevent eczema and other skin-related problems.

This is because fish oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids – DHA and EPA – which are not only beneficial for proper functioning of nervous system and immune system, but are also helpful in the prevention of various skin-related diseases like acne, formation of red spots, wrinkles and eczema. Therefore, the role of omega 3 fish oil in eczema treatment is significant and noteworthy.

Omega 3 fish oil and eczema can be connected by the fact that fish oil is the only known natural source of omega 3 fatty acids, other than some vegetable oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to fight against obesity and high cholesterol levels in the body. They are also important for a healthy heart and brain. When all other systems are working properly and your blood is clean and pure, the ultimate outcome is a glowing and healthy skin.

Omega 3 fatty acids also control the level of hormones – especially sexual hormones – in our body. Omega 3 fish oil can be used to improve sexual health, as well as some problems related to disturbed levels of hormones in the body.

Many of these problems are related to skin. Acne, eczema and growth of excessive facial hair in women are included in this category. If other treatments have proved to be ineffective, use omega 3 fish oil in eczema condition.

Eczema causes irritation and a constant urge to itch or rub the skin. If the condition is not controlled the skin may become damaged. Especially in children, if this condition occurs, they should be fed with omega 3 fish oil.

Always look for pharmaceutical grade fish oil and the one which is molecularly distilled to remove any impurities found in fish oil. Supplement products made from the Hoki fish found in New Zealand are the best to buy. They contain absolutely no impurities and guaranteed high-quality fish oil with just the right concentration of DHA and EPA fatty acids.

The use of omega 3 fish oil in eczema is perfectly safe and no side effects are seen with its consumption. However, you should not increase its dosage over recommended limits.


Other natural products containing omega 3

Probiotic Treatment may Limit Eczema in Infants

Oral supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri to the mother during pregnancy and to the infant after birth may help reduce the development of eczema and allergy associated with immunoglobulin E, a key protein involved in the allergic response, according to Swedish researchers.

Probiotics are small molecules that help maintain the natural balance of organisms, also referred to as microflora, in the intestines.

Altered microbial exposure may underlie the increase of allergic diseases in affluent societies. Probiotics may help, Dr. Thomas R. Abrahamsson of Linkoping University Hospital and colleagues note.

To investigate, the researchers enrolled families with a history of allergic disease. Expectant mothers were randomly assigned to receive L reuteri in an oil suspension or a placebo treatment, each day from week 36 until delivery.

Their babies continued with the same formulation from birth until 12 months of age and were followed up for another year. A total of 188 completed the study.

At 2 years, the incidence of eczema was 36 percent in the active treatment group and 34 percent in the placebo group. However, during the second year, only 8 percent of the L. reuteri group had IgE-associated eczema compared with 20 percent of the placebo group, a statistically significant difference.

Skin prick test reactivity was also less common in active treatment group than in the placebo group. The difference was statistically significant in infants with mothers with allergies (14 percent versus 31 percent). However, there was no effect on wheeze or other potentially allergic diseases.

Although the study failed to confirm an overall preventative effect on infant eczema, the investigators conclude that "the treated infants had less IgE-associated eczema at 2 years of age and therefore possibly run a reduced risk to develop later respiratory allergic disease."

SOURCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, May 2007.


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Non-steroid Eczema Cream May Prevent Development of Asthma

Saturday, 8 March 2008

A study is currently being conducted to determine if using Elidel to treat atopic eczema could prevent the development of allergic asthma, rhinitis and hay fever later in life. It is estimated that 80% of children with atopic eczema will eventually develop asthma etc.

The theory is that by protecting the skins barrier through early treatment of eczema, there is less likelihood of allergens penetrating into the skin and setting of immune responses.

Elidel is currently the only FDA approved non-steroid treatment for atopic dermatitis or eczema. It doesn’t have the side effects of the comparative steroid creams.

Source: Summary of medical news story as reported by Medical News Today, from

Eczema Club note: Please read our prevous posts on the use of Elidel as topical immunomodulator to treat eczema.

Information on eczema natural cream to treat red, itchy and flaky skin

Eczema Club Entrecard

To extend exposure on Eczema Club, I joined In short, Entrecard is a member-powered advertisement exchange program.

Here's how it works:

If a member 'drop' his/her entrecard to your account, you have an option to accept or decline the request. If you accept, his/her entrecard will be displayed in your blog. By doing this, I get entrecard points. I can spend the points to put my entrecard to other blogs.

Eventually, my purpose of doing this is to put Eczema Club Entrecard in other related blog, in a hope to get the blog's visitors attention to visit this blog.

If you have an entrecard, please 'drop' your entrecard into Eczema Club Entrecard account and I'll make sure to include your entrecard displayed in this blog.

Eczema Club Squidoo Lens

To increase Eczema Club eczema awareness campaign, I recently publish Eczema Club lens on Squidoo.

Currently it contain feeds from this blog, as well as one or two other things. In the future, I plan to feature blogs and blog feeds from other eczema related blogs. Do you want your blog feed to be included in Eczema Club lens? Just leave me a message with your blog and feed URL and I'll include yours to the lens ASAP.

Please visit Eczema Club lens and leave a feedback on how to use the lens better to enhance awareness on eczema.

New Eczema Treatments on Horizon

Friday, 7 March 2008

New ways to treat skin conditions which affect millions of people could be on the way after a scientific discovery.

Experts led by the University of Dundee have discovered the gene which causes dry skin, leading to eczema and asthma.

The gene produces the protein filaggrin, which helps the skin form a protective outer barrier.

Experts hope to use the discovery for more effective therapies to tackle the root causes of the conditions, rather than simply treating the symptoms.

At the moment the only treatment is through the use of emollients and ointments or anti-inflammatory drugs.

"If you imagine the disease as a burning building, up until now we've just been throwing buckets of water on the roof" - Prof McLean, University of Dundee

The research, to be published in the journal Nature Genetics, was undertaken with collaborators in Glasgow, Dublin, Seattle and Copenhagen.

Filaggrin, abundant in the outermost layers of the skin, keeps bacteria and viruses out while keeping water in to prevent the skin from drying.

Reduction or absence of the protein leads to dry and flaky skin.

Professor Irwin McLean, of Dundee University's human genetics department, said the elusive gene had been known about for 20 years or more but was difficult to analyse.

'New era'

"It was a really tough project, but because we had experience in this type of gene, we managed to crack it where others had failed," he said.

"We see this as the dawn of a new era in the understanding and treatment of eczema and the type of asthma that goes with eczema as well.

"If you imagine the disease as a burning building, up until now we've just been throwing buckets of water on the roof.

"I was constantly at the hospital every day getting bandages from head to toe" - Jade Williamson, Chronic eczema sufferer

"But now we know exactly where the fire is underneath and we can put the hoses in there and hopefully tackle the cause of the problem properly."

Experts said new treatments from the discovery could take some time to come to fruition.

Jade Williamson, from Rosyth in Fife, said the discovery could lead to her having a complete life for the first time.

The 22-year-old fitness student developed what was first thought to be nappy rash when she was six months old, but the condition later grew into chronic eczema.

She said: "I was constantly at the hospital every day getting bandages from head to toe.

"All you could see was my eyes, my nose and my mouth. It was distressing when I was younger."

Gene mutation

Ms Williamson said the problem sometimes became stressful when she was younger, adding: "When my skin was bad I did tend to close myself in my room and stay away."

She said that living with the condition brought a constant regime of moisturising and washing.

The study, which also involved Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Dublin, showed that about 10% of Europeans carry a mutation that switches off the filaggrin gene, causing a very common dry, scaly skin condition known as ichthyosis vulgaris.

About five million people in the UK alone make only half of the normal amount of filaggrin protein and have a milder form of the condition, while 120,000 people in the UK have no filaggrin protein and often require specialist treatment.

More than one million people are predicted to have the severe form of the condition worldwide.

Source and copyright:

Information on natural eczema cream to soothe dry and flaky skin

Asteatotic Eczema

Asteatotic Eczema is a skin condition that dries excessively the skin. It regularly leads to the creation of tiny cracks in the skin. It is a frequent condition among the elderly, especially during winter months spent indoors in environments with low humidity levels.

Usually, if patients follow the next treatment line, they will respond positively to therapy. Nonetheless, there is need to pay a lot of attention to triggering factors and to avoid them as much as possible.

- Short baths with low water temperatures are a great helper. High water temperatures are likely to worsen an asteatotic Eczema condition.

- Coarse skin cleansers and coarse fabrics applied directly on the skin are to be avoided.

- Soap should be replaced with an emollient.

- Topical steroid ointments should also be applied, but only on the prescription of a specialist.

- Remember to use moisturizers.

A quick treatment of asteatotic Eczema involves the use of topical steroid ointments with 24- to 48-hour occlusion with polyethylene. The majority of the patients heal with mild topical steroids, but the fact depends on the severity of the Eczema, on the patient’s compliance with treatment, and the reduction of contact with triggering or aggravating agents. Generally, doctors will recommend use of moisturizers, especially petrolatum-based preparations, alone or in combination with topical steroids for mild cases.


Eczema Treatment that Comes Up to Scratch

A herbal cream helped to soothe one mother and daughter’s painful itch

When 38-year-old Jacquie Terry’s daughter, Hope, was 1, a photographer offering portraits in a local supermarket refused to take her photograph. “Unless you put some make-up on her the baby will look so awful you won’t buy the photograph,” he said. Hope’s eczema, having initially been in small patches, had suddenly spread to her face and was inflamed, as it became infected when she scratched.

Terry had expected Hope to contract eczema as Hope’s father has eczema and it tends to run in families. Terry also has psoriasis on her scalp and leg, an inherited skin condition that began during her finals at university. Hope’s eczema was worst on the back of her knees, neck and joints. As well as scratching when she felt anxious, itching would keep her awake at night, and sometimes she would scratch so badly that she drew blood. The eczema would then become infected and a course of antibiotics would be needed, as well as treatment for the condition. This progressed from heavy-duty moisturisers to hydrocortisone and stronger steroid creams, as each one proved ineffective.

Steroid creams are prescribed during eczema flare-ups as they act by reducing inflammation quickly. The strength of steroid cream that a doctor prescribes depends on the age of the patient, the severity of the condition, and the size of the area to be treated.

Hope is now 6 and for the past five years, against her better judgment, Terry has been treating her with steroid creams. Both her GP and her friends had warned against long-term use of the creams.

There seemed no alternative. Even a referral to the local hospital dermatology department for Hope yielded only a thick, unpleasant and ineffective moisturiser. “The GP kept telling me that it wasn’t a good idea to use steroid creams long term, but didn’t give me any alternatives. I clung to it as I just wanted to do anything to relieve Hope’s discomfort,” Terry says.

Potent steroid use for long periods can produce side-effects such as skin-thinning and premature ageing. Many young eczema sufferers are prescribed hydrocortisone or other steroids. They clear up the complaint while they are in use, but they are not designed for long-term use and once someone stops using the preparation the eczema returns.

The last straw came when Hope said she didn’t want to wear shorts for PE because of the skin on her legs. When a friend suggested cardiospermum gel, Terry did some research.

Cardiospermum is one of the commonest herbs used for skin problems in Sri Lanka. Its botanical term is Cardiospermum halicacabum, but is locally known as balloon vine. This wiry climber’s main antiinflammatory powers are said to lie mostly in its leaves and seeds, which have been used for hundreds of years in Sri Lanka for skin dryness and eczema, as the seeds contain triterpenoids, which have an antiinflammatory effect and antibacterial qualities.

Terry and Hope embarked on a course of treatment two months ago, using the hypoallergenic cardiospermum gel that she found online.

“I was dubious at first,” says Terry, “as I had relied on the steroid for so long I didn’t think anything else would work on Hope. Also, the gel smells a bit like compost, but it feels cooling and seemed to absorb really quickly, and the smell doesn’t linger.

“Hope’s skin is really good at the moment. We used the gel twice a day and it soothed the itching almost immediately. She absolutely hates having creams put on, probably because her skin has been so sensitive before, so the fact that the cardiospermum is in a gel, and is not messy or irritating or greasy, has made the whole process much easier.”

Terry is also using the gel for the psoriasis patches on her legs and claims “it is definitely breaking down the rough patches and making them smoother”.

Is natural best?

We look at the evidence for other natural creams. If you plan to use these with steroid creams it may be worth having a chat with your GP to check that they won’t interact.

Evening primrose oil cream

Claims Reduces itchiness and redness.

Any evidence? A review of 26 trials of evening primrose oil for eczema has shown it to be an effective treatment, though it appears to do less well when combined with steroids.

Manuka honey

Claims Stops infection and reduces inflammation. Best to use in cream form, unless you want to get really sticky.

Any evidence? Manuka honey has been shown to have antibacterial, wound-healing and some antiinflammatory properties.

Aloe vera

Claims Cools down angry skin — reduces redness and swelling. Available in a gel, cream or lotion. Any evidence? Laboratory experiments suggest it has antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties.

Vitamin E cream

Claims This vitamin helps to repair dry and cracked skin.

Any evidence? Vitamin E has been used for a variety of skin conditions and is generally acknowledged to be an effective treatment.

Oat milk

Claims Creates a moisturising bath. Fill the foot of a cut-off pair of tights with porridge oats and tie it under the tap while running a bath. Or use Aveeno, an oat-based moisturiser.

Any evidence? No.


Can cardiospermum cream soothe eczema? There is no evidence from good-quality clinical trials but considerable anecdotal evidence. Cardiospermum extracts have been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation and it has also shown to have a similar effect on human cells in the test tube. Eczema is, in part, an inflammatory response so it is logical that an antiinflammatory cream may ease it.

But it’s a natural product Natural means neither better nor safe, and everything is made of chemicals.

Could the cream help in any other way? Eczema is also closely linked to stress and anxiety. The description of the cream as being cooling and easily absorbed suggests that using it was a pleasant experience, which might have reduced stress.

Dr Toby Murcott is a former BBC science correspondent

Author: Lucy Freeman

© Copyright 2008 Times Newspapers Ltd.

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Eczema and Dermatitis - Natural Prevention & Treatment

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Eczema can affect your whole family but you can treat it naturally and effectively with some common sense, some detective work, some vigilant avoidance of allergens and some clever supplementation where necessary.

Dermatitis or Eczema is a general term for any type of inflammation of the skin. Types of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

The inflammation of the skin that accompanies dermatitis (or eczema) produces scaling; flaking, weeping, crusting, thickening, colour changes, and often itching and typically appears on the face, in the bends of elbows and behind the knees.

Several underlying problems can lead to eczema:

  1. Hypochlorydia -low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
  2. Leaky gut syndrome- in which tiny particles of undigested foods pass through the intestines and enter the blood stream provoking allergic reactions.
  3. Candidiasis an overgrowth of yeast in the body.
  4. Food allergies.
  5. Genetic weakness in the enzymes which converts fatty acids or a essential fatty acid deficiency (Not enough good fats in the body).

Contact dermatitis from contact with perfumes, cosmetics, rubber, medicated creams, ointments, latex, plants, metals, and even sunlight can cause some types of dermatitis. Eczema or Atopic dermatitis is known to affect allergy prone individuals.

Triggers vary from person to person, but tend to include changes in weather and atmosphere, hot or cold weather, exposure to allergens, infections such as colds and stress. If other family members also have allergies, hayfever, asthma, and atopic dermatitis then it is more common for a child to develop it also.

In babies, infants or children this can be an essential fatty acid deficiency (from not getting enough in mother's milk or formula and or diet), food allergies or from chemicals used to clean the clothes and home of the infant.

What can you do for your baby?

  1. Delay introduction of food solids until 6 months of age so the gastrointestinal tract can develop fully.
  2. Supplement Mothers diet with Fish oil capsules or other quality oils such as black current seed oil, flax seed, Evening Primrose oil and salmon oil. This will pass through into the baby via the breast milk.
  3. Supplement Mother with Probiotics such as Lactobacillus Acidophillus and Bifidus. More than just the amounts found in yoghurts are necessary for this condition.
  4. Where available purchase an infants probiotic formula rich in Bifido infantis bacterium, the particular strain of infant bacteria that they need to stop reactions such as Eczema. You can mix with breast milk and place on Mother's nipple for taking by infant or add to infant formula. This is especially important for babies who are born by cescearian section as they have not been inoculated by their mother's vaginal bacteria.
  5. Supplement Mother's diet with a B complex formula as B6 and cofactors such as Biotin help with infants being breast-fed that have dermatitis, eczema or craddle cap. Foods that are rich in B complex vitamins include Brewers yeast, many cheeses, whey, eggs, apples, iceberg lettuce, Rye flour, salt water fish, banana, liver,potato's, sunflower seeds, walnuts and legumes.
  6. Apply 10mls of a specially formulated oil blend onto your babies skin 3 times a day as necessary such as a blend of equal parts of sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, wheat germ oil and chickweed oil. This will alleviate the itch, soothe the skin and provide essential fatty acids to be absorbed through the skin surface.
  7. Put 10mls of this oil mix into your babies bath.
  8. While you are getting organised to make your oil, you can make chamomile tea, allow to cool and add 4 drops of lavender oil -bathe the area daily with this solution. Other oils such as bergamot, chamomile, NZ Manuka and geranium are also helpful. Add one drop of each to 50mls of chamomile solution.
  9. Avoid all chemicals for cleaning products in your home.

If your child has developed atopic dermatitis or other allergies you can get their allergies tested. Hair allergy testing is very simple and quite comprehensive these days with both IgE and IgG responses able to be detected.

There are also local naturopaths that can do energetic hair testing which are giving people fantastic results. Consult your family G.P. If you want the basic skin tests done, these are not as comprehensive but another option none the less. There are a variety of ways to test for allergies so please consult your natural Health practitioner or G.P.

By understanding what your child's allergies are you can easily avoid them, give their little bodies time to repair(with some help) and the resulting eczema should clear up on its own. Later these so called allergen foods can most often be re-introduced with out any trouble.

The most common forms of food allergies are eggs, peanuts, soy foods, wheat (breads, cakes, biscuits, pastries, pasta etc) and dairy products including cheese, milk, yoghurt, ice cream etc.
Soak all grains before eating, baking, this includes muesli's or breakfast cereals this breaks down phytic acid which can irritate G.I tracts and cause allergic reactions.

Older children and adults can do the following:

  1. Take a digestive enzyme or HCL supplement with meals to increase digestion of all foods eaten.
  2. B complex Vitamins are helpful to increase body's natural skin function and circulation. B vitamins aid in the reproduction of all cells, cell formation and cellular longevity. Deficiency of this vitamin group has been linked to dermatitis.
  3. Essential fatty acid supplementation such as Cod Liver oil, black current seed oil, flax seed, Evening Primrose oil and salmon oil.
  4. Add a supplement of Probiotics to your diet daily as a lack of bowel flora from any use of Anti-biotics will also contribute to this condition.
  5. Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids because they inhibit inflammation and stabilizes cell membranes.
  6. Vitamin E -relieves dryness and itching.
  7. Zinc- Aids in all healing and supports natural immune function.
  8. Kelp Because it contains Iodine and other minerals needed for skin healing of tissues.


  1. Dark oily fish such as salmon.
  2. Avoid all allergy foods including foods with raw egg which contains avidin, a protein which binds to biotin and prevents it from being absorbed.
  3. Avoid sugar, strawberries, white flour, chocolate, fried foods and processed foods.
  4. Avoid gluten containing foods such as Rye, Oats, Barley and Wheat foods for 6 weeks and see if dermatitis improves.
  5. Use a Body oil rich in essential fatty acids such as the recipe above everyday.
  6. Keep your house de-humidified (moisture free) and take only one shower or bath per day as these deplete natural skin oils.
  7. Avoid soaps and chemical bubble baths that irritate your skin. Choose a natural non irritating soap for sensitive skin.
  8. Keep your colon clean by going to the toilet every day. Use a bulking fibre supplement if you have to such as psyllium husks or flax seeds. NB: always take a fibre product separately from other supplements.
  9. Do a detox to get rid of candidiasis and possible parasites and gut repair programme with your natural health practitioner to heal your leaky gut wall.
  10. Juice therapy can be very effective. Try the following: carrot, beetroot, cucmber, celery, apple.
  11. Homeopathy may also prove to be helpful. Look into the following remedies for the right one for you or your child: Pulsatilla, Arsenican album, Lycopodium, Graphites, Petroleum, Sulfur, Thuja, Sepia.

Herbal Treatments for adults:
  1. Drink a cold infusion of equal parts of fresh Nettle, Chickweed and Cleavers twice a day.
  2. Mix equal parts of tinctures of Red clover, Nettle, Chickweed, Baical skullcap and cleavers and take 1/2 tsp of this mixture three times a day.

Other Topical applications to try:
  1. Aloe Vera gel
  2. Evening Primrose oil applied directly to the skin can help the body's response to cracks and sore areas of the skin.
  3. To relieve itch make a cream with Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Chickweed oil, Zinc oxide, yoghurt and a little honey. Mix together and apply to skin.
  4. Dried herbs of Calendula, Chickweed and St John's wort can be infused into Olive oil for 2 hours over a water basin and applied to itchy and painful skin.

Originally written by Kirsten Taylor - Naturopath, Medical Herbalist. Used with the permission of the author -


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Allergens May Weaken Eczema Skin

Study Shows Impact of Dust Mites and Cockroach Allergens on Skin Damaged by Eczema

Dust mites and cockroach allergens may make it harder for eczema-damaged skin to heal, South Korean researchers report.

In their lab, the researchers made extracts of household dust mites and cockroach allergens. They tested the dust mite extract on six healthy adults who didn't have eczema.

To mimic eczema's damaging effect on skin, participants got tape peeled off their forearm skin several times. Then the researchers applied a bit of the dust mite extract to the skin and saw how long the skin took to heal from the tape damage.

Their skin was weaker for the first three hours after the allergen was applied. That effect faded within a few more hours.

The researchers also conducted a similar experiment on mice exposed to dust mite and cockroach allergens. The mice's skin healed slower after exposure to the allergens.

Lastly, the researchers used an experimental drug to block an enzyme called PAR-2. That helped damaged skin heal faster despite the presence of dust mite or cockroach allergens.

The researchers included Se Kyoo Jeong of Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea.

Their study appears in today's online edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Source: Jeong, S. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Feb. 28, 2008; online edition.

News release, Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Atopic Dermatitis - What Increases Your Risk

The major risk factor for atopic dermatitis is having a family history of the condition. You are also at risk for developing atopic dermatitis if family members have asthma, allergic rhinitis, or other allergies.

An infant with one parent who has had atopic dermatitis has a 60% chance of developing this condition; if both parents have a history of atopic dermatitis, the child has an 80% chance of developing it.


Eczema Club note:

This is particularly true for my little boy - My wife suffers from eczema, I suffer respiratory problem due to allergens in the air. My boy's skin problem is not really called an eczema - yet, but his skin is really sensitive.

However, take courage, parents! Those who develop allergy symptoms in his/her early age will actually rise the chance to 'escape' from the eczema and allergy FOR GOOD. Please check your doctor to confirm this!

Get More Information on Eczema Cream for Itchy, Inflamed, Red, Dry and Flaky Skin

Vitamin C May Increase the Likelihood of Eczema and Asthma in Children

Total Vitamin C intake during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of eczema and asthma in children by age 2, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom studied 2,000 women to determine how antioxidant intake during pregnancy affects the development of asthma and eczema in children. The full two-year study was completed by 1,300 of the women.

The women were required to fill out questionnaires that asked them about their dietary habits during pregnancy. They also and had their blood tested for antioxidant levels. Follow-ups were conducted at six-, 12-, and 24-month intervals on 1,924 of the children born to the study participants.

Results show children whose mothers had the highest levels of total vitamin C intake were also the most likely to develop eczema and asthma by age 2. Other antioxidants test such as vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, magnesium, copper, or zinc were not associated with early childhood eczema or asthma. However, vitamin E did appear to decrease both asthma and eczema risk.

Authors conclude, “This study suggests maternal dietary antioxidant intakes during pregnancy may modify the risks of developing [asthma] and eczema during early childhood. Further follow-up of the [children] will determine whether maternal diet during pregnancy is associated with asthma and atopic disease later in childhood.”

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to:

SOURCE: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2005;171:121-128

Eczema oil for your baby

Bacterial Toxin in the Home May Protect Infants from Eczema

New findings support the controversial ''hygiene hypothesis''

Children whose homes contain high levels of endotoxin, a bacterial compound that collects in house dust, may be less likely to develop eczema during their first year of life, according to a study led by Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Children's Hospital Boston and assistant professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

The study corroborates other recent work that supports the ''hygiene hypothesis'' -- speculation that early exposure to infectious or inflammatory agents causes changes in babies' immune systems that reduce their risk of developing allergy-related conditions later in life.

Various studies have looked at the relationship between endotoxin and allergies, but this is the first U.S. study to look at the effects of endotoxin exposure on eczema, one of the most common allergic diseases of infancy.

As part of the ongoing, Boston-based Home Allergens and Asthma Study, the researchers followed nearly 500 infants living in the Boston metro area beginning at 2 to 3 months of age. They collected dust samples from the living rooms of 400 of them and analyzed the samples for endotoxin, a component of the cell walls of various bacteria. All the babies had a parent with allergies or asthma.

The more endotoxin in the home, the less likely babies were to be diagnosed with eczema during their first year of life. When endotoxin concentrations were classified into four levels, the risk for eczema was about 25 percent lower with each increase in endotoxin level, after adjustment for other eczema-related variables.

Infants whose homes had a dog also were less likely to develop eczema, but this relationship weakened after adjustment for endotoxin exposure. Eczema risk was increased in infants whose fathers had a history of eczema, or whose mothers were sensitive to at least one allergen.

Cases of eczema have increased two- to three-fold in industrialized countries since World War II, a pattern similar to that seen for asthma and other allergic conditions.

According to the hygiene hypothesis, today's cleaner, more germ-free environments may deprive babies' developing immune systems of chances to practice fighting off microbes; as a result, their immune systems veer toward an allergic type of response, mistakenly attacking harmless substances. Supporters of this still-controversial idea note that children who live on farms, grow up with pets, come from large families, or start day care in early infancy are less prone to allergies and asthma.

Phipatanakul does not advise parents to buy pets, stop cleaning their homes, place their infants in daycare, or do anything else to protect them from eczema.

''We now know that there are things in the environment that may be important in eczema,'' she says. ''But you need lots of studies to be able to come up with recommendations.''

Phipatanakul notes that the mechanisms of allergies are very complicated, and that it's not clear what endotoxin does to the immune system. In fact, a number of studies have linked endotoxin exposure with wheezing and airway inflammation in established asthmatics.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Children's Hospital Boston is the nation's premier pediatric medical center. Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, today it is a 300-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. More than 100 outpatient specialty clinics are located at Children's. Children's Hospital Boston is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, home to the world's leading pediatric research enterprise, and the largest provider of health care to the children of Massachusetts. For more information about the hospital visit:


Neem Herbs Eczema Treatment

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Neem is a most effective eczema herbal remedy - and there are many products currently being sold in the market place as wonder Herbal cures and remedies for Eczema and Psoriasis and we could post hundreds of pages without even scratching the surface. However we can help to get things in perspective with a few hints and warnings.

Herbal does not mean safe and many of the worlds most powerful toxins are herbal. Lots of companies sell so called herbal products that contain chemicals and preservatives, which are detrimental to skin diseases such as Psoriasis and Eczema. Examination of 24 creams for eczema revealed that 20 were found to contain corticosteroids (cortisone family) and many contained very potent steroids, which should only be available by prescription.

Any herbal potion to be ingested should be approached very carefully for allergic reaction. An easy way to try is to rub a small amount of product on the gums and wait for a couple of hours and if there is no reaction take a very small amount and wait.

Examine packaging for ingredients and if there are none do not use it.

Take into account that a great amount of prescription treatments derive from Natural products and are synthetically reproduced to enable patent. Synthetic production of these molecules can cause unknown reactions and side effects not present in the natural version.

Facial Skin Conditions

These conditions whilst causing psychological stress (particularly in the young,) also poses the problem of infection due to the lack of friendly cleansing agents. The properties of Neem, which we believe put this in the forefront of treatments, are Non-allergenic properties.

One of the strongest natural analgesics, which relieves discomfort with immediate effect.
Nimoids, which are an active compound, found only in Neem and work in very similar ways to steroid without the side effects. (Initial studies in 1986 rang warning bells; it was believed that these compounds were just another steroid. Closer examination revealed that MILLIONS of people in India were taking Neem leaf daily with no detrimental effect. (G took Neem every day.)

Neem contains a natural anti-histamine which hinders reaction and aids relief.

Baby Eczema

The eczema condition in children is even more disconcerting due to the fact that the most upsetting situation for a parent is to watch their child suffer when to date there has been very little in the way of treatments to help. This coupled with sleepless nights can affect the whole family physically as well as psychologically. Neems' very effective analgesic qualities will help alleviate discomfort sometimes with immediate effect.

Although a chemical free Neem based lotion can produce dramatic effects with discomfort relief and skin regeneration, it must be noted that eczema is an allergic reaction and the quest for the root cause must continue. The safety aspect of Neem treatments, when compared to the detrimental side effects of other products such as steroid creams etc. in our opinion make Neem the necessary choice for children.

Neem based lotions, creams and oils offer help in other areas such as nappy rash, fungal infections and also repels house mite which is a further aid to eczema and asthma sufferers.


Quality organic herbs for natural eczema treatment

Eczema Club reader review

"You have a great site with honest evaluation of dangerous herbal products plus the good advice. Many will be helped by your site if they apply what you have posted."
- Muryal,

"Great looking blog and a good little niche to help fellow sufferers. The laout is easy on the eye and the navigation a breeze. I liked the article on water softeners. Its great that you provide your readers with information like ongoing studies and research. As for you question, I really don't know of any way you can improve your blog. It looks great to me. I wish you all the best."
- Linda,