5 Surprising Things About Eczema Every Parent Should Know

5 Surprising Things About Eczema Every Parent Should Know

Atopic eczema affects over one in ten children and has increased nearly 70% in children ages 0-5 in the past 20 years. Just in time for National Eczema Awareness Month, we’re highlighting our National Eczema Association approved products that were developed for kiddos with extra sensitive skin (more on those below) and we’ve also pulled together 5 surprising things every parent should know about eczema.

#1–Eczema can be triggered by water.

Hard water
contains minerals that can dry out skin and disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance making it more susceptible to inflammation and flare-ups. If you’re not sure whether or not you have hard water (and you’re connected to a municipal water utility), check out the EPA’s searchable database for drinking water data. If you’re testing your water yourself, here’s the mineral content that defines each category, according to the U.S. Geological Survey:

  • Soft water: 0-60 mg/L or ppm
  • Moderately hard water: 61-120 mg/L or ppm
  • Hard water: 121-180 mg/L or ppm
  • Very hard water: Over 180 mg/L or ppm

#2–Eczema isn’t always eczema.

New research
has found that children with eczema are significantly more likely to have allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), as well. The symptoms are the same, so you might think you’re dealing with one issue (severe eczema) when it’s actually two (mild eczema and ACD). Talk to your healthcare provider about doing allergy patch testing because removing allergens can make the eczema more manageable.

#3–Eczema can be the beginning of an “allergic march.”

Eczema in babies can be a signal of more allergies to come. Research published this summer found that most children are first diagnosed with eczema at 4 months old, and many of those kids end up being diagnosed with food allergies and/or asthma around 13 months old. At 26 months, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) may develop, and in rare cases, a fifth allergy called eosinophilic esophagitis might appear by 35 months old. Only about 13% of children have more than one allergy, so an early diagnosis of eczema does not mean you’re destined for the “allergic march,” but it’s helpful info to know. If your kiddo develops eczema early in life, you should monitor them more closely for other allergies as they grow.

#4–Eczema is a racial issue.

Eczema affects more Black children than white children, and Black children and Hispanic children tend to have more severe eczema than white children. Complicating this divide even further, eczema can look completely different on every skin tone, but most research to-date has been conducted on white skin. Plus, less than 5 percent of the images in general medical textbooks show conditions on darker skin, leaving physicians ill-equipped to diagnose eczema on non-white skin.

#5–Childhood eczema impacts parental mental health.

According to the National Eczema Association, being a caregiver of a child with eczema impacts every facet of life, including but not limited to: loss of sleep, decreased work productivity, financial worries, disruption of family time and decreased relationship between partners and siblings, changes in diet, transportation to doctor appointments, questions about life choices, questions about treatment regimens and doctor visits, and overall feelings of guilt, sadness, anxiety, depression and helplessness. New research found that 78% of caregivers surveyed were at risk for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and 62% were at risk for major depressive disorder (MDD). Self-care and support for caregivers is crucial, so much so that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that health care professionals provide family-oriented care that addresses the needs of the entire family in order to optimize child outcomes.

Finding Safer Products for Childhood Eczema

According to WebMD, the most common culprits in hair and skin care products are these chemical ingredients:

  • Fragrances (Choose “fragrance-free” rather than “unscented” products. Fragrance-free and unscented have different meanings. Unscented means that a fragrance is masked, so you cannot smell it. Fragrance-free means the product is free of all fragrances, even ones that you cannot smell.)
  • Urea and retinoids found in many anti-aging creams and sloughing products
  • Propylene glycol
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Ethanol/alcohol
  • Dyes can also spark symptoms. Most commonly: 
    • D and C yellow #11
    • F, D, and C blue #1
    • F, D, and C yellow #5 (also listed as tartrazine)
  • Preservatives including Parabens, Isothiazolinones, Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers (quaternium-15, 2 bromo 1-3 nitropropane diol, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin), Methyldibromo glutaronitrile and thimerosal

Hello Bello’s Fragrance Free products are thoughtfully formulated with plant-derived and organic ingredients (without any of the above no-no ingredients) and are approved by the National Eczema Association.

  • Fragrance Free Shampoo & Wash - Clean your kiddo from head-to-toe with our two-in-one formula that soothes with Aloe Vera, Calendula, Oat and Green Tea Extracts while moisturizing with Jojoba and Sunflower Seed Oils.
  • Fragrance Free Lotion - Made with moisturizing Jojoba Seed Oil and Shea Butter combined with soothing Aloe, Calendula, Oat, and Green Tea extracts to nourish extra sensitive skin. Apply liberally within a few minutes after bathing.
  • Everywhere Balm - Made with moisturizing Shea Butter and Coconut Oil, soothing Chamomile, protective Tamanu oil, and more magic from Mother Nature. Use here, there, and everywhere on extra sad skin.
  • Baby Wipes - Super-soft 100% plant-based cloth, 99%+ water, and a touch of Aloe and Chamomile make our Wipes perfect for sensitive skin.

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