#unhideEczema and #GetEczemaWise
October is Eczema Awareness Month run by the National Eczema Association. It is an opportunity to help raise awareness and reduce stigma. Eczema is a much more common skin condition than we think. It currently affects 1 in 5 children in the UK. And, as a company who puts the care of babies’ health first, we have done so much research into finding the best materials for sensitive skin.
WHAT CAUSES ECZEMA
Caring for a little one with eczema can really consume so much of us; the disturbed sleep, the restless moods, and their inability to express how they are feeling. It is a constant battle trying to soothe your baby’s skin and finding products that work for them. It’s hard to know what causes eczema as everyone’s skin is different so what works best for one baby may not work for another.
Eczema is a constant episodic battle. No matter how great our hygiene is, it simply boils down to the bacterial infection in the skin and the skin not being able to function as it should. The biggest eczema triggers for babies are germs, certain products and changes in humidity. Germs are everywhere, we just have to deal with them on an everyday basis. It is not something we can eliminate. Humidity is another trigger that is out of our hands, although I highly recommend getting a humidifier for air control throughout your home – this has really helped my son.
OTHER COMMON ECZEMA TRIGGERS FOR BABIES
We spend so much time trying to find the best products to put on our baby’s skin, yet the most overlooked irritants are the fabrics we are buying and using. When dealing with eczema, it is so important to find materials that do not aggravate the skin.
Clothing can be a trigger for eczema and more often than not, without realising, we are wrapping our baby in synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon are made using chemicals and are not breathable. These materials cause greater discomfort than more natural fabrics.
When choosing a fabric for eczema skin, we need to ensure it does the following:
- Is lightweight; to help with ventilation and letting the skin breathe.
- Is absorbent; heat is a severe irritant for eczema, so we need something that will regulate our baby’s skin and absorb sweat if they get too hot.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FABRICS FOR KIDS WITH ECZEMA?
Natural cellulose fabrics are derived from plants such as cotton, bamboo and modal. These are a great choice of fabric for kids with eczema.
Cotton is a common fabric when it comes to making baby clothing. It is soft, lightweight and breathable. Some cotton, however, contains a blend of polyester as well, so be sure to read the labels carefully before buying.
Another really great fabric for kids with eczema is bamboo. This is also soft and breathable. Bamboo has many significant properties. Bamboo is highly thermoregulating, meaning that your baby will be kept cool during summer and warm in winter. It also has antibacterial properties which can help keep irritations at bay.
Modal is a relatively new fabric but it can have huge advantages for eczema-prone babies. It is made from wood fibres using environmentally friendly chemicals. Like bamboo, it absorbs moisture, it’s very breathable and it is soft on the skin. We have recently updated our Tropical Nights sleeping bag to modal as it’s such a wonderful, sustainable and gentle fabric.
GENTLE PRODUCTS FOR KIDS WITH ECZEMA AND SENSITIVE SKIN
At Pure Earth Collection, we use both 100% organic cotton and bamboo wadding in our all-season sleeping bags and bamboo baby blankets. These fabrics make great products for anyone with sensitive skin or with a skin condition. Even our velour clothing range is totally organic.
Aside from clothes, have you ever stopped to think about the toys and products your babies’ are playing with, such as the teddy bears they’re cuddling? Unfortunately these too are a common eczema trigger for kids. Babies are essentially rubbing these toxic fabrics and dyes all over their face and bodies every single day. Eczema-prone babies’ skin barrier does not work in the way it is meant to so it’s important to avoid all toxic chemicals and synthetic fabrics where possible.
Pure Earth Collection have created a range of organic toys and comforters. We only ever use safe dyes and natural fabrics. Our organic cotton bunny comforters and our organic sensory toys are made from 100% natural materials and use safe, non-toxic dyes; they’re the perfect toys for kids with sensitive skin. We know how hard it is to find really natural alternatives to a child’s everyday living. We have also created our tree foam playmats made using cork and rubber. Our cork and rubber are carefully harvested from the bark and sap of the tree. The suberin in cork naturally repels dust, little insects and bacteria, so they’re great for kids with sensitive skin.
CHOOSING PRODUCTS FOR BABIES WITH ECZEMA
Sadly, there is no way to prevent eczema. All we can do is manage flare-ups and reduce the things in our everyday life that could trigger them. There are an increasing number of lovely natural alternatives to the synthetic products traditionally made for the kids market. We would definitely recommend taking time to read the small print and labels of products you are buying, as often top line claims about natural content are not what they seem. You can find out more about this in our forum post on green-washing here.
We are inviting you to take part this month and #UnhideECZEMA. We’d love for you to share your stories, challenges, and knowledge in the comments below to help others feel supported.