The two most common forms of eczema are atopic eczema and irritant eczema, and those are also the ones most often seen in children today. Atopic eczema is a form of eczema typified by episodes of flaring and subsiding and usually starts before 6 months of age. It might be triggered by specific allergens but often the flare-ups can happen for no apparent reason (which is what makes it different from irritant eczema, where there is an allergen causing the flare-up).

This cycle of flare-up and subsidence does improve as children grow older (they’re usually gone or much less severe by the age of 5, thank goodness!) as the primary cause is what is thought to be an immature immune system which is learning to cope with its environment.

It’s a form of eczema which is very much more prevalent in an urbanised environment, primarily (the current scientific thinking goes) because our environment is too clean, and devoid of the normal microbes and germs which ‘teach’ a young immune system as to what is truly an allergen and what is not. Good reason to spend some time on a farm 🙂 Skin with atopic eczema is also less able to hold onto its own moisture, which can trigger the itch-scratch cycle as it’s less protected, and far more reactive to the environment.

Skincare Suggestions:
Unfortunately, steroid creams which are the current go-to pharmaceutical answer only work for a short while and there are lots of concerns with using them long-term and on young skin especially. Natural products definitely have an important role to play in terms of creating a skincare regimen which helps to protect the skin and to support the skin’s health as it matures. Normal commercial products, loaded withthe usual fragrances, fillers, colours and preservatives, would be far too harsh onskin with atopic eczema and can trigger the eczema itch-scratch cycle.

If you do have eczema, our Calendula Remedy would be a perfect first product to try on the affected areas. It comes in a mini size too which is perfect for trial. Our Gotu Kola & Calendula Rich Cream Salve is often paired with it as an all-over rich cream.

The other product we always recommend is a wash as most commercial washes are too harsh on skin with eczema since the common ingredients used work more like detergents and they’re usually high on fragrance and preservatives. Our Baby Wash or Calendula Wash are the gentlest of our range and perfect for skin suffering from the eczema.

Eczema can be an exhausting cycle for parents and child (we’ve been there!) and unfortunately the one thing which is needed most is also probably the hardest to find in situations like this – patience! Taking the natural route may not have the dramatic short-term results that steroid creams do but the long-term advantages definitely outweigh the wait.