Eczema is a very common skin condition in children, in fact, one in three Australian children struggle with it.
Despite it’s prevalence, there is no quick fix and therefore, it’s not always easy for parents to manage.
Understanding your child’s eczema can help you better manage the flare-ups and avoid any triggers.
Someone who has dedicated her life to not only educating people about the causes, but also the link between the eczema and diet, is Australian Nutritionist and award-winning author of The Eczema Diet and The Healthy Skin Diet, Karen Fischer.
Karen’s daughter, Ayva, developed eczema at just two weeks old. Her skin was red, raw, very itchy, and she didn’t sleep well. Karen tried all the treatments available on the market and followed all the advice she could find, but nothing helped.
It was then, fed up, Karen took matters into her own hands.
“She was two years old when I developed a diet and supplement routine for her and after her eczema cleared up (in just two months), I began seeing patients,” tells Karen.
With salicylate sensitivity being a very real trigger for a large percentage of eczema sufferers, Karen says there are certain foods that, if avoided, can help alleviate symptoms.
“They should avoid spinach, avocado, turmeric, teas and coconut. If a person has histamine or amine intolerance they should avoid nuts, alcohol, fermented foods, cheese and yoghurt. It’s easy to avoid these ingredients when you have the right recipes as there are plenty of healthy alternatives.
“On the other hand, foods such as red cabbage, mung bean sprouts, leeks, shallots and celery are alkalising and good for the blood. Fresh meats and fresh white fish are low in salicylates and amines so they are eczema-friendly.”
If you’re little one is suffering now, Karen has some great tips you can put into practise right away.
- Keep their skin hydrated with gentle skin products to lock in moisture
- Dress them in bamboo or soft 100% cotton clothing as other fabrics can make them itchy
- Look for products that are free of problematic chemicals, colourings and mineral oils and include ingredients such as zinc oxide (especially for the nappy area), castor seed oil, evening primrose oil, shea butter and natural vitamin E, as they have soothing properties.
Nutritionist Karen Fischer is the founder of Skin Friend and her latest book is The Eczema Detox (Exisle Publishing). Karen can be contacted via www.skinfriend.com and @karenfischer.health. You can also find eczema-friendly recipes from Karen at www.skinfriend/blogs/recipes.