What is Atopic Eczema?
Atopic eczema is a form of eczema typified by episodes of eczema flaring and subsiding. It might be triggered by specific allergens but often the flare-ups can happen for no apparent reason too (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 the developed 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! Skin with atopic eczema is also less able to hold onto its own moisture, which can trigger the itch-scratch cycle as the skin is less protected, and far more reactive to the environment.
SKINCARE FOR ATOPIC ECZEMA
Unfortunately, steroid creams are the go-to pharmaceutical answer currently but they do 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 with the usual fragrances, fillers, colours and preservatives, would be far too harsh on the skin with atopic eczema and can trigger eczema.
Our Calendula Remedy would be a perfect first product to try on the affected areas, it comes in a mini size too which would be perfect for trial. Our Gotu Kola & Calendula Rich Cream Salve is often paired with it as an all-over rich lotion. The other product I'd recommend looking at is our Baby Wash or Calendula Wash as most washes are too harsh on the skin with eczema since the common ingredients used work more like detergents and they're usually high on fragrance and preservatives.
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!