Eczema on the scalp, or seborrhoea, affects both adults and children and can be extremely unpleasant for the individual. It’s most common in children under two months old and is given the term cradle cap. The signs include red rashes on the scalp and the build-up of a yellow crust. There are different ways you can treat seborrhoea and we have a few suggestions that may help you get yours or your child’s under control.
  1. Try an anti-dandruff shampoo. Many people have a mild case of eczema on the scalp and this can sometimes be treated with a typical medicated shampoo that is designed to tackle problems with dandruff and an itchy scalp. Use it as you would a normal shampoo and it will work by reducing the amount of yeast that is living on the scalp and causing the problem. However, be sure not to massage the scalp too much, use gentle circular motions so as not to aggravate the eczema and make the problem worse.
  2. Speak to your doctor if the medicated shampoo isn’t proving to be beneficial after a two week trial. Your GP will be able to suggest a mild steroid cream or an ointment that will be available to you on prescription. Follow the instructions on the information leaflet included.
  3. Your GP might also prescribe a clava for eczema on the delicate areas around the face and head. The clava can help to keep ointments in place and stop children from scratching their itchy scalp, which will be even more effective if used with the Skinnies gloves (also available on prescription).
  4. If you are not keen on steroid treatments or you’re unable to use them on your skin you may find antifungal creams more to your liking. If this option fails it’s worth heading back to your GP and asking about anti-yeast medicine that is taken orally. The anti-yeast medicine is prescribed in severe cases when the rash refuses to clear.
  5. Seborrhoea in children will often clear up on its own in a few months' but you can use emollient bath oils. Mineral oils gently massaged on the scalp and left for about an hour will help to loosen the scales too.
How do you manage the eczema on your scalp? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by posting to our Facebook wall. For more information 
21st July 2014

Food Allergies and Eczema

While food doesn’t cause eczema it can be a trigger. There are two types of foods that are commonly related to eczema flare ups and removing these foods out of the diet can be beneficial to those affected. The foods that cause problems for some sufferers are:
  • Cow’s milk
  • Egg
  • Food colouring
  • Wheat
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Peanuts
Food allergies can cause eczema flare ups in a couple of ways. The first is an immediate reaction that will occur within a couple of hours of consuming the food. The skin will begin itching and go red as the food reacts with the IgE antibody in the blood. Prick tests can be taken to identify the IgE antibody and food allergy problems affecting the eczema.

The second reaction is delayed and can take up to two days for the eczema to get worse. After consuming the trigger food the skin will slowly begin to get redder and itch more. Unlike the immediate reaction it is thought that the immune cells within the skin react with the food.  There isn’t a suitable skin prick test that can be performed that will predict the reaction the skin will have with food. Therefore the solution usually revolves around removing the food types to see if there is an improvement.

Eating a Balanced Diet

When you remove foods such as cow’s milk, wheat and eggs from a diet will affect the nutritional balance that is being received. Removing the food might seem like the right step to make but according to the there is a risk of a severe reaction once the food is reintroduced, unless the allergy is already extreme (anaphylaxis).  If the allergy is only results in eczema flare ups one option is to read labels and look for foods that may contain traces of the food trigger.  

If you suspect that foods are causing problems with eczema the best thing to do is go and speak to your GP. They will be able to suggest suitable actions to take that will ensure a balanced diet is still obtained. 
Viscose Therapeutic Garments
Many doctors will prescribe hydrocortisone products to help you to take care of your eczema. The products come in lots of different forms such as gels and creams and they are quite common, they can even be purchased if you don’t get a prescription, but what are they doing to your skin and will they benefit you?

Hydrocortisone is a steroid and it is similar to cortisol, a naturally produced hormone that our bodies make. The purpose of the products is to reduce any inflammation that might be present and to reduce itching and redness of the skin. Once applied patients suffering with eczema can find relief from their symptoms.  Some people however have an allergic reaction to the products while others require a stronger dose which is only available from the GP rather than from over the counter.

Using Hydrocortisone

If you are prescribed a steroid treatment such as oil or a cream you’re usually able to use it up to four times a day but once a day is more common. Follow the directions on the product information, often rubbing in the dose to the inflamed areas until it has disappeared into the skin and then washing any off your hands unless it is the hands you are treating. Use it for a week to provide relief or up to 14 days until the flare up has eased. You might be able to have a longer course but your doctor will advise you based on your condition. These treatments can be used alongside therapeutic garments, made from viscose they are compatible with the creams and add some extra relief, protection and comfort.

After the Course

Once you have finished the course of steroid treatments you can continue to use moisturisers or emollients, which will work to prevent another flare up from occurring. Again emollients can also be used alongside the viscose therapeutic garments that are also available on prescription from your GP. 

Childhood eczema is surprisingly common. Milder cases can be difficult to diagnose properly, but in some cases with some general care and application of a suitable moisturiser the symptoms will be control and no other treatment is required. However, this is not always the case and as babies tend to scratch it’s always necessary to go to the Dr, even if it’s just to learn how to spot infections.
It’s important to understand what the symptoms are, especially if you’re already suspecting that the dry skin on your child is eczema or not. So what are the symptoms to look out for?

  • Dry skin that looks red
  • Dry skin that’s itchy
  • Red and sore skin patches

The dry patches of skin can be found usually in the creased areas of skin, such as the back of the knees, neck, inner elbows and behind the ears.

What Should You Do when You Suspect Your Child Has Eczema

You should always mention your concerns to your GP or health visitor regardless of how mild the dry areas may appear. They will be able to give you a clear diagnoses and provide you with some simple tips on how you can make life more comfortable for your baby.  The GP will give you some tips on how to control the outbreaks and inform you of certain triggers that could be causing the reaction.

Five Simple Tips

If you’re unable to book an appointment straight away have a read through these five simple tips below:
  • Use a suitable emollient cream on your baby’s skin, several times per day. Ask your local pharmacy to suggest something that is suitable. When applying the cream use only downward strokes.
  • Stop using baby bathing products and look for an aqueous lotion to use instead of the soap based products. Keep baths nice and short, five minutes is ideal.
  • Soaps, washing powders, smoke and chemicals found in the house can make eczema worse. Try to remove these triggers from the home.
  • Sometimes eczema is made worse by allergies, such as an allergy to dust mites. It’s a good idea to give the home a thorough clean along with bedding and towel, vacuuming the carpets and putting any soft toys in bags in the freezer for a whole day to kill any mites.  Use a gentle washing powder with natural ingredients.
  • Avoid clothing made from synthetic fabrics and watch out for labels and seams, they can really irritate the skin. When you do speak to your doctor ask about the Skinnies therapeutic clothing babygrows.

Eczema in children can be managed with careful care. Keep a diary recording fabrics, activities and foods to try and help you spot any triggers. 
If you have eczema you’ll already know that there are often triggers you need to be aware of. These triggers differ from person to person, but there are some that tend to cause problems for the large majority of sufferers. Fabric choices are one of these triggers that are troublesome. The types of fabrics you have next to your skin can make a difference to how your skin looks and feels. Here are some of the worst offenders to watch out for.
  • Wool – Wool is a great fabric as it is natural and sustainable. The problem is it can also cause itching and redness even for people that don’t have eczema. While it can be great for during the winter time it’s not a good idea to wear anything made from wool if you already have a flare up.
  • Synthetic fabrics – Nylons, acrylic, spandex and polyester should be avoided at all costs. These are not natural and they won’t allow your skin to breathe as it needs to. They often trap the sweat next to the skin, which in turn will cause rashes, soreness and itchiness.
  • Cashmere – Cashmere is made from goat hair and although it’s natural the hair traps the heat next to the skin. As a result your skin will feel uncomfortable, hot and eczema is made worse.
Other things to consider when choosing your clothing are the labels and seams on the fabrics. Both labels and seams can cause further irritation.

What Fabrics Should I be Choosing?

If you have eczema there are several fabrics that are far less likely to cause problems. Cotton is a good choice. Cottons can feel cool on the skin and causes minimal irritation. Silk is another option, it’s natural and has great ventilation.

Skinnies Clothing is available in silk and viscose. Viscose is made from a cellulose fibre so it resembles natural cotton, making it cool and comfortable. Our Skinnies Viscose therapeutic clothing can be used with creams, salves and emollients and worn under clothing with ease if you have a favourite top you want to wear but don’t want to experience the discomfort the other fabric could cause. We also have a line of silk therapeutic garments that are soothing to the irritating skin. Our garments don’t have any seams or labels to worry about either, providing you comfort while your eczema is given time and the right conditions to heal.

Ask your GP about Skinnies garments at your next appointment. 
9th June 2014

Summertime Eczema Blues

summer and eczema
Some people find their eczema becomes more manageable in the summer months. The NHS website says that eczema is often worse during colder periods and less problematic during warmer periods of the year, but this isn’t always the case. Personal triggers often play a part in the flare ups and if you suffer with allergies, are sensitive to dry air or find sweat to irritate your skin resulting in the tell-tale red, itchy skin then the summer can pose a real problem.

Exposure to the sun is particularly drying on the skin. As the skin dries out the natural oils are lost and dry skin is the perfect starting point for flare ups. Add exposure to water (in the form of the sea, paddling pools and swimming pools or even water fountains for example) also saps the skin of its natural moisture and this is a real problem. Sweat only adds to the issue, it is salty and even more moisture is lost. As the skin dries out the itchy rashes develop, so you will need to take extra care of your skin if you find the summer time provides no relief to your symptoms.

How to Help Prevent Summer Time Eczema Flare Ups

  • The first thing you can do is increase the amount of creams or salves you use on your skin.
  • Limit the time you spend out in the full sun – avoiding the hottest time of the day and seeking out shaded areas.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid hot showers, choose lukewarm baths instead, relaxing in the tub for no more than five to ten minutes.
  • Once you get out of the bath slather on generous amounts of your usual emollients.
  • If you suffer from allergies remember to visit your doctor for your prescribed antihistamines as they will reduce your sensitivity to the allergens.
  • Think carefully about the fabric choices you make during hotter months. Some fabrics will cause havoc on your skin, making it itchier, causing you to sweat more and generally making you feel incredibly uncomfortable.
Silk is an ideal fabric to choose as it is a natural fibre that helps you to stay cool and lets the skin breathe and function how it needs to. If you or a member of your family find it difficult to cope ask your GP about Skinnies Silk Therapeutic clothing. Our Skinnies Silk therapeutic garments are perfect for the summer time and are available on prescription or from our website.

Do you have any summer time coping tips to share with others living with eczema? Why not come and share them with us by following Skinnies on Facebook or mention @SkinniesUK on Twitter.
Skin conditions are not only uncomfortable they can also have an impact on confidence. Children and young adults often experience problems coping with the effects eczema has on their social life. Forming bonds can be difficult, many sufferers experience embarrassment when the symptoms flare, much like the embarrassment that is often caused by acne break outs or psoriasis.

Skin doesn’t define who you are as a person, and teaching young people this fact is important. If you know a young person with eczema there are ways you can help:
  • Teach them about the condition so they understand and are able to explain it to their friends.
  • Try to learn their personal triggers, for example keep a simple food diary.
  • Help them to understand how to speak to their doctor to get help they need.
  • Listen and encourage them to talk about how they feel.
  • Be positive; educate your child on how to live with eczema and not to let it take control of their life, it’s a part of life but it shouldn’t take over.
  • Emotions should never be trivialised and sometimes just being able to talk about how they are feeling without being dismissed will help.
Clothing choices will help build confidence. Long sleeves and leggings can help to keep the problem areas covered if the child wishes them to be. Skinnies therapeutic garments are ideal as they are designed to be worn by people who have eczema along with other skin conditions such as Epidermolysis Bullosa. You can buy Skinnies online or ask your doctor to prescribe Skinnies. Call us on 01562 884 898 or follow SkinniesUK on Facebook if you have any questions, we’re here to help.  
There are certain triggers that can cause flare ups of your eczema symptoms. These triggers often vary from person to person, but one that is extremely common is the use of chemicals on the skin in the form of detergents, soaps and toiletries. We hope you’ll find the following tips useful if you or your child is affected by these types of products.

Soaps and Detergents

When your skin is put into contact with soaps and detergents the natural oils are removed. As a result many people experience reactions in varying degrees. Even those without eczema often experience itching and slight redness. There are ways you can help to reduce contact with these triggers such as:
  • Avoid using soaps, shower gels and bubble baths altogether, choosing an emollient as an alternative. Speak to your GP or pharmacist as they will be able to recommend suitable products to use.
  • Always protect your hands with suitable gloves when you need to use chemicals or detergents at work or in the home. The gloves should be lined with cotton and made from a material that you’re not sensitive too.
  • Rinse clothes that have been washed in detergent thoroughly before drying. An extra hard spin or rinse with cold water can help to remove more of the residue on the clothing.
  • Biological detergents are especially harsh on the skin so avoid using them altogether.
  • Use our specially formulated laundry detergent for eczema and psoriasis.
  • Young children only need to have a bath once or twice a week using warm water. Clean their hands, face and bottom daily using a suitable product or just water on cotton balls for babies.
  • Use products that are fragrance free.
  • Moisturise well after exposure to soaps and detergents. Smother your skin in your usual moisturising product and wear your Skinnies Viscose therapeutic clothing, ideal for using with creams and salves.
It helps to become aware of what could be causing your own flare ups so you’re better able to prevent your symptoms from worsening. Keeping a diary and make a note of any new products you try, recording the affect they have on your skin.
29th May 2013

Eczema On The Increase

mother-and-babyEczema is on the increase, and it is suggested that the reason could be due to environmental changes? 

I for one know from my own experience with people I know, that work place stress can cause eczema and lets face it, we are in very stressful times with the economy as it is.

Could adult stress be transferred to children? Could this be a contributing factor? I am no expert but children are very perceptive.

I also think that school life has changed dramatically and in my opinion the pressures of the school to look good in league tables adds pressure onto young students, unnecessarily. Just my opinion!!!! 

Anyway, have a read of this article, it is quite interesting.