As many as 10% of children under the age of 6 are affected by atopic dermatitis. What can we do to help fight the itching and rashes? What is the secret that makes hemp so effective in atopic dermatitis treatment?
Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition, consisting of two main components
- Dry, easily irritated skin
In most cases, predisposition to dry skin has a genetic origin. Dry skin can subsequently cause various skin conditions and moisture is an important factor in maintaining healthy and beautiful skin. It prevents or diminishes irritation and stimulates the healing process. With atopic dermatitis, the skin cannot successfully retain moisture, causing itchiness and rough patches to appear on the skin.
Allergies will frequently display themselves on the skin first. When children are exposed to various allergens (food, dust and pollen, cosmetics…) their skin reacts and a rash appears. If a child is already prone to having dry skin, this will further weaken their ability to combat allergies.
Children with atopic dermatitis face both conditions described above and it could easily be said that their skin is waging a war on two different fronts, each of these complementing the other.
What does atopic dermatitis look like?
- Dry skin – your child has dry and frequently coarse skin. When feeling the surface of the skin with your fingers, slight irregularities can be felt.
- Areas where the skin is especially rough and dry – dry patches that are scaly and rough to the touch can appear anywhere on the body.
- Rashes – every so often a more serious outbreak of dermatitis will appear on the skin, and will manifest itself as an exceedingly itchy rash. Such outbreaks are most commonly restricted to the folds of the skin – the inside of the elbows and under the knees, but it can also often be found on the neck, wrists, arms and legs. It is interesting to note that eczema will not usually manifest itself on the areas common in a diaper rash.
How to alleviate symptoms of atopic dermatitis?
Make sure that your child's skin is always moisturised
Moisturise the skin as many as 5 times a day, if necessary! Moisturising is the first and most important step in alleviating the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Make moisturising their skin a daily routine for your child.
Hot water will dry out the skin even more. It used to be a common belief that bathing, in general, dries out the skin and further aggravates atopic dermatitis. We now know this to be false and that bathing under the right conditions can even improve atopic dermatitis – when the bath is lukewarm and does not include any aggressive shower gels or soaps that could dry out the skin. Remember – your child is not so dirty that daily soap washes would be necessary.
Use the towel gently – do not rub the skin.
Do not use everyday soap products - soaps will usually make the skin dry. This also includes products intended for babies that are in general though to be gentle and skin friendly.
Skin care for atopic dermatitis
Use a gentle shower gel that moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Hemptouch hemp shampoo and shower gel contains cold-pressed hemp oil that nourishes your skin and hair, bergamot that soothes irritated skin and muscat sage and blue chamomile that alleviate problems and soothe skin reactions.
Moisturize your skin daily with a suitable ointment:
- Mild problems – moisturize your whole body 2 to 4 times a day – depending on the level of skin dryness. Ointment for irritated skin is formulated with organic cold pressed hemp oil bursting with Omegas 3 & 6 fatty acids. Natural ingredients in this ointment reactivates the skin's natural barrier function to protect dry and scaly skin while boosting moisture balance. It improves the defense mechanism of the skin, stimulates the functions of the skin, improves the structure and accelerates its regeneration in a completely natural way.
- Severe problems – for acute skin conditions we would recommend the use of the CBD ointment for problem skin, which contains hemp phytocannabinoids that mimic the endocannabinoid system in our body and because of that hold great potential in the development of new, natural therapies for treating numerous diseases. 50 ml of the CBD hemp ointment holds a high content of CBD, CBDA and less than 0.2% of THC. Besides the already mentioned cannabinoids, the resin also contains numerous other types of natural molecules and phytochemical compounds, such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, and flavonoids.
The best time to moisturise your skin is right after a bath when the pores are open and the moisturising substances are quicker to absorb.
Avoid skin irritants
Children should wear clothes made from natural fibers. Cotton is most suitable because it is gentle to the skin and does not cause an itching sensation.
Laundry detergent and fabric softeners. Use a mild laundry detergent; we would recommend one that is eco-friendly as that will also translate to baby skin friendly. Avoid fabric softeners; most will contain allergens. We would also recommend rinsing your clothes twice after each washing.
When a child gets sweaty (sports, intensive play...) give them a lukewarm bath. Sweat is known to be a common trigger of skin rashes, especially in areas with skin folds.
Humidity at home should be between 25 and 40 percent. During the winter months, when the air inside is , make sure to use humidifiers.
- Food allergens – If your child is allergic to certain foods, ingesting them could bring on a severe outbreak of atopic dermatitis. 90% of all food allergies are caused by the same 6 foods. These are eggs, milk, soy, peanuts, fish and wheat. If you suspect your child might have food allergies, we’d suggest avoiding all six for a period of two to three weeks. After that gradually incorporate them back into their diet and observe the child’s reactions.
- Environmental allergies – most common ones here are dust and pollen, as well as dog hair and cat hair. Such allergens will most frequently affect the respiratory tract and sinuses. Additionally, frequent exposure to these allergens will contribute to the worsening of atopic dermatitis.
Scratching, something children find particularly difficult to resist, irritates the skin even more, causing further worsening of inflammation and an even greater feeling of itching. This in turn again increases the need to scratch. The endless circle of itching and scratching is easiest to break by nourishing the affected areas with appropriate ointments that will bring the skin relief and will alleviate the itching sensation.
A preferred diet for healthy skin
- Omega-3 fatty acids. These can most commonly be found in certain oils (hemp and linseed oil) as well as tuna and salmon.
- Antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E
- Drink plenty of fluids – water is best as it keeps your skin hydrated
Will my child ever outgrow atopic dermatitis?
Almost certainly. With most children, atopic dermatitis diminisossible that your child might always have certain problems with dry skin that could be accompanied with occasional outbreaks of rashes, the vast majority in adulthood doesn’t have any problems related to atopic dermatitis.