CHILDREN'S SKIN PROBLEMS

Skin problems are very common among babies and young children. Their skin is more sensitive and delicate than an adult's and therefore is more prone to irritant and allergic skin problems. The ideal moisturizers should be very mild, but in reality most products aimed at babies and young children are formulated to be anything but gentle and soothing. But you can trust LINACARE because its ingredients have been tried, clinically tested and proven safe for your child's delicate and sensitive skin.

Children with Problem Skin
Many dermatologists believe that with adequate moisture many skin problems can be eliminated. When moisturizers are used correctly, mild and moderate symptoms can often be managed without resorting to any of the medicated skin treatments. And even if other medical treatments are recommended by your doctor, moisturizing therapy will be necessary. When used as directed, LINACARE has succeeded when many other products have failed. (See Testimonials)

Whether your child has normal skin or problem skin, trust LINACARE to give them safe and long lasting moisturization that is problem free. LINACARE Rehydrating Body Cream (Unscented) are non-medicated, lanolin free, fragrance free, and colour free. LINACARE is fast absorbing and non-greasy and children love its cool, soothing feel.

Baby Skin Care

As you would expect, a baby's skin is more sensitive and delicate than an adult's and therefore is more prone to irritant and allergic skin problems. The ideal cleansers, moisturizers, powders, and sunscreens should be very mild to avoid irritation, allergic, or sensitizing skin reactions. Despite this fairly commonsense information, it turns out that most skin-care products aimed at children are formulated to be anything but gentle and soothing.

Products for babies and young children are usually highly fragranced which is the number one cause of skin irritation. In addition, they usually contain coloring agents, which are also potential irritants for sensitive skin.

A child's delicate skin is better served with products that are fragrance free, lanolin free and color-free - with no added sources of irritation or sensitizing ingredients. Try LINACARE Rehydrating Body Cream (Unscented) for the longest lasting moisture that is problem free.

Children's Eczema

"I can't tell you how grateful I am as a mother and skeptic, to finally have a non-medicated product that actually works on my children's eczema."

Traudi G, Vancouver, British Columbia
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Recommended Products for Eczema

For safe, effective moisturization that is gentle on your child's skin try LINACARE Rehydrating Body Cream (Unscented). Both are non-medicated and will give your child the longest lasting moisturization that is problem free. It is fast absorbing and non-greasy and children love its cool, soothing feel.

Eczema is very common among young children. In fact it is the most common skin problem in children under the age of 12. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of the world population is affected by the form of eczema known as atopic eczema (dermatitis) at some point during childhood. Many outgrow it, but in the meantime, eczema in a child calls for some special attention.

The terms eczema and dermatitis are often used by doctors to describe the same set of symptoms; irritated, red and itchy inflamed skin. This condition can be extremely uncomfortable and can affect your self-confidence. Fortunately there are things you can do to soothe the symptoms, making eczema easier for you and your child to cope with.

What is eczema?
The word 'eczema' comes from Greek and literally means 'boiling over'. Normal skin acts as a barrier to prevent water loss and stop skin irritants from penetrating. If you have eczema your skin doesn't do this as effectively as it should, leading to dryness, itching and cracked, scaly skin which lets in bacteria and allergens that can cause an allergic reaction.

Eczema is the body's over-reaction to foreign substances, causing the skin to become red, inflamed and very itchy. It tends to occur in people who have a natural propensity to develop allergies such as asthma, hay fever and food allergies. This condition can be inherited and tends to run in families. The condition is very itchy and mainly affects the inside of the elbows and knees, as well as the wrists and ankles. It is most frequently seen in children, although adults can experience it too.

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Eczema Symptoms are Variable

Mild Dry Eczema
The mildest form of eczema involves chronic dry skin and itching. (Refer to the sections on Dry Skin and Dry Itch) Some people never develop the inflammatory symptoms associated with acute eczema, but the condition is still unpleasant and requires treatment with moisture therapy.

Acute Eczema
At its worst, acute eczema can involve a range of severe symptoms including dry skin, inflammation, itching, blistering, redness, scaling and weeping.

Chronic Eczema
Once someone has been suffering from acute eczema, his or her symptoms may enter the long-term stage, as the skin function deteriorates. This is known as chronic eczema. The following features may occur:

  • Initial inflammation subsides and is replaced by a thickening of the epidermis
  • Scales appear as cell turnover increases
  • Itching and scratching leads to fissuring of the epidermis when the skin becomes broken and cracked
  • Incessant scratching may produce secondary thickening
  • The skin remains very dry

What causes eczema?
No one really knows what causes eczema but we do know that certain things can make it worse. When eczema gets worse, it is called a flare-up. A flare-up occurs when the immune system in a child's skin overreacts to environmental or emotional triggers and results in red, scaly and itchy skin.

Common triggers and what to do about them:
Although eczema cannot be cured, for most children the condition may be well managed with treatment and avoidance of triggers. Since it is the scratching of the itch that then causes the rash, it is important to relieve the itch and keep the skin well moisturized to break the itch/scratch cycle. Since triggers vary from person to person, it is important to try to notice what causes flare-ups for your child and try to avoid them.

Allergies: Your child may experience allergic reactions such as asthma, breathing difficulty, hives, etc. that are enough to justify avoiding allergens regardless of their effects on your eczema. However, it is also important to identify allergens that specifically trigger eczema flare-ups.

Although children with eczema are more likely to develop allergies to food (milk, eggs, wheat and peanuts) and airborne allergens (dust mites, molds and pet hairs), it is important to note that allergies can occur independently from eczema. You may wish to enlist the help of a specialist to determine what your child is allergic to and what they should avoid.

Changes in Temperature/Humidity: Maintaining a moderate and stable temperature and humidity all year is helpful. Heat, sweating and flushing (reddening of the face, or blushing) can cause flare-ups in some children, as can skin that's too dry from exposure to dry heat, wind or air conditioning.

In the winter, eczema often worsens as cold air holds less moisture and central heating is more widely used, leading to a reduction in room humidity. Since dry skin is more prone to itching, using a humidifier during the winter months can keep the humidity at an optimal level. When it's warm and humid in summer, ensure the temperature inside remains cool with an air conditioner. Also keep in mind that air-conditioned air may also be drying to your child's skin, so be sure you apply a moisturizer regularly.

Clothing: Dyes, detergents and rough or synthetic fabrics can be very irritating. Try choosing all-cotton clothing and avoid materials that feel "itchy" such as wool. Wash new clothes before wearing them to remove excess dye. Choose a mild, non-sensitizing, fragrance-free laundry detergent and be sure your child's clothes are rinsed thoroughly.

Foods: Some atopics react to foods such as milk, eggs, wheat and peanuts. Try to watch for a connection so you know which foods your child should avoid.

Irritants: Irritants can be both physical and chemical. Ingredients such as alcohol, astringents, and fragrances may trigger or worsen eczema. These ingredients can be found in baby powders, cleansers, emollients, cleaners, air fresheners, toilet paper, etc. Reading ingredient lists on products is a smart way to avoid contact with irritants.

What Can Help?
Since there is no cure for eczema, the focus instead is on managing the condition and minimizing the occurrence and severity of flare-ups. The most effective ways of managing eczema are to:

  • try to reduce the trigger factors
  • treat the dry skin and inflammation symptoms

The following are a number of different techniques for managing eczema:

Soap Substitutes and Washes
Regular soap can dry and irritate your child's sensitive skin, and could contain ingredients (such as fragrances or deodorants) that may trigger a flare-up. Instead, try soap substitutes or washes that are gentler on your child's delicate skin.

Moisture Therapy
Moisturizers are the first line treatment for dry skin, eczema, dermatitis and the symptoms of dry skin associated with psoriasis. When moisturizers are used correctly, mild and moderate symptoms can often be managed without resorting to any of the medicated skin treatments, such as steroids. And even if other medical treatments are recommended by your doctor, moisturizing therapy will be necessary. Many dermatologists believe that by adopting a daily routine of effective moisture therapy, the number of flare-ups and the amount of steroids required can be reduced. When used as directed, LINACARE has succeeded where many other products have failed. (See Testimonials)

Moisturizers come in a range of different formats and help to keep the skin moist and flexible so that it doesn't itch as much. Creams and ointments are generally greasier than lotions; however, they provide longer lasting moisturization. LINACARE is different. It has the benefits of a lotion as it is quickly absorbed and leaves no greasy after-feel and it provides the long lasting moisturization of a cream. The longer lasting the moisturizer - the fewer times your child needs to apply it during the day.

Steroids
Introduced in the 1950s, steroids have dramatically improved the treatment of eczema. They are anti-inflammatory products, which vary in potency. Although they can be effective in managing the symptoms, long-term, continued use of steroids is not recommended, especially for children. Adequate moisture therapy as an adjunct therapy can be an effective way to help reduce the number and intensity of the flare-ups.

If in doubt always consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can I help improve the condition of my child's skin?
Although eczema cannot be cured, there are certain steps you can take to make the condition a lot easier to live with, for your child and yourself. If your child has atopic dermatitis or eczema, the first step you can take to minimize discomfort and prevent flare-ups is to keep the skin moisturized and prevent scratching by relieving the itch.

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Helpful Tips

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. LINACARE can provide your child the longest lasting moisturization that is problem free. If your child has skin that is broken or has open wounds due to scratching, use LINACARE, which is formulated so it won't sting. Use at least twice daily for best results.

  2. Avoid any products containing perfume or fragrance no matter how sweet smelling!

  3. Avoid abrasive washcloths and vigorous rubbing or scrubbing.

  4. Bathe your child daily in lukewarm, not hot, water (long, hot baths will rob your child's skin of its natural oils). Five minutes or so is long enough. Pat - don't rub - the skin almost dry with a towel. Apply a moisturizer immediately (within 3 minutes) following your bath to seal in the moisture.

  5. Use non-biological, fragrance-free washing powders and fabric softeners.

  6. Keep your child's fingernails short, to help keep the scratching from breaking the skin. Eczema makes the skin more vulnerable to germs, which can easily get into sores or cracks.

  7. For clothes, loose-fitting 100% cotton is best, because it reduces sweating, which can be an irritant. If clothes are new, wash them before putting them on your child to make them softer, and remove tags from clothing so they won't irritate the skin.

  8. Avoid wool and other rough-textured material in clothes and blankets, and, if possible, remove wool carpets. If you're wearing wool, put a cotton diaper over your shoulder when you hold your child.

  9. Keep the bedroom cool as overheating aggravates itching. A humidifier or a bowl of water placed in a warm room will help keep the air moist.

  10. If your child is allergic to dust or dust mites, use protective coverings for pillows and mattresses, and wash bedclothes frequently in hot water. Bed linen should be cotton and pillows and duvets feather free.

  11. Keep pets out of the house as fur and feathers can irritate the condition.

  12. Stay in control. The more you know, the better you'll be able to help your child fend off flare-ups.

Easing the Emotional Stress
Kids have stress, too, and stress can make eczema worse. Here are some tips to help make it easier for your child to cope:

  • A positive attitude is important. Even very young children will pick up on your feelings so even though it may not be easy, try to hide your concerns and your child may start to feel better about having the condition.

  • Keep a routine: Not only does this help a child feel calmer, it also helps you remember the bath/moisturizer/medicine schedule. It's important for anyone who cares for your child to keep to the same schedule.

  • Talk to your children about the eczema. Teach them about triggers and how to avoid them. Explain how important the treatment is, and how important it is to use the moisturizer and medicine. They'll also need help in deciding how to handle comments from other children or even adults. If they are old enough, help them find ways to explain that eczema is not contagious, and how to discuss it with their schoolmates.

  • Above all, let your child know that chances are good that they will outgrow it.

For safe, effective, long lasting moisturization use LINACARE - Rehydrating Body Cream (Unscented). It's ideal for eczema-prone skin because it contains no irritants, fragrances, lanolin or sensitizers. Use it 2 or 3 times daily and your child will have 24-hour moisture protection. After 7 days of continuous use, you will see the difference.

Dry Itchy Skin

When skin is very dry - whether from the weather or a skin condition such as atopic dermatitis, eczema or diabetes - it can start to itch. When children have an itch they want to scratch it! This results in an endless cycle of itching and scratching. If you have a child with atopic eczema, you probably know what kind of damage too much scratching can do.

The best way to break the cycle and relieve dry itch is to keep the skin well moisturized. The better you care for your child's chronically dry skin the healthier and more comfortable it will be and the less likely to become unbearably itchy.

For safe, effective moisturization which is gentle on your child's skin, try LINACARE Rehydrating Body Cream (Unscented) Both are non-medicated and will give your child the longest-lasting moisturization that is problem free. LINACARE is fast absorbing and non-greasy and children love its cool, soothing feel.

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