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Monday, November 24th, 2014
For the roughly 10 percent of U.S. children who have been diagnosed with eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, a topical skin treatment is the best way to manage the chronic condition, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests.
While many parents have feared treating their children with topical steroid creams, the AAP reports that they are safe and can be the most effective way to improve quality of life for children who are suffering.
A news release from the AAP states:
Treating atopic dermatitis is important because of the tremendous impact it has on the quality of life of children and their families. Managing the condition can include an action plan for families that includes recommendations on frequency of bathing, prescription medications, moisturizers and antihistamines.
An article published in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month posed the question, “Are You Bathing Your Baby Too Much?” While a number of factors can potentially lead to developing eczema, like genetics, environmental factors like how often your child is bathed can also play a role. The AAP currently recommends bathing your baby three times a week or less, however a study conducted by the market-research firm Mintel Group found that households reported using baby shampoos and bathing products closer to five times a week, according the WSJ.
Several studies as mentioned in Pediatrics have reported that eczema diagnoses among children are on the rise over the past several years, with 65 to 95 percent of eczema cases being diagnosed in children ages 1 to 5 years old.
Does your child have eczema? Read about this mom’s experience with her son’s severe eczema, and be sure to consult your healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding your child’s condition and treatment procedures.
Photo of baby with eczema courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
Skin rashes diagnosed as eczema, impetigo, or psoriasis may actually be a reaction to ingredients used in baby wipes, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics is suggesting after investigating a number of similar rashes around children’s mouths and buttocks. More from NBC News:
“I think it may be more common than people realize,” said study coauthor Dr. Mary Wu Chang, an associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Chang reported on six children who had developed mysterious rashes and came to the UConn Health Center for help.
The first, an 8-year-old girl, showed up with an angry red rash around her mouth and on her buttocks. She had initially been treated with antibiotics and steroids. Each time she was treated she improved somewhat, but the rash always came back.
When Chang looked at the child’s medical history she started to wonder if the girl might be having an allergic reaction. “What made me think of the wipes was that the rash was on her face and on her buttocks,” Chang said. “So I asked the mother what she was using to clean her.”
The mother told Chang she used baby wipes and then the researcher remembered a report she’d recently read about a Belgian man who had had a reaction to a chemical preservative known as methylisothiazolinone (MI) that’s found in baby wipes and other products.
Chang tested the girl for an allergy to MI and sure enough, the test came back positive. When the mom stopped using the wipes, the rashes cleared up.
Over the next 22 months five other children showed up at the UConn center with the same types of rashes, all of whom cleared up as soon as parents stopped using the baby wipes.
Chang isn’t ready to tell parents to eschew wipes entirely. “They’re so convenient,” she said. “I have three kids, so I know how hard it is to do the changes, especially when you’re traveling. But maybe when you’re at home, it would be better to use a gentle cleanser and water. That way you minimize exposure.”
Track Baby’s growth and development with our downloadable charts and checklists.
Image: Baby having diaper change, via Shutterstock
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Friday, May 3rd, 2013
American-born children have a higher risk of developing allergies to foods or airborne particles like pollen or dust, a new study has found. Though researchers have not identified a definitive reason for the findings, The New York Times reports that the risk is elevated across a number of variables:
After adjusting for age, race, sex, ethnicity and other variables, the scientists found that children born outside the United States were 48 percent less likely to suffer from allergic diseases like asthma, eczema, hay fever and food allergies. The researchers reported their findings in an online article Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
Children with American-born parents had higher rates of allergies than children with foreign-born parents, and having two foreign-born parents reduced the risk for allergy even more than having one.
Just living in the United States appeared to increase the risk — foreign-born children who lived in the United States for 10 years or more were more than three times as likely to have allergies as those who lived here for two years or less.
Image: Child with hay fever, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, March 14th, 2013
A study conducted by British researchers has found that while breastfeeding can protect a baby from eczema, asthma, and gastrointestinal issues, it cannot protect children from becoming overweight or obese. Previous research had suggested that weight management was on the list of benefits of breastfeeding–not so, says the new study. More from Time.com:
“There’s a lot of other evidence out there to continue to support breast-feeding,” says the study’s lead author Dr. Richard Martin, a professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Bristol in the U.K. “But in terms of breastfeeding reducing obesity, it’s unlikely to be effective.”
Martin worked with colleagues at Harvard University and McGill University in Montreal to assess 15,000 mothers in Belarus. The location was intentional — when the study began in 1996, breastfeeding was not a popular practice among Belarusian mothers. By separating the moms-to-be into two groups — one that gave birth at hospitals where staff received “Baby-Friendly” training designed to encourage breastfeeding, while the other delivered at hospitals that provided no extra support for the practice — researchers were able to create a “huge contrast” in a setting where breastfeeding rates were historically low. After three months, 43% of babies in the first group were exclusively breastfeeding compared to just 6% in the group that were born in hospitals that had no extra training.
The babies were followed up in 1997 — their first year of life — and again when they reached 6 ½ and 11 ½. The breastfed babies experienced fewer gastrointestinal infections, less eczema and higher IQ (they scored about 7 ½ points higher than their formula-fed friends at age 6 ½). There was no difference in dental cavities, allergies, asthma or rates of being overweight or obese.
The latest report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) marks the first release of data from the 11 ½-year old participants. Mirroring the earlier results, the researchers found no changes in weight and body fat between those who were breast-fed and those who weren’t. About 15% of the children in both groups were overweight, and 5% were considered obese.
Comparing body mass index (BMI) or measures such as waist circumference and skin thickness yielded “absolutely nothing that was statistically significant,” says Martin.
Image: Breastfeeding mother and children, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Fast food, which is often cited as a major factor in the U.S. childhood obesity epidemic, is now being associated with asthma and eczema, two allergy-based illnesses. More on the study, which was published in the medical journal Thorax, from Yahoo! News:
The researchers found that, out of the 15 food types in the questionnaire, only fast food showed an association with asthma and eczema in both age groups regardless of gender and socio-economic status. Three or more servings a week was linked to a 39 percent increase in severe asthma among teens and a 27 percent increased risk among younger children.
“A consistent pattern for the adolescent group was found for the relationship between symptoms and fast foods,” the researchers wrote in the study. “As adolescents are generally known to be high consumers of fast food, these results that show a significant increased risk of developing each or all three conditions may be a genuine finding.”
Though both eczema and asthma can be triggered by food allergies—and typical fast-food meals are filled with common allergens like gluten, dairy, egg, and soy—Williams told Yahoo! Shine that allergies probably aren’t the main issue here.
“We did not look for gluten, although bread and pasta both have gluten (however gluten free pasta and bread are now widely available so when someone says yes to eating bread 3x per week it may well be that they ate gluten free as this practice is growing in some countries). So we cannot tease this out,” he wrote in an email. “There is no doubt that food allergy plays an important role in some people with severe asthma and eczema, but those people tend to recognize it and avoid those foods.”
“I doubt if our observation of an association between severe allergies and fast foods is mediated much by increased food allergens,” he added.
A 2011 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice suggested that additives in processed foods could also trigger an allergic reaction in some kids, but Williams and his team say that fat intake, not food allergies or additives, is probably the main culprit.
Image: French fries, via Shutterstock
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