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By Mike Arsenault (bio below)
Ten years ago my daughter Emily was born with eczema. Being an acupuncturist, I knew that using steroids on her tiny, infant body could be a very slippery slope, so I used my herbal training to make a simple herbal balm for her. It worked so well that I used it on my acupuncture patients with sensitive skin and eczema and it worked so well for their eczema treatments, that we launched Emily Skin Soothers. Now we have a whole line of eczema prevention soaps and balms that is sold all over the world, including through The Eczema Company.
PREVENT Eczema in Children at High Risk
This week I read some fascinating research about eczema prevention that made me wonder if maybe I could have saved my daughter from ever getting eczema in the first place. A new study published last month (Dec. 5) in JAMA Pediatrics that showed that regular application of moisturizers may actually PREVENT eczema in children at high risk. Earlier studies in Japan and the UK also suggested that regular application of moisturizers early in life might help protect children from eczema.
Doctors know that children who have parents or siblings with eczema are more likely to develop eczema themselves and 50% of eczema sufferers develop symptoms in the first year of life. In these studies researchers had parents apply moisturizers to these at risk children, all over their bodies at least 5 times per week for the first six months of their lives.
The group that received this early intervention were 50% LESS LIKELY to develop eczema than the children who did not moisturize preventatively. Researchers are not sure why moisturizers prevented eczema, but they suspect that in providing a better skin barrier the children were protected from irritants that might have triggered the “atopic march” of reactivity that also often leads to eczema and associated conditions like allergies, hayfever and asthma.
Avoid Developing Eczema in the First Place
Preventing these atopic issues from developing also saved these families a lot of money. The researchers estimated that families of children with eczema and other related issues spend on average $274 per month on medical costs. That is over $3200 per year! So, if you have a sensitive skinned child or spouse and a baby on the way or an infant in the house, talk to your pediatrician. Maybe a little preventative care with a product like Emily Skin Soothers can save you and your child a whole lot of trouble. We have gentle and soap for eczema and emollient balms for dry eczema, red eczema and itchy eczema all powered by herbs that will keep your baby’s skin in good shape and if the new research is correct, maybe they can avoid developing eczema in the first place.
What is that old saying?? “Prevention is better than a cure?”
Bio: Mike Arsenault is the President and Product Formulator for Emily Skin Soothers, Inc. Mike is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist practicing at Winchester Hospital and Internal Arts Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine.