Monday, October 11, 2010

Are You Treating Baby's Skin Right?

Prevent eczema from birth
The incidence of eczema is rising relentlessly, and we are looking into ways to stem the tide.

From the time baby leaves the blissful, damp milieu within the womb, her skin changes, to adapt to life outside.

From the cold, dry air of the delivery suite, to baby's first bath; every little event is a potential insult to fragile newborn skin. Every insult erodes a little of the tenuous barrier of the skin, gradualy tipping the scales in favour of eczema.

Now, experts believe that the holy grail of eczema prevention, lies in the way we care for baby's skin from the time of birth.

To investigate this hunch, the researchers from Oregon University of Science and Health enrolled 28 babies who were deemed to be at high risk of developing eczema subsequently. These babies would have had older siblings with eczema or other allergic diseases such as asthma or rhinitis.

From the time of birth, right up till 2 years of age, their mothers were instructed to regularly apply an emollient (moisturiser) twice daily. Babies were bathed with soap-free cleanser only.

When these infants were assessed at 2 years of age, an overwhelming majority remained well and had not developed any signs of eczema. 

The result of this study is promising. The regular use of emollient replenishes moisture attrition in the skin, maintains the skin barrier. It may also prevent eczema!

Coming next ...Which Moisturiser Is Best?