It is heart wrenching to watch your baby develop angry, red and itchy patches over their body. For many parents not knowing how to help or make it stop can be equally disheartening. Allergy, eczema and asthma in children are growing at an alarming rate.
The cause for this is multi-factorial and a continued debate, however there are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce the chances or severity of development, especially for those with increased risk.
When your child has eczema it may seem that everyone has a solution that will “cure” it for your child as it did for him or her. When it comes to specific triggers the answer is unique to each person. While triggers are individual, taking steps to balance a child’s immune and gut ecology is not.
Here are three simple tips for keeping your baby’s immune system balanced starting before birth:
- Probiotics- Research has shown that mother’s taking probiotics in the 3 rd trimester of pregnancy have babies with lower rates of eczema, allergy, and asthma, especially those delivered by caesarian section. Studies including thousands of babies supplemented with a probiotic from birth, show reduced likelihood of developing antibodies to common allergens, as well as eczema. Once foods are introduced the probiotic can be switch to dietary sources.
- Vitamin D3- We do not see much sun in the winter months in Vancouver! Vitamin D supplementation at age appropriate dosages is crucial for balancing the adaptive and innate immune system as well as improving the skin barrier.
- Diet – It plays a crucial role in inflammation and the immune system. Eczema itself is a high risk factor for the development of food allergies. While it may feel intuitive to avoid introducing allergenic foods, delayed exposure to typical allergens can increase the chances of developing allergy or intolerance to them later. When possible, it is helpful to continue breastfeeding though these foods introductions. If your child is experiencing eczema, the good thing is once the culprit allergen is found, babies respond very quickly.
If you are having trouble knowing what allergens are triggers for your child it is recommended to find guidance through a Naturopathic Doctor alongside an allergist in some cases. At Vitalia, I am happy to work with you and your child in planning individualized steps for preventing or improving symptoms of eczema.
Wishing you a New Year of peace and happiness,
Dr. Elizabeth Miller, BScN, ND