December 1, 2017


One in five children are affected by eczema and its nasty red, itchy, and sometimes weeping or bleeding skin that can cause discomfort and upset (for both parent and child).

Dr Cris Beer looks at the factors which could be making your child’s skin condition worse.

1. There’s dust mites

The most common source of allergies, particularly in coastal areas, these can be difficult to get rid of, as vacuuming or sprays don’t work.  Instead, wash bedding weekly in hot water (hotter than 60 degrees), and use a product which contains tea tree or eucalyptus oil. Tumble drying for ten minutes after drying will kill dust mites.

2. Their toys are to blame

Sad but true, but those soft, cuddly toys may harbour allergens which exacerbate your child’s eczema. Replace them with wooden or plastic toys (put them on the birthday and Christmas list!). Soft toys can be washed in eucalyptus oil or put them in the freezer for 12 hours, to kill the dust mites.

3. They’re eating the wrong thing

It’s still not known why your child’s eczema can become worse after they eat certain foods. However, research shows that cutting dairy, soy, seafood, nuts, seeds, eggs and animal fats, which are the most commonly associated with the condition, out of your child’s diet for a period of time, to determine whether there is a change in their symptoms.

This is best done in conjunction with advice from your healthcare practitioner or registered dietitian/nutritionist before making any dietary changes.

4. They have an unhappy gut

If your child’s skin condition is getting worse, or nothing is helping, then looking to their ‘wellness centre’, their gut, could be the answer.

This is because the gut supports our immune system, and ultimately the health of our skin. There is evidence that suggests using probiotics can reduce symptoms of atopic eczema.

Feeding the body ‘’good’ bacteria, in the form of probiotics, has been shown to assist in addressing a variety of health issues, such as IBS, eczema and general wellbeing. Composed mainly of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, probiotics may help to support the gut composition in children and adults.

5. They’re too hot

Keep your child cool, as heat is the most common trigger for flare-ups. Cotton clothing, or breathable fabrics are ideal. Their bedding also shouldn’t be too heavy, so that they don’t get too warm during the night.

Speak to your healthcare practitioner if symptoms persist. Always read the label. Use only as directed. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.

For more information, visit www.blackmores.com.au

Does your little one suffer from eczema? What have you found useful?

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  • My son and I both get a bit of eczema. Unfortunately its just allergies. When there is a flare up a good barrier cream and antihistamine helps.


  • there is no simple answer to Eczema

    I know i lived the nightmare – you baby pic was pretty nice given my childs baby picture which was raw and revolting and i felt like a bad mum at that time

    I fought doctors and suggested there was a food intolerance, but they told me oh no that’s not the case, how times have changed.

    We learnt at the time he was triggered by the environment and later on we found food was also a trigger. Which also led to behavioural issues.

    Knowing what i know today, our water is much to blame – flouride is the worst thing ever and their little bodies just cannot process this toxin – however they will not tell you this is the case.
    Boiling the water is not enough.

    Changing diets and ensuring nothing processed helped identify the triggers, and learnt to moderate this. It was a tough gig. I also made my own skin remedy, and nothing on the market came close. Even the specialist, said to keep up my remedy.

    Whilst my child is not free of eczema, we learnt how to manage it, and books really only tell you some of the situations that may apply. They are a good basis, but you just need to work out what it is for your child. My child is in that group where he will have it for life. Up until now it has not bothered him at school (that is another issue), now he is more aware and older, it is affecting his confidence. However, i dont let it stop him being active or participating in society and life.


  • Never knew about probiotics potentially helping, I may have to try this with my daughter.


  • Every child is unique. And, for those with eczema, the cause of the presentation of eczema can be just as unique.

    It always pays to have it monitored by a health care professional and to do the things you can without compromising their health and wellbeing. Anything that requires significant changes to exposures of food, clothing or environments should be overseen by an expert.


  • Great tips, thanks.


  • Helpful suggestion on what to avoid. Thanks.


  • No problems in our home. Thank goodness.


  • No problems of eczema in my house luckily. They sell dust mite allergy pillow covers. I think I’d invest money in one of those as soon as possible.


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