Atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis (scientific name) afflicts children in infancy, with dry skin that becomes porous and cracks. Dermatitis is an inflammatory disease of the skin while in 80% of atopic cases, the child has a predisposition to allergies (i.e. there are allergies within the family) and the child can develop another allergy-related pathology (e.g. asthma). Avene organised an atopic eczema workshop with Caring Pharmacy yesterday in conjunction with #HopeforEczema awareness month.
The objective of the workshop was to educate and share the awareness to the audience (who are mostly atopic patients, customers who have eczema, parents with children who have eczema) about atopic eczema and how to manage it. Principal presenter was Dr Leong Kin Fon, Pediatrician Dermatologist of GHKL.
According to Dr Leong, there is no single fixed recipe to combat atopic eczema. The most effective way is to strike a balance as an environment where there are no mites or bacteria is not possible. For children who have atopic eczema, the most afflicted areas are the forehead, folded areas such as behind the knees, this is the typical pattern for school-going children as the condition is sweating-induced. The areas with the highest sweat production are the forehead and neck. Skin has less defense on those areas. It is important for atopic eczema children to be in an environment where they do not sweat yet not too dry as dry skin can cause itching too. Apply moisturisers if skin is too dry.
An environment where there are too many chemicals such as a very sanitary toilet seat can cause atopic eczema so applying too much Mr Muscle on the toilet seat may cause skin irritations. Statistics presented by Dr Leong showed that the cleaner the country such as Denmark, the higher the incidence/prevalence of atopic eczema. Dr Leong explained that you need a bit of bacteria to gain immunity, hence the concept of probiotics. Eczema is less common among those born between 1972-1985.
Causes of eczema include:-
- Itch and scratching
- Inflammation and infection
- Dry and sensitive skin
There is no magic cream that can cure atopic eczema, just take measures such as no prolonged bubble bath but short and frequent bathing to wash off sweat. Modifying the environment is the best way to reduce the effects of atopic eczema.
To reduce inflammation, apply steroids. An emollient rebuilds dry skin, thereby reducing sensations of itching and tightness. Avene products such as Cicalfate Repair Cream treats cuts, burns, diaper rash and cracked skin while Trixera+ Selectiose Emollient Cream nourishes and restores the skin barrier, ideal for moderate to intense skin dryness. Selectiose reduces skin hypersensitivity and irritation and controls skin inflammation response.