Childhood Eczema on the Rise

Childhood Eczema on the Rise

Pediatricians estimate that today nearly one in ten babies has eczema – a definite increase from years past.

Some doctors attribute the rise to allergies – created in part because we’re keeping our homes – and our babies – cleaner. Kids don’t get a chance to build any resistance in their immune systems. That makes sense when I think about children I’ve known who lived in what most people would term a “sty,” but who never got sick.

My suspicion is that children are also exposed to many more environmental toxins today – As an example: Once upon a time a baby crawled on a wood or linoleum floor – where dust, dirt, and pet hair were the biggest hazards. Now they’re crawling on carpet made with chemicals and cleaned with still more chemicals.

Their food is different, too. Baby food used to be pure food. Now babies get formula and prepared food that contains preservatives. A recent study of “FDA Organic” foods revealed that one additive in organic baby food is processed with a toxic substance banned in other food production.

And what about those plastic baby bottles? We’ve all been cautioned about drinking water from bottles that have been in the car and gotten warm, because heat makes toxins in the plastic leach out into the water.

Just a few days ago I read that manufacturers are NOW working on changing the plastic in baby bottles to get away from that problem. Meanwhile, how many baby bottles have been warmed and the contents feed to infants?

Eczema is treated with use of hypoallergenic soaps, antihistamines, daily moisturizing, oatmeal baths, and occasional use of steroid creams and/or antibiotics. But these are just treatments to reduce the redness and itching. There is no “cure” for childhood eczema.

The good news, according to physicians, is that most children outgrow it by the time they reach their teens. That’s a long time to endure itching.