I wonder how many of you have this thought: “I am looking forward to Christmas, and time spent with family, but I just wish my skin or my child’s skin was clear”? Wouldn’t it make such a nice Christmas present to have your child’s skin clear this Christmas, and a peaceful night’s sleep for a change?

For some, you dread going to see your parents, and staying over at Christmas, because their house is dusty, or their dog or cat aggravates your child’s eczema, or their central heating is too hot. Or you know they disregard your food preferences.

Parents desperately trying to avoid a flare of their child’s eczema, usually search for these terms on the internet:

  • Environment
  • Humidity
  • Allergens
  • Irritants
  • Pets
  • House dust mite
  • Wool
  • Food allergy
  • Pollens
  • Cows’ milk

It may surprise you to know that all these things have been studied by dermatologists, and a review of all of these studies was done to see how many of these factors are really helpful in avoiding flares. And how many studies have drawn definite conclusions?

Pike’s study in the UK showed that parents’ identification of foods that provoke eczema is unreliable. Several studies showed that cows’ milk, of all the possibilities, was the most likely provoker of flares. None of the evidence is cast-iron grade A evidence, and many studies are flawed in their design or in their rating, or the time over which things have been studied. And what cows’ milk should one avoid to prevent eczema?

 

    

 

There may be a few things that parents travelling to see parents over Christmas might do to prevent their children’s skin worsening. Here is my list:

  1. If you do suspect cows’ milk, you could try taking A2 protein cows’ milk as an alternative, and cheaper than using a non-dairy source such as Almond milk. The A2 protein is broken down into different peptide chains, which don’t aggravate inflammation, and there are now numerous studies that bear this out.
  2. You could try taking some bottles of Actimel or similar probiotics, as these drinks are fermented with healthy bacteria such as lactobacillus, boosting your child’s immune system. Probiotic drinks have been shown to reduce eczema severity over time. And the milk comes from France, with more A2.
  3. You could make sure that where your children sleeps the window trickle vent is open, or the window itself is open a tiny notch to allow air to circulate, and avoid excess humidity and heat at night while sleeping, as excess humidity is a factor in eczema and allergies.
  4. You could make sure to travel with enough emollient cream to manage dry skin, as regular use of emollients is the most important thing in controlling eczema. Pack a handy size of your favourite, enough for 2-3 days is enough.
  5. You could use your mild steroid cream once or twice a week, as a preventative if you know your child usually has a flare of eczema over the winter. Once or twice weekly steroid use, (a much lower dose) is extremely effective in preventing flares.
  6. You could remove scratchy labels from new clothing with a stitch cutter if your child complains that the label is itchy. Certain fabrics are definitely more itchy than others. Nylon or wool are notoriously itchy against skin.
  7. If you have a tube of Fucidin cream or Fucidin-H, be sure to travel with this. If the skin becomes scratched until it bleeds, a little antibiotic will speed up the healing. Staph aureus more easily gains entry through the skin when it is badly scratched, and releases toxins under the skin which aggravate inflammation.

If you find any of this advice helpful, and wish to try a blended cream containing antibacterial, diluted steroids, and moisturiser (CASM or Aron method) please make use of my free trial, by clicking the blue “book a free consultation” button on this website.

A1 vs A2 milk 1