Tabi Leslie explains the reason of some skin conditions in babies, such as eczema and allergies.
Read the full transcript »
Emma Howard: Here at the Baby Channel we are proud to have a huge array of doctors and midwives that we have on hand to deal with your medical queries. Today Dr. Tabi Leslie, a consultant dermatologist is here to answer all your questions on skin problems. Hello! Dr. Tabi Leslie: Hello! Emma Howard: Welcome and thanks for coming here to talk to us. We have got lots of questions on this subject, because it's something quite close to heart, Eczema is the first question, what is it? Dr. Tabi Leslie: Well, there are various forms of eczema, but the most common from of eczema is Atopic Eczema which is inherited and it's inherited through genes that carry asthma and eczema and hay fever. So, one member of the family might have hay fever, another member might have asthma and then you have got one child with eczema. Emma Howard: So, producing lethal combination between them? Dr. Tabi Leslie: That's right. Emma Howard: Do you think that more and more people and are producing children who have eczema, because it's talked about so much, lots of people say, thirty-years-ago, I don't remember as many children suffering from eczema. Is that something that we are all talking about, that's not actually true, or is there some truth in that? Dr. Tabi Leslie: There is an increase in eczema, in general, in all the eczemas. But I think we are more aware, people are more health-orientated than they were previously. I think the children are exposed to a lot more allergens and chemicals than they were in previous years and perhaps pollution has something to do with it as well. Emma Howard: Yes, I was going to ask you about pollution. Lots of people say that's a contributing factor. Do you believe it is then? Dr. Tabi Leslie: We do, yes. We believe it's one of the reasons that it's on the increase. Emma Howard: So, one of the questions was, why has my child got eczema, you have just answered that, I know that what parents will really want to know is, what do they do, what do they buy, how do they ease it? Dr. Tabi Leslie: It's not very easy, you go into a chemist or a shop and there are lots and lots of bottles to look at and stare. Emma Howard: Yeah, and they are screaming at you. Dr. Tabi Leslie: Exactly, I think the basic thing is to keep it very simple, avoid creams with fragrance in excess and avoid them with lanoline and common sensitizing agents. You don't have to pay more money to get a good moisturizer. Some of the cheapest moisturizers available are as good as the others. Bath oils, parents have a tendency to put bubble bath in their children's baths, that's fatal and lethal for someone with eczema because it just dries out the skin. So, you should be putting a moisturizing bath oil. Again, not a nut oil, not one with lanoline or lots and lots of preservatives. Emma Howard: Is lanoline something that again dry the skin out. Dr. Tabi Leslie: It does and it's a sensitizing agent. So, you can be rubbing in creams to help the eczema, but actually you are perpetuating the eczema because the child is actually allergic to it. Emma Howard: Oh I see. Dr. Tabi Leslie: And this was almost one of the thinkings with Aqueous Cream is that the dermatologists were the first ones to prescribe Aqueous Cream over and over again and then suddenly, we realized that there was a cohort of patients who weren't getting better and when you switch them to another cream, like emulsifying ointment or diprobase, and there are many in the market, I think improved, so it's worth changing your moisturizer if the one you use doesn't work for your baby. Emma Howard: Right. Isn't making any difference at all. What about eczema being something that is worse sometimes in your life. Will children grow out of it? Dr. Tabi Leslie: Most children, not all children would grow out of it and the philosophy is with time they get better, so even though they may not stop being eczema children, you won't have to be so intensive about the treatment. Emma Howard: Is there anything you can do