Monday, October 20

Salt Water and Eczema...

Hi Everyone,

late night here just catching up on some stuff after a fantastic weekend away at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast. Feel so rejuvenated, things have been a little crazy here lately and nice just to get away and unwind.

Interesting thing, got back today and was looking at my scalp and it is looking really good, this got me thinking, what was it that has helped it (as I had a flare up last week) - was it the sun, the surf or just the relax so I did some digging and found this article from The British Association of Dermatoligists and thought you might like it. Have a read...

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Salt Water Baths and Eczema

The Evidence

There is no high quality evidence as yet showing that salt water baths are beneficial for atopic eczema sufferers. There is one small clinical trial from Japan which compared two different types of salt water, but we are aware of none that compares salt water versus ordinary water. However there is a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that salt water baths may be helpful in clearing up eczema, especially if it is oozing a lot or where secondary infection is common. A number of UK dermatologists recommend regular salt baths to their patients with atopic eczema as part of their treatment plan. It is certainly something that our team at QMC have witnessed some benefit from.

It is also a very common experience in our clinic for parents to tell us that their child's eczema improved when they swam in the sea on holiday. Although this could easily be due to the change of climate and diet etc, the swimming in the sea seems to be a particular feature that is highlighted in these conversations. Sea water is a weak antiseptic and may well have a role in reducing the secondary infection which so commonly occurs in atopic eczema. It is possible that the salt water also helps to draw out excess fluid that has accumulated in to little water blisters in the skin, as well as helping to heal any minor cuts and scratches.

We would not recommend salt water baths as a first line treatment in atopic eczema. But if you are struggling to control your child atopic eczema it may be worth trying, especially if infections are a common problem. We do not really know how strong the salt needs to be in the absence of a controlled trial (which we hope to do in the near future), but we would recommend that you try and mimic the concentration of sea water as closely as possible.

Sea salt can be quite expensive and it is important that you shop around to get the best bulk buy as you will need to use quite a lot of salt in order to get a decent concentration in the bath. It is unclear whether daily bathing or whether weekly bathing is the best and perhaps as a compromise a salt water bath twice a week could be managed by most who wish to undertake this approach to treatment. It should be emphasised that the salt water bathing is only part of the whole treatment of atopic eczema and that other treatments such as short bursts of topical steroid creams prescribed by your doctor, regular and liberal use of moisturisers and avoidance of soaps etc should be continued.

Making up the Salt Solution

You will need to use around a 20 fluid ounce jug of sea salt per 3 gallon bucket of water in order to achieve a similar concentration to sea water. It is usually easier to pour the salt into the bottom of the bucket and dissolve it in a little warm water before pouring it into the bath. Around 3 buckets will usually be enough for your child to soak in.

If your child has lots of broken skin the salt water (or indeed any type of water) can cause temporary stinging. It is important that the broken skin is first treated with steroid creams and moisturisers before introducing the bathing. If your child hates the bathing process then there is little point in persisting with it as you will simply create resentment and difficulties for applying treatment.

Summary of Key Points

  • There is considerable anecdotal evidence that salt water baths may help some children with atopic eczema.
  • We do not know how strong the salt water solution has to be nor how frequently the bath should be done.
  • Common sense would suggest that the concentration should be similar to sea water and that bathing twice weekly or even daily during an infected episode of eczema may be beneficial.
  • It is important to use sea salt and not any other types of chemical salts and to ensure that the salt is fully dissolved in warm water before pouring it into the bath. Nottingham Eczema Team 2000
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Thought this was interesting!

Until Next time!






Rick Gibson
XMA Eczema Treatment
www.xma.com.au

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14 comments:

Organic Girl said...

I am an adult woman of 39 who has experienced eczema from the age of 6 months. It comes in bursts and seems to be worsening as I get older. I have always been open to potential remedies for this condition and consider myself quite well informed in terms of eczema as it applies to my body. I am always distressed to read that, generally, there is not more emphasis on avoiding topical creams such as steroids/quarterzones and petrochemical applications. I do have to resort to these types of medical interventions from time to time and am grateful that, when desperate, some relief is found in said treatment. I do, however, strongly feel that it is best to avoid these types of treatments and actively search for healthier, natural alternative remedies. I have an amazing cream made up for me by an aromatherapist. It contains Shea Butter, Avocado Butter, Coconut Oil, Calendula and Comfrey. I am assured of no hidden, toxic ingredients while experiencing amazing moisturising relief. The Calendula and Comfrey are reported to be excellent for my type of skin condition. So, I encourage all who are exposed to eczema (Mom's looking for solutions for their kids too) to PLEASE look for the healthy alternative. Do not be conned into the use of products containing petroleum derivatives. These are TOXIC and have frightening long term side effects. Relentlessly search for information and use your discretion in what you read. You will soon enough find the common threads which represent the truth.

Anonymous said...

My 15 week old daughter has quite bad eczema too. Tried all sorts of creams, but still her skin kept flaking and dried out. Then i read an eczema article that mentioned sea water. So i thought i'd use epsom salt baths. I bath her daily in epsom salt water and then use 1% hydrocortisone on her affected areas, followed by a gentle moisturiser, and it has healed and improved tonnes. I too keep away from the creams that contain preservatives, petroliu, etc.. all the unnatural chemicals, which aren't good for my baby.

Jaime said...

My son is 8 months and approx 3 months ago he developed atopic eczema. I've been down the same route of seeing doctors, pediatricians, dermatologists and they have all commonly diagnosed the infamous 1% hydrocortisone. However I'm very relunctant to use this given the possibility of thinning skin and any other unresearched after effects. I have tried sorbolene, aqueous cream and use only distilled water on his face which offers minor relief. However once the onsets of momentary flares appear he is constantly rubbing his face. Does anyone have any suggestions for natural remedies??

Stace said...

Just stumbled across this... I'm 26 and have had eczema on my face and hands on and off for years. I've found saltwater to be VERY very helpful, even succeeding in reducing my eczema where steroids and other treatments have failed. I'm currently soaking my hand in a fairly strong salt solution for a few minutes a couple of times a day - it's helping, but I should probably soak for longer (I'm just too busy!) I used to find that soaking for half an hour or so at a time was great.

Anonymous said...

My son who is six years old now, has had eczema all his life. I find it incredibly sad and frustrating to see him in pain every day from red irritated skin that is broken, dry and painful. I have tried everything................it is so frustrating. I have cried so much for my little guy who is a strong, happy, helpful, kind, fun boy. I am sick of dermatologists automatically prescribing cortisone to apease the mother in the office, sending you home time and time again with something that doesn't help, but rather irritates the skin. The only time cortisone helps is with eczema that is bubbly and water filled as it is itchy, itchy, itchy. (I know first hand as I have also suffered from eczema all my life and still do so from time to time. Nothing has helped me either but now I am using pure 100% organic rose hip oil on my face and hands and it is working wonders. I hate using cortisone but it has offered quick relief when my flare ups have been bubbly watery itchy bumps.) The only two times that my son has had relief was when I was at a girlfriends cabin on Gordom Lake. I don't know if it was the swimming in the lake, or the non-chlorinated water for showering, or a combinition, or the rose hip oil that we used from her that was 100% natural from 100 mile house. His skin was great for about a week and after getting home (my house is spotless and I don't use chemical to clean) it was all bad again. The only other time that it has been good is when we went swimming in the ocean (nice salt water!) it healed up very quickly and went away for about 3-4 days. That was about 2weeks ago. After that it came back, so we went back to the ocean and swam again. Now it's two days later and his skin is healing again very quickly and is almost totally gone. Scratching is killer and sets us back all the time. But we are going to take him to the ocean's salt water every week and get a shower filter to take out the chlorine! We have also tried coconut oil which doesn't hurt putting it on because it is natural and he says it feels good. (so does rose hip oil) I hope that our new routine helps him and keeps him well. Please blog if you have had anything that has helped keep this horrible skin condition away! I will keep you posted on how he is doing.

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applying aloe vera fights and prevents eczema, used it on my kids and myself , works like a charm :) try it.

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Anonymous said...

Try adding probiotics and DHA oils into the diet.

Anonymous said...

I has same problem as ur son...and i dont know do anything but after i read this...i'll to swim in sea water...i'm scared it may my skin worth but now i know is was good ^^ thank u for sharing ur story ♡

Anonymous said...

Use fish tank salt. It's cheaper and works miracles. We mix it up in a spray bottle and spray it directly on my daughters arms, just let it dry on there, we don't rinse it off. Burns a little at first. Every time a little less :)