Doctor answers your questions on eczema remedies
Dermatologist, Dr. Mark Koh Jean Aan, answers your questions on what can provide eczema relief. Parents try all sorts of remedies for that relentless itch--does seawater, goat's milk or organic cotton work?
Can goat’s milk/organic cotton/seawater help children with eczema?
Goat's milk has been formulated as skin cleansers. These have moisturising properties and can be used in children with eczema as soap substitutes. Goat's milk moisturisers, if used frequently can be useful in eczema patients. Substituting cow's milk with goat's milk in the diet of eczema patients has not been shown to improve eczema as the proteins in both kinds of milk are similar.
Cotton is a good material to use as clothing for patients with eczema as it is soft and non-irritant (unlike other materials like wool). There is no evidence to show that "organic" cotton has other properties to help improve eczema.
Some patients with eczema have reported improvement with swimming in seawater on a regular basis (1-2 times weekly). If kept to short duration (< 15 min), regular soaking in sea / swimming pool / bath water can sooth itch and rehydrate skin. However, it is important to re-moisturise the skin immediately after coming out of the water.
Click here for Dr. Mark Koh's answers about the creams for eczema relief. He also explains complications that may arise when using steroid creams on children, infants or babies. Dr. Koh also recommends effective non-steroid creams that are available in the market.
Up next week
Mummy needs answers: Can frequent swimming at pool trigger eczema? Which type of cream is good for mild cases? Currently I'm using Elomat & Egocort. And, Cetaphil for bath cleanser. But it doesn't help.
Dr. Mark Koh Jean Aan
Changi General Hospital, Dept of Dermatology
Visiting Consultant Paediatric Dermatologist
KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Paediatric Dermatology Service