With one in five children, including babies, suffering from eczema, and dry skin the most common trigger in an outbreak, finding an easy and cost effective therapy you can implement into your baby’s daily skin care will work wonders for you both.
There is nothing better than using massage as a complimentary eczema treatment for babies. More and more new mums and dads are experiencing the wonderful pleasures massage can bring, not only in terms of relief, but the total sense of relaxation and look of pure happiness on their baby’s face.
Researcher, Dr Tiffany Field, Ph.D., from the Touch Research Institute in Miami, who has spent the past twenty five years researching massage therapy, conducted a study on young children with eczema who received daily massage from their parents, to see whether their symptoms decreased.
For one month, the parents of the first group massaged their child’s prescribed eczema treatment into their skin for 20 minutes each day.
The second group applied their child’s prescribed eczema treatment to their skin with no massage.
The study found that the children from the first group who received the daily massage were less anxious and that the symptoms of redness, scaling, itching, thickening and skin abrasions had decreased significantly.
The parents also reported feeling calmer themselves after giving the massage.
The second group had a decrease in the scaling of the skin but there were no other improvements seen.
Other research has found that baby massage also strengthens the baby’s immune system, helps the baby sleep longer and deeper, develops coordination, relieves wind, colic, reflux and constipation, promotes weight gain in premature babies and can be therapeutic for mums suffering post natal depression.
Massage and your baby
While massage in the study was conducted for 20 minutes, this may be overly stimulating, so watch for cues as to when your baby has had enough. Indications may be crying, pushing your hands away, turning away or facial grimacing.
It’s also important to only massage skin that is not broken and avoid massaging areas that are weeping, bleeding or have open sores.
Only use downward strokes, so from hip to ankle, upper back to lower back and shoulder to wrist as the hair follicles grow in this direction and as baby already has dry, inflamed skin massaging against the hair growth may cause infection and be uncomfortable.
When massaging your baby, use either natural, organic cold pressed plant oil such as Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernel or Sesame Oil, as these oils are rich in vitamins and minerals and may assist with the healing of skin irritations. Another good option is an emollient moisturising cream that has no fragrance or essential oils, and is suitable for sensitive skin and baby eczema.
UK based paediatric research has found that massaging with Sunflower oil has shown significant results in repairing baby’s skin barrier.
With so many products on the market you may need to try a few until you find the product most suitable to your needs.
So take time out each day for baby massage– it’s precious time for you both and will result in a happier, healthier and more content baby.