Long-Lasting Children’s Skin Health
Protecting your children’s skin health is most likely a top priority for you! But do you really know how? Ask any of us with Allergic Contact Dermatitis allergies, and we’ll tell you how important it is. Setting your kids (and teens) up for long-lasting skin health is a priority. It begins with simple ingredients and staying clear of fragrance, botanicals, and essential oils. These three categories can irritate the skin and subsequently sensitize the immune system.
What is Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic Contact Dermatitis is a type IV delayed immune response allergy. The T-cells mitigate this allergy in the body. A child can easily be sensitized with fragranced bath soap. With irritation, subsequently, the other ingredients in that soap (like Methylisothiazolinone – a preservative) can be presented as allergens to the T-cells along with the fragrance. This is a very simplified explanation for a somewhat complicated science lesson. Still, my hope is by simplifying the process; more can understand the dangers of using fragrance and botanicals in everyday products like shampoo and soap. Once a person is sensitized to an allergen, it is there for life. T-cells don’t forget, ever.
Use SkinSafe to find safe products
There are plenty of safe products to choose from for protecting your children’s skin health and keeping their skin barrier intact. The SkinSafe Products website is a wonderful option. Once there, choose the “Top Free Badge” to find your favorite top allergen-free products. If you have been diagnosed with Allergic Contact Dermatitis allergens, email your list to email@example.com for a Personal Allergy Code to make the search easier. A “Safe for Me Badge” will pop up when a product excludes your allergens. It is beneficial. I also have a great list included in a blog post, The Allergy Life Safe List. You’ll also see that I regularly use many top allergen-free products in My Daily Cleanse Routine.
We’ve occasionally struggled with Keratosis Pilaris (chicken bumpy skin) on the upper backs of arms and tops of legs at our house. This is a sign that the skin barrier could be compromised. The best way to prevent this is a routine of everyday fragrance-free emollient moisturizer like CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion. When the skin is dry or broken, the barrier becomes compromised, making a sneaky sensitizing allergen like fragrance or Methylisothiazolinone easier to get in. A good moisturizer and a gentle body wash are important for this. If you don’t have a Pre-Emptive Avoidance Strategy set up for your children’s skin health yet, you will want to read about it in my P.E.A.S. post.
Safe Products like CeraVe for Children’s Skin Health
We use Cerave Moisturizing Cream or their Daily Light Moisturizing Cream at bath time, depending on the season. Don’t skip out on moisturizing just because of a warmer climate. Moisturizing is the best way to protect your children’s skin health. The proper way to keep moisture in after a bath is to lightly dab a towel on after bathing and then apply the cream to damp skin and lock in the moisture. You’ll find in my house we use all Low Allergen products. Check out my Favorites in my low allergen post.
We also really enjoy Vanicream Gentle Body wash. It’s sudsy for fun bubbles and is extremely gentle. If you’re bathing in a tub, please don’t let your child play in the bubbles! Play first, wash last. Soaking excessively in sudsy water can set them up for skin health trouble.
For baby hair, you can use Vanicream Gentle Wash for Baby or my elementary kiddos use Cleure shampoo and conditioner for their hair. Another surprisingly easy option (and quick to pick up at the local grocery store) is Suave Kids Natural 3 in 1 Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash for Sensitive Skin At less than $5 for 20 oz; it’s a great option for families.
Another essential thing to know about infant skin is less washing is better. Their immature immune system is searching for directions on what to fight off. Early research shows that broken skin in children less than 6 months of age can be more of a factor in developing allergies than we ever thought before. The most important thing to note is moisturizing with a fragrance, and botanical/essential oil-free moisturizer is key in protecting their immune system. There’s another article on my blog that goes into this in more depth entitled Leaky Skin.