Did you know that Singapore has one of the highest rates of eczema in the world? Eczema is the top skin condition seen at the National Skin Centre, with over 18,000 cases1 in 2017 alone. In Singapore, it affects one in five2 school-going children, with almost 90 per cent suffering from eczema by the age of five. As parents, it’s heart-breaking to witness your little one’s discomfort yet be unable to ease their suffering.
It’s time we stop feeling helpless and start arming ourselves with knowledge and tools to fight eczema. Dr Mark Tang, Senior Consultant Dermatologist at The Skin Specialists and Laser Clinic, shares some insight to clear things up.
1. It wasn’t something you did or didn’t do
Your child’s eczema is not your fault. Studies3 have shown that people with eczema-prone skin are deficient in the gene for making filaggrin. According to Dr Tang, “Filaggrin is a protein present in the outermost layer of our skin. It acts like cement in a brick wall, holding our skin cells together.” Without it, moisture easily escapes and skin is left vulnerable to allergies, infection and irritation.
2. Eczema flare-ups can be prevented
Eczema is not curable, but flare-ups are indeed preventable! Dr Tang explains, “Eczema-prone skin is like having very ‘hot-tempered’ skin that can easily be triggered by factors like heat, cold, sweat, dust, boarding a plane, soap, perfumes, and stress.” These vary from person to person and not all triggers are avoidable, such as haze. But with time, you should be able to identify your child’s ‘personalised’ triggers — and avoid what you can.
3. Scratching worsens eczema
The itch-scratch cycle is tough to break, even more so in babies and children. Due to vulnerable skin barrier and immunity, they are at higher risk for serious bacterial, viral and fungal skin infections. Dr Tang says that managing the itch is a crucial aspect of long-term eczema control. “Apart from treating inflammation and dryness, psychological techniques like relaxation, habit reversal and distraction are useful too,” he advises.
4. Cleansing and moisturising are key to managing eczema-prone skin
To prevent flare-ups, eczema sufferers should keep skin clean and moisturised. “Moisturisers play a vital role to repair and protect the damaged skin barrier,” says Dr Tang. “And a good moisturiser must always go hand-in-hand with a gentle skin cleanser.” Shower regularly with lukewarm — not hot — water, and apply moisturiser immediately after patting dry.
5. Not all products labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ are suitable
Dr Tang warns, “Be aware that products advertised as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ aren’t necessarily good for eczema-prone skin.” He recommends consulting a doctor or pharmacist for a reliable brand backed by proper research, adding that a ‘complete’ moisturiser should have these key ingredients:
- Humectants, such as glycerine or filaggrin breakdown amino acids, which act like a magnet to attract and retain moisture
- Emollients, such as paraffin or oils, that form an oily film on the skin to reduce moisture loss
- Lipids, such as ceramides, that penetrate the skin to repair the skin lipid barrier
Manage Eczema-prone Skin with Cetaphil PRO AD Derma
Trusted by dermatologists and loved by mothers, Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Wash and Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Moisturiser work together to relieve itch, restore skin’s barrier and retain moisture. They are also:
✔️ Packed with Filaggrin technology™ and Ceramide technology: Filaggrin maintains and strengthens the skin barrier. Ceramide is a molecule in our skin cells that helps retain moisture. This technology that mimics the function of filaggrin and ceramide helps soothe and alleviate dryness and itching.
✔️ Easy to use: Immediately after bathing with Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Wash, while the skin is still slightly damp, apply Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Moisturiser. This helps to seal in moisture and hydrate the skin. Re-apply whenever the skin feels dry, or as often as needed.
✔️ Lightweight and non-greasy: Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Moisturiser has a pleasant, non-greasy feel on the skin. This means no more complaints from your child about that uncomfortable greasy feeling!
✔️ Safe for babies: Cetaphil PRO AD Derma products are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and preservative-free, making them safe to use on babies as young as three months.
✔️ Tried and tested: In a survey conducted by Home Tester Club, nine out of 10 reviewers agreed that that Cetaphil PRO AD Derma Skin Restoring Moisturiser provides long-lasting relief for eczema-prone skin.
Mums and Kids Love It!
It relieved my child’s redness and stop the itchiness around his neck. No longer have to worry about my child waking up crying at night because of the itchiness.Alicia, Home Tester Club reviewer
When the weather is warm and humid, my skin flares up in angry red patches and no amount of moisturiser can soothe it for extended periods of time, until I tried Cetaphil PRO AD Derma! The soap foams up very easily, unlike other brands and makes me feel “well-cleaner” after every shower. Moisturiser is creamy but is absorbed very well into my skin and doesn’t leave an oily residue.Cassandra, Home Tester Club reviewer
For a gutsy four-year-old, he’s most upset whenever his skin sensitivity strikes. Sometimes it may be just minor redness. But other times, it could be dry flaky skin which peels. With the Cetaphil PRO AD Derma regimen, it provides fast relief to my son. Whenever his skin acts up, he will reach out for the moisturiser pump bottle himself and apply. Easily does it! And it doesn’t sting!Karen, Home Tester Club reviewer
With this newfound knowledge about eczema, you’re now better equipped to manage your eczema-prone skin. By cleansing and moisturising regularly with the Cetaphil PRO AD Derma skincare range, you can look forward to a healthier skin barrier, resulting in a lower chance of flare-ups. As Karen quips, “My son loves Cetaphil PRO AD Derma so much after trying it that he’s not sharing it!”
3 https://www.eczema.org.au/dry-skin-and-the-filaggrin-gene; https://www.sciencealert.com/what-happens-in-skin-when-you-have-eczema-filaggrin
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Bringing you healthy skin care tips in collaboration with Cetaphil Singapore