TWENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD Nina Lee was not prepared when her baby developed eczema around the cheeks and arms. What happened to having “smooth as baby’s skin”? Nina already had a rough delivery which led to a caesarean.
The young mother was also unable to successfully breastfeed her child. Now eight months later, Nina is struggling with her baby’s skin flare-ups. It usually starts with an itch causing the baby to scratch uncontrollably. An infection would then set in, aggravating the skin further. Unfortunately, she had to use steroid creams to control the flare-ups, which clearly isn’t a viable longterm solution. What else can she do besides religiously applying moisturiser?
While there are various moisturisers available to restore the abnormal skin barrier, when it comes to addressing abnormalities within the immune system, the options are far and few in between.
Western medicines offer the cautious use of immunesuppressant steroids both taken orally and in the form of ointments or creams, which work to relieve inflammation and itching when a flareup occurs. Recent developments in microbial studies found that maturation of the immune system depends significantly on the vast collection of bacteria, which live in and on the human body.
A human body is made up of 10 trillion human cells with 100 trillion microbial cells living on the skin, in the gut, eyes, nose and genitourinary tract. This huge collection of bacteria helps humans fight bad bacteria, produce vitamins and improve digestion. It is responsible for 70% of our immune responses.
Unfortunately, the presence of these essential bacteria is being hampered by various lifestyle practices. The three key contributors are namely Csection delivery, antibiotic use and formula feeding.
When bacteria in the body are disrupted by these factors, different immune disorders (eczema, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma) can result. Some studies have suggested that caesareandelivered babies may be more susceptible to allergies and asthma. However, the administration of probiotics from birth till about six months reduces the incidence of allergy in children delivered via C-section. the term probiotics is a general term referring to various nonpathogenic bacteria, which confer health benefits to humans. Although there are various strains of probiotics which help with the digestive tract, only few help modulate the immune system and fewer still, have been shown to be clinically effective against eczema. PCC from Denmark is a trusted probiotic strain, which has been rigorously tested and found to satisfy all the requirements of an immuneregulating probiotic adhering to all the strict standards set by the FAO/World Health Organization panel. her community pharmacist who noticed how often the young mother was filling up her steroid cream prescriptions. Although the effects were not immediate, Nina discovered over the weeks that her baby’s eczema had gradually settled down. Months later, she noted how the days between her baby’s skin flare-ups are now much longer. Her baby is also less fussy and recovers much quicker.
This article is brought to you by Nuvanta Sdn Bhd. For more information, please call 1300 88 1712 or e-mail pharmacist nuvanta.com.