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Are Natural Products Better for the Baby with Eczema?

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Natural products are making headlines these days. Is it worth seeking products labeled "natural" or "organic" when looking for help for your baby with eczema? Many people think it is. Natural products are made without many of the ingredients that can cause eczema to flare up, such as artificial dyes or colorings, synthetic fragrances, and inorganic preservatives. On the other hand, just because the label says "natural" does not mean that a sensitive baby will tolerate it.

Many of the good classic baby products are free of these offending ingredients even though they are not advertised as "natural." And some of the products that do call themselves "natural" contain things like parabens as preservatives. You need to read the ingredients to be sure. But when you read the ingredient list, how can you know which ingredients are acceptable and which are not? Finding the best product for your baby with eczema can take a lot of research!

Here are a few ingredients to avoid. First are the already mentioned parabens, such as methylparaben. These ingredients are reported to have a mild estrogenic effect, and have been found in the breast tissue of women with breast cancer. Most lotions contain some parabens if you read the label closely. Another group of chemicals that are of concern for many parents are phthalates, which are often not listed, because they fall under the category of "fragrance." These chemicals have been called "reproductive toxins" because they interfere with male hormone production. One other problem ingredient is benzyl alchohol, which is suspected of being a carcinogen.

If you are buying products for a baby with eczema, it would seem wise to avoid these chemical ingredients and look for lotions and creams that do not contain them. There is another concern, however, and that is that even an all natural cream that contains none of the offending ingredients mentioned might contain something that your baby is allergic to. It's possible that your baby's eczema will flare up when it comes into contact with something as safe sounding as almond oil, corn starch, or wheat germ.

So are natural products better for the treatment of baby eczema? In many cases they are less irritating, but in some cases they still contain ingredients that are not proven to be safe. When you are trying to comfort an itchy, uncomfortable baby, however, the best lotion or cream to use is the one that works for your baby.

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