Health

Skin Rashes in Children - When to be concerned

Skin rashes in young children can occur for a multitude of reasons such as infections, heat, allergies, food intolerances or immune system disorders. Not only can they occur for a plethora of reasons, however they can also greatly differ in appearance.

Skin rashes usually appear red, flat or raised bumps, blisters, welts or a combination of all either localised to one part of the part of the body or multiple parts.

Common Skin rash Types in Children:

Cellulitis:

This is an infection of the deeper layers of skin and underlying tissue. The affected area is often be red, painful, swollen and hot. It mostly affects the legs but can occur anywhere on the body. This is usually accompanied by a fever.

Chickenpox:

This is a viral illness and is most common in children under 10. It appears as a rash of itchy spots, that turns into fluid filled blisters. These crust over to form scabs which eventually drop off.

Some children only have a few spots, whilst for others it covers their entire body. As it is viral, treatment is typically rest with plenty of nourishing foods. Calamine lotion, cooling gels and oat baths are known to help the relieve the itching.

Eczema:

This is a longer-term issue that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. The most common type is ATOPIC, which means that the skin is not in contact with the allergen

eczema

The eczema rash commonly develops behind the knees, elbows, neck, ears and eyes.

Whilst a variety of creams are effective at managing the symptoms, Treatment for eczema requires a multi-dimensional approach which includes specific healing eczema diet protocol, managing lifestyle and environmental factors.

A so-called ‘eczema diet ‘can be used as a first step in the process of healing.

Hand, foot and mouth disease :

This is a very common, contagious infection that causes mouth ulcers, spots and blisters on the palms of hands and soles of the feet.

It is most common in younger children under 10, however can affect older children and adults.

There is no cure for this skin condition other than rest and soft nourishing immune boosting food to help the body fight the virus. Due to the contagious nature, it would be best to keep our child out of nursery or school until it clears.

Measles :

This is highly infectious and most commonly affects younger children, however can affect older children and adults too.

The rash often starts on the head or upper neck and then spreads to the rest of the body. Accompanying is the rash are cold symptoms a fever.

The rash and symptoms will usually resolve itself within 7-10 days. Once again, treatment is predominantly rest, plenty of fluids and wholesome nutrition.

Urticaria (hives) :

Also known as weals, welts or nettle rash. They appear raised, itchy that can affect one part of the body or spread across large areas.

Hives occur when a trigger causes high levels of histamine and other chemical messengers to be released in the skin.

Common triggers include allergens such as food, latex, medicines and physical factors such as heat or exercise.

Quite often this type of rash is short lived.

Heat Rash

You can also get a skin rash from heat stress

The effects of heat stress can quickly spiral out of control, so here are some signs of heat stress to look out for:

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Irritability

  • Thirst

  • Heavy sweating

Skin Rash Causes:

As outlined above, there can be a variety of skin rash causes.

Skin rashes can be caused by virus, allergy, fungus, autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, lupus or rosacea.

Some skin rashes can be caused by a food allergy, food sensitivities such as a dairy intolerance and a useful skin rash treatment in this case is a healthy eating and lifestyle approach.

Summary – Skin Rashes

In summary, most rashes are viral and will resolve themselves in time.

The biggest complaint is the itchy nature of the rash.

Measles requires urgent medical attention and eczema requires more of a longer-term approach to healing.

 

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Chantal is a Certified & Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach who has a very special in helping mums transform the health of their family through nutrition and transformational wellness practices.

 

The Role of the gut in ECZEMA

That itch, that flare up, not another round of cortisone, sleep……what is that you ask????

eczema, gut, skin rash, food intolerance

 As someone who has navigated eczema with her baby quite successfully a number of years ago, I understand your angst when it comes to dealing with this skin condition. You just want it to go away, but how???

 I remember searching for hours on end for the MAGICAL solution or cream.

The truth is that eczema is a complex condition to navigate and what works for one, might not work for the next child or person. My road to success will look very different to your road to success, because each and everyone of us are so uniquely different.

However, at the heart of the issue for everyone, the same foundational pillars need to be “FIXED” in order to heal and it takes TIME, WORK & PERSEVERANCE.

The skin is influenced by other organs in the body and this is especially true of the gut and brain, so much so that scientist coined the term “gut-brain-skin axis”

In this article I am going to focus on the role of the gut in healing eczema.

The triggers of a flair are different for most people, but the most common include:

 None of these “triggers” are the real problem for eczema, but rather an indication that the gut microbiome is out of balance and that the mucosal lining needs to some repair, otherwise known as a leaky gut.

So rather than messing around with lengthy food eliminations protocols for an unsaid period of time, you want to put your efforts straight at the ‘ROOT CAUSE,’ and that is healing the gut.

The gut and eczema:

Eczema is a highly inflammatory skin condition which is a signal that the immune system is unbalanced. The unbalanced immune system is as a direct result of an unbalanced gut flora and leaky gut.

The approach to healing, is that if you correct the gut microbiome balance and seal a leaky gut, this improves the immune function, which decreases inflammation, the body is better able to handle the “triggers” and therefore heal eczema.

How to heal the gut?

When healing the gut, it is best to adopt the very common 4 R approach used in functional medicine:

  1. REMOVE – all packaged and processed food in addition to any known trigger foods

  2. REPLACE – with whole & real food

  3. RESTORE – balance with healing nutrition such as bone broth and fermented foods

  4. REPLENISH – the whole person with lifestyle choices that enhance emotional wellbeing

 In a nutshell, eczema is just a symptom of a number of organs that are not functioning at optimal levels, one of which is the gut. Start wherever you at and make smaller consistent changes over a period of time and be observant with YOUR reaction to the eczema.

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Chantal is an Accredited and Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping mum’s create thriving wellness for them and their family through the use of healing and transformational wellness practices.

The Top 3 Foods that could be triggering the next Eczema Flare

This really is a topic that is close and dear to my heart. My little man suffered terribly with this debilitating skin condition. I was literally pulling my hair out and would do ANYTHING to give some relief and not watch him scratch himself to sleep. These are memories that still haunt me today. There was a silver lining in the cloud and we did heal his eczema naturally with lots of concerted effort.

Eczema is very much an inflammatory skin condition that is linked to the health of 2 organs in particular, the gut and the brain, i.e. root causes. Will go into that another day.

There are 3 main triggers that can set off a flare up, food being one of them. Most people suffering from eczema will quite often have a very strong sensitivity or allergy towards the common inflammation causing foods. This was definitely the case for my son, even though none of the practitioners would listen to my concerns at the time to get him tested. In true stubborn "Chantal" style, I took myself privately to get him tested, and what do you know? A positive testing to at least 3 of the 7 common foods, anaphylactic to 2 of them.

The top 3 trigger foods for Eczema:

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  • Dairy - A sensitivity or allergy to cow milk dairy is more than likely due to the A1 protein found in the milk. This is not to be confused with a lactose intolerance to dairy, which is an issue processing the natural sugar found in the milk.
  • Eggs - Once again due to the protein found in the egg and more than likely the white of the egg than the yolk, however both can present an issue as it did for my son.
  • Gluten - The culprit here, you guessed it, is the protein found in the gluten. Unlike the other 2 foods above, symptoms can be presented within minutes of consuming gluten, whilst the others can have a delayed reaction.

Other likely and common culprits are:

  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
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My little man tested positive to Nuts, Eggs, Dairy, Peanut & Sesame with anaphylaxis to Nuts, Peanut and Sesame.

How do you know whether these foods can be a trigger for yourself or a loved one?

The short answer is to remove them from the diet for a minimum of 30 days. Couple this strategy with a healing protocol and you will give the body an innate window of healing at which point you can challenge the trigger food.

Just removing the 'culprit food' is counter productive if no healing strategy follows.

For clarity purposes, I want to re-iterate that allergies or sensitivities to the above mentioned food is not the main cause of the eczema, they are just a symptom of a much deeper issue, however can trigger a flare up in most people, not everyone.

If you are feeling completely frustrated and overwhelmed dealing with a skin condition, then why not grab my 90 minute Nutrition & Wellness Audit, where I can help you, uncover the the potential triggers & root causes. Together we will lay out an achievable plan how you can overcome the root causes and start healing without relying on topical & band aid solutions.

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Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping families implement healing wholefood protocols and wellness practices to transform the health of the family.

Winter Wellness - Medicinal foods in your garden, pantry and fridge

Winter is here. That means the season for coughs, cold, snot, ear infections, tonsillitis, upper respiratory sickness, croup, you name it! How well prepared are you??

The germ, bacteria, bug, virus, whatever you want to call it is not the problem, it is the host in which it is living. The germ can only thrive in the right environment, that is our immune system. When the immune system is not as strong and resilient as it should be, it will really struggle to fight off these bugs and more often than not will succumb to them.

There is so much goodness in our garden and pantry that is truly medicinal in nature and  have stood the test of time. Wouldn't it better to use these than feel helpless and use over the counter medication which do have a damaging effect on our eco system, the MAIN hub of the immune system?

With a little education and a little preparation, you can be fully prepared for whatever is thrown your way.

Harnessing the medicinal properties of readily available herbs:

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  • Rosemary – It’s aromatic smell has been known to help improve memory tasks. Great for upper respiratory tract infections and is anti-microbial
  • Oregano – This herb is highly antimicrobial and is very effective at treating chronic & acute infections. Add it to food regularly or have as a medicinal tea with a little raw honey
  • Lavender – who is not a fan of the smell of lavender, me actually, but that is a story for another day. Not only is the fragrant soothing and helps you fall asleep, it also contains anti-oxidants called polyphenols that fight belly bloating
  • Thyme – This has to my favourite herb for medicinal purposes and is my go to when the dreaded cough kicks in. This is a great herb to use for respiratory problems and is also very antiseptic. I will share an easy cough tea recipe in the download below. My daughter loves it when I make this tea.
  • Basil – This little beauty is great at calming the nerves and also has a detoxing effect on the liver
  • Parsley – This common garnish is packed full of nutrients. It contains Vit A & C and just teaspoon offers nearly half your daily intake of vit k
  • Chives – A member of the onion family that can help boost the immune system. Admittedly I don't use this herb as often I could do.
  • Coriander – This is my go to herb for stirfries and salads. It provides iron and fibre and is also known as a great chelator of heavy metals to help draw them out of your tissues
  • Mint – A rich source of Vit A and useful for the breath, digestion, nausea and headaches.

In short, add a variety of herbs daily where ever you can in your diet and reap the benefits, a little really goes a long way.

Suggestions – Garnish, salads, add to stirfries, casserole, soups and make your own brew of tea

Medicine in your pantry:

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  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Rich in it’s own probiotics, it has been known to be great for detoxification, supporting digestion, anti-microbial and supports the immune system. It is also known to have benefits of topical applications for dry skin, as an anti-fungal agent, whiten teeth and relieve rashes. One little product and so many uses.
  • Honey – no pantry should be without a good quality local if possible, raw honey. It is definitely my go to for the first sign of sore throat or cough, taken straight off the spoon. It is very useful as part of a gut healing journey harnessing the prebiotic benefits, however still to be used in small amounts. Also fabulous a moisturiser for dry skin, acne and wound healing.
  • Olive oil – Firstly make sure it is a good quality. Not only it is wonderful as a moisturiser for hair and skin, it is a great source of good fats which are essential for the immune & gut cells, not to mention the brain.
  • Good Quality ORGANIC tea bags – These are fabulous to have on hand during sickness and a good selection will be found in any good health food store. My favourites are:
    • Rosehip & hibiscus
    • Ginger & lemon
    • Chamomile
    • Peppermint or mint
    • Immune tea
    • Digestive tea

What's hiding in your fridge that can serve as medicine?

  • GINGER – This little innocent unassuming vegetable is so potent. Really get creative how you can incorporate it into your diet as much as possible. It is known to be useful for treating:
    • Inflammation
    • Remedies motion sickness or an upset tummy
    • Cold & flu prevention
    • Assists digestion
    • Assists common respiratory conditions that helps break down and remove phelm and mucous
    • Strengthens the immune system
  • TUMERIC (fresh) or spice from the pantry  - It’s the compound curcumin in this food that makes it so magical and gives it the amazing anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I love adding to broth to pimp it up and a few shakes of the spice where ever I can.
  • LEMON – This wonderful citrus fruit so readily available and has many health benefits such as:
    • The juice of a lemon is useful in assisting indigestion and constipation
    • It is one of go to treatments for fever and works a charm breaking a fever by increasing perspiration.
    • Soothes respiratiory disorders
    • Helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the body
    • With it’s antibacterial properties, it’s a fabulous choice for sore throats

Here you can download a few DIY recipes using the ingredients above to get yourself all ready for winter:

Included in the EBOOK are recipes for the following, however they all have multiple uses:

  • Immune System
  • Cough
  • Resiliency Tonic
  • Digestive
  • Tummy Upsets
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Chantal Khoury is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping mum's implement Healing Wholefood & transformational wellness practices to improve the health of their family one personalised step at a time.