Mom E-votional (Infographic) : Healthy Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy Eczema Blues

Quality of life matters – we want to live longer, but not in sickness (or itchiness for that matter!)

I read about HALE – Healthy Life Expectancy in Dr David Katz’ book Disease Proof and it’s a simple truth presented – we are living longer, but sicker. Above is the HALE of United States, but you can always access this page on World Health Organization to find out the life expectancy of your country. For instance, in Singapore:

From 1990 to 2012, men are living longer from 73 to 80 and women from 78 to 85 (we Singaporeans live longer than our friends in US). Of these years, men spend 6 years in sickness and women spend 8 years in sickness.

Quality of life matters.

Eczema, itch takes a little of that away, chronic diseases take a lot more of life away. Our health care system is built on treating sickness but we ought to take preventive steps instead. Last week devotional brings the importance of diet, this week, look at your loved ones and yourself, and be determined to live good, long lives, not sick ones.

Deuteronomy 5:33

You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.

God, you desire for us to live long and well. Help us in our busyness to treasure our body and care for it, amen!

Live Long, Healthy Life

Eczema News – Honey and Eczema : Is it Effective?

Honey Eczema Manuka Honey had been covered briefly in this blog 3 years ago when my child had Hand-Foot-Mouth-Disease. It is sometimes applied on the skin for its anti-inflammatory and skin repair properties. Is it effective as a moisturizer or as a topical treatment for eczema? Today’s eczema news look into the recent studies on honey’s impact on atopic dermatitis.

What Honey are we talking?
Ηoney is made up of sugars (mainly fructose), water, vitamins (B complex and C) and minerals (calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, chromium and zinc). It also contains amino acids, antibiotic-rich inhibine, proteins, enzymes and antioxidants (flavonoids).

According to WebMD, honey is tested in the lab (not on humans) to fight bacteria (including staph bacteria common on eczema skin) and food-borne pathogens like E.coli and salmonella. However, as you’d see below, controlled trials on honey and eczema are very few and efficacy not proven. Notwithstanding, honey is often used for infected wound healing.

Raw or unprocessed honey is not to be taken orally for infants for risk of botulism as their immune system has not yet fully developed to withstand the botulism bacteria.

Clinical trials/Studies on Honey
I found the below studies on PubMed:

1. Randomized controlled trial in New Zealand on Kanuka Honey – The control is aqueous cream, with 15 adults participating who were all non-allergic to honey, with eczema lesions and not using corticosteroids or antibiotics. There is no evidence of efficacy over aqueous cream, which represent a negative control as it is not recommended as eczema treatment.

2. Partially controlled study on honey mixture – this mixture contained honey, olive oil and beeswax with varying proportion of corticosteroid ointment vs Vaseline in control group. 8 out of 10 patients (out of 21) patients showed improvement after 2 weeks. However, due to the honey being mixed with other ingredients, it did not present a solid case for use of honey.

I read in this article for the choice of the honey mixture, namely:
Honey for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to decrease pain and the appearance of scars, faster wound healing. Manuka honey is reported to have the highest bacterial compound methylglyoxal to fight bacteria.

Olive oil for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties

Beeswax for its anti-inflammatory properties
Olive oil and Honey – Contain flavonoids that inhibit allergic reactions

Have you bought any skincare products with honey? How did it work out on eczema skin? Do share in the comment!

(Video) Family Mealtime should look like this!

For parents of picky eaters, the last date to sign up for the Picky Toddler Solution is on 16 October. Dietitian moms behind this course has prized it to be cheaper than private sessions with pediatric dietitian.

For parents of picky eaters, the last date to sign up for the Picky Toddler Solution is on 16 October. Dietitian moms behind this course has priced it to be cheaper than private sessions with pediatric dietitian.

This is the last of the short video series by two Mom Dietitians, previous videos were on Magic Phrase to end feeding battles and Mom’s Role in Feeding Kids. Today, it’s another short video on what Happy and Healthy Family Mealtimes should be. Dietitian Natalia Stasenko, RD is no stranger to this blog as she had provided valuable information on a Toddler Nutrition series covering

How Much to Eat
What to Eat
What Not to Eat

In this video (click link here then input your email to view the 2nd and 3rd video), the following tips are shared:

  1. Picky eating typically starts at around 2 year old.
  2. Either of the extreme approaches are wrong, either (i) Give up serving healthy selection  of food (Mom’s Job!) and cater to what the child wants and when he/she wants it! OR (ii) Controlling and turn meal time to be a battle session.
  3. A Happy and Healthy Mealtime should incorporate selection of foods, including healthy options and what your child normally likes to eat. The whole family sits together and each pick their own foods from the serving.
  4. It is not advisable to have a separate meal time for the child = Sending message that he/she is not expected to eat what the family eats.
  5. Inculcate a positive attitude to eating, valuing family meal time and trusting the child to feed himself/herself (the child’s job!

P.S. I’VE SIGNED UP AS AFFILIATE FOR THIS PICKY EATER CLASS, BUT MORE SO AS I’VE WORKED WITH NATALIA BEFORE AND SHE’S VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT KIDS NUTRITION.

Mom NeedyZz Cartoon – Pregnancy Sleep Position

Mom Sleep Cartoon 1

Hi to all fans out there!

Most of you are moms and I thought to have some laugh among us girls, this Mom NeedyZz cartoon will have more of our life, our sleep, not limited to carrying and raising eczema babies.

Do let me know if you have any idea for sleep-related cartoons, after all, this cartoon strip is for all of us, super moms!

Mei aka MarcieMom

p.s. if you like to read my book, do check out EczemaQnA.com

(Video) Mom’s Role in Feeding Kids

Nuts with Toddler Feeding

FeedingBytes Kids Diet VideoLast week, I’ve shared a short video on Magic Phrase to end feeding battles. Today, it’s another short video by two Mom Dietitians that clarify’s the Mom’s Role in Feeding Kids. Dietitian Natalia Stasenko, RD is no stranger to this blog as she had provided valuable information on a Toddler Nutrition series covering

  • How Much to Eat
  • What to Eat
  • What Not to Eat

In this video (click link here then input your email to view the 2nd video), the mom’s role in feeding our kids is clarified:

  1. Selecting a healthy variety of foods
  2. Structuring meal and snack times

Kids’ stomachs are smaller and their attention spans shorter, as much they may eat more frequently, of smaller portions compared to adults. The parents’ role is to ensure healthy foods are served, i.e colorful fruits and vegetables, grains, proteins AND to plan meal times, rather than allow the child to eat anytime all day long.

It is OK if the child rejects certain foods, eats small portions of some or generous portions of others OR even vary on different days. Face it, even adults can’t have the same appetite daily.

It is not OK if the child eats junk all day, or start to link food with emotions (“emotional eating”). Here’s where the dietitians recommend structuring meal and snack times and when it’s not the scheduled time, to offer water instead.

Child’s Feeding Job

The child’s job is to decide what and how much to eat, otherwise, he/she will lose the ability to self-regulate eating and instead eating becomes a power struggle or easily turn into emotional eating.

All parents worry about the child’s growth and whether eating enough. However, it should be more focused on healthy selection of food, right attitude towards eating and enjoying family meal times!

P.S. I’VE SIGNED UP AS AFFILIATE FOR THIS PICKY EATER CLASS, BUT MORE SO AS I’VE WORKED WITH NATALIA BEFORE AND SHE’S VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT KIDS NUTRITION.

Mom E-votional (Infographic): Our Plate Matters to Our Body

Infographic Health Eating Food Label

EczemaBlues.com 1st Infographic! and what else is worth spending time on other than our food!

I’ve been reading up on food (Dr David Katz’ Disease Proof) and distilled the main points in the above infographic. I started being aware of what I eat when I set out to ‘worship God with my body/strength’ and I thought how to have strength without the right foods. Eczema/not, allergy/not, what we put on our plate matters to our body and the DECISION IS YOURS to make!

Bible verse:

Mark 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength

God, it’s not easy to eat right all the time!

Takeaway is easy, fast food is fast.

Busy mom and dad, one meal doesn’t kill right?

Help us though to love you God, love the body we have,

love our spouse, our kid,

love enough to make it a point to eat healthy,

putting nutrition NOT junk in our mouth.

Bon Appetit, Lord!

Noone can Force-Feed us, it’s Our Responsibility

(Video) Picky Toddler – Feeding Battles Magic Phrase

Kids Nutrition Video Picky Eater

Watch two dietitians share tips on feeding picky toddlers

Two Mom Dietitians had teamed up to present an online training class for feeding picky toddlers. I’ve interviewed one of them, Natalia Stasenko, RD before on a Toddler Nutrition series covering

How Much to Eat

What to Eat

What Not to Eat

In the video above (click link here), the dietitians shared about a magic phrase to end feeding battles

Toddler Nutrition

You Don’t Have to Eat

Generally, for picky eaters, the parents find themselves pleading, tempting or rewarding for eating food. However, the more pressure placed on the child to eat, the more likelihood that child will resist and not eat. On the other hand, children are more likely to consider trying foods when there’s less pressure to eat.

However, what if the child really doesn’t eat? Both dietitians shared that it’s unlikely that children will not eat meal after meal. To gain some insight as to why a child may not want to eat then, parents have to look at the eating pattern of the child and the existing circumstance. For instance, if the child has been grazing the whole day (i.e. eating small amounts of food throughout the day), he/she is unlikely to feel the need/drive to eat a proper meal. Also, the child can be tired, or feel more like playing or doing other activities to ‘release steam’ rather than eat.

There will be a next video on parents’ role in feeding and a clue is that it is not our job to get the child to eat – yes, we prepare and present the food but eating should come from appropriate inner drive from the child. Watch this video here!

p.s. I’ve signed up as affiliate for this picky eater class, but more so as I’ve worked with Natalia before and she’s very passionate about kids nutrition.

Elderly Skin Conditions series – Asteatotic Eczema (Xerosis or Cracked Skin Eczema)

Picture of asteatotic eczema

Picture of asteatotic eczema from pcds.org.uk with direct credit link from clicking imaage

This is another 4-part series, focusing on elderly. For those of you who have been following this blog, you know I’ve been passionately persevering in bringing you information for eczema children. This month, however, I’m inspired to focus on elderly because (i) I see a desire among elderly ladies in the eczema support group meeting to care for their skin and (ii) I am ashamed that I can’t convince my own elderly parents of the right skincare. Hopefully, with this series, elderly who surf the internet and found this blog will find the series useful and adult kids (yes, you and me included!) will be empowered to help their aged parents with the correct skincare. So here we go!

So far we have covered stasis dermatitis (at the lower extremity), incontinence associated dermatitis (at the genital area up to upper thigh) and for the last part of this series, we will explore asteatotic eczema, another common elderly skin condition affecting the lower leg.

What is Asteatotic Eczema?

Also known as xerosis (abnormal dryness), cracked skin eczema or eczema craquele, it is a scaly, flaky, cracked skin condition due to dry skin. The symptoms are scales, cracks, fissures, redness, dryness and itch. If the skin is cracked deeply to injure the capillaries, bleeding fissures may be seen. These symptoms usually present at the lower leg but may also affect the arms, thighs, hands and lower back.

Asteatotic eczema is most prevalent in elderly, above age 65.

What Causes Asteatotic Eczema?

As discussed in the very first post of this series, elderly skin has weaker ability to retain moisture, thus more likely to have dry skin. Less oil and sweat glands also contribute to skin dryness. Their skin is also thinner. The dryness is worsened during winter or cold air-conditioning where the humidity is low (below 50). Other possible factors that contribute to dry skin are long, hot showers, rubbing to towel dry (instead of dab dry), harsh soaps and lack of moisturizing. Dehydration and malnutrition may also play a role, for instance not drinking enough fluids and lacking essential fatty acids and zinc.

Other causes include underactive thyroid, severe weight loss and lymphoma. Medications such as retinoids, diuretics and protein kinase inhibitors may also cause asteatotic eczema.

Complications of Asteatotic Eczema

As with all dry, itchy skin conditions that lead to chronic scratching, infection can occur. Lesions may form and overtime rubbing causes skin discoloration. Also possible are thickened skin (lichenification) or red patches of skin. With damaged skin barrier, the potential for allergic and irritant contact dermatitis increase.

Prevention of Asteatotic Eczema

Good Skincare Routine – Refer to these videos on skincare (shower, moisturizing), with the few basics below:

  1. Avoid harsh soap and products with top irritants, like fragrance
  2. Lukewarm shower, keep it short and for elderly who do not sweat much/head outdoors, daily shower is sufficient (or wet wipe the body on few days/week)
  3. Moisturize after shower
  4. Have humidifier if bedroom’s humidity is below 50.
  5. Dab dry and not rub dry after shower
  6. Do not use products that increase friction to skin, e.g. exfoliating bits found in facial wash or wool/scratching material
  7. Frequent change of towel, and use softer material towels

Treatment of asteatotic eczema may include a combination of keratolytics (able to soften, loosen and facilitate exfoliation of upper skin cells), moisturizers and topical steroids (again, use with care given the already thin skin of elderly and higher potential for irritant dermatitis from chemicals in creams).

While looking up asteatotic eczema, I realized that there isn’t much written on it including research in Pubmed. I wonder if it’s because it seems not as serious as other skin conditions, or that research is often more focused on children and adults (or difficulty to conduct studies). In any case, we should not forget the skin health of our elderly family members and that’s what this entire past 4 weeks have been about! Share and support each other in our elderly skincare!

Eczema Support Group Friday Lunch with Dr Madeline Ho

Eczema_Support_Group_lunch_Moisturizer MedicationFor the month of October, we have Dr Madeline Ho, pediatric dermatologist at National Skin Centre to share on the topic

Know Your Moisturisers & Medications

So book your calender and RSVP (Lunch provided)!

17 October 2014 (Friday) – Venue, NSC Room 401, 12noon to 1pm

Dr Madeline’s talk will cover:

  • Good Skincare and moisturizer role
  • Reduction of skin inflammation – steroid and non-steroidal options
  • Control of itch

Do note though that this is not a consultation session. For those bringing your child, there will be balloons for sculpturing, puzzles and coloring to occupy your children.

Same note: Information shared is not medical advice, please still see a doc. No selling anything or pretending to be a parent of eczema child. Information on my blog is not pre-approved by NSC.

YOU MUST RSVP – do email me ([email protected]) your name, mobile and email, number of adults & kids coming, and I will pass the contact to NSC to confirm your RSVP!

Look forward to seeing everyone! Mei

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