I ‘met’ Laura Verallo Rowell Bertotto, the CEO of VMVGroup, on twitter and learnt that her company is the only hypoallergenic brand that validates its hypoallergenicity.
VMV Hypoallergenics is founded in 1979 by Dr. Vermén Verallo-Rowell who is a world renowned dermatologist, dermatopathologist and dermatology/laser surgeon, also an author, esteemed researcher and speaker.
- Sensitive Skin Product Series – What is Hypoallergenic?
- What does Natural Skincare Product mean?
- What is considered Organic and Non-Comedogenic?
- What does Suitable for Eczema Children mean?
- What is Patch Testing (for skincare product ingredients?)
- How do you read ingredients on skincare product label?
- What does Irritant-Free mean?
- What ingredients in skincare product to avoid?
- How is Coconut Oil used in skincare?
- What is product cross-reactivity?
- How many ingredients in a skincare product?
- How to use skincare products on Sensitive Skin?
- How to manage the diaper area?
Sensitive Skin Parts of Eczema Skin Child
In our previous interviews, we have learnt what to look out for in the product packaging, including understanding the list of ingredients. In this interview, we wish to focus on the use of sensitive skin products on the parts of the child which are more delicate.
Marcie Mom: Thanks Laura for taking time to help us learn more about managing the delicate parts of our child’s skin. First, let’s all be on the same page relating to what defines delicate skin?
Is it where the skin is thinner, like eyelid, face, neck, underarm and groin area?
Dr. Verallo-Rowell: Yes, where the skin is thinner: eyelids, neck, groin because of the easier absorption of chemicals. Plus, often wet areas such as cheeks, around the mouth from milk and food, neck and maybe the chest, and of course the diaper areas where maceration and heat “thins” the skin. Also from trauma and sweating of physical activities in school and at play with the use of play devices or clothing and shoe wear — hence the need sometimes for milder laundry soaps.
PLUS the following conditions:
– Those diagnosed with an atopic problem: asthma, hay fever, and of course atopic dermatitis/ including a family history especially when (+) in both sides of the family. To treat and to prevent barrier loss because barrier dysfunction is a basic problem in those with atopic skin.
– Those with medical conditions that make them “sensitive” Example: being off and on antibiotics a lot which disturbs the balance of naturally opposing bacteria and fungi in skin and the natural, healthy dominance of one over the other; those on maintenance drugs which make them prone to drug allergies or even photosensitivity; those who are obese and prone to sweatiness (or who are otherwise prone to sweatiness).
Washed-off Product Use
Marcie Mom: I also read that rinsing the product immediately is stated in many of your products’ instruction. For eczema children, they may need to soak in bath oil (my baby soaks in colloidal oatmeal bath oil).
How long would you advise parents to let their child soak?
Dr. Verallo-Rowell: I generally like colloidal oatmeal bath oil but am careful to read the ingredients list for any additional ingredients as listed above and elsewhere. For the more sensitive I prefer the pure virgin coconut oil in water for 5 to 15-minute soaks.
Marcie Mom: And can they do so if they have a rash at the groin area?
Dr. Verallo-Rowell: Yes with the virgin coconut oil. I have seen extremely irritated skin, however, where even water makes them sting. In these cases, I prescribe the total removal of all products with just a bit of the VCO applied very lightly and gingerly, section by section — which I’ve found to be soothing until the oil can be applied all over. Once less sensitive, soaking in it can be done.
Laura: In case you’re reading instructions of “rinse immediately” for things like shampoo…this is important for ALL wash-off products. Wash-off products contain ingredients that are, as the name implies, meant to be washed off (such as surfactants or soaping/bubbling ingredients). Their action is cleansing, and they are not meant to stay on the skin for more than a few seconds at a time in the shower or bath. But oils and moisturizers? Or oils in a soak? These are usually fine to “marinate” in for a while 🙂 Again, with the caveats above of hypoallergenicity.
Shampoo & Shower Tips
Marcie Mom: When I’m showering my 2 year old, I apply shampoo on her hair and bath oil on her tummy, back and legs. For her face, neck, underarm and groin, I don’t apply any bath oil on them but just rinse with water (I assume some of the bath oil would inadvertently flow to these areas when I’m rinsing). Is this the correct technique and clean enough?
Dr. Verallo-Rowell: Wise and smart. Another technique I use is the pure VCO as the cleansing oil on any irritated/irritable/potentially irritable skin. It’s all in one: functions as a mild cleanser, barrier and for healing.
Marcie Mom: Lastly, the eyelid. Eyelid eczema is not uncommon for children and furthermore, children tend to scratch their eyes when sleepy or tired. I normally wipe my baby’s eyes with cotton pad soaked in slightly warm cooled boiled water followed by a thin layer of moisturizer.
What would be your advice on treating rash on the child’s eyelid? Is there any ingredient that is a no-no for the eyelid?
Dr. Verallo-Rowell: Wet with a little water the way you do it above, then apply the VCO alone or with pure plain petroleum jelly to lock in the water. The oils “melt” in a few minutes. Gently pat into the skin and if necessary (not usual) wipe off any excess to avoid their getting into the eye.
Laura: A nice alternative to the plain petroleum jelly can be our popular Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm, which is petroleum jelly but with the coconut-derived monolaurin.
Marcie Mom: Thanks so much again, it sure gives me some peace on what I can do for the sensitive part of my baby’s skin.