Support Group

My Book Giveaway at #Dadchat on #Eczema and #Allergies

Come join me at #Dadchat - the most authentic, parenting chat with international dads and moms, hosted by Bruce Sallan
Come join me at #Dadchat – the most authentic, parenting chat with international dads and moms, hosted by Bruce Sallan

This Thursday evening for those in US timezone, 6-7pm PT or 9-10pm ET, or for those in Singapore 9-10am GMT+8, come to twitter and join #Dadchat. This is a weekly chat, hosted by Bruce Sallan, who is a TV producer turned dad, writer (with his column A Dad’s Point of View published in over 100 newspapers), radio host and THE DAD behind #Dadchat – to have a sense of how popular #Dadchat is, even Guy Kawasaki is a guest on the chat and on a personal level, it is a chat that I’ve been attending for years because it is real, non-advertisey with parents all over the world who truly care about their families and kids and openly discuss them!

Bruce is also no stranger to this blog, he had shared his views on How to be a Better Dad here.

So come and there’d be my book Living with Eczema: Mom Asks, Doc Answers as giveaway, along with my co-author Professor Hugo van Bever’s other book on allergies, both published and giveaway sponsored by World Scientific. For more on the chat, see Bruce’s post and see you!

Support Group

#4Eczema Twitter Party – A Successful Sharing of What Works!

Wow! It was such a fun and quick-paced sharing and our experts shared so much with the participants! I’d hate for such useful advice to go to waste, so I’m putting up the selected transcript in this post. If you have further questions for our experts, you can tweet OneSpot_Allergy or DoctorClaudia or SJApaliski or EczemaSupport or simply ask in the comments and I’ll ask in Friday Q&A (if appropriate) and get an answer for you! (Phew! There’s so many ORs, meaning so many helping hands for eczema families!)

@MarcieMom: Welcome everyone to #4Eczema Twitter Party! Thank you so much for joining @MarcieMom @ScratchMeNot @EczemaCompany @EczemaSupport

@MarcieMom: Let’s get started sharing What Works for Child’s #Eczema – I’ll be asking Qs but anyone can ask our experts/panelists anytime!

@MarcieMom: Q1 – What’s the BEST thing that has helped your child’s eczema? Moisturizing or Steroid or Swimming or Food Elimination/ others?

@TammySigond: Moisturizing, using shea butter; @YoreOrganics: For my daughter, we have to stay away from artificial fragrances, SLS, dairy etc; We love coconut oil, jojoba oil, calendula, shea butter for moisturizing. We also take probiotics for eczema; @AllergyMentor: We love apricot oil for mild flare ups, it doesn’t sting!

@EczemaSupport: Eczema is multifactorial – often quite a few things work together to make improvements

@EczemaCompany: Identifying triggers, homeopathy, immune balancers, scratch protective clothing like @ScratchMeNot and @KumfyCotton

@SJApaliski: My approach is to find out what parents know, then go from there! Avoidance, if we can determine the triggers, is the cornerstone of care.

@OneSpot_Allergy: Some people report that the quality of their water makes a difference. Wrote about it here; softened water or just chlorine removed with carbon filter

@SJApaliski: How helpful are antihistamines for all of you? Suprisingly many physicians do not consider antihistamines or dose too low…..

@EczemaSupport: Here in UK, antihistamines tend to be used for their calming effect (sleeptime) rather than to help eczema

@SJApaliski: Sometimes I think that the calming effect is part of it. I hate to see little one so itchy! @TammySigond: Not helpful; @mycrazybusylife: Antihistamines are life changing here

@DoctorClaudia: Worst thing to do for eczema is scratch that itch! Reason being…the barrier is already delicate and any scratching will make it worse, allowing penetration of irritants.

@ADRescueWear: Wet wraps worked the best for my son; @Sweetmatcha: We used aquaphor! @Fayrahim: SMN Sleeves, MooGoo, Olivenol Plus worked for me & majority of moms on my support group

@OneSpot_Allergy: My readers report that CeraVe helps eczema, also Vanicream, renew from Melaleuca. Do you agree?

@SJApaliski: Wow, I agree with CeraVe, replaces some missing components in eczema skin! @TammySigond: Just started cerave…seems to be good for daughter so far; @Homawoodrum: Vanicream is one that has been safe for us; @EczemaCompany: Of the three, Vanicream is least toxic; @ADRescueWear: We use Vanicream under wet wrap, is there a natural option? Does coconut oil rub in easily and will it work under wet wraps? @Yoreorganics: It’s very important that the coconut oil is raw, virgin unprocessed + organic!

@MarcieMom: Q2: It’s also our 3rd Prize Q! How many times a day do you moisturize your child and how long it take to use 500ml/16ounce bottle?

@TammySigond: Q2 in the winter twice a day…other months just once is enough. 16 oz lasts 3-4 weeks or 6-7 depending

@OneSpot_Allergy: Careful about food allergens in eczema cream. Nut allergic users report Cetaphil burns due to these ingredients:

@OneSpot_Allergy: My readers also say that Lubriderm burns, by the way. Is coconut oil helpful to anyone? @Yoreganics: We LOVE coconut oil at our home.  Great to eat raw too! Anti-bacterial.

@Sweetmatcha: I moisturize twice a day (morn/night) it takes about a month to use it all up! @AllergyMentor: We found that a bath with a tablespoon or two of baking soda helps relieve the itch. Then oil up!

@DoctorClaudia: The active fraction of oat are the avenanthramides, that are anti-itch and anti-inflammatory. Great ingredient for eczema.

@EczemaCompany: Congrats to our winner for Q2 @TammySigond!

MarcieMom: Q3: What trigger have you avoided and your child’s eczema improved much thereafter?

@YoreOrganics: Laundry routine is a big trigger!; @amz4701: We have to avoid the tub.

@Fayrahim: Gluten Free Diet, Non Diary Diet, really to spring cleaning the bedroom (changing sheets everyday) pillows under the sun.

@EczemaCompany: Food allergies (dairy, gluten, soy, corn, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, tomatoes, red peppers), detergents, overheating

@OneSpot_Allergy: My son is highly allergic to peanuts & nuts. Fortunately no asthma or eczema, but I learn from my readers.

@KeenKidsatHome: We were in humid tropical climate for 2 weeks & my skin cleared right up. Soon as I got home it flared — maybe dryness is trigger

@EczemaSupport: Factors relating holiday remission of eczema could be reduced stress, sunshine, different clothes, no airborne allergens.

@EczemaCompany: Dryness is certaily a trigger. The sun and ocean water can be helpful for some eczema.

@MarcieMom: Q4: What’s the best trick you have to distract your child from scratching?

@MarcieMom: Sign language has helped to distract my girl from scratching!

@Sweetmatcha: I give them their favorite game or have them do a craft project with me; @amz4701: Dress quickly! Air irritates her skin!

@EczemaCompany: TV 🙂 During wet wrapping it was the ONLY thing that would work. Other times going outside to walk or play worked well.

@DoctorClaudia: It is psychological to scratch so any other use for hands -activities for little ones- will help avoid scratching; Cold compresses alleviate itch without scratching. Cool, damp towels work.

@DoctorClaudia: It’s important to note that not all eczema is allergic dermatitis. There is also non-atopic eczema.

@DoctorClaudia: There is a gene defect that links peanut allergies, atopic eczema and very dry skin.

@MarcieMom: Q5: It’s also our 2nd Prize Q! Does your child scratch more at night? How do you protect him/her from scratches?

@Sweetmatcha: Yep, she scratched all night and then there were scars! I would put layers of lotion and protective clothing. @AllergyMentor: I have my little one sleep with cotton gloves or socks over hands to prevent night scratching. @EczemaCompany: When his skin was severe night time was horrible! Not much sleep in our house until we found ScratchMeNot and KumfyCotton. @PipMacdonald: Also found scratch reduced at night dressing in onesie & sleep bag not able to scratch & fan cooled on warmer nights.

@DoctorClaudia: Try using clinical colloidal oatmeal in the bath or as a mask; Silicones are also great for barrier repair, and protect skin from drying out.

@MarcieMom: I use oatmeal too! How I shower my kid

@MarcieMom: I use humidifer + aircon at night, seems to help

@DoctorClaudia: Once humidity levels drop below 40%, atmosphere pulls moisture out of skin, drying it out. This is bad for eczema.

@Adebortoli: My daughter scratches more at night. We use organic cotton pj’s and sheets and it helps; @EczemaSupport: We found our boys got too hot at night – so they slept without pjs

@EczemaCompany: Congratulations to our Q5 winner! @Adebortoli!

@MarcieMom: Q6: Does your child have cradle cap? Share what works on removing cradle cap!

@ADRescueWear: Olive oil for cradle crap and a soft comb; @TammySigond: Baby oil worked semi-well also mineral oil; @Sweetmatcha: I used natural oil on her head, let it sit for awhile, then used a comb to gently brush it out. Do before bathing!

@MarcieMom: One of my first post on On cradle cap and how I removed it

@amz4701: 13mo still has little bit. Is it associated with eczema?

@EczemaSupport: Cradle cap and eczema on scalp

@PipMacdonald: A bit of olive oil rubbed in 10 mins b4 bath then wiped off gently in bath; @Ghauer: Need to get creative on bath time – ice cream shop, tub toys, etc; @ADRescueWear: cradle cap is what we noticed first and horrible scratching – was hardest to get rid of

@DoctorClaudia: These are my go-to products for relieving itchy sensitive skin. Oils are great for soothing and hydrating skin. Try Borage, Evening primrose & Argan here

@MarcieMom: Q7 Do you use steroid for your child? Share your oral steroid/ topical steroid experience!

@AllergyMentor: We use topical steriods in 3 strenghts as needed. Avoid oral if at all possible, side effects are so harsh! @Sweetmtcha: We used the cortisone anti itch –  that seemed to work for eczema, we were desparate!

@MarcieMom: My tot has a one-time 3 weeks quickly reducing oral steroid at 7mo, worked very well!

@Endeczema: We use Dermasmoothe. Problem is our kid has eczema primarily on hands and we don’t want her to eat it and so we don’t use steroid on her hands, which is precisely the place that needs it most.

@EczemaCompany: Tried multiple times, but when stopped, eczema became worse than ever. We decided to treat from within instead; @ADRescuer: Sometimes wet wraps with vanicream can elimnate need for steroid but depends on severity; limited swimming in pools with chlorine can help; @amz4701: Have been rx betaderm, betamethasone and hydrocortisone with varying effectiveness; We were also rx oral meds and are not using them because of the side effects; @SJApaliski: Oral steroids are temporary, may get rebound after stop; @MarcieMom: Yup, oral steroid may not worked for everyone, glad it did for my tot; @EczemaCompany: We experienced rebound after stopping topical too.

@MarcieMom: Here’s my post on whether steroid cream r safe They are if use as prescribed.

@PipMacdonald: My friend had great success with cortisone asthma QVar puffer on skin, not inhaled.

@Endeczema: Anyone know anything that works for eczema caused by seasonal/pollen allergies?

@Laurenau: I’d say daily zyrtec for eczema caused by seasonal allergies. My daughter cannot sleep without it; @mycrazybusylife: We use Zyrtec daily.

@DoctorClaudia: Some research shows that Vitamin D supplementation can help with eczema.

@EndEczema: Generally only if your vitamin D level is 30ng/ml or less right? So you should get level tested; @SJApaliski: I am now measuring Vit D levels on atopic dermatitis and asthma patients. @EczemaSupport: What are your general finding over vitamin D measurement? @SJApaliski: Lots of kids and adults with levels less than 30, many less than 20.

@MarcieMom: Q8: It’s also our 1st Price Q! Does your child suffer from allergy? Which allergy and how do you cope?

@AllergyMentor: We have too many allergies to list, which makes finding safe eczema creams harder; @TammySigond: She is allergic to seasonal molds…takes rx for it during fall; @ADRescueWear: Our son has peanut and sesame allergy; @EczemaCompany: Food allergies and some spring seasonal allergies. We avoid the foods, but don’t do anything for the mild seasonal allergies; @Laurenau: My dd has a tree nut allergy,  a “growing out of” egg allergy and lots of environmental & seasonal, amoxiciallan &  intolerances too.

@PipMacdonald: I also steer clear of wheat and excess fruit. I was allergic to lanolin and highly sensitive to creams. Sorbolene cream clogged skin. Best result sea water, light ointments + creams.

@amz4701: Not that we know of yet but were wondering when to have her tested because of her skin issues. She’s 13mo now; @OneSpot_Allergy: My son is peanut and nut allergic. 100% avoidance even in trace amounts, EpiPen at hand always.

@EndEczema: Kid allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy, legumes, beef etc. etc. We only let her eat about 12 things; @MarcieMom: Is your kid positively allergic to the food? Report warn of over-elimination, so do be careful. @EndEczema: Yes, according to skin prick test.

@Sweetmatcha: Allergy to cashews. We just need to avoid all foods that have been processed at a nut facility; @CorinneWrites: My son has mild eczema and allergies to milk, egg whites and peanuts. He’s still 13 mo so avoid all those foods now; @Fayrahim: My DD has done RAST ImmunoCAP. She is Class 4 Dustmites and Class 2 Casein.

@MarcieMom: While we’re still taking answers for Q8 on allergy, the floor is thrown open for experts to answer your questions!

@OneSpot_Allergy: I haven’t looked into cocoa, but I feel coconut & shea are safe. Explained here (on shea) and here (on coconut).

@DoctorClaudia: Avoid any harsh detergents, artificial fragrances and D&C colorants in products.

@EczemaSupport: If you think laundry detergent makes eczema worse – don’t forget to use extra rinse cycle on washing machine.

@DoctorClaudia: Atopic eczema affects 1-3% of adults & 10-20% of children and the numbers are growing, see link  Usually children outgrow eczema by puberty; @EczemaSupport: 10% carry eczema to adulthood.

@MarcieMom: On the question of filaggrin leading to asthma, refer to this post on outside-in hypothesis relating to defective skin barrier.

@DoctorClaudia: Filaggrin mutations are linked with asthma, hay fever, peanut allergies, ichthyosis vulgaris & eczema; How hormones as in pregnancy can trigger eczema here; Info on eczema and gene here and here; Low-down on Vitamin D here  

@OneSpot_Allergy: I give you all the highest praise, for your resourcefulness and the extent you go to comfort your kids.

@EczemaCompany: @Laurenau Congrats to our Q8 winner!

@MarcieMom: Thank you everyone for joining! Selected tweets will be posted on for benefit of all, keep following and tweeting us

@MarcieMom: Yikes! I forgot, for everyone who wants my A to Z Animals book because you joined the party, em [email protected]

Support Group

#4Eczema Twitter Party – Connect with our Experts!

It’s less than a week to our #4Eczema Twitter Party on 16 March 9pm EST! We can’t wait to chat on What Works for your Child’s Eczema! Do start following our panelists @MarcieMom @ScratchMeNot @EczemaCompany @EczemaSupport and also our Eczema Experts who will be joining in to help!

To help to get you know our experts better, here’s a little more about them!

Elizabeth Goldenberg is the founder of Onespot™Allergy, a Canadian lawyer and the mother of two sons, one of whom is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Elizabeth has a gift for communicating about allergy law and allergy safety and reaches one million people per month through her blog, her retail site, newsletter, Facebook and Twitter. She has been interviewed on CBC News, Rogers Daytime and contributed to, which feeds to major news outlets such as The Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent magazine. She is a powerful and trusted voice speaking to food allergic and gluten free consumers, and is the Brand Advocate for a very select group of partners. Follow Elizabeth Goldenberg at


Dr. Claudia Aguirre

Dr Claudia Aguirre is the neuro-scientist turned skincare professional who is an industry expert at  The International Dermal Institute that trains over 75,000 professional skin therapists annually.

She is passionate about skincare and has given talks nationwide in United States, including the recent “Brain-Skin Connection” and writes on skincare at Follow Dr. Claudia Aguirre at

And not forgetting to introduce you to one of our panelists @EczemaSupport, who has contributed much to the support of eczema patients and carers of eczema children over Twitter.


Amanda Roberts, the lady twittering for @EczemaSupport

Amanda Roberts is the lady who listens and writes to over 3,000 followers over Twitter for the Nottingham Support Group for Carers of Children with Eczema (NSGCCE) under the name @EczemaSupport. Nottingham Support Group for Carers of Children with Eczema has direct access to some very skilled people who have devoted their lives to the cause. Click here to see profiles on the people behind the NSGCCE, which provides information leaflets and notices, and supports the eczema community through amongst others, twitter and facebook.

All our panelists and experts will be giving their own unbiased opinion during the party, do start sending in your questions through the comments!

Once again, check out the #4Eczema Twitter Party post and take note of the party details!

Eczema Twitter Party Details:

Topic – What Works! for Child’s Eczema

Time – Friday, March 16, 2012 at 9-10 PM Eastern (8-9 PM Central, 7-8 PM Mountain, 6-7 PM Pacific, 2 AM 17 Mar GMT, check your timezone here)


Custom Tweetgrid –

Help to Retweet this to your followers to spread the word, thank you and chat with you on 16 March!

[tweetbox width=”550″ height=”60″ label=”Tell Your Followers about #4Eczema Twitter Party!” content=”Join #4Eczema Twitter Party 16 March 9-10pm EST as we chat What Works for Eczema! RSVP at Pls RT @MarcieMom”]

Update on 15 March – Our latest Allergy and Asthma Expert

Dr Stephen J Apaliski

Dr. Stephen Apaliski is a Board Certified in Allergy & Immunology as well as Pediatrics. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American College of Allergy and Immunology and a Board Member of the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America—North Texas chapter. He is also certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals as a Certified Physician Investigator.

After 30 years practicing medicine, more than 20 as an asthma specialist, Dr. Apaliski decided to write a book sharing the seven principles he has seen help his asthma patients time and again. Follow Dr Stephen @SJApaliski


Support Group

Eczema Twitter Party! Friday, 16 March 2012 9pm EST #4Eczema

Join Us for a Eczema Twitter Party that comes with gifts proudly sponsored by ScratchMeNot and EczemaCompany

Both ScratchMeNot and Eczema Company are set up by passionate moms, whose children have eczema. ScratchMeNot is a PTPA product, clothing that can minimize damage caused by children scratching. Eczema Company is an online store stocked with products that have worked, such as eczema clothing, creams and bath oils.

Join us to share What Works for your child’s eczema!

The Eczema Twitter Party is on Friday, March 16th at 9:00pm EST using #4Eczema

We’ll also be giving away 3 prizes suited for eczema children and winners (from US or Canada) will be selected and contacted by our sponsors.

1st Prize: US$30 store credit at

2nd Prize: 1 ScratchMeNot Classic 3m-3T (Winner specifies whether for a boy or girl)

3rd Prize: ZeeSpot – 100% Organic Onesie (Winner specifies whether for a boy or girl, may be short or long sleeve depending on the size)













Winners will be contacted by email, so do RSVP so that we’ll have your email (but you don’t have to RSVP to join the party). For everyone who participated in the chat, email me after the twitter party at [email protected] for your free picture ebook ‘A to Z Animals are not Scratching!‘ worth US$1.99, a picture book for you to read with your child and encourage him/her not to scratch!

Eczema Twitter Party Details:

Topic – What Works! for Child’s Eczema

Time – Friday, March 16, 2012 at 9-10 PM Eastern (8-9 PM Central, 7-8 PM Mountain, 6-7 PM Pacific,1 2 AM 17 Mar GMT, check your timezone here)


Custom Tweetgrid –

Panelists – @ScratchMeNot, @EczemaCompany, @MarcieMom, @EczemaSupport (Start following the panelists before the party, who always have great advice on eczema! A note to all participants – each panelist will be giving her own unbias view during the twitter party and did not receive any compensation from each other for this party.)

RSVP – by adding in ‘link title’ your twittle handle (i.e. @MarcieMom), email, and state in ‘your url’ your twitter web address  (i.e. below! A note on your email: You may be contacted by our sponsors on the latest in their stores and will definitely be notified by them if you win their prize!

RT – You can help to make the party merrier by spreading word to your followers on twitter, we really look forward to sharing about eczema to more people! We take child’s eczema seriously and start asking your questions in comments below or tweet @MarcieMom #4Eczema
[tweetbox width=”550″ height=”60″ label=”Tell Your Followers about #4Eczema Twitter Party!” content=”Join #4Eczema Twitter Party 16 March 9-10pm EST as we chat What Works for Eczema! RSVP at Pls RT @MarcieMom”]


Support Group

New to Twitter Party?

I’m hosting a #4Eczema Twitter Party and I thought I’d write a short post so that no one will be intimidated to join (esp. parents of eczema children, who may just be too busy to catch up on the twitter party scene).

What’s a Twitter Party?
Simply put, it’s a gathering of people using twitter to discuss a common topic at the designated time. So, the most important two things are to know 1) the hashtag for the party, e.g #4Eczema and 2) the date & time (and do get the timezone right!)

What’s the Customized TweetGrid?
An example of a customized tweetgrid is in the picture above. It’s really for your convenience where the hashtag for the party is already keyed into the 1st column, the panelists in the 2nd column and you key in your own twitter name in the 3rd column. It’s the same thing if you log onto Tweet Grid directly, and key in the info on their party page. The most primitive way is to see the #hashtag tweets on twitter, but then you have to refresh it every time and key in the hashtag manually -versus it’s already keyed in right at the top.

Steps to Take:

1. 1st – Open a Twitter Account
This is basic, if you don’t have a twitter account, you can’t join a twitter party.
2. 2nd – Use aTweeter Platform
As explained above, this will save you time to refresh and key in hashtag everytime, plus you can see the tweets more easily in a multi-column layout. If the tweets are moving so fast off your screen, you can click the ‘Stop’ button to catch a breather and compose your tweet. Recommend using TweetGrid and feel free to use the customized tweetgrid. Remember to log in!
3. 3rd – Tweet
Participate, jump in and tweet! Twitter itself is a friendly platform and a twitter party with an objective to share and learn is a fun and safe place to tweet. Follow the panelists before the party and feel free to start asking questions such as “@MarcieMom I like to learn which cradlecap shampoo works! #4Eczema”
4. Last but not Least – Prize
If you’re contacted for a prize you’ve won from the sponsors of the event, be happy and nice to work with them on receiving your prize. May need your address if they’re sending prizes to you.
5. Before you forget – RSVP for the event
It’s super easy to insert your twitter handle (e.g. @MarcieMom), email and url (e.g. RSVP will let the panelists know you before the party, feature your name in the twitter party blog post and sometimes, even entitle you to free gifts!
Have fun and no worries, you’ll be an expert in this in no time.