I had lived in India for the first 5 years of my life and then grew up in Singapore, and I had honestly never heard of allergies before. Until I reached Australia that is. Peanuts, eggs, milk, cheese, seafood and even wine. Could it be that we are in an extremely sanitized environment?
That must be it, because there are these amazing mothers’ groups here who run mud-play sessions for their children so as to increase their immunity against germs in the natural environment. Rolling around in the mud came naturally to me when I was growing up.
My sister, who is a practicing pharmacist, told me 2 weeks ago that she did a course as part of her ongoing accreditation on allergens. The study they discussed was published by The American Society for Clinical Investigation and was done primarily on peanut allergy. However the state hospital in our city had advised that the study can be extrapolated to include other allergies as well such as macadamia, goat’s milk etc.
The main topic of discussion was sensitization through skin. Baby skin absorbs whatever it is exposed to very quickly as compared to adult skin. Here’s a few recommendations that have arisen which are helpful to all with babies specifically:
- Do not use oils or creams containing allergens such as peanuts, macadamia and others on baby skin.
- Lavender is fine in VERY small quantity – in bath oils and vapor form only. Avoid putting it in moisturizing creams or nappy rash creams.
- The best thing to use on baby skin for moisturizing are ph balanced, neutral, non perfumed, dermatologist approved creams that are readily available in pharmacies or supermarkets. Same goes for baby shower/bath gels. No need for the fancy, just choose the mildest most neutral solutions you can find.
This blogpost is only about allergies through the skin. I absolutely love massaging my toddler with lavender oil in the hope that he will have the best sleep ever, but I think I should put off doing the same for the baby.
While I am in India now, I know that there are many natural remedies that mothers use on their babies here and I am going to find out more about them. I will write a follow-up post on that in due course.