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L'un des moyens les plus efficaces de lutter contre l'eczéma du bébé consiste à identifier les facteurs qui déclenchent les poussées d'eczéma de votre bébé et à les éviter autant que possible. Les détergents à lessive et les assouplissants sont une cause très fréquente d'eczéma chez les bébés. Les signes indiquant que les détergents à lessive sont un facteur déclenchant de l'eczéma chez votre bébé peuvent être les suivants : des plaques d'eczéma apparaissent sur tout le corps, mais souvent avec une zone de couche claire, des démangeaisons intenses et un eczéma aggravé par l'eau. Mais comment faire pour que les vêtements restent propres sans ces poudres à laver ? Nous partageons avec vous nos meilleurs conseils pour une lessive respectueuse de l'eczéma.

Pourquoi les détergents à lessive aggravent-ils l'eczéma de bébé ?

Saviez-vous que l'accumulation de résidus de détergents est la raison pour laquelle les vêtements sont si raides et rêches lorsqu'ils sortent de la blanchisserie ? Selon une étude réalisée par l'école des textiles et des polymères de l'université de Clemson, les résidus de détergent peuvent, avec le temps, ajouter jusqu'à 2 % au poids d'un vêtement. Cela fait beaucoup de détergent en contact direct avec la peau de votre bébé. Ironiquement, la façon la plus courante d'atténuer cette rigidité est d'ajouter encore plus de produits chimiques potentiellement irritants, sous la forme d'assouplissants.

Les éléments nettoyants des détergents pour le linge sont des dégraissants, il n'est donc pas surprenant que les résidus de détergent dans les vêtements puissent irriter la peau sujette à l'eczéma, qui manque déjà d'huiles naturelles. Mais ce n'est pas tout, les détergents contiennent également des parfums et des azurants optiques qui sont conçus pour rester dans les tissus même après le rinçage. Ces produits chimiques peuvent irriter les peaux sujettes à l'eczéma. Les assouplissants sont également conçus pour s'accrocher aux fibres des tissus pendant le lavage et contiennent eux aussi des parfums et d'autres substances chimiques irritantes. L'American Academy of Dermatology Association et le NHS citent les détergents à lessive et les assouplissants comme déclencheurs courants de l'eczéma chez les bébés.

Stain removers are more concentrated versions of regular detergents. They are so strong that most have to print warnings about the risk of skin irritation on the packaging. Residues of these products build up in the fibres in exactly the same way as regular detergents. If your little one has baby eczema it’s definitely worth avoiding them whenever possible. However, kids’ clothes can get very mucky and staining is almost inevitable. Read our article on eczema friendly stain removal for top tips on keeping your kids’ clothes looking good.

Are biological detergents bad for eczema?

It’s a common misconception biological washing detergents, which contain enzymes, can aggravate baby eczema. However this is not supported by studies carried out by St Thomas’ Hospital, Nottingham University and St Mary’s Hospital. These studies concluded that “…investigations of numerous individuals with skin complaints attributed to laundry products demonstrate convincingly that enzymes were not responsible. Indeed, enzyme-containing laundry products have an extensive history of safe use. Thus, the supposed adverse effects of enzymes on skin seem to be a consequence of a mythology.”

…investigations of numerous individuals with skin complaints attributed to laundry products demonstrate convincingly that enzymes were not responsible. Indeed, enzyme-containing laundry products have an extensive history of safe use. Thus, the supposed adverse effects of enzymes on skin seem to be a consequence of a mythology.

D A Basketter et al in Enzymes, detergents and skin: facts and fantasies

In fact, biological laundry detergents are especially helpful in clearing emollient build-ups common in the clothing of eczema sufferers. However, they are not suitable for some specialist eczema clothing, including the ScratchSleeves range, as the enzymes will degrade the silk very quickly.

For more information on which detergent ingredients to watch out for, see our post on eczema friendly laundry detergents.

Conseils pour une lessive respectueuse de l'eczéma de bébé

Comme pour tout ce qui concerne l'eczéma du bébé, trouver une solution pratique qui fonctionne pour votre famille peut nécessiter un peu de travail de recherche et d'expérimentation. Voici quelques idées pour vous aider à démarrer.

Top tip: It can take a number of washes to get rid of the detergent build-up. This means that it can take a few weeks for improvements to appear in your child’s skin. You can get around this by starting a new washing regime at the same time as replacing your baby’s clothes with new ones as they move up a size.

  • Add a rinse/spin cycle
    The National Eczema Association suggests that one of the simplest ways to reduce the build-up of detergents in clothing is to use an extra rinse cycle once the washing machine has finished its regular cycle. Adding another spin cycle reduces the amount of rinse water, and the residues it contains, left in the clothes.
  • Reduce the amount of detergent
    One easy way to reduce the build-up of detergents is to half the amount of washing powder that you use in each wash. We find that the regular clothes are just as clean. The reduced detergent build-up also removes the need for a fabric softener. If you have a heavily soiled wash load, adding a tablespoon or two of washing soda (sodium carbonate) or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) will remove any smells and help to shift stubborn stains.
  • Find an eczema-friendly laundry brand
    There are a number of eczema-friendly brands available. The most established is Surcare. Ecover Zero is another established brand with good eco-credentials. The SkinSalve laundry powder is also popular in our house. This is mainly because it’s based on coconut oil and leaves the clothes really soft. You can read more about detergents here.
Line drawing of washing machine with text: For eczema friendly laundry: colour catcher sheets keep whites white without chemicals
  • Avoid detergent altogether
    Advice from the NHS suggests that ‘soaps and detergents shouldn’t be used if your child has eczema.’ So, what should you use instead? Old-fashioned soap flakes clean clothes well without the irritation of modern detergents but will still leave a residue in the fabrics, especially in hard water areas, so they will take a bit more rinsing and possibly the addition of some washing soda. Soap nuts et eco balls leave very little residue but often leave the clothes not quite so clean. Whites can end up looking quite dull over time, but many people think that this is a small price to pay for a solution to baby eczema.
  • Soak stained clothes
    We all know that stains come out best if you can wash them straight away and that baby clothes can get really mucky. In our house it’s rarely practical, so we have a bucket of water mixed with a good slug of baking soda which all the foody bibs, grubby tops and stained vests are thrown into as soon as they come off the kids. This keeps the worst of the stains at bay until we can get the clothes into the washing machine.
  • Colour catcher sheets
    Over time, whites turn dull and bright colours fade in the wash. It is the dye from the bright colours that make the whites look dull. Even if you sort your washing religiously, some of the loose dye will lurk in your washing machine to be absorbed by the next whites wash. If you use them in every wash, colour catcher sheets mop up the loose dye as it washes out so it isn’t there to dull your next whitewash. I’m still amazed by the amount of colour they mop up even from clothes that have been washed hundreds of times.
  • Use the washing line
    Leaving the clothes outside in the sunshine (when there is some) is an amazingly easy and effective way to rid of any lingering stains, especially food and nappy related stains. We’ve even managed to get rid of tomato-based stains this way. If your baby’s eczema is aggravated by pollen, give any clothing that you have hung on the line to fade the stains another wash and tumble dry before using it.

Une dernière réflexion :

Very small babies come into contact with other people’s clothes a lot as they are cuddled and carried. It may be necessary (and simpler) to wash the whole family’s clothes in the same way. Use something like a muslin square to protect your baby’s skin from visitor’s clothing. It’s also worth considering what your baby is wearing. Read more in our post on eczema friendly fabrics.

Did you know the impact that eczema creams can have on your washing machine? Read more in Baby Eczema Tips: Washing Machines and Eczema Laundry.

Plus d'informations sur les autres déclencheurs de l'eczéma

Here at ScratchSleeves, we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy-friendly recipes, we also manufacture and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-adult years in a range of colours. Visit our webshop for more information.

The Calm Skin Guide

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Écrit par :

Issue d'une famille de personnes souffrant d'eczéma, Jae s'appuie sur des années d'expérience pratique et directe de la vie avec l'eczéma.

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