Nothing to Scratch about – The Eczema Story

Eczema, also referred to as dermatitis, is a common skin condition that can cause substantial discomfort and disability to affected sufferers. An inflammation of the skin, eczema is an itchy, reddening, swelling, weeping, scaly skin condition, from mild to quite severe presentation. National Eczema Association (n.d.)

Mainly affects babies and children, but can persist into adult life. In babies, eczema tends to occur on the face, trunk and nappy area. Growing up, the eczema tends to favour the inner elbows and behind the knees – flexible areas. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. (2018)

What Causes Eczema

Triggers: a strong association with allergies to particular foods such as milk and egg. Environmental or external irritants include house dustmite, pets, mould spores, heat and humidity, naturally dry skin, anxiety, stress, injury to the skin or hereditary factors. Eczema Association Australasia (n.d.)

Maintain skin care, relieve itch to stop scratching, control angry skin and infected skin, manage airborne allergies and dietary allergies, relieve stress, wholesome food intake and good gut / stomach maintenance.

If the condition persists and requires ongoing treatment, speak with your doctor or paediatric allergist. Treatment must include assessment of airborne triggers and subsequent treatment for the associated allergies.

Eczema can profoundly affect the quality of life of sufferers and in turn, their families. Associated symptoms can lead to sleep deprivation, mood changes, impaired functioning at work and school, embarrassment, social isolation, restriction of daily activities and significantfinancial cost to the indiviual and family according to ASCIA 2014.

For many years it was not acknowledged that people with eczema could also be affected by dust mites until several scientific trials, published in immunology and allergy journals, have shown that breathing in house dust mites, when dusting with a damp microfibre cloth or vacuuming, can cause itchy red skin and increased eczema within 24 hours in a person with eczema and dust mites allergy.

On a personal note

Working on the hospital wards was my first real experience hands on in chemicals, excuse the pun. As a nurse I was required to wash my hands thoroughly between each patient. My skin cracked, my face pulled tight, I cringed at the smell, I lathered up the solution and it ‘bit’, literally bit into the cracks in the creases along my fingers, each digit, my hands along eachknuckle. Since I was a first year nurse, I was forced not to tell anyone.

It was not till 8 years later that I found my hands suffered ‘contact dermatitis’, another 10 years before I found out, only by chance conversation, that the daily cleanser contained mercury, fragrance and hydroxy acid amongst other chemicals that no one could decipher. A year after gaining registration I left, my hands were too painful, I could not tolerate water on them, corticosteroid cream only relieved it for half an hour, only because I could not understand why medicate for an ailment that would never go away.

Towards healthier living Carol Parr ♥

As Building Biologists, we have acquired knowledge of adverse health effects and recommend effective strategies to reduce occupants’ exposure by eliminating and controlling as many sources of pollutants in order to create healthy indoor living environments that are as exposure-free and natural as practically possible.


Eczema Association Australasia. nd. Facts About Eczema. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2017].

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. 2018. Eczema Management. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 6 February 2019].

National Eczema Association. nd. An Overview of Differnt Types of Eczema. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2019].

ASCIA. 2014. ASCIA Allergy in Australia Submission 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 5 March 2019].


  • Carol Parr

    We’re glad you’re here. We’re Carol and Tony, founders of one of the longest running Healthy Home Blogs in the world, Mitey Fresh Australia. We’ve been on this journey for the last 25 years and are passionate about helping families sift through health hazards and triggers like allergens, mould, water damage, chemicals and EMFs, to get clarity about what’s toxic and what’s not so they can create a healthy and happy home for their family they love. Each month, people visit this blog seeking focus on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, sustainable and effective practice tips and guides, to help create and manage healthier indoor spaces, improve the built environment that is pleasing to the senses and support healthy living and nature, every day. Starting this blog was to help change people’s lives, one family at a time, and we can’t wait to share how its allowed us to stand next to you and show you how interpreting these synergies between buildings and the environment they are built in will impact upon the health and well-being of those who occupy them. Find out more about Healthy Homes and what this blog can do for you!

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