When babies enter this world, they have the softest, purest skin. But over time, as they are exposed to environmental factors, they can develop a skin irritation known as eczema that can be both irritating to them and stressful for mom and dad. Believe it or not, trying to treat eczema has spurred some heated debates because nobody knows for sure how to cure it. Some parents turn to medication while others prefer to use more natural remedies. Here at Cat & Dogma, we believe that non-toxic certified organic cotton clothing is a safe, effective way to help comfort and treat children with eczema.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema is an umbrella term used to describe conditions that cause dry, itchy, discolored, and inflamed skin. There are several types of eczema including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and nummular eczema. You may first notice it as an itchy, red patch on your baby’s cheeks, chin, or chest that could be irritated from your child scratching it.

Eczema is typically itchy, and sometimes even painful. Most people only experience a mild to moderate itch, but some can have a more intense case that might lead to inflamed skin. Eczema is not contagious and is actually quite common. About 9.6 million U.S. children under the age of 18 have eczema at some point, according to the National Eczema Association. More often than not, it goes away as a child grows older, though some will continue to experience symptoms as adults. Unfortunately, it can cause irritability and sleep issues—for both parents and children!

Here’s what to look for:

• Dry, sensitive skin
• Red, inflamed skin
• Very bad itching
• Dark-colored patches of skin
• Rough, leathery or scaly patches of skin
• Oozing or crusting
• Areas of swelling

What Causes It?

Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, experts explain that it can be triggered by both genetics and environmental factors. It is believed that many infants develop eczema from their clothing, often referred to as textile dermatitis. This type of eczema is usually brought on by an allergy to nylon, polyester, or latex.

There are also issues with children having reactions to the chemicals used to make clothing. The conventional cotton industry uses a ton of dangerous chemicals. In fact, cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops grown, with about 25 percent of the world’s pesticides and 10 percent of insecticides used to grow cotton crops every year. In addition, other chemical products like petroleum-based agents, heavy metals, formaldehyde, ammonia, softeners, brighteners, and flame and soil retardants are used to process cotton after it is harvested and before it is made into clothing. These irritants can affect a young child’s skin, which is not fully developed yet and lead to eczema.

How Organic Cotton Can Help

Organic cotton can help comfort children and possibly even reduce their eczema. Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers that can harm our children. These clothes are also typically pigment-free, metal-free, bleach-free, and hypoallergenic. Plus, organic cotton is known to be softer to the touch, more durable, and gentler on our kids’ skin. These attributes make it more absorbent, which helps to draw away moisture that can also lead to an eczema flare-up.

All Cat & Dogma products are designed to nurture your baby from head to toe. Our fabrics are all certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers, and none of our clothes contain chemical bleaches, harmful dyes, or finishes. We only use the lowest impact dyes and fabrics available. There is no chemical processing like with conventional cotton. We even take it one step further and stay away from whitening our fabric. Finally, we avoid scratchy labels that can cause eczema. Instead, our branding and sizing information is printed directly on the garments.

If your child is struggling with eczema, consider switching to all organic cotton clothing to help prevent skin irritation. Organic cotton is safe from washes, bleaches, toxic colors, and scents and has less of a chance of irritating your child’s skin.