Ann Kelsey, a lifelong eczema sufferer, found it so difficult to find products suitable for people with sensitive skin that she set up her own online company, Econatural.ie, selling natural products.
" People with eczema tend to react badly to anything with chemicals in them. It's really important, for example, to wash clothing in non-biological washing powder and laundry liquids, and not to use products with strong perfumes," Kelsey explains.
" We do a range of non-steroidal Allergenics skincare products for children and adults with eczema. A lot of children will be put on cortisone steroidal creams, and while they tend to help the symptoms they can be quite harsh on the system as well. Something like the Allergenics range is a great natural alternative to that."
For babies with sensitive skin, wearing plastic nappies can add to their problems, but eco-friendly nappies can be the solution.
" Eco nappies don't have any dyes in them and they wouldn't have as much plastic in them. They tend to help the skin breathe more and you don't get as much nappy rash with eco nappies," says Kelsey.
With up to one in five children in Ireland suffering from eczema, it's not surprising that one of Econatural's biggest sellers is a range of clothing for babies right up to adults with eczema.
" It's made from 100pc organic cotton and they've added silver ions to the fabric," Kelsey says. " How it works is amazing – the silver ions in the fabric are a natural antibacterial and they fight the excess bacteria that eczema sufferers tend to produce, and that in turn eases the itching so children don't do as much damage to their skin during the night. A lot of the products will have the hands and/ or the feet enclosed.
" It's mostly nightwear that we sell. They are all patterned – the boys' ones are white with little trucks or blue and grey stripes, and for girls there are ones with little pink love hearts."
Mother & Babies