Eczema is a beast.
In my previous post about Natural Eczema Relief, I wrote a little bit about our experience and the many, many things we’ve tried without success. Today I’m sharing some pictures and some snippets of my understanding of Eczema. Here’s a couple good “before” pictures. These were taken May 24, 2014. I can’t say for certain if this was the worst I’ve seen his skin or just sort of in the middle, but it looked pretty bad. The red, inflamed, rash you see all over his abdomen continued around his back, all over his arms, and covered his legs. It was especially bad on his inner thighs (where the diaper rubbed) and behind his knees.
Many times in the bathtub he would itch and scratch his legs where it was really bad. We never got to the point of weeping, bleeding (too badly), or infection, so I’m grateful for that.
The picture below was taken on June 13, 2014. I apologize for the poor quality: bad lighting, a wiggly baby, and a slow cell phone camera. This was what I woke up to one morning after the following routine: bath with natural glycerin bar soap, coconut oil all over body, Shea butter on top of coconut butter, and a combination of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils on his feet.
His skin looks pretty spectacular considering where it has been! In addition to this new daily routine of adding Shea butter and the essential oils blend, I am also using a homemade laundry detergent, no fabric softener, a humidifier in his room at night, Hemp milk for his bottles, probiotics daily, Huggies diapers (we found the Kirkland caused a diaper rash), and I am making all of his baby food at home. We will soon be adding a multivitamin and omega 3 supplement to the mix.
We had a doctor’s appointment this week for a normal check-up (still not sure why I went, but at least we checked his Iron levels and they’re slightly low, so now I can help with that), and I thought what the Doc said was so ironic. He asked about laundry detergent, what I was doing for the rash, milk, food, etc. By the way, the morning of the appointment I put an oil blend on his legs that I figured might spark a small reaction due to his sensitive skin and I was right. By that night the reaction was gone. Anyway, I told him I home made the laundry detergent and was using coconut oil and Shea butter. I indicated that I was uncomfortable giving him a vaccine that day because I wanted his skin to be more clear (the vaccine is a whole other debate and personal decisions in our family). In response, he told me that we “need to aggressively treat the eczema using a steroid cream 2 times a day for one week and stop using the homemade detergent and switch to Dreft or Free and Clear detergent.”
I love doctor’s and I think they are valuable and extremely important in our lives, however, it was all I could do to not laugh out loud. He had just told me he thought the eczema was flared by detergents (because of no rash on his diaper area) but then said to stop my homemade laundry detergent (3 ingredients, no chemicals) and switch to a commercially made chemical laundry detergent. I couldn’t believe how ironic that was. Moral of the story: I know my own child better than any doctor and I have seen failures and success with different variables I’ve added or subtracted in the equation. I found something that is helping tremendously and it’s all natural, so by no means will I be adding a chemical steroid cream to my baby’s skin (unless it is truly a life threatening situation).
Now, to lighten the mood a bit. See that cute 3 year old flying through the air? Would you believe it if I told you he had a broken femur 6 months prior to this picture? Well, he did. He is doing amazing and functioning like any crazy, rambunctious, adventurous, three year old boy should function.
This is my cute little one year old with the eczema. You can notice from the picture below that he doesn’t have a spot on his face. Another indication that I believe his rash to be triggered by laundry detergent and chemicals on his clothes or on the carpet. This face he is making is his classic “Ooooh!” face when he gets really excited about something, like a birthday present.
To finish up, since this is about Eczema relief and all, here is a list of what I’ve found to be the most common triggers for Eczema and flare ups. I did not include individual sources because I’ve found similar lists all over the internet, medical websites, and blogs.
Food allergies: milk, nuts, gluten, eggs, soy
Bubble bath, shampoo, body wash
Disinfectants: chlorine, bleach, lysol
Climate (too hot, too humid, too cold, too dry)
Stress and hormones
Pollen and seasonal allergies
Yeast infection-direct correlation and can cause it to be worse
There is no known cause of eczema, yet, but it can be passed genetically and if you can identify the trigger then you can help eliminate and treat much more successfully! Remember, a rash is a reaction. Always. It’s just a matter of identifying what exactly your skin is reacting to. Hopefully this information is helpful to someone, anyone, who is battling the eczema fight! More posts to come…