My son suffered with extreme eczema from birth to about 3yrs. I myself suffer with occasional eczema, and have naturally dry, sensitive skin. Luckily my son now (at 4.5yrs) has happy healthy skin, with just the occasional eczema flare-up I attribute this to a few regular habits such as improved diet and daily massage with a skin oil.
Below I have put together some tips that could help you that have worked really well for us…
I personally use my soothe-me Super Baby Oil, massaged into his legs and arms daily (the actual massage helps his immune system and to improve skin quality) , the occasionally I use the Happy Skin Cream, they have Lavender and Chamomile in. Green People and Organic Babies are great too, Aveeno cream has been recommended to me by other mums although it is not 100% natural and I did not find it to work for my son. Do try to avoid using creams with petroleum, mineral oils, paraffin and parabens in as they can irritate skin further, by their nature they just sit on the skin, blocking its natural function.
I chose to not use any washing detergents or baby baths until my baby was over 3 months but its up to you. Then when I did i made sure they were SLS, Paraben and Pertrochemical free. Earth friendly Baby and Green People are good.
DEAD SEA SALT/NATURAL SEA SALT - Adding this to the bath water on its own or with 2 drops of Lavender Essential oil can be very healing and soothing.
For adults and larger kids you can make body scrubs by mixing organic sunflower oil with sea salt or gently rub dampened handfulls or salt over the skin.
Try adding a organic oil to the bath and using it to massage the skin after a bath. Try Safflower (Thistle oil), Sunflower or Sweet Almond. For babies you could add Essential oils of Chamomile and Lavender (2 drops Lav 1 drop Cham to 30ml of oil – double this for adults).
Clothes Washing Powders:
Things that really help us both are using a gentle washing up liquid and washing powder like ECOVER and you can try double rinsing washing. Watch out for sudden skin rashes that may occur when you change powders, and try changing. I have heard DREFT is good too but have not used it myself.
Steroids is there ever a place for them?
Generally I try to avoid these as they can push the problem back into the body. But dont rule them out as they can be useful if you have a severe or prolonged outbreak, they can help get it back under control. Then go back to the natural methods (EFCORTELAN is designed for the face so is more gentle).
Hydration & Diet:
It is vital to ensure the sufferer is getting enough fluids, warm water is good (although quite boring!), you can add some freshly squeezed Lemon, pear juice and apple are better than orange. I suggest avoiding to much milk* and dairy also refined sugars, tomato based foods could be irritating. Alkaline foods are recommended, if you can try to have 70% alkaline to 30% acid foods each day. (Not that easy tho as I love chocolate!). * My son is on Pepti Cow and Gate perscription milk that has the dairy proteins broken down, it helps his skin and helped his reflux when he was younger.
Probiotics & Gut Health:
Gut health has been linked with Eczema and other atopic diseases, so it could help to give your child some probiotics and to take them if you are breastfeeding. I have posted on this before read here. (Further reading here by expert Leonard Smith MD)
Most definitely worth a try! You also need to stick with it.
Milk thistle complex is thought to help the liver (NOT FOR BABIES THO!), and good Probiotix can help the gut become more healthy and therefore leads to healthy skin.
I AM NOT A DOCTOR THESE ARE JUST TIPS THAT WORKED FOR ME. Please visit your medical practitioner for medical advice.