Babies, kids and eczema help

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…

Dylan and Gramps

Creams & Massage:
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), for the really dry patches I use my Dry skin fix. For older children and adults with mild eczema on the face I recommend the Happy Skin Cream, that has beautiful Lavender and Chamomile in.
Massage! Easy to over look this but massage helps the body eliminate toxins. This in return will help the skin to function better, eczema could be the body struggling to rid itself of toxins. So regular massage helps to encourage the lymphatic system to work. It also encourages the fibroblast cells to work, they help with the production of collagen. Therefore boosting skin health and strength. Exfoliation is also a benefit that comes from massage, sloughing off dead skincells, helping reveal new skin.

Green People and Organic Babies are great too, Aveeno cream has been recommended to me by other mums although it is not actually natural, it has some ingredients that I found may irritate,  I did not find it to work for my son. Do try to avoid using creams with petroleum, mineral oils, Methylisothiazolinone (MI), Oxybenzone, Parabens, Sodium lauryl sulfates and paraffin  in as they can irritate skin further, by their nature they just sit on the skin, blocking its natural function, preventing elimination of toxins though the skin.

Bathing:
I chose to not use any washing detergents or baby baths until my baby was over 3 months but its up to you. You can try those laundry balls. 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 (babies over 6 months) can be very healing and soothing.
For adults and larger kids (over 10yrs)  you can make body scrubs by mixing Grapeseed 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 over 3 months 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)

Homeopathy:
Most definitely worth a try! You also need to stick with it.

Herbs:
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.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
I AM NOT A DOCTOR THESE ARE JUST TIPS THAT WORKED FOR ME. Please visit your medical practitioner for medical advice.

More advice from ‘There must be a better way’

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Organic Castor Oil – for very dry skin

A big-up for organic castor oil (Ricinus Communis) from the castor bean. If you have very dry skin or need an oil to help soften and soothe dry eczema, this is a great oil. I buy this beautiful one from Shea Butter Cottage, it comes from India. (click image to buy it)

Benefits of castor oil are its antioxident and anti-inflamatory properties, It is highly antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal too. Great for those who work a lot with their hands, gardeners, kitchen workers etc. When used on dry and very dry skin is its thickness and viscosity, make it a good barrier,  But with nutritional benefits for the skin, unlike petroleum or paraffin based products which are just and only a barrier.  Especially suitable now in as the weather gets colder and skin can get very dry. Although do only buy a good quality organic one to ensure its properties are still intact and of high standard.

Suggested very dry skin blend (can also help Eczema):
Makes 100ml

Try to by cold pressed oils, they dont have to be organic.

40ml Sesame oil (organic NOT TOASTED!!)
25ml Shea butter oil
20ml Castor oil
15ml Avocado oil
5ml Vitamin E (natural)

For very dry skin you could add 6 drops of Benzoin and 6 drops of Lemmon
If you are using it to soothe dry itchy eczema add 4 drops of Peppermint oil and 4 drops of Patchouli oil to 150ml of base oil.
(I used this blend on my young 2yr old son when he has a flare up, its very soothing and he asks me for it when he wants it)

NEW RECIPE UPDATE 30th July 2013:  For children under 7 try this essential oil blend in 100ml of the above base oil blend: 3 drops lavender, 2 Patchouli, 2 tea tree, 1 Roman Chamomile, 1 Eucalyptus.

IMPORTANT NOTE!!! ALWAYS PATCH TEST FOR 24hrs BEFORE USE. NOT SUITABLE DURING PREGNANCY. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT SUGGESTED AS A CURE OR A MEDICAL TREATMENT I AM NOT A DOCTOR, PLEASE ALWAYS GET MEDICAL ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT FIRST.

UPDATE July 2913: If you or your child is having a bad flare up never introduce a new natural product you may cause further reaction. In this case you will find it best to get the flare up under control with steroids. Then once skin is just dry and not broken and inflamed try a natural option in small patch test for 2 days.  In my experience there is sometime a small flare up from the natural remedy that may be referred to as a ‘healing crisis’ this should then subside. If this carries on past 24hrs I would wait until the child is older to try the remedy. If you are an adult you maybe able to tell from the type of itching if it is a ‘healing’ itch (more tingly and less aggressive) than the usual eczema itch. Always introduce a new product slowly to a small patch of skin.

More interesting facts about castor oil on these sites
http://www.bukisa.com/articles/74566_awesome-benefits-of-castor-oil#ixzz13VBLvIso.
http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-castor-oil-5250.html
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-castor-seed-oil.html

Other oils and eczema healing
http://menscookeryclub.com/2007/03/16/sesame-oil-and-eczema/

Natural skin protection for men

My latest creation (after numerous requests from my male friends) is the ‘Hydrating Moisturiser’ especially designed for men’s skin. Its light and non-oily easily absorbed, very reviving with Witch Hazel to help clear up spots. I have used organic essential oils of Cedarwood, Bergamot and a tiny bit of Spearmint to give it a woody, fruity, fresh scent.

mens_hydrating_detail Great if you cycle or are sporty/active, use on clean skin to prevent dryness and to help keep skin healthy & therefore young!

Comes a very durable pump bottle and I can offer you re-fills so the second purchase is cheaper.

Beautiful Fairtrade Shea Oil products

shea_cottage2

I have just used the most beautiful Shea butter oil in my baby, pregnancy & postnatal oils. Buy it and other lovely fairtrade products from Shea butter cottage in Berkshire.

Shea butter is brilliant for dry skin and eczema, it stimulates new cell growth and is therefore great for helping heal scaring and to help prevent stretchmarks. Also super moisturising and caring from babies skin, you could try our Organic Baby Nurture Oil to treat dry skin and to calm baby before sleeping .