Have you ever been jerked from your sleep by the shrill of your baby screaming and crying? You rush to his side to find out the problem. You discover your baby scratching his skin so forcefully that he is bleeding! This is something that I have dealt with for many nights. Baby eczema. Watching my children suffer from it, has been one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever had to endure. M.C., has suffered from eczema since he was an infant, maybe around 11 or 12 months old. It first started as dry patches on his elbows and knees, but has progressed to cover a large portion of his arms, legs, stomach and lower sides. There are a few patches that come and go on his scalp and back of his neck as well. When the eczema flares up, his skin becomes very red and visibly irritated and he scratches as if he is trying to claw his way to the bone. The more he scratches, the more it spreads!
While we try everything we can think of to ease his misery; we don’t know the cure. It’s pure agony for him. I hate watching my little one in such discomfort and not being able to relieve him instantly is excruciating. I wish I could bear it for him! Watching a child scream, squirm, and scratch while trying to restrain them from doing harm to their skin is emotionally painful. I’ve had to hold my son’s hands just to keep him from worsening an area where he’s broken the skin from his forceful scratching. My husband and I have tried many creams and ointments, oils and butters, and also prescriptions from his allergists.
While some of these things are effective at clearing the appearance of the eczema, none of them can cure it alone. We have watched his skin heal completely and appear as if he’s never had a scratch, only to have the eczema resurface within hours. It covers is tiny body in dry patches and dark scaly splotches causing him much discomfort. Trying to get him to stop scratching is almost pointless. I’ve even tried putting long socks on his arms. He takes them off while yelling for help and giving me the most pitiful look I’ve ever saw.
Our eldest daughter had eczema from birth to about 4 years old. I’m so thankful she grew out of it! Since we gained some experience dealing with her eczema, we keep our son from eating the foods that caused a reaction in our daughter. Peaches and pears are the main culprits, but citrus can also sometimes cause the patches to show up. I can’t say enough how important it is to watch what your child eats! Some things our son is allergic to, but many others, he is sensitive to. The things we’ve noticed that his skin is sensitive to are much greater in number than the allergens. I’ve made a list of things that M.C. is sensitive to. I’m not an expert and this in not medical advice by any means. I’m a parent. Consult your doctor if you feel your baby may have eczema or any other skin condition. That being said here are some of the things that we’ve noticed cause our son’s eczema to flare:
- Grapes/ grape juice
- Citrus (cuties and oranges)
- Dairy products, especially cheese; including cheese puffs and cheese powdered chips and snacks (especially when the powder gets on his hands, this is the main area of irritations)
- Peaches (he’s never had, but they irritated our daughter)
- Pears same as with peaches
- Cold dry weather
It’s been colder outside and that means time to double up on the moisturizer for anyone who suffers from eczema. In the morning and evening are great times to add 2 or 3 layers of whatever moisturizer works best. I said earlier that we’ve tried quite a few concoctions for soothing and moisturizing, some work better than others for M.C. Drinking lots of water also helps to keep the eczema at bay. We believe that diet has a tremendous effect on health, including the skin. We try to stick to healthy foods and snacks for ourselves and especially for our children. The better you eat, the healthier you are. I made another list of some of the topical creams we’ve tried, in no particular order:
- e-raorganics Eczema Relief– Hands down, best cream we’ve ever tried. It’s all natural and does what it promises!
- Gold Bond Eczema Relief, Skin protectant cream– Great for stopping the itch quickly.
- Shea Moisture Baby Eczema therapy with Frankincense and Murr– Great long-lasting moisturizer.
- Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream– Great moisturizer.
- Aquaphor– Fast acting and healing ointment.
- Raw African Shea Butter- Great long-lasting moisturizer.
- Aloe Vera Gel– Soothes red itchy skin
- Jamaican Black Castor oil– Healing oil
- Tea Tree Oil- Anti-bacterial, great at stopping and preventing itch. (make sure to dilute in a carrier oil)
- Coconut butter- Moisturizer
- Coconut oil– Anti-bacterial, good for mixing with other natural ingredients.
- Glycerin– Natural moisturizer to be mixed with other natural ingredients
- Sage and Chickweed- Herbs that can be added to bath or steeped as tea
- Various mixtures of shea butter, oils listed above and aloe vera gel.
- Dermoplast pain relieving spray (hospital strength) stops itch very quickly.
Prescriptions (we no longer use)
- Mometazone Furate Cream 0.1%
- Triamcinolone Acetonide 0.1%
- Tacrolimus Ointment 0.03%
Of the above named from the soother’s list, I’ve observed great results from the Gold Bond Eczema relief cream as far as stopping the itch quickly. My favorite by far is the E-raorganics relief cream, I order through amazon and have had amazing results! It is certified organic and has no steroids or chemicals in it. I’m very pleased to eliminate some of the nasty side effects the prescriptions were causing. I ordered it twice and the third time I attempted to order it, they were out of stock! I guess I’m not the only one getting great results from it. Check out M.C.’s results after 5 days of applying only E-raorganics to the area. The pictures were taken consecutively each day before applying the cream.
Soaps and washes we use:
- Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Baby Eczema Bar Soap
- Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo with Natural Oat Extract
- Chickweed and Sage (herbs in the bathwater)
- Candida Freedom
- All Free and Clear
- No fabric softeners
- Bac-Out stain and odor remover
Since I began writing this article, I have done research on eczema almost daily. I have found that to cure the eczema, in my son’s case, it must be done from the inside out. I thought his skin was increasing the patches of eczema as a result of the cold weather. It was particularly aggressive this time, then I remembered he had taken a round of antibiotics for croup the week before it started. Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria, leaving your system rather weak towards fighting off things like yeast. Yeast can be a factor when eczema flares up. Probiotics will help replenish the good bacteria that is needed. We are working towards a plant-based diet and I have limited his sugar intake and discontinued any dairy products. Since eliminating dairy products, I’ve already noticed a huge difference in his skin. (Mind you, when M.C. was given an allergy test, he was not allergic to milk or eggs.) My whole family has benefited from these changes as I believe eating a healthy diet is key. We have also began taking daily vitamins which have visibly helped M.C. heal from the eczema. These include vitamin C, Cod Liver Oil, and vitamin D3. Don’t give up hope! It can be very frustrating dealing with a child with eczema, but there are many things that can help. I will elaborate more on the changes we are making in our lives in another post, so make sure to subscribe to keep updated.
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