Certain things trigger it to get even worse, such as the dry air in the winter (from the heat kickin on.....this also triggers our bank account to take a nosedive). Other factors that cause nasty flare-ups are environmental mold, too much citris, wool.....the list is random.
It is frustrating to find out the cause of this condition.....we've done extensive testing which comes up with vague results. We've tried the exhausting route of elimination diets. We've had prescriptions offered to us, but have politely refused due to my own personal view on prescription strength steroids or Rx medications for this particular condition.
We've gotten to the point of eliminating and controlling what we can.....and have switched our efforts to treating the symptoms, calm the flare-ups and keep things bearable. We avoid scented detergents, shower after swimming in a pool and wear breathable fabrics. Another thing we noticed is that stress can cause a nice patch to sprout on the palms of her hands.
Here is a great tip I got from a naturopath that has helped us treat eczema and also any dry skin/itchy skin situation.
It's very simple and you probably have all the ingredients in your home.
- 1 cup organic oatmeal (doesn't have to be organic, we just buy it by the scoop/pound at the local health food store)
- 1 cup Epsom salts
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- old pair of nylons, knee high (do they still sell those?) or a very thin sock would work
Now start a warm bath (not hot) and tie the sock to the spout so that the water passes through it like a tea bag. You will see the milky liquid come through. This is great so you don't have a ring of paste in your tub to clean up after. You can encourage the kids to squeeze it while they are bathing too. A drop or two of lavender, chamomile or another nice essential oil can make it even more relaxing.
Let them soak for about 15 minutes or so. Pat them dry, no rubbing. Now slather them up with a moisturizer, the purer the better while they are still damp. No scents. We use Aquaphor (the store brand version works fine too).
Now, when N's eczema gets severe.....we bring it up a notch. As I mentioned, I am not huge into steroid treatment, but I also do not want the area to get infected with her scratching and having it have open areas. We add a small amount of low dose hydro cortisone cream into the Aquaphor. We also might give her a dose of Benedryl to help with the itchy.
And in even more extreme cases.....we put a layer of damp pajamas on under her dry pajamas. I know this sounds crazy but a neo-natal nurse told me that they do this for the babies in the NICU. It's called a wet-to-wet dressing.
The ultimate key to treating eczema is to keep lotion on all the time, even when it isn't flaring up.
So there you have it.....our little tip of the day. Not sure if I should post a disclaimer as I am not a doctor, nor claim to be. (I guess that I just did)
Check out more Works for Me Wednesday tips over at We are THAT Family