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itchy itchy

So N and E both suffer from eczema and it gets worse certain times of the year.

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
Grind the oatmeal to a powdery state. We use a small coffee bean grinder. works perfect for one cup. If you are using the nylons, cut them at the knee area to make a tall sock. Pour all the ingredients in and tie the top.
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



Mary said...

This is great! I'm sending this recipe to my MIL to pass on to my BIL who was born with ichthyosis (a skin dryness disorder). It should help for that I'm sure! TY!

Abigail's_Mommy said...

Our Dr. told us to put the Aquaphor on our wet child. (It steals the water in.) Then put the pj on. It sounds crazy, but it worked the first day on our 17 month old. We do it every night and it hasen't come back.

amanda said...

thanks for sharing!! three out of our four kiddos have ezcema too. it's nice to have a 'natural' option versus the prescription meds i've been putting on it.

Aunt Murry said...

A couple of drops of test tree oil mixed in with the lotion works well also. You can put the oi on the affected areas also but it tends to really dry out the skin.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh yes Tea Tree Oil has so many healing properties...I love the smell (I know most people don't)

I use it to disinfect laundry (specially when we used cloth diapers)...it's a good remedy for canker sores, warts and dandruff too. :)

Charlotte said...

Great help! I didn't know Aquaphor was 'natural' I have a tub of it, but I've been nervous to put it on my 6 month old. I've been using leftover lanolin.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Charlotte......I wouldn't say that Aquaphor was natural, so to speak.....but it was the only resource (other than topical steroids) that was a good barrier and "sealent" to use after we used the bath treatment.

Holly said...

When my son was a baby he had eczema, wish I'd had this then. Fortunately he's grown out of it.
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wanda said...

Just spent a fortune on two doctor appt's and meds (we are without insurance)....my 16 year old daughter has battled with this her whole life. It is some sort of allergy. She is having a rough flair up right now due to the season and something that she is exposed to. Her right hand is completely raw and busted open.

We have used the oatmeal recipe too. Sometimes....it's just too far gone and we have to get drastic.
Thanks for the tip.

KCShipe said...

Thank you! I have ALWAYS struggled with eczema, but I can't take meds due to my nursing son.
Now I'll have an excuse to soak in a bath too :)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for these tips! My daughter has eczema, and I learned some new things to try. Thanks for visiting my blog, too!


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