Monday, February 25, 2013

Atopic Dermatitis, Er... Eczema

this was a bad day, though not the worst.

In the beginning of November, I noticed a few red spots on the back of JM's legs - behind his knees. I joked that he was getting scabies since the summer was over and he was no longer getting his super long daily baths.  Of course it wasn't scabies- it was eczema.  Well, I diagnosed him. I am 99.9999% I am right in this diagnosis.

The small red spots started to spread and inflame.  He would say it hurt and everyday it was looking worse.  I tried coconut oil (my first remedy for anything) and it didn't do anything.  A dear friend of mine made me a special concoction of Comfry powder, wheat germ oil, raw honey, lavender and chamomile, it helped a little, but was too thick to use easily. 

(To skip my drawn out explanation of learning the remedy, scroll down to Recipe for Fighting Eczema)

I turned to listservs and natural bloggers and nutritionists and learned that I should treat it from the inside out.  Makes sense to me.  The biggest common culprit I read about was dairy (big surprise- not). For JM's first year we avoided all dairy.  His body couldn't handle it in my milk when he was a baby and I cut it out of our diets.  With the summer months being as hot as they were, and JM being as cute as he is, we started giving him more ice cream, which lead to us being more relaxed on his dairy.  We were always out and about and would often grab a slice here and there as we walked around the city (which led to a child who LOVES pizza).  We would get Mister Softee or GROM and sit and watch people for hours. 

Because of the humidity of the summer, eczema doesn't tend to be a problem. As soon as the weather changes and the air becomes dry, BAM! bring on the pain.

I decided to cut dairy out of his diet and see if that made a difference.  In the vein of treating from the inside out, two other common remedies were probiotics (which improve milk allergies and aid in fighting inflammation), and fish oil.

After consulting with my favorite natural pharmacists, I started adding 1/8 teaspoon of Commensal to his morning juice.  It was also suggested to give him a teaspoon of fish oil.  He liked it at first, but then stopped.  I am just now beginning to sneak it into his smoothies again.

To ease his comfort and keep his skin moisturized I bought a really thick calendula cream that I put on at night and after his baths.

Long story short, it all worked!  His legs are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY better. Not just a little bit, a whole lot better. I don't know what part I should thank the most but the combination was perfect.

Recipe for Fighting Eczema:

  • Short lukewarm baths 2-3 times a week (with butt washing in between) DO NOT Rub dry. Only pat effected area
  • Apply a thick calendula salve to effected area once or twice a day (immediately after a bath while the skin is moist)
bought this at a health food store in NC. This stuff is GREAT

  • Add 1/8 teaspoon of Commensal to juice, rice milk or anything cold daily for 30 days, then reduce to every other day
Adult serving is 1/4 teaspoon, cut that in half for kids

  • Give one teaspoon of fish oil
This also comes in a kids one, but it is the same thing. Again, serving for adult is 2 teaspoons, just give 1 for a kid.

  • NO DAIRY!!!!!!!  Use fake cheese for burritos, use rice or almond milk for everything milk related and use a non-dairy buttery spread in place of butter. We sub So Delicious or tofutti  for ice cream (too much soy is no good either- for a list of other reasons).  A week ago, JM was too qucik and ate some of our regualr cheese while we were prepping for dinner and no joke, his legs were worse for three days after)
I wish I had a really good before and after shot, but I don't.  Picture sad, red, swollen skin, and then don't picture it and you have a good visual. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to see that JM suffers from this! We have so much of it in our family. We give the kids baking soda baths followed by lotion and we have noticed fish oil helps a huge amount. I'll look into some of the other remedies you tried. Thanks for sharing.