Children With Eczema: What Worked For Us
When you discover that your child has eczema, it can cause a wave of intense research and never ending doctors appointments. However, many of the creams that may be suggested to you are likely to contain animal products or nasty chemicals. What’s the best solution then? While I of course can’t speak for everyone, let me tell you what worked for us.
First of all, I am breastfeeding, so looking into my own diet was the very first thing that I did. I cut out all things that could potentially cause skin flare ups; gluten, soy, processed sugars, and of course I was already not eating any dairy milk, eggs or meat. After cutting out these items for my diet, even though I wasn’t eating a lot of them to begin with, I saw improvements in my daughter’s eczema within a week or two. While I didn’t mind not eating wheat, soy or processed sugars, I was curious as to which one was contributing to her skin issues. I had already decided that I didn’t want to eat fake sugars anyway, which I wasn’t really doing to begin with, so I try to completely avoid processed sugars and will bake with unrefined natural sweeteners such as maple syrup. Soy and gluten seemed to be what caused the most stomach and skin upset for my daughter, they made her gassy and break out in a rash. However, now that she is a toddler, she does enjoy a little bit of organic tofu every now and then (we’re talking once or twice a month) and that doesn’t bother her in any way anymore. Her and I still avoid gluten, as it doesn’t benefit us at all, and I know for myself I am left feeling bloated and overly full.
Clearly, what you put onto your child’s skin will make a huge impact as well. For the longest time I was putting only coconut oil on her skin and didn’t realize that it was not overly moisturizing for her. Also, putting coconut oil on her cheek seemed to only make her little eczema rash much worse. I went through so many various lotions and creams, all of them vegan and free of nasty chemicals, some of them would work for a week or so and then stop working. Finally I found something that worked and continued to work! Attitude Baby Sensitive Skin Care worked wonders and I still use it to this day if I find a little rash on her body. It is vegan, cruelty free, has worry free ingredients, made in Canada (our home country), eco friendly, they plant trees, and are a part of the National Eczema Association. Win/Win!
Another thing that was trial and error was laundry detergent, as their clothes are constantly against their skin, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re putting onto their clothes. Again, keep it as natural as possible and avoid any added scents or perfumes. This was a big one for us, the scented laundry detergents usually have unnecessary added chemicals, so try to find an unscented one! We have found great success in the Ecos brand. Also, try putting the laundry on an extra rinse to help make sure that the soap is really rinsed out.
My daughter is now nearly 1.5 years old, still breastfeeding and of course eating solids. So these are some of the things we do to help keep from eczema flare ups;
- We both drink plenty of filtered water
- We both eat a whole foods plant based diet (tons of fresh fruit!)
- Avoid letting her scratch
- My daughter takes 15 minute (no longer) warm baths with about 1/2c pure epsom salts (baths that are too long, or too hot, can dry out the skin)
- We don’t use any soaps or shampoos on her, just water, although sometimes we will wash her hair and body with the Truly Organic line
- We pat dry her thoroughly after a bath, don’t leave any damp skin (check their creases, behind the knees, in the armpits, their neck etc)
- Apply the lotion that works best for you and give it a minute or two to absorb before putting jammies on
Staying hydrated from the inside out is super important when it comes to getting rid of rashes or other skin irritations. Eating tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding the processed vegan food (as good as it may be!) will also significantly improve the appearance of both you and your child’s skin! I want to note that my daughters eczema was mild, but more severe cases can take longer to begin seeing results. Also, simply because this system and this lotion has worked for us, does not mean that it is the cure all and will work for everyone. It’s a bit of a trial and error process, but eventually you will find something that helps! I have found that as my daughter has gotten older, her skin has become less sensitive, so time can help to heal. It goes without saying, that if your child’s eczema is bad and/or worsening, of course go with your gut and see a specialist!