If you read our story here , you know that we have struggled with eczema as a family with an infant suffering and a mother divided between her motherhood vs knowledge as a Biologist knowing the side effects of the medicine prescribed but also the urge of help for her baby and the stress associated to it.
Our Son has been off medicine for 7 years at the time of writing this article and I will share in details everything I did to help him out but before that we need to go through some disclaimers:
I do not recommend in any means not listening to your physician instead working with them and slowly transition towards a natural routine under their supervision.
This article is for educational purposes only and not meant to replace any professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Please note this article has graphic content (Photos of skin with bleeding rashes)that some individuals might find disturbing therefore not suitable for all viewers!
By continuing to access and view this content, you agree to release and discharge the provider of the content from any claims or liabilities that may rise from the use of these photos and information.
Ok! now that you are still here, I will share everything I did for my son and I hope you use this info wisely and get to your goals in helping yourself or your loved ones manage their condition.
Let's take a look of some photos of his skin!
First thing let's learn about Eczema!
I went back to my courses, paid access to university articles about eczema, read scientific books, herbal medicine, traditional home remedies you name it... This is a recap to what I got:
In individuals with eczema, there is a disruption in the skin barrier function, leading to increased water loss and susceptibility to irritants and allergens. This can result in dry, itchy, inflamed, and sensitive skin. The inflammatory response associated with eczema primarily occurs in the epidermis, causing redness, swelling, and discomfort.
It's important to note that in severe cases or with persistent scratching, eczema can extend into the deeper layers of the skin, affecting the dermis. The dermis is the layer of skin below the epidermis and contains blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, and nerve endings. In such instances, the symptoms may become more pronounced, and the skin may become more prone to infection.
It's worth mentioning that eczema is a complex condition, and its exact mechanisms are not fully understood. The effects of eczema can vary from person to person, and it may involve different layers of the skin depending on the severity and duration of the condition but it can still be managed if understood properly.
Like mentioned above, the exact cause is not fully understood but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People wit Eczema often have weakened protective skin barrier which allows irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin more easily leading to inflammation and itching and with that being said, environmental factors play a big role in managing this condition and that's where I stepped in.
Label reading and reasearch
I knew that I had to eliminate all irritants so I went through reading and researching the list of ingredients in his "baby" toiletry which was shocking so I got rid of his shampoo, lotion, soap, laundry detergents AND wipes!
Here I just decided to control what goes on his body and didn't want to waste any more time so I made him a natural body butter from scratch using mainly Calendula oil. Now why a body butter not a lotion, simple answer i dint want any preservative in his products so i had to go with a anhydrous product and skip the water.
I settled on the following key ingredients for these reasons:
- Calendula oil is a natural oil extracted from marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis). It's often used as a complementary or alternative treatment. Calendula oil has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that might make it useful in healing wounds, soothing eczema, and relieving diaper rash.
- Lavender extract for its calming and healing properties.
- Chamomile extract for its antioxidants properties which help the skin to regenerate
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
Now this mixture is to help the skin get nourished and protected therefore promote its natural healing process.
Body and Laundry
Now I needed to look into cleaning his skin as gentle and natural as possible so I opted to homemade soap! Yes you can use only water but it wouldn't take too long before you want that lather to clean that dead skin that sheds from the healing of the rashes.
I made him a hot process soap because I could speed up the saponification process with cooking vs a cold process soap that takes a bit longer. Remember here I was racing with time so waiting longer wasn't a choice. I only used water while waiting for the soap to cure but I only waited for couple days before we could use the soap.
I know there is a big debate about whether it is safe to use a freshly made soap or not but I personally remember taking saponification (the reaction between fats and alkaline substance) in chemistry class at the university and choosing the hot processed method over the cold process to save on time during class. It is known that saponification takes 2-6 hours to complete if external heat is applied vs several days in cold process method. (More to come about this topic in the next blog).
The routine that matters
Let's get straight to the point! Here is the routine we followed throughout the yeas:
- Bathing everyday (not necessarily soap and shampoo daily), apply this body butter straight on wet skin, wait for at least 5mn before PATTING dry using a cotton towel.
- Washing the body and hair with the natural soap (he didn't have much hair at baby age so we didn't mind the soap on it but this is not recommended if you want a healthier hair as the soap Ph is too high for hair) when he grew older, we used this naturally derived shampoo bar that is gentle,sulphate, fragrance and dye free.
- Using home made water wipes for diaper changes or cleaning hands or when he gets messy outdoors.
- Using laundry soap not a laundry detergent until his skin cleared then we used unscented gentle detergents but with extra rinse cycle.
- Reducing allergens like refined sugars, dyes in foods, gluten, and processed food or eliminating whenever possible. Another ting I did is to eliminate fried foods and cook in tiny quantity of olive oil just because of how vegetable oils can be highly inflammatory.
- Reducing time swimming in pools that use bleach, as soon as hes out, we would shower and apply the body butter directly on wet skin. this had saved us from pool rashes he used to get.
- Eliminating all synthetically scented products and opting to only naturally scented ones if needed.
Doctor's approval! Cheers
Our pediatric dermatologist approved using this routine before using the steroids for a week or two and if we didn't see an improvement we would've had to use the steroids but we were fortunate that we saw improvements in just 4 days so we got the approval that we do not need any ointments.
Here is his little leg before and 4 days after starting this routine:
Here is our happy little boy at 7 months old and on this routine for 3 months completely clear of any skin issues.
I hope this can help someone out there and if it does please send me a message on any of our social media platforms or comment below and let me know what helped you the most!
Thanks for reading!