Managing Child Eczema Naturally
Child eczema is something that no one would ever wish on any kid or parent. One of the first motivators of opening Mrs. Greenway was actually the search for a natural solution to my granddaughter's eczema. She would be covered in these patches of itchy, dry skin and it was a nightmare trying to keep her from scratching herself and making it worse.
No drugstore cream made any improvement, and it seemed like the artificial scents and ingredients were only making it worse. My daughter and I made it our mission to find something that not only cut out all those irritating additives, but was actually effective in managing the baby's symptoms.
Over the years, I have found that every parent has his or her way of treating child eczema, as each case is different and everyone reacts to each treatment in a unique way. However, when looking for a starting point, I usually direct the parents towards the following products and lifestyle changes:
Change Your Laundry Detergent
Though eczema itself is not a reaction, it is often triggered by an irritant or an allergen. Choosing natural laundry soaps that are soft and gentle on baby's clothes and skin is a good first step. They should have no artificial colors or scents, and only contain ingredients which are proven to be effective cleaners and safe for use with babies. We recommend ZUM's wee clean laundry soap, however all the laundry soaps we carry in store should be fine. After using it regularly, you can be sure that baby's eczema is not being triggered by rubbing against clothing, towels, sheets, blankets, or pillows which could have been washed with an irritating chemical.
Eczema is extremely dry and scaly skin, something that you don't want to risk drying out further with a harsh soap. Switch your baby wash or soap for something extremely gentle that won't irritate existing breakouts, but will keep your child clean and fresh. Depending on whether you are used to using a bar of soap or more of a gel, we usually recommend ZUM's wee clean bar soap or Earth Mama Angel Baby's Natural Wash. Choose an option with a pH level close to that of baby's natural skin as to not dry it out or alter its chemistry and make it more susceptible to eczema breakouts.
Tip: I always found it helpful to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the affected child's bath water. It keeps baby's skin soft and supple while naturally locking in moisture. I'm sure that coconut oil would work well too.
So the last, but most important, step to managing child eczema is moisturizing. You can never over- moisturize a baby with eczema, though I know the process can get messy, and well…slippery. It's important to keep the dry skin as supple as possible to keep it from possibly cracking and getting infected, while soothing the incessant itchiness. Janet from Desjardin's Holistic Therapies makes gallons of her Children's Eczema Cream, which many moms swear by and is a definite best-seller at our stores. However, we always have a few different options in stock for those cases in which this miracle cream doesn't seem to work. All of them are all-natural and most of them organic, meaning that you don't have to worry about additional irritants or rash inducing stressors to your baby's delicate skin.
Like I said, there is no one treatment which works for everyone, however I find that a combination of these changes often brings an improvement in the state of eczema and young children.
If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to naturally manage eczema, please share in the comments below.