This post is from KS Site Editor Helen Thomas.
As a parent you never want to see your child in pain. You would do anything to fix what ails them.
Sometimes – it just doesn’t work.
We’re no strangers to skin issues in my house. I get random dry spots through winter; my husband gets cracked and bleeding fingers; our son had the worst cradle cap ever plus he could only wear certain brands of disposable diapers.
Searching for an Eczema Cause
It started on our daughter’s cheek. Just one dry patch that wouldn’t go away and yet we couldn’t pinpoint anything that caused it to flare up. The worst was at 18 months when it was even open and weeping. Talk about breaking my heart!
We took her along to our son’s annual allergist appointment in the hopes that they would perform the skin prick testing. My son’s horrible, thick, scaly cradle cap didn’t disappear completely until we removed dairy from his diet at 18 months. In the hopes that it was the same for her she had already been dairy-free for five months to no avail.
However – our allergist said he didn’t feel a need to put her through the testing since “food allergies rarely cause skin issues.” I nearly had to pick my jaw up off the floor. We had seen a clear correlation with my son so we knew there was definitely a connection. I also have friends who have seen skin clearing when dairy, soy or gluten are removed. Nearly 1/3 of eczema cases have been shown to be caused by food allergies. (sources: 1, 2)
We already only use “free and clear” in almost all our store-bought detergents and soaps, and DIY plenty of things as well. I haven’t used fabric softener for many years and most of her clothing is cotton. I just couldn’t find the cause.
Trying EVERY Eczema Remedy We Could
I did a lot of internet searching and asked in my mommy groups. Some remedies we were given:
- Aquaphor Healing Ointment – our allergist, dermatologist and GP all swear by it. It did seem to help a bit but it’s just so darn greasy!
- Inflamed and the Lotion Stick from Crunchy Mamas. These worked well for Katie; however they actually seemed to irritate my daughter’s skin more.
- Steroid cream and Hydrocortisone. We were given prescriptions for these and did fill them, but they worry me with all the possible side effects in the drug literature.
- Oatmeal baths made her skin so soft for about five minutes, but didn’t seem to have a lasting effect.
- I made some Beesilk Jr. (pictured above) since I had all the ingredients on hand. We enjoyed the scent and the feel of it (and love “regular” Beesilk from MadeON for our own hands) and while it did help, it didn’t totally remove the dryness. Katie has had luck with hard lotion bars helping mild eczema.
- Bleach baths are highly recommended. One of my self-proclaimed “crunchy” mom friends said she was hesitant but it completely cleared her son’s skin up after a few sessions. It’s essentially like being in a swimming pool but I never worked up the courage to try it. (sources: 1, 2, 3)
- Hazelwood Jewelry. I had seen firsthand how baltic amber had helped my daughter with her teething (though I admit I had always thought it was a fad to see all the babies wearing those necklaces!) so I figured we had nothing to lose!
REVIEW: Hazelaid Hazelwood Jewelry
The great folks at Hazelaid offered to send me a necklace of my choosing to see how it could help my daughter’s eczema issues. Hazelaid was started when Brian and Severine were introduced to hazelwood for their own daughter’s eczema. You have to read her remarkable recovery on their site.
I selected the Pure Hazelwood Pink Flower Necklace because it was quite pretty besides having healing properties.
- The team at Hazelaid was great to work with. Emails were prompt and polite.
- When the safety mechanism activated, they did send me a replacement. They replace broken (accidental or safety release) items at a 40% discount.
- Shipping from Canada was faster than I expected.
- Many styles and sizes to choose from, including mixing amber and hazelwood in single items to get both healing benefits.
- Safety mechanism – I was grateful to order from a company that cares enough to have items that are safe for children. When I was first looking into hazelwood there were sellers that didn’t have this and I wouldn’t consider ordering children’s jewelry without safety clasps.
- The safety mechanism – within the first 10 days we somehow activated it. I was undressing her for bed one night and it fell off. She’s good with keeping necklaces on as she has worn them for almost all of her two years so I don’t think she pulled on it.
- Unfortunately, it just didn’t seem to help my daughter. I didn’t see any changes in her skin even combined with tons of lotion application.
Here’s a little from the company about the purpose of hazelwood jewelry:
Hazelwood appears to work by creating a more alkaline environment in your body through direct contact with your skin, which may help to prevent and remedy many of the symptoms caused by acidosis (being too acidic) and by reducing free-radicals by having a high antioxidant effect through your pores. It is believed that the wood absorbs excess acidity from your body until a balanced PH is reached. This has the potential to improve conditions caused by excess acidity, which can include skin issues such as eczema, as well as internal issues such as ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, and teething pain.
We’ve used it to successfully treat eczema, heartburn, and ulcers in our own family, and seen it change the lives of several of our close friends who were suffering from severe acid reflux. More and more the research on this starting to point to the antioxidant effects as being the primary mechanism in hazelwood’s actions on the body.
The wood itself that’s used in making the beads is harvested sustainably, just the end of the twig is taken and it grows back good as new to be harvested again! No sprays or pesticides are used in the care of these plants, and many of them simply are wild-growing and 100% natural.
The Eczema Battle Continues
Would I try hazelwood again for another family member? Absolutely. I don’t doubt that it works – it just didn’t work for my daughter. I love that it is non-invasive and affordable and also attractive. Amber works for us (I purchased an amber bracelet from Hazelaid and it definitely helps my aching hand and wrist!) yet I’m sure there are people that have tried it and not felt relief.
I pray that when this horribly dry winter ends the change in season will bring her some much-needed relief. We continue to moisturize and hope to see an improvement soon.
Hazelaid is offering KS readers 10% off with the coupon code kitchenstewardship10 at checkout. You’ll be sure to find an attractive, healing option that fits your style.
Here is more great eczema info from an expert!