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The Eczema Battle: Fighting the Good Fight

eczema PIN

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!

Does eczema plague your family? Check out our list of what works and what doesn't to soothe scratchy skin.

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.

Does eczema plague your family? Check out our list of what works and what doesn't to soothe scratchy skin.

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. (Here’s a natural anti-itch alternative to hydrocortisone.)
  • 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!
Does eczema plague your family? Check out our list of what works and what doesn't to soothe scratchy skin.

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.

PROS

  • 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.

CONS

  • 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.

Do you battle with eczema? What works for your family?

Here is more great eczema info from an expert!

I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…

reviewed and recommended
 

โ€ฆand you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

90 thoughts on “The Eczema Battle: Fighting the Good Fight”

  1. My daughter has severe eczema. We haven’t tried the necklace but I’m confident it won’t fix the problem. We have tried many of these other things though. Recently we were so desperate we went to a new to us dermatologist who suggested we try a patch test (different from allergy test skin test, we’ve done that many times no helpful information.) So we decided to do that and it resulted in a severe reaction that caused the test to be cancelled. SO, I took all of the things tested for and discovered most of them are toxins. So we are now on a journey to rid our home of all toxins as much as possible. I use the EWG app to find clean products. We’ve been doing that for 2 months now. Her skin is still bad but it’s definitely better than it had been. We are also starting to work with a functional nutritionist to help heal the gut and hopefully her entire body.

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Oh wow Erin, that sounds so tough! My son has eczema, so I know it’s no fun for kids. I’m glad you’re finally finding some answers!

  2. Just be careful, sometimes the “free and clear” products aren’t really “free and clear”.

    Pure Haven Essentials has a fantastic lotion, it’s the dream cream. I use it on my kids, especially in the winter. No toxic chemicals at all.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Linda Marie Finn

    My Son Daniel and myself had eczema , his was quite bad on his hands and I know it can be also caused by a vitamin deficiency… We started taking good vitamins that are whole food and natural and use Defining Gel on our areas that are horribly affected. Hubby also had it bad on his elbows and we use that and it goes away with in a week.

    Linda Marie Finn

  4. Ancient minerals magnesium lotion does the trick for us.. Watch out tho… It burns the first few applications so you have to go slow.

  5. My cousin’s little boy had severe eczema and it was eventually discovered that he had a food allergy to salicylates. (strawberries, cherries, tomatoes are some examples.) He is doing much better now, but they always have to be very careful of his diet.

  6. My sister has eczema all growing up. She went to the local university and they said that they felt it was from yeast. She took the diflucan pill and it helped. I guess everybody have candida yeast in their bodies and when people have an abundance of it they get skin irritation like this

  7. Jennifer Roberge

    We went through some really tough times with my son. His eczema peaked around 3 years of age – he looked like a burn victim. Thankfully we found that much of his eczema was triggered by a combination of food intolerances and allergies. Removing these, while working on boosting his immune system and using some homeopathic tinctures, really helped. Since then we’ve found some cream that we love that doesn’t burn him when applied. It’s called Manuka Honey Skin Cream. When the itching was really intense, we liked to use ScratchMeNot mittens to prevent him from opening up his skin, which could lead to infection. All in all I’m happy to say that my little guy is 95% eczema free these days. We still have flare ups here and there, but with some cream, he’s doing great. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve seen the same with your son Helen! That’s fantastic! And hugs to everyone else here that is going through this with their children. It’s not easy, but keep looking for the answer for your child – it’s out there. You can do it!

  8. Enjoyed your article. Happy, but sad I’m not the only one dealing with a child with eczema. It is so hard. My child’s eczema started 2 days after his 2mo vaccinations. His skin began to change and glands awoke up on the side of injection. Little circular rashes kept appearing and discolored his skin, until it spread over his entire body. His skin flaked off in huge chunks. I got his 4mo vaccinations listening to his pedi say it was not the cause. And then he got really inflamed and the itching & scratching started. He stop being social, stop trying to crawl, cried a lot, wouldn’t let me leave him, wouldn’t eat solids, was throwing up foods, was very constipated…he just was miserable. He was covered from head to toe in scabs. He has had allergy tests done, but he doesn’t eat anything to be allergic to because he developed a food aversion. He does have seasonal allergies. But with all the testing, it showed me his I’ve levels are so high, it’s impossible to tell if he really is allergic to all these things. His body is inflamed. I’ve been on And off steroids scared of the side effects, but tired of watching him suffer, and wanting to give him a little relief. Even if the ointments only last 3 days. I give lots of baths (I have a filter) with magnesium salt, oatmeal, bentonite clay, and coconut oil. They seem to give him relief for a few hours. I do wet wraps at night, and moisturize his skin with a combo of castor oil coconut, and olive oil, or avocado. Sometimes shea butter. I have used petroleum. I know it’s not great. But I can’t say I haven’t used after a bath. It doesn’t do anything otherwise since not a moisturizer. I give him probiotics to help with his immune system. And he also is on zyrtec. I am about to buy some tallow cream I saw on etsy. Hoping for some relief. Hope your little one gets better as well. Its so miserable.

  9. I had eczema come up in for the first time in my life at age 20. What ended up working for me is direct sunlight on the affected area. In the winter I use a lamp that puts out UVB radiation and it works great. My eczema has gone from large scabbed areas the size of my hand to the occasional red raised bump. My hope is this works for others as well.

  10. Did any of you folks have good results using blood tests to figure out what your child was allergic to? How long after they were no longer eating food or mother’s milk containing those foods did you see results?

  11. My son had similar skin issues as a baby. We received all the same advice about lotions and soaps etc. when I asked the doctor about food I was also told that it really wasn’t a food thing. Turns out my son is allergic to eggs and peanuts and as a nursing mom I was eating both every day to keep my protein intake up. When we found that out (with a different doctor) his skin cleared up immediately. I still get upset remembering the year of itching, crying, bleeding, long pants and sleeves all summer, etc.

  12. We have a strange combination that heals everything up in a few days.
    We apply a thin layer of lard and rub in really well. Follow this by a thin layer of coconut oil and rub in really well. You will smell like a piece of sweet bacon ๐Ÿ™‚
    Works every time.

  13. I meant to also ask if you could post your beesilk, jr. recipe. I make my own tallow balm which I love but am currently out of tallow and can’t get any for a while. Thanks!

    1. I don’t know anything about supplements for tiny infants – I’m of the thinking that vitamin D doesn’t hurt but you’d need to check with a dr on the proper dosage. It does come in drops so it’d be easy to give. Aww, so sad when they are so uncomfortable and we can’t figure out how to help them!! (and feel like we have tried everything!)

      As for Beesilk Jr, it’s in this ebook: http://store.hardlotion.com/baby_ebook_p/mblbaby.htm?Click=1357
      WELL worth the $5 (affiliate link).

  14. Great post! I have a 5 1/2 mo old baby with low weight gain, and LOTS of food sensitivities, which cause horrible eczema and itching. My other 2 babies never had weight gain issues – it is so sad. This guy was born a healthy 8lb3oz and now at 5 mo, is in the 5-10th% in weight ๐Ÿ™ I plan to do GAPS when starting solids which is right around the corner, or I guess I could even start now. He gets probiotics too, but haven’t given him FCLO. I take it myself and always wonder how much of that gets into baby via milk.

    What about vitamin D? Do you or your readers recommend boosting vit D for infants/babies suffering from this horrible condition?

    I think there are more foods that bother him. I’m currently off dairy, gluten, eggs and nightshades (and grain free by choice). Thinking of eliminating chocolate and nuts too. He is incredibly itchy even when he has no real visible “breakouts” – just spotty red blotches all over. It’s the saddest thing to see.

    1. Oh, man, Sarah, what a lot to be juggling while also mothering an infant (a challenge on a regular day!). I’m ringing in on the Vitamin D – our new doctor, who is pretty holistic, has my 4.5mo on Vit D drops. They’re clear, not colored, and a good brand according to him. It’s worth a try!
      ๐Ÿ™‚ Katie

      1. Research has recently correlated Vitamin D deficiency and eczema. Found it helped my daughter (15 months) It’s one reason besides the cold they believe eczema flares in the winter. My daughter reacted to some “safe” foods by the way…plums come to mind

  15. Helen,
    Your daughter is beautiful! Our family did GAPS to clear eczema and some other issues. It worked, but not overnight. My kids healed faster than I did (I am in my 40s) but even for me it went away for a couple of years. Though my children are doing well now after a couple of years of being off GAPS I had trouble again this past year after a major stress event and going off GAPS in September (I had decided to go back on it in Feb 2014 to heal some other issues since I could never do intro before due to pregnancy and nursing). I am now back on GAPS and doing intro. I am seeing results already this time. AS hard as it seems, eczema really is an internal thing and we need to do the work necessary to heal… and kids do heal a lot faster! I hope you have great success healing! Blessings!

  16. Going detergent-free plus a little fish oil 1x a week almost completely stopped our 1 yr old’s mild eczema. See www.solveeczema.org. We only changed our laundry soap to homemade one: grate a bar of Dr. Bronner’s mild soap, mix with borax and washing soda. We do have soft water though. it is working for us!!! Major difference his skin is soft again!

  17. I am a registered dietitian who practices functional medicine nutrition. It has been my experience with eczema that you need to treat the gut. Try probiotic foods and supplements. My daughter tested positive for group beta strep and was given antibiotics for her daughter’s birth. Cate was born with eczema. I used powdered probiotics on the nipple of her breast milk containing bottle when my daughter returned to work. The eczema is gone and has never returned. Cate is 2 1/2 now. The solution works wonders with my clients as well.

  18. We have battled my son’s eczema for about two years now. I feel like we have it under control but it’s been a lot of work. He took a food allergy test and tested positive for about 10 common foods. We eliminated them from his diet. The change was dramatic. Most of the eczema cleared. Then we gave him local honey for a couple of weeks which eliminated the red patches that would appear in the afternoon (helps with pollen allergy). Finally we got him on a probiotic and we give him a half tablespoon of cod liver oil. He is clear now. If we miss one day of the oil he will get a small break out. You might want to give one or all of these remedies a try. Its worth it to see your baby comfortable in her own skin.

  19. My daughter would have scaly hands every winter until this winter. The difference is she started taking 1 tsp of gelatin every day. Now her skin is soft. It also helps if I cut dairy and all sugar and grains from her diet.

  20. I would really recommend looking into a practitioner local to you that does NAET. It is an allergy elimination technique. You can find all types of success stories on you tube and the Internet. Go to www.naet.com to find a practitioner. It’s amazing!

  21. i also believe it starts in the gut. It is an auto immune response. Try removing GMO grains from her diet for a few weeks. And if you must use soap, use the oil cleansing method on her body, or a very gentle handmade lard or tallow based soap (all soaps are made with lye, or they are not soap – the lye leaves the finished product via saponification). Homemade soap is way better than the detergent bars you buy at the store. And also stay away from petroleum based products. Oh, and look into giving her a low dose of bee pollen too. Good luck!

  22. Also, my oldest child has a tree nut allergy. He was breastfed, and when I stopped eating nuts, 90% of the eczema went away, leaving a nagging ongoing small amount, behind knees and crease of arms, and on cheeks. This last bit finally went away when I stopped nursing him.

  23. Something I’ve found useful: I gave my baby a tiny dose of Zyrtec at his allergist’s recommendation during a particularly bad and uncomfortable flareup, and the eczema began leaving immediately. (A spot on his face that has been open and weeping for many weeks and almost healing then opening again has dried up.) This means his eczema is a histamine reaction, hence there is some allergen at work bothering him. I’m taking my child to see one of our favorite osteopaths soon so that the doctor can help me figure out the root cause.

    1. So interesting! My son takes Zyrtec for seasonal allergies. I don’t mind using what works (I use Zyrtec myself in summer!) but I despise how “bad” children’s medicines are. I have to read carefully to find the one that is dye-free but NOT sugar-free, as that contains Splenda. It starts to become a “lesser of evils” sort of thing ๐Ÿ™

  24. Do you use cod liver oil? I started my daughter on it at two months. We also ended up having to cut out gluten, but initially the clo cleared the issue. Once she turned 9 she started having tummy aches. That’s when we cut out gluten. I also increased her dose of clo. So far, we’re all clear.

  25. Dan Overlander

    I’m overdue for a post on this, as I’ve posted about my own issues before – but I’ve been free and clear for months, now… I used to /always/ have some degree of facial rash much like your daughter. My wife set me up with a facial at Organics spa, and the masseuse recommended I try this Eminence branch calm-skin package. https://eminenceorganics.com/us/product/calm-skin-arnica-booster-serum It was noticeably better within a week, and within two almost entirely gone. Now, I’m not entirely convinced this is a CURE as if I stop using it, the rash slowly seems to start coming back. I never let it get too bad, though, so I just start using it again; it’s basically a twice-daily thing for me, using each of the three main products (there’s a masque as well but I only use that about once a week). I still suspect some kind of intestinal issue, but these kinds of things are very difficult to pin down, exactly.

  26. We fought this with our fourth baby–she was already dairy & grain free, breastfed until 3 & all the gentle/homemade stuff, too. No creams, homemade natural alternatives or prayers would help & she was covered head to toe. It was so horrible to see!! We used a remarkable nautropathic/functional/homeopathic/chinese doctor. His “Rx” was high kids probiotics (20billion+ per day) and a children’s chinese herbal mixture called “Fire Fighter”. It cleared her completely in just a week. Hers turned out not to be food or chemical driven–it was pet dander. ๐Ÿ˜‰ One year later she’s still eczema free unless she plays around with animals & then just a day or two of the herbs and she’s back to 100% beautifully soft skin.

  27. Our daughter also had eczema as an infant, on the backs of her legs, face and wrists. Our doctor told us that infantile/childhood eczema is very common, and in her case she inherited it from my husband, who, along with his brother, had it as children themselves. The doctor told us she would just outgrow it (which she did by about age 4 or 5). Her skin also was very red, itchy, cracked and bleeding, especially during the dry winter months. She’d transitioned from breast milk to goat’s milk to raw milk over the years, so we didn’t feel dairy was an issue, nor any other foods. She did develop a couple food allergies at about age 6 (again inherited from her dad), but those allergies have never resulted in eczema or anything like it. Likewise we were also “free and clear” in soaps and detergents, or they were homemade.

    Anyway, not wanting to use the steroid creams our doctor recommended, we found that Eden Salve from the Bulk Herb Store (online) did wonders. It’s not overly greasy, and it did not take much at all to see results. The mild patches disappeared and the severe, bleeding patches cleared up to the point that they were hardly noticeable. She was one happy child! In fact we still use the salve for the whole family for cuts, scrapes, insect bites, burns — you name it!

    Hope you find something that works for your little one!

    1. I believe there is definitely a genetic component so I’m not surprised both of my kids have skin issues. I was slightly surprised my son has food allergies but turns out hubby had some as an infant that he totally outgrew so we will see.

      LOVE a good all-purpose balm like that ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  28. We are 13 months into GAPS plus homeopathic medicine and we are most definitely winning for my 19 month old!

      1. “Healing” is the key- addressing the root problem so food and environmental allergies go away as well as the eczema. My son can now eat egg whites which use to give him all over hives and for which he tested “very high” on the allergists IgE blood test (I forget the name of this standard test).

  29. We used silver ointment (Silber Salbe) and completely cleared it up in very little time. Acidic fruits/foods seemed to be the issue for us, such as strawberries, kiwi, citrus, etc.

  30. I’ve had it my whole life. I discovered that staying away from food coloring (oh how I loved Red Vines) cleared the worst and most of mine up, but I still had patches. When I stayed away from all inflammation causing processed food, soy, grains, sugars (fruit in moderation seems to be ok), and milk, that it cleared completely. But I’ve been slacking and it’s creeping back. Mine doesn’t seem to be affected by irritants like soaps or clothing, and lotions, potions, creams, and steroids do NOTHING for me. I’m wondering if it’s actually psoriasis since being diagnosed with another auto immune disorder 2 years ago, but the doctors have always told me eczema.

    1. To add – stress makes mine flare up as well, but I didn’t think that was the case for a little one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. My daughter’s eczema cleared up with addressing parasites! Have you tried it?? They are so easy to pick up for children. We did a very simple herbal parasite tincture and in 2 months the eczema was gone ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. My daughter struggles with eczema. This past summer the outbreak on her face turned into staph 3 different times. We too we’re told food allergies don’t cause skin issues. We didn’t buy it. Finally we got in to see a naturopath that diagnosed her as being allergic to dairy, corn, soy, wheat and processed sugar. She’s off those guys and on some good quality vitamins and she rarely breaks out now. It’s been a rough road but her skin looks beautiful!

  33. Though lots of people are and will be recommending different products that have helped them or their kids, I too want to share my experience with a brand called Zoe Organics. They are a bit pricey but use just clean natural ingredients and so far the only thing that has helped my son and I and I’ve tried quite a few different products geared toward eczema. The one I use is called “cream” and its very concentrated, and they have a sample size which I recommend everyone to try. I am in no way associated with them but just a happy customer ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. I have dealt w eczema for a few years now, too. I was reading a book one day (sorry I forgot the title) but at the end it had goofy home remedies for “things that ail” you.
    One such thing was eczema and it said to use Crisco a few times a day. I was skeptical but thought why not try it and it has been working. Sure, I smell like raw cookie dough all day, and it is a little greasy for a few minutes, but I figure if you were considering the bleach bath, this is a little less harsh:)
    Blessings:)

  35. I’ve been having lots of success treating my daughter’s eczema with homeopathy. I follow the Banerji Protocol. The remedy is Arsenium Album 200 and Antimonium Crude 200 2x/day
    Bestmade also has a combination remedy http://www.bestmadenaturalproducts.com/product/bm-111-eczema/

    You may also want to look into TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) spleen deficiency diet. There is also a cream available from the Eczema Company http://www.eczemacompany.com/ that’s very helpful.

    http://courses.joettecalabrese.com/7-skins

    https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Beyond+Topical+Steroids+A+Solution+for+Childhood+Eczema – This talks about the different kinds of ezcema which is very important on how you treat it.

  36. For my 6 year old daughter, who has struggled with eczema since she was a baby, moving into a home with a water softener made a world of difference. We also eliminated all harsh soaps, etc. and we only use very carefully vetted or homemade body care products, and we do not over-bathe her. She typically showers every other day now, except in summer it does need to be every day. As a baby, we only bathed her 1-2 times per week. She had a flare up last winter from using the harsh industrial soap that’s provided at her school. I ended up having to send special soap for her to use for the rest of the school year.

  37. My daughter suffered with eczema for 7 years. We tried every cream and oil and used steroid creams when it was really bad. Our allergist said it was our dogs, dust, the trees she’s allergic too, but I also heard the same thing that eczema is not related to food allergies and he would only test her to foods she’d had a reaction to (apples, cherries, pecans). They told me to use steroid cream and give her zyrtec daily. We are dairy free and after her 2nd skin infection I thought we’d go soy free to see if it helped. I substituted almond milk for soy milk and we generally eat a lot of nuts (in granola, for snacks, etc). I was desperate for answers so we went to a new allergist. They did skin testing and blood testing and found that she’s allergic to tree nuts, apples, cherries, and peaches. With the tree nuts, she has a delayed reaction with itching 4-5 hours after eating, which is what made it so hard to diagnose. Within a few days of changing her diet, her skin starting getting better and after about a month it’s now 80% clear. I am so happy. I just knew I was feeding her something that was causing it and I told our doctors that and they assured me that wasn’t the case. Please keep pushing for answers and find new doctors if you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Good luck!

    1. That’s great, thanks for sharing! There is a relationship between almonds and peaches, I believe, so I’m not surprised you found she is sensitive to those both! A delayed reaction is SO hard to catch. That’s why I don’t even know where to start on an elimination diet because she doesn’t have any immediate reactions.

  38. Tammy Barnhart

    Though traditional doctors will tell you otherwise, eczema is often caused by something you are putting into your body that your body can’t process. If you have tried all of the perfume free die free products available, been allergy tested and your eczema still exists, it’s time to look at your diet. My daughter went on and elimination diet – eliminating corn wheat soy dairy nuts for two months. (Google top ten food allergies- those are what you want to eliminate.). Her five-year battle with severe eczema and nonstop stomach pain finally ended. We then reintroduced those foods one at a time with a week in between to see which were causing her problems. You see, she has a sensitivity, not an allergy. No doctors testing gave us the answers we needed. They just wanted to add another pill or another cream to her routine. As we proceed with the reintroduction, we realized immediately that dairy and wheat were her triggers. Jump ahead five years-she still has to be vigilant. When she remains gluten and dairy free her skin is clear and she has no stomachaches. She’s a teenager though and she doesn’t always make the best choices. She realizes when she strays she’s going to pay for this with an eczema flare up and stomach ache.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! My daughter has eczema and cyclic vomiting syndrome. I have been wondering if it is caused by something she is eating. We have tried eliminating foods but never several at a time (I am wondering if it is multiple sensitivities). We did do the allergy testing and nothing came up. We did IGG testing and she came up sensitive to pretty much everything she eats. We haven’t successfully eliminated them all. Did you guys do IGG testing? I am wondering if the tests matched what you found through elimination. We have found mixed information about the validity of IGG testing.

      1. That is so hard, April!

        This is Mary, one of Katie’s contributors. My kids have a lot of allergies. They’ve been through lots of testing. IgG testing can be helpful. But it does tend to show a lot of foods. My youngest only showed ONE allergy on an IgE test. But she reacts strongly to so much. We had to figure it all out through trial and error. IgG – what people often refer to as sensitivities are actually allergies. They are called latent allergies and can still cause strong reactions. Have you tried a rotation diet? It is so helpful to prevent further allergies and to pinpoint problem foods.

        You can read more about it here: http://justtakeabite.com/rotation-diet-helps-allergies/
        And here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2016/05/17/get-kids-board-rotation-diet/

  39. How does the Hazelwood work? My step daughter has eczema and we’ve tried everything. We can’t control her diet completely as she is back and forth between two homes and she doesn’t eat healthy at her moms house. So we are trying alternate routes. I’ve never heard of this method but am interested in giving it a try.

  40. We took all corn products out of our son’s diet, and his eczema completely went away. Every now and then, he will have a tiny patch if we missed something when eating out, etc, but he is proof that food allergies can cause ezcema. It is hard because corn is in everything, even hiding aa maltodextrin, dextrin, baking powder, powdered sugar, etc, but we are so thankful we figured out what his trigger is.

  41. For my son the doctors just said he had eczema because he was a sensitive child. They didn’t think it was any particular culprit. They just wanted to write a prescription. I didn’t want the steroids in his little body either. The commercial lotions were either not helpful or very greasy. My son had bright red patches on his cheeks and each crease on his body. It got to the point that I would strap him in his car seat and by the time we got to our destination, he scratched so much that he was bleeding. It was no fun to dress your 18 month old in long sleeves and pants in the summer.
    We are already a dye/fragrance free and DIY family. We removed dairy from his diet, but that didn’t help. We removed gluten and right at the three week mark his skin cleared up. At the three month mark his words finally came (he was behind verbally). Now his skin is clear, and I make our own lotion based on the regular lotion from the blog A Sonoma Garden using avocado oil. He is almost 4 now.
    I wish you well on your journey to healing her!

    1. My husband’s skin rash…both legs, and lower trunk….of more than 15 years was 100 % cleared within 4 weeks of a gluten free diet. After trying everything, it was stunning to see such dramatic improvements within a few weeks. 3 years later, the only time he gets a tiny rash is when he gets an accidental bit of gluten. Do not trust all gluten free claims. We find it is wise for him to try only small bites of a new GF food for the first few times.

  42. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, Helen. I hope your DD improves soon. Hope is ahead!

  43. I’m very disappointed in the response from the allergist. Wonder if a trial of other food avoidance might help. Usual culprits are milk, egg, soy or wheat.

    1. I have debated eliminating other foods but it is tough to know where to start. You need to be super strict when eliminating something to test it like that. Dairy-free was easy as my son was still DF at the time. Plus when you are trying different creams and the weather is changing it’s then hard to pinpoint what cured it! We are looking for a new allergist.

      1. A friends who’s son also suffered badly recommended the rotation diet. It would really help with pinpointing the sensitivities. As I say this though I haven’t done it yet because as I’m nursing my diet would need to be the same and I’ve already eliminated enough. Plus sadly when you are on a really tight budget it becomes even more challenging.

        My daughter definitely reacts to food (too long to list), just this week she ended up in emerg, reacting to peanuts (she seemed fine with them before) and the first sign of a problem was her eczema patch flared.

        I have tried everything too (even hazelaid) The best cream I found was a combo of “healing balm” based on the healing balm of Gilead (biblical healing ointment) and ???skinrepair? by “Heavenscent” If you have trouble finding it let me know. I may start selling it because it works so well

  44. My sister had horrid eczema, especially as a baby. She ended up with multiple food and environmental allergies. One thing that really helped was homemade soap, just a basic lye soap. She would also take bleach baths when she was older and of course avoiding her allergens. Unfortunately, she is allergic to 8 different types of trees so sometimes she just can’t completely avoid them!

    1. Marilee Johnson

      We make a goat milk soap using lye here at Bend Soap Company. My son had eczema and we tried all sorts of remedies, just like Katie, and many others. Nothing worked until my husband realized all the chemicals we were using on our skin. We got rid of all the junk and he discovered goat milk soap as a solution. He decided to make his own, because he also wanted to use the good skin benefits from coconut, olive, and palm oils, too. We soaked my son in “milk baths” and the eczema totally cleared up his skin! We were thrilled. Now we’ve been able to help thousands across the country, too. It’s worth a try. ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.bendsoap.com/eczema-soap/

  45. My daughter dealt with a rash similar to this last year. She had to wear pants socks and shoes all summer to help her with itching. The thing that gave her the most relief was redmond clay. The clay on her skin was the best thing for her. I just praised God he showed us something to give her relief. I wanted to share incase it might help your child.

  46. I’ve personally suffered from excema for years (more than 15). Found a few things that worked, and I have been excema free for the last 2 years now.

    Jerghen’s Ultra healing moisturizer. Yes, this is a commercial product with all sorts of commercial stuff in it. I got a recommendation for this a few years back, replaced my steroid creams with it and redness & itching were gone within a few short days. Note that I don’t use it anymore, but it helped resolve the problem quickly and because of that I always recommend it as a short-term treatment.

    Lye soap. I have gone through a few varieties of soap, to include castille soaps and coconut-oil based soaps. Plain lye soap worked best for me, helped reduce skin problems. I’m not really sure why, but soaps with coconut oil in them sometimes caused me problems with small skin breakouts.

    Tallow-based cream. If you can find a very plain tallow cream – usually just a mix of tallow and olive oil – try it. Very small amounts get almost completely absorbed by the skin and work great for simple moisturzing without any industrial ingredients.

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