I had not heard of eczema until my oldest was diagnosed with it when he was a baby… such a bummer! His skin was so dry, and as he grew older, I could tell it was quite itchy. Back then, I went with the doctor suggestions which of course helped a bit, but I am here to share with you some new findings (new to me that is) that will hopefully help you too and will keep you away from hydrocortisone or any steroid creams which are no bueno for you in the long run. My third child also has eczema problems and after finally seeing some great improvement, it got me thinking it was well worth it to share what worked for him. Of course that one eczema commercial on the TV that suggests you to ask your doctor what to prescribe you <imagine that eye rolling emoji here> that got me thinking: “heck no, don’t use that crap!” so here I am.
Some of the recommendations from my son’s pediatrician, Dr. Brown, were helpful and well grounded such as 100% cotton clothes, avoid skin irritants such as harsh soaps or fragranced detergents, apply moisturizer multiple times during the day, 100% cotton bedding, among other things. So I started to pay more attention, to read clothing labels, to read product labels, and try to keep his skin as healthy as possible. It was all very helpful to prevent the skin from having an eczema flare up. And we started since he was about 9 months old and is something I still keep an eye out for 9 years later. While his eczema has required prescribed ointments a few times over the years, during winter mainly, it was not ever more than this rough, itchy at times problem. Of course little did I know that eczema could be so much more but I was soon to learn that with our third child.
I noticed quite soon that our little man had a very sensitive skin. For starters, he had baby acne when he was about two weeks old. Shortly after that cradle cap came about. It started on his eyebrows, and then it quickly spread to his scalp. I was truly hurt at that time. I kept wondering what was I doing wrong even tough the doctor said it wasn’t my fault but you know how us mommies can get too personal about what happens to our babies. After a few months of cradle cap battle it finally stopped but eczema had already joined the party and it was on. Not gonna lie to you, I was super frustrated. I was breastfeeding the baby at the time, he was about 3 months old, and I wasn’t sure if it was something that I was eating that was making it worse because his skin just wouldn’t get any better. There was confusion between eczema irritations and the worst thing ever, a viral skin infection. Ugh! I was just miserable. He didn’t seemed in pain but looking at his beautiful face and body with all these skin problems was not easy for this mama bear. But finally, something helped!
I am so happy to brag with you about my friends. I might not have an extensive network, professionally or personally, but we all have hobbies and interests that more often than not are outside of our work field. So, one of my really good friends who is into natural stuff reminded me about coconut oil! <queue angelical music here and picture a pretty jar of coconut oil emerging from clouds or something like that would ya> I’ve become a fan of coconut oil a few years ago because of its many health benefits. I am no scientist here but that stuff is good! I know lately there has been some publicity about coconut oil not being the holy grail as many suggest, but I personally think that while it might not be THE holy grail it sure is amazing. In another post I will share the many uses I have for coconut oil but today we will focus on how it helped with my son’s eczema because you know sometimes you gotta stay on track.
The doctor had suggested to use vaseline on our son’s skins to help with the roughness from eczema. And while the tick layer of that jelly-based stuff did help to cover up the cracked skin, it did just that: cover it not relieve it. Of course after touching his legs and feeling this rough skin, and when suddenly I put vaseline on it was smooth, I was beyond excited about it. But as I was having a conversation with my good friend about his skin, she pointed out that vaseline was not healing it but covering it up. She sent me to a website for some natural products for his bath and suggested to also try coconut oil. Coconut oil! How did I forget about you?! I used coconut oil in the kitchen a lot but now it has made its way to my bathroom for skin and hair among other things. I switched from the vaseline to coconut oil and it worked! Not only was his skin smooth but it started to heal a lot. What I mean is that with the vaseline I would have to apply 3-4 times a day because it was just to cover his rough skin, but when I started using coconut oil, his skin was smooth longer so I had to apply it less times during the day. Brilliant! Even if I applied it once per day, his skin was MUCH better. Mama bear was happy! The improvement was so significant to me so I went to Pinterest and looked for eczema/ coconut oil creams and came across this recipe that I continue to use a year+ later and smells good too:
We prepare this cream every two months or so because it goes a long way and apply it after his bath every night. I like the smell of it and his skin is smooth. I am sure that I can switch to any store bought baby lotions at this point, but why should I when this works great and is made with natural products. I have a few friends with eczema problems and I always tell them to use coconut oil. You know you can give someone good advice but people are skeptical because I get what works for one person doesn’t always work for the other but I think coconut oil for skin problems sure is worth trying.
Ok, that was my secret. I guess it’s not a secret but something you can consider if you too have eczema problems.