Eczema – How We Manage it in Our House

We have been living with Eczema since my 4 year old was about 6 weeks old. We are constantly managing eczema in our house. It’s always a consideration in just about everything we do. My (almost) 2 year old has just started developing eczema, although nothing like what Mr. 4 endured until he was 1.

Mr 4, also has allergies and asthma (the triad as they say). It wasn’t until he was 1 that we were able to get an allergy test done. It confirmed the allergies I suspected. He has grown out of most of his allergies which triggered the eczema (annual testing has confirmed that), but the eczema remains, although a lot more manageable.

I have not yet had Miss 2 tested. Her symptoms are a lot more mild, and so managing them has been a lot easier — experience helps a lot too.

How We Manage It

We have a treatment plan from our specialist, which includes regular and frequent moisturising and spot treatment with a prescription ointment. The ointment isn’t needed often, as long as the moisturising is done regularly and we manage exposure to the allergy triggers. So it’s largely under control now.

Since we first started our eczema journey, I have learnt more about the quality and benefits of the products I use on my kids. I have a vested interest in ensuring what I use on my kids’ skin, is not going to aggravate the eczema. Dare I say I would prefer that it actually helped it.

The Dreaded Shower Time

One constant source of problems is the shower/bath wash. I have tried all the readily available ones from the pharmacy, supermarket or health food store –_ especially the ones that are recommended for eczema. None have helped and most have aggravated their skin.

So now I am thinking our best options is something that is largely natural oil based, organic and free of any mineral oils, petrochemicals, SLS and parabens. All the things I believe are potentially irritating to sensitive skin and generally not good for most people. Having said that, fragrance can also be an irritant, even if its source is natural, it’s hard to find natural fragrance free body wash products though.

Relying on the experience of friends and family has not lead to much success for us. It seems everyone’s skin reacts so differently to different things. With there being so many different underlying triggers across the population it makes it even harder – so trial and error it is!

Image courtesy of GAIA Skin Naturals

Right now we are using GAIA Bath and Body wash (I have no affiliation with GAIA). It does contain essential oils and a (mild) fragrance, but it doesn’t seem to be irritating their skin. It doesn’t dry it out. It doesn’t make their skin red. It also doesn’t cause their skin to break out in rough dry patches the next day. So for now we will stick with it. It ticks all the natural source boxes.

If you have done one of my Infant Massage classes you will know that I don’t recommend the use of essential oils in massage oils. Firstly the oil’s fragrance hides your own natural fragrance, interfering in the bonding process, a really important benefit of massage especially with young infants. Secondly, during massage the intent is for the oil to remain on the skin and even be absorbed. So on young skin it has the potential to irritate their delicate and sensitive skin. This is especially of concern when you talk about pure essential oils. Bath and shower products on the other hand are washed off more readily and generally aren’t being rubbed into the skin. Their concentrations are also generally quite diluted. So I am more comfortable using them on young infants.

Perhaps it’s time for us to all start using this natural body wash — at least that way I only need to buy one for the whole family! It’s not as cheap as the normal supermarket body washes though, especially when you look at the quantities you go through in a family of 5. So we’ll see how we go with that!

I would love to hear if any of you have any experience with eczema and bathing products.