Miss E has eczema. Boo.
I did many things to try to rid her of it: creams and lotions (all recommended by a dermatologist), bleach in the bathwater (which worked temporarily but smelled horrible), changing laundry detergents, keeping pants on her legs when outdoors, limiting time in the bath tub. She was too young to endure allergy testing...so that was off the table. I talked to numerous parents who all told me the same old tricks I had already tried.
None of it really worked.
So finally, I had a conversation with Miss E's biological brother's mom (got that?) who said she took her son off milk and his eczema went away.
So, one day, cold turkey, I stopped giving Miss E milk and started offering her soy instead. (Which she rejected for about a month, but I was persistent).
The exzema cleared up in a matter of days.
I talk to many moms of brown kids who say their children have eczema, and it's frustrating to pinpoint what the cause is and how to avoid it. (Note, excema isn't just a brown baby issue).
If you are struggling with your little one's skin, here are some practical, inexpensive or free, healthy ways to help ease your child's eczema:
---Eliminate the use of body products that contain "dirty" ingredients. Try alternative ways to moisten your child's skin like coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, or almond oil. (The last two contain potential allergens---so be careful!) I buy organic oils that are USDA certified to insure I'm getting what I want. I also LOVE Chartreuse products---made in the USA, mostly organic, and no water in the lotion! My saleslady is also the girls' nanny, so please visit her Chartreuse page and check out the amazing products.
---Make your own laundry detergent. Even "free" detergents can be full of things you don't want on your little one's skin, and many green beauty and cleaning books state that the cleaning industry is highly unregulated---meaning, you don't know what you're getting or doing to your body. The recipe I use for detergent is: 3 cups of Borax, 3 cups of washing soda, and 1 bar of grated (healthy) soap. Use 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry.
---Don't use dryer sheets or fabric softeners. 1 cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle helps eliminate odors and soften clothes. Use dryer balls or a rag with a few drops of your favorite essential oil on it instead.
---Limit bathtime. Water dries out skin. (That's why it's silly to buy any lotions containing water!) 10 minutes in a warm bath. And do not bathe more often than necessary. Miss E gets a bath 2x a week.
---The most important tip: Do whatever you can to figure out the cause. I was simply covering up the problem with creams and lotions and bleach. Once I discovered the sensitivity to milk, problem solved!
Miss E still has occasional patches, but I have found that by using natural remedies and making a few changes (which have saved me money in detergent and doctor bills), life for Miss E is much more happy.