ECZEMA ON BABY
Eczema on baby is heartbreaking. It’s upsetting to see your baby’s skin condition flared up and you can tell that it’s itchy. And because your baby doesn’t know what’s going on, she can only cry or behave restlessly due to the itch. The worse is if your baby is a bit older i.e. 3 months old and beyond, she can constantly scratch her skin without knowing that she’d only hurt herself.
My little one started having eczema when he was about two months old. It started with flaky dry skin and then turned into red rash. When I referred this to the health practitioners, they prescribed some emollient cream and emollient bath oil for my baby. And of course with a long list of advice on what to do and not to do.
Unfortunately, my baby’s skin condition didn’t get better. Instead, it got drier and spotty too. The itch obviously bothered him that his sleep often disturbed. After more than few months trying the allopathic way to treat my baby’s eczema without success, I decided that I had enough.
I couldn’t just sit there watching him suffer. So, I began researching high and low through books from local library and from the internet. I ventured into learning and most importantly putting the knowledge into practice.
Now, here’s the journey of my DIY to get rid of my baby’s eczema.
WHAT CAUSES ECZEMA ON MY BABY?
Before my little one had eczema, I don’t think I really understood what this skin condition is about. All I knew was that this skin rash can be caused by an allergy to something i.e. sea food, nuts, etc. At some point I was also led to believe that it’s contagious.
But when I tried to know more about eczema, I realize that I misunderstood about this skin problem.
I now learned that Eczema on babies is basically dry skin condition because the body produce too little amount of fatty acids called Ceramide. This makes the skin lose its moisture and become dry. It is believed that the rash can be triggered by some food allergies. And it is also believed that eczema can lead to Asthma problem.
When I tried to know what Ceramide is about, I simply understand it as good fat molecules that lie on the upper layer of our skin. And their job is to keep our skin smooth and far from dryness. Also to protect our skin from any harmful environmental damage such as air pollution and dry air, and from irritants like detergent.
To simply put, I think the main cause of eczema is due to lack of good fatty acid and some form of allergies.
In my baby’s case, I have a feeling that his eczema might’ve been triggered by chocolate peanut bars that I’d eaten a lot weeks prior the rash flare up. Because I was having baby blues, and chocolate peanut bars were go-to choice to cheer myself up.
HOME NATURAL REMEDIES FOR MY BABY’S ECZEMA
1. Strict Diet And Fatty Acid Supplements
Out of guilt, I decided that I want to try to sort out this eczema by using home natural remedies. I thought, even if they don’t work, at the very least they shouldn’t harm you. After all, they’re only natural stuff, aren’t they??
And because my baby was only about four months old at the time, obviously he still relied on me for feeding. As he was not bottle-fed.
So I set the plan.
I started researching about fatty acids, i.e. Its benefits and how we can attain them. Then, I also tried to know what types of food I should avoid and I had to increase.
Later I found out the benefits of Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 for our skin. In my simple understanding, if I can have enough of these fatty acids for my baby, then hopefully his skin won’t get dry and the rash will be gone.
In order to get the full benefits of those good fats, I put myself on a strict diet avoiding any type of food that can cause allergies and possibly trigger the eczema.
So I stayed away from any type of nuts, wheat products , fish/ seafood and dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, and ice cream). At the same time, I also took supplements that high in Omega 3, 6 and 9 such as evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, borage and starflower oil.
On top of that, I tried to eat greener, healthier and less sugar.
Basically, I wanted to make sure my body would only produce the best milk for my baby which is high in fatty acid. Plus, I wanted to make sure the milk would be free from any type of allergens.
2. DIY Homemade Cream For My Baby’s Eczema
As I was making my way on the new regime, I also tried to find out what I could put on my baby’s skin to soothe the eczema. Because the prescribed emollient cream clearly didn’t work. The rash on his cheek was getting drier and redder by the day.
So I began my research again.
I came across hundreds of advice, tips and recipes of homemade cream for eczema on Google and Pinterest. There are many homemade cream recipes that I found and caught my interests, such as Whipped Eczema Cream by The Easy Homestead or Homemade Neem Balm by The Lovely Greens.
All the recipes seemed similar one to another, so I personally chose to try the combination of Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Jojoba Oil. Because I think these three natural fats can complement each other to fight my baby’s skin rash.
Shea Butter is said to have good moisturizing properties and anti-inflammatory which are good to combat the eczema. Coconut oil has anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A which can help the skin to fight the bacteria but at the same time keep the skin elasticity. And lastly, Jojoba Oil has anti-inflammatory agent, Vitamin E and Vitamin B complex which help to improve dry skin and keep it moisturized.
Apart from the three fats, I also added Rose Geranium and Sweet Orange essential oils in the cream. You can ask Mr. Google about the amazing benefits of these two oil for more details. But I personally was sold when I found that these two combined together are claimed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial-, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-aging, and calming property. I was unbelievably amazed.
However, in honesty…the reason I chose these two essential oils was because they’re fairly affordable for me. And judging by their benefits, I thought they should be good combinations for the butter and oil that I wanted to use. So, I bought them. And mixed them in my concoction :-).
Here’s how I made my cream:
HOMEMADE ECZEMA CREAM WITH 5 NATURAL OILS
- Shea Butter 1/2 cup
- Coconut oil 1/2 cup
- Jojoba oil 1/2 cup
- 10-20 drops of each Orange Sweet and Rose Geranium essential oils.
Put Shea Butter and Coconut oil in a bowl. Heat it over boiling water (double boiler) just until everything melted and mixed. Take care not to let it get too hot. Then add in the Jojoba oil. Leave it to cool down for about 5-10 minutes then put your preferred essential oils in. Stir well. Now leave the mixture to slightly set. You can tell by its changing color from translucent to opaque. Then whisk it. You can use electric mixer, hand blender or even hand whisk. But make sure you whisk it until it become creamy and fluffy. Use as needed.
- Use a glass, ceramic porcelain bowl or stainless steel bowl. But don’t use plastic bowl. The same goes for the spoon and whisk. Make sure they’re stainless steel, and not plastic.
- I used to apply the cream on my baby’s skin every so often. Especially in cold season when the house heating is on. But, I did pay attention on his skin closely for the first few times. Just in case his skin didn’t agree with the cream. Thankfully, it suited him fine.
3. Things To Avoid To Cure My Baby’s Eczema
Besides doing a new diet, taking supplements, and making homemade eczema cream, I had to avoid few other things too. Things that can be allergen and trigger for skin rash. Especially chemical stuff i.e. toiletries, washing powder, fabric conditioner, etc.
I had to make sure they’re all non-bio type of products. Basically sensitive skin friendly stuff that doesn’t have harsh chemical that can aggravate the skin rash. They have to be perfume free and colour dye free.
So I switched my washing powder to non-bio detergent and perfume free fabric conditioner.
However, for baby bath, I continued using the emollient bath Oilatum that originally prescribed by our GP. Because I found this bath formula seem to soothe the itch. And when I started applying the homemade cream, it seemed work well that it kept my baby’s skin moisturized a bit longer.
Then I carried on with this endeavor vigorously for about one year. And when my little one was about one year and a half, I stopped my strict diet. But, I still avoided high-risk food such as nuts, cheese (especially mature cheeses), and seafood. And I kept taking my supplements and tried to keep balanced healthy diet. Because I was still breastfeeding him.
I also still used the homemade cream and emollient bath Oilatum until my son was about 4 years. It was then I started introducing shop bought toiletries and body lotion/cream to his skin. But I was still careful about what I chose. I tried to only choose the stuff with natural ingredients.
Eczema in babies is not nice. It breaks your heart to see your little one’s skin get dry, red, flaky, itchy and even cracked sometimes. When this happened to my little one, I decided to try the natural remedies to cure his eczema.
There are 3 steps that I took on this journey of clearing the eczema from my baby’s skin:
- Strict diet that avoids food allergens, i.e. Nuts, dairy products, wheat products. And take supplements that high in fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6, and 9. I used the vegetarian version for all of these supplements.
- Homemade eczema cream using Shea butter, Coconut oil and Jojoba oil.
- Use Oilatum emollient bath, switched my washing detergent to non-bio, and use hypoallergenic fabric conditioner.
Thankfully, with patience and persistence, this effort paid off. My son’s skin was free from eczema or any dry skin rash since he was 2 years old.
I’m so ever grateful that I followed my instinct to try this treatment. Although it was quite hard. Especially the diet bit. But it’s worthed.
So, if you’re in the same boat as I was with eczema problem in your baby, let me know how you deal with it. Perhaps you know something different that worked for your baby? Drop me a message to share.
All the best.