Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Caleb's Corner - Bye Bye Eczema!

Caleb's eczema showed up around 2 to 3 months of age (I'm not certain about the exact time).  When I first noticed his skin becoming dry I started using Eucerin.  He was greased up like a little Thanksgiving turkey....all the time!

The pediatrician prescribed a medium strength cortisone cream that we did not use for long and Zyrtec for the constant itching.  Cortisone is a steroid (and not good for babies) and when you stop using it the condition gets worse.  Caleb has NEVER ingested Zyrtec. I know a teenager that has been taking Zyrtec for her eczema for 14 years. The root cause has not been discovered and the issue is masked with the drug.  Now, I'm all for relief but getting to the root cause of the issue should be primary or uncovered in conjunction with providing short term relief.  


Bath Time!

We tried bathing Caleb in oatmeal, salt water and plain water.  None of which  gave him any substantial relief. We began to bathe him in tea made from the sarsaparilla bark which helped a lot but bath time was no fun at all.  He would get  "exfoliated" every day (sometimes more) which consisted of rubbing the dead skin off so the new skin could breathe.  While getting rubbed down, Caleb would try to scratch any open spot he could find.  Tons of skin would end up in the bath water.  The cycle was:  bathe, exfoliate, scratch, etc.  With eczema the dead skin that should normally shed accumulates making the skin scaly.  Constant scratching makes the skin leathery, thick and dark.

I believe there was some relief from the earlier treatments but since all of the irritants were not eliminated from his diet, there was still a lot of discomfort.  Especially at night.  Nighttime was torture for all of us. I felt so helpless.  I was crying right along with him and sleeping more than 4 hours at a time was a treat.  Skin would be everywhere (the bed, his pajama's, etc.).  Nights consisted of rubbing oils and salves on Caleb and bathing him again to help relieve the itching if necessary.

Unhappy Caleb!


We are still using sarsaparilla and have added plantain leaf and sometime black walnut leaf (all can help with itching and skin irritation) to his bath water.  I've also been adding sea salt and a few drops of lavender oil when we have it.  We use an ozone machine to bubble in oxygen.  Whew! Bath time is quite the production!

Sarsaparilla will take away any hives Caleb gets from eating the wrong food.  Amazing! Plantain leaf is a common weed that has soothing and healing properties.  Black walnut is good for addressing fungal problems and helps relieve itchiness.

Sarsaparilla root


Oxygenated bathwater was a suggested by the herbalist to increase the flow of oxygen through the skin.  Our skin is the largest organ we have.  It is the barrier between our innards and the external environment.  At the time I didn't realize that whatever is put on the skin actually seeps into the body and can help or wreak havoc.  Now I get it. 

Caleb has fun in the tub now.  Singing, playing with toys, and splashing water is the highlight of the evening.  When he fist started splashing in the tub I was so ecstatic, the entire floor was wet and I did not care!! He was finally PLAYING in the tub and ENJOYING bath time instead of concentrating on scratching any open spot of skin he could find.  What a breakthrough!!

 
What is Nourishing Caleb's Skin?

In the earlier days we used homemade salves made of: yellow dock root, burdock root, shea butter, and coconut oil.  Everything was brown, orange or yellow! I could get jazzy if I wanted to...but shortly there after I'd be covered in the slave of the week!

Both yellow dock and burdock roots are used for skin issues and blood diseases.  Coconut oil is good for everything! It's antibacterial, full of good fats (MCT oils) and is good for conditioning skin and hair.

Now we are mainly using shea butter, calendula oil, plantain leaf oil and a special blend my husband made (not sure what's in it).

In my opinion "nourishing" is a strong word.  It implies comfort and satisfaction.  Skin that is nourished is healthy and full of life. Thankfully Caleb's skin no longer gets scaly.  His back and torso are clear, soft and supple!  He still scratches his arms and legs, but both sets of extremities are free of scales and getting smoother and softer everyday. 



Calendula flowers (Marigold)
 
Coconut oil


Shea Butter


I'm glad we did not continue to use the cortisone and all other un-natural products for Caleb's skin.  The nights were long and arduous but I'm glad we weathered through it. I read a testimonial about healing eczema naturally (no drugs) and it was powerful!  Natural treatments tend to take longer to get results but the toxic load put on your body is lower.  Plus your body gets  a chance to truly heal itself from within and side effects are rare.  It was tough seeing my child in so much pain, discomfort and anguish.  I was deeply disturbed by it, but resolved to focus on the bigger picture.  Ever heard the saying:  "it's always the darkest before dawn"?  Well it was pitch black in our home but the sun has started it's assent. Relief is an understatement.  Deep thankfulness is what I feel every day when I touch Caleb's healing skin...

Smmmoooooothhhhhh!!!!!!! :)

Peace and blessings!