Tag Archives | Childhood eczema

All-Natural Tips For Managing Childhood Eczema

The Mommy Footprint site began after I became frustrated with the medical advice being offered for my daughter’s eczema 2 years ago.  Only after I sent an email to 5 moms with kids that suffered with sensitive skin, did I get answers. My Isabella hasn’t had an outbreak in over a year and I have a ‘recipe’ of tips that have been very effective. I’m not a Doctor and don’t claim to have a cure for eczema, but because all of my suggestions are completely natural – there’s no harm in trying. After writing out the ‘eczema recipe’ for parents in stores, gymnastic facilities, and over email, it’s time to Mommy Footprint my routine in one article. I realized a few months ago when the routine changed, how effective it really was when Isabella’s skin started to react.  More on this later…

Step 1: Personal Care Products

Many traditional soaps, lotions, shampoos, etc. contain phthalates and synthetic chemicals. For this reason, they are not healthy for any one’s skin, but especially not a child with sensitive skin. For children with eczema, organic skin care is a must. And try to really streamline how often you are applying even organic products to a child’s body. Do you use soap or shampoo on your baby/child everyday? If so, this is just not necessary.  I never use soap on my daughter or very occasionally if she has paint or really dirty feet and I wash her hair once every 3 months. Even if you’ve sourced all organic care products – you don’t need to use them often on a young child. A child or baby with eczema should only bath in clear water – no bubble bath, paint tablets that change the color of the water, etc.  Also, a big step that I missed at the start of Isabella’s journey is proper maintenance of cleaning my bathtub. There are two problems to eliminate before your baby or child with eczema takes a bath: residue from mommy or daddy’s personal care products and residue from cleaning products. The solution is to wash the bathtub before your child takes a bath and only use organic cleaning solution with a microfiber cloth. Right now I use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps to clean my tub and a Norwex microfiber cloth. For the longest time I kept forgetting that my soap and shampoo/conditioner left residue in the bathtub and that would aggravate Isabella’s skin. This point was proven when I worked for 3 consecutive days and my husband was in charge of bath time. I was taking a bath each morning to get ready for work, then he was giving the kid’s their baths that evening without cleaning the tub first. For the first time in a year, Isabella started getting little red bumps and was on her way to having an eczema outbreak.

Step 2 Laundry Routine

The first question a Doctor will ask when you bring in a child with eczema is “do you use dryer sheets?” I’ve written before about how toxic dryer sheets are for the entire family and removing these from a home will immediately improve your home’s environment. But let’s take this a few steps further for children with eczema. Your laundry soap is important to change to no fragrance and no dyes. I love my Ecos liquid laundry detergent and yes, it’s okay for front loading washing machines. Ecos also has a built-in soy based fabric softener which eliminates the need to use dryer sheets or traditional fabric softener that is terrible for sensitive skin. If you can’t find Ecos (I buy mine at Costco or Planet Organic), find a detergent that is marketed for sensitive skin with no fragrance.

Step 3 Household Environmental

My girls like to help clean-up so I needed to ‘green’ those areas if Isabella was going to be helping. Hand soap for dishes was the first area because Isabella loves to play in the sink with bubbles and dirty dishes. I make sure I always have eco-friendly brands available and luckily, these are easy to source.  Isabella also loves helping wash windows. I would never let her spray Windex to ingest, but she uses the Norwex window cloth that only requires spraying water.

My organic cleaner and microfiber cloths have been an amazing solution to spraying toxic cleaners in my home. The Dr. Bronner’s solution is great for cleaning hard wood, counter tops with a microfiber cloth, is made with organic oils, and naturally deodorizes with a wonderful peppermint scent.

Step 4 Direct Skin Contact

If I could afford it, I would replace all my kids t-shirts and PJs with bamboo. But for now, I try to make sure only cotton is against Isabella’s skin.  This is especially important with PJs or nightgowns.

I always find skin irritation occurs when I use crappy sunscreen on Isabella’s skin. I try to only use non-toxic, organic sunscreen.  I never use lotion on her skin either. When she has an outbreak or rash I use Spectro cream because it’s so effective with dry skin.

We haven’t explored play makeup yet, but I invested in non-toxic face paints and they keep all of my kids totally entertained and rash free after we apply them.

This long road of trying to prevent eczema outbreaks and dry skin has been very successful by improving the condition of our home with replacing toxic products that contain chemicals. Isabella was my inspiration for starting Mommy Footprint, born from knowing there is real value in parents sharing experiences and lessons learned in their journey. The cortisone cream that I used on Isabella never worked and I wished I had tried the natural route first. I hope these tips help any parent that are currently watching their poor child or baby experience the discomfort that eczema causes.  If you have any tips to add, please post a comment to this article.

Related Articles:

Treatment for Childhood Eczema

Dryer Sheets & Fabric Softner – A Household Toxin

Are Cosmetics Killing Us?

Gaia Natural Baby Lends A Hand With Childhood Eczema

Share
sig

4

Green Gift Ideas For Under $10 This Valentine’s Day

I thought I’d write something light in between the serious posts about Phthalates and BPA chemicals (I don’t want depressed readers)  <smile>.  What better way than to highlight fun and unique products for gift ideas for the little lovies in your life this Valentines Day.  I’m keeping the suggestions under the $10 range because let’s face it, nobody seems to have excess money in their wallets this year.  With these picks, you don’t have to break the bank and you’ll be giving your children sustainable and special gifts that will last past the first 3 minutes of your child opening it.  Chocolate is a favorite for kids to receive, but I’ve noticed my kids act like wild animals after eating chocolate lately…if I could by-pass three hours of all four running around my house in a frenzy, I will look at other options ~ and I have found them!  Here are my picks for Valentines Day and I’m not the only website talking about them.  

By far the best product for little girls, sourced by Green Planet Parties, is Piggy Paint!  I’ve written about this biodegradable nail polish previously as I love the concept of an all-natural nail polish and nail polish remover.  Green Planet Parties carries the pink polish called ‘forever fancy’ and this would be the ultimate gift for any little girl this Valentines Day. And moms will love the fact it’s a safe alternative to traditional polish that is actually very toxic.  Check out other sites singing the praise for this product!

Girls are so easy to buy for at Valentines ~ love, hugs, smiles, kisses ~ that’s what little girls are made of.  These words and little girls are just a natural fit with the Valentines theme of love.  Incorporate these words into hair accessories and rings.  Want a lovely gift for your special little girl for under $5?  Easy with the incredible pony tail holders, hair bands, and rings brought in especially for Valentines this year at Green Planet Parties.  These fabric covered buttons make the jewelry unique and safe from the lead-related statistics we see regarding the high levels of this compound in girl’s dress-up jewelry.  Check out this picture of a hair band and be inspired:

 

Continue Reading →

Share
sig

0

Gaia Natural Baby Lends A Hand With Childhood Eczema

My daughter Isabella has seasonal childhood eczema.  I don’t know what causes it, but in the winter it flares up and causes rough patches all over her body, face, back, hips, and chest.  To watch her scratch last year and say “Mommy itchy, mommy owwie” was hard because she was only 1 year old and she was my first child to suffer with sensitive skin.  She doesn’t have food allergies and with last year being SO much worse, I’ll attribute her continual flare-up to the personal care products we used on her skin and chemicals we’ve since removed from our household.  Products like shampoo, soap, clothes detergent and dryer sheets, previously laced with fragrance and toxic chemicals, now replaced with fragrance free, eco-friendly, or all natural products.  And don’t get me started about toxic dryer sheets – I discovered they never belonged or served a purpose in my home.

I’d like to focus on a new line-up of products that were introduced to me by Gwen, the owner of Nayla Natural Care.  The product line is from Gaia Natural Baby and she thought of me instantly because I’m always on the look-out for safe, natural products to use on Isabella.  I first became a fan of hers when I noticed she carried very inexpensive BPA free, ice-cube trays for storing baby food.  Ever since writing about this product, Gwen and I have a wonderful rapport because her product knowledge on natural products is outstanding!  She is happy to consult, share, and even point you to a different company or product she doesn’t carry if it can help you.  I trust her product selection and am proud that she’s a fellow Canadian mompreneur making a difference with offering babies, children and moms a line-up of products you can trust.

Gaia Natural Baby is a certified organic brand, made in Australia, started by a family that couldn’t use any traditional products on their child suffering from eczema at 8 weeks old.  They were started in 2002 which makes them a grandpappy company in the world of organic personal care companies.   She too was told cortisone was the only way to treat her son’s sensitive skin (I was told the same thing), an answer she refused to listen to and Gaia Natural Baby was born.  Ingredients are listed on the bottle and rather than the words nobody can pronounce and alcohol being listed, you’ll see:

Certified Organic Calendula Extract ~ Certified Organic Chamomile Extract ~ Certified Organic Evening Primrose Oil ~ Certified Organic Avocado Oil ~ Certified Organic Shea Butter ~ Certified Organic What Germ Oil ~ Certified Organic Lavender Pure Essential Oil ~ Certified Organic Sweet Orange Pure Oil

All things you know are natural – I even got a little hungry while typing that out! <grin>  When Gwen mentioned the lavender scent with the Gaia brand I was hesitant because lavender smell gives me an instant headache…but I agreed because Isabella’s skin has been breaking out in recent weeks.  I’ve been very happy to discover that the scent is lovely and very light; from the shampoo, to the body wash/bubble bath, to the skin moisturizer, just a wonderful, natural and soft experience.  Oh my gosh and the delight that my girls experienced with having bubbles in their tub again after many months in bubble-free water was so fun to watch!  The just loved it and the bath water stayed very moisturizing and the shampoo is fantastic!  Isabella is able to have her hair washed and her skin moisturized in a comfortable, natural way.

So Gaia Natural Baby isn’t joining the fight against childhood eczema, it probably was one of the leaders.  I’m thankful to Gaia Natural Baby’s founder, a mother that decided to trust her instincts and create a company to help her child and many more as a result.  Thanks to Gwen for sourcing these items and telling me about Gaia. 

Nayla is starting to grow and branch out into the natural Eco-Me cleaning kits I keep hearing such good things about.  A truly wonderful store to check out for Valentines Day for that expectant mom or little person deserving these and many other natural gems!  Check out their new arrivals – perfect to kick start Valentines or baby shower planning.

Share
sig

0

Dryer Sheets & Fabric Softner – A Household Toxin

I’ve written about changes I’ve made around the house after Isabella experienced her first eczema outbreak.  Two household items that needed immediate action were my laundry detergent and dryer sheets.  These are the top recommendations when talking to a doctor about what can trigger an atopic eczema outbreak.  It was initially hard for me to part with my Bounce dryer sheets because of years enjoying that smell, but after researching just how harmful dryer sheets are, I’m happy to have eliminated them from my house.  Not only are they a skin irritant…they are actually toxic!  Parents need to think of these sheets as rubbing chemicals on their family’s clothes.  

I never stopped to think what, other than the scent from the Bounce sheets, was being left as residue on our clothes.  I shudder to think Continue Reading →

Share
sig

8

Treatment for Childhood Eczema

There is nothing as heartbreaking as watching the discomfort your child experiences with childhood eczema…especially when they are having a bad flare-up. I thought I was free from any of my kids having this illness, but when the winter months arrived, one of my girls developed her first outbreak.  Poor thing would say “owie” and “itchy” all day long.  I tried the recommended over-the-counter creams from a list issued from our Children’s Hospital, but the Vaseline and glaxal based creams made things worse. She became inflamed, like a burn after I put them on. 

We decided to move to the next step of using a prescription cortisone cream. I was never totally comfortable treating her with this after reading the warnings on the cortisone package. They emphasize to only apply the cream to the afflicted area and to discontinue use after a few days. I wasn’t comfortable thinking this cream might cause my toddler’s skin to break down. Well, the cortisone didn’t work at all on Isabella so I emailed out to the people I trust the most…other moms. At this point her rash was wide-spread, covering her upper torso, behind the knees, patches on her inner elbow and dry patching in the folds of her neck and back.  Thanks to some suggestions from other moms I started to also change household practices and her diet. I also insisted on being referred to a pediatric dermatologist via my family doctor. After 3 months I still haven’t gotten my appointment yet, so thank god I found a solution that worked for my little girl.  Here is the combination of actions that have completely eliminated her discomfort:

Continue Reading →

Share
sig

9

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes