With the weather getting cold here in Northern Alberta, dry itchy skin begins to set it for my family. My eczema has started to show up in my son. The last week he has been miserable with the redness, itching and dry flaking skin. As a parent that has dealt with allergies and eczema my whole life, I feel so bad for him!
I have literally tried every method out there for dry skin as well as eczema - with mostly failed results. The most painful experience was using corticosterioids - they thin the skin to try and make the eczema better. What they did was flare up my eczema and make my skin extremely sensitive. I got to the point that my palms were so inflamed and full of blisters that I couldn't even close my hand to make a fist.
That was 12 years ago. Today, I get flare ups every once and a while, but my bad flare ups now were something that I could only dream about then. Now when it gets bad, I get a little redness and dryness in the center of my palms and maybe the occasional blister. Then, normal was my hands cracking and bleeding, covered in blisters and always red and itchy. What changed? I learned that if I treated my body gently - both inside and out - the eczema got better!
Being a mother, my kids have had many rashes over their little lives. From bad diaper rashes, to eczema to ``mystery`` rashes. One of the most relieving treatments that we tried with them was baths with soothing ingredients. With the baths, the inflammation and redness would come down instantly. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made in your kitchen while the bath is running.
What I ditched:
-Anything that would thin my skin (corticosteriods, acutane, etc)
-Anything that dried my skin out (bleach baths - medical professionals had recommended diluted bleach baths to help with the eczema - while they took away the itching momentarily, the long term effects were extremely dry skin)
-Anything with artificial dyes or scents (hand cremes, soaps, laundry detergent made my skin burn and itch instantly - and that had to go!)
-Anything with harsh preservatives or additives (this was one of the hardest ones to pin down - one of the worst culprits for this turned out to be the massage gel I was using, and as a massage therapist, I kinda need that stuff!)
-I cleaned up my diet (I found my three main culprits that not only effected my eczema but my thyroid as well: Gluten, sugar and dairy)
What I switched:
-Soap - I stopped using harsh soaps and I started using all natural soaps with ingredients that helped calm my skin instead of stripping it - My favorite being the Honey, oat and cocoa soap from Rocky Mountain Soap Co.
-I used a lot of hand creams designed specifically for eczema - My fav being the one from Aveno. I also started using heavier butters on my hands at night to seal in the moisture and essential oils, my fav being the unscented body butter from the Rocky Mountain Soap CO
-I switched my massage cream to Sacred Earth as they are all natural and organic.
-I cleaned up my diet. More veggies and grains, less gluten and dairy.
-I switched out bleach baths for Apple Cider Vinegar baths (With the Mother). This was so game changer for me! It took the itch away with out drying out my skin and helped make my skin better and better over time! I also started using this soothing bath soak to protect and replenish my skin.
-I ditched the prescription creams and started using essential oils. I started using Lavender and it was amazing for taking out the ouch and the itch, but then someone recommended I try Frankincense. I now use both - Lavender soothes my skin, but Frank gets to the root of the problem and gets the eczema to (FINALLY!!) heal.
1 Cup - Oats (Doesn`t matter what kind - whatever you have in your cupboard will work perfectly)
Half Cup - Baking Soda
10 drops - Lavender
5 drops - Frankincense
1.) Measure all ingredients and place in either a blender or food processor (If you have the individual cups - like the magic bullets or ninjas have - this works the best!!)
2.) Pulse blend the mixture until evenly smooth and powdery. The mixture will be the look like the picture above)
3.) Place in an airtight container. This batch makes enough for 4 baths.
Sprinkle into bath water as you are running your bath. Soak for at least 20 minutes.