My journey with Atopic Eczema
It was my journey with my son and his eczema that led to the creation and birth of Moksha Senses.
I have always been interested in natural skincare, eating healthy, exercise, yoga and balancing the mind, body and spirit. However, when my son was diagnosed with wet weeping eczema at the age of 3 months, so began my real journey in exploring the power of plants and natural products.
When i do stalls i share my story and my journey through the entire experience. I thought it would be nice to blog about a few things that i did with my son that really helped in managing his eczema.
Firstly, avoid Olive oil to moisturise your newborn or child. Yep. advice has now changed. Olive oil is rich in Oleic Acid, and if you have any history of atopic conditions in your family or dry skin conditions, then it is definitely one to avoid. There are numerous articles on the internet you can review. Apparently, the skin barrier can be broken down in newborns and because it is high in oleic acid it is too rich for babies skin. I did use olive oil on both my boys and i do believe that it may have been a huge contributory factor. The advice is now to use oils that are lighter and richer in linoleic acid such as Rapeseed and Grapeseed oil. Coconut oil is also good, but it has a higher comodogenic rating so can block pores, so just do a patch test first. Most Health Visitors will now be suggesting these alternatives, but be aware as some may not.
From very early on we introduced pro-biotics. We did this from 6 months after watching a documentary that was linking atopic conditions such as eczema and asthma to the lack of essential bacteria in the gut. I gave this powder to both my boys and they had it straight as a powder form rather than mixing it with food or in a paste. We purchased ours from Helios Homeopathy which was recommended to us by the Baby Massage teacher. The link is here if anyone is interested https://www.helios.co.uk/shop/childrens-strawberry-acidophilus-powder-biocare-60g-probiotic
Acupuncture - this was recommended by a friend. Acupuncture helped me with my back issues so i thought i would give it a go. We did this for just over a year and i would have continued but my little one became all too aware of the needles. However, after each session i noticed an immediate reduction in the swelling and redness. Interestingly, our acupuncturist mentioned the avoidance of damp foods! Well, my son is allergic / intolerant to all the damp foods that were listed - predominantly dairy and gluten.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise......the key to eczema is to ensure that you provide a good barrier to the elements and you do not let your skin dry out. This is true for skin in general. Our skin is the largest organ of the body....that's right....it's nothing internal but something external that is exposed to chemicals, the harsh environment, toxins etc. So, it is so important that we look after our skin with natural, skin nourishing products.
Avoid products that have known skin irritants. My son has a lot of skin sensitivities, so understand what flares your skin up. The big one is SLS - Sodium Laurel Sulfate....a major no no for eczema sufferers. I remember when in the very early days we got an ointment from the chemist. When i applied his ointment (it was the one we always used), my son was in discomfort, really irritated and itchy. It just so happened i read the label! Yep, it had SLS in. We spoke to the chemist and the manufacturer. It transpired it was an old batch and should have been discarded. The manufacturer had taken the detergent out of their products because of the known link of irritation to people with eczema.
These are just a few things we did with our son, so i hope it has been useful. One thing i was told is that eczema does not go away. It is just managed. Have a good skin moisturising routine. Take a small jar with you so it is always at hand. We are very fortunate because we have gone from moisturising our son every 2 hours to now only needing to moisturise twice a day.
Just a little parting point, understand what your trigger is. For many, it can be diet related, psychological, environmental etc. And remember, if one butter or ointment doesn't work then try another. Find one that works for you. We are all individual, what works on one may not on another. Our son needed more of an intense moisturiser on certain areas of his body but for his torso just something light. The heavy moisturiser was too rich and causing his pores to block on his torso. It is all trial and error!