Working with the pediatric population, I see a LOT of children and infants with skin problems such as Eczema. While I don’t have personal experience with this I do have personal experience with Rosacea and I thought I'd share a variety of natural options I found that have worked very well. As always, I encourage you to have an in depth conversation with your physician to discuss all options and methods to address your concerns.
WHY I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT CREAMS…….
As much as it would be amazing to say there was a magic cream to make eczema go away, I have to make it clear that the underlying problem is not being addressed with a topical cream. I know, this may be a heartbreaking thing to read but hear me out, a cream can stop the immediate discomfort but won’t get to the root cause. I think you’re ready to kick this in the butt so let’s get down to biz.
This is why I’m a HUGE component of dietary and natural options. Eczema is complex, however attacking it from all angles will leave you with long lasting results and happy soothed skin!
Where my Foodies At??
I know it seems weird to talk about food when you’re wanting to know how to heal a skin issue but diet is often a big underlying concern with those dealing with eczema.
You may or may not have heard that the gut is highly connected to our overall immune state and it is! Add on exposure to medications, antibiotics, and inflammatory foods and this can create chaos for your skin.
One of the best things to help heal the gut is bone broth. A major key component to the GAPS diet (also known as the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” diet). For more info on the GAPS diet I highly suggest you grab this book and dive in! Bone broth is an amazing source of calcium and many other minerals, and it’s super easy to make. The overall health benefits are tremendous but other benefits include: digestive, joints, nervous system, and SKIN SUPPORT.
Remember I said it’s easy to make right? You can even make it in your Instant Pot!! (#winning). One fun trick I’ve found is to roast approximately 3 lbs bones • Carrots. • Celery • Onion • Garlic • Season with Salt and Pepper on a sheet pan for about 40 minutes in the oven before you cook it. If you use an Instant Pot you can top it with water and cook on manual for 2 hours. Are you more of a stock pot kinda person?....no problem, just slow simmer for about 8-10 hours and enjoy!
A somewhat controversial topic, the idea of probiotics being used to naturally support the gut and healing of atopic dermatitis is mixed. Many reviews claim there is not enough evidence however from personal experience there are tremendous benefits from using a high quality probiotic ¹ .
As our diets have moved heavily away from using fermentation processes that would help build a flourishing array of flora in the gut, supplementing with probiotics may be important more than we know. For many including myself, foods with probiotics in them was not effective (not to mentioned often filled with sugars). I’ve tried many varieties however the one I personally found most effective has 9 strains with 17 billion live active cultures and uses a delayed release capsule to ensure the cultures get straight to the intestines. Quality matters if we are going to support the GI system.
For those who do not find their condition gets worse in water, detox baths can be very healing to the body. While they help remove toxins from the body they can also make you tired so considering doing them before bed a couple times a week!
Bentonite Clay Bath
½ cup Bentonite clay
½ cup Epsom salts
Essential oils if desired
Take the epsom salts and mix a few drops if desired of essential oils and pour into the water. In a small glass jar mix the clay using a plastic spoon with a bit of water until the clumps are mostly dissolved. Add the clay mix to the bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.
COCONUT OIL/LAVENDER LOTION
If you do not have an allergy to coconut, applying a thin layer of coconut oil to the skin can be soothing and help stop the itch. I also find that good old lavender is not only great to calm and relax your mind but is also amazing to soothe the skin. If you find Coconut to be too drying you can always try another option as sometimes coconut oil has been known to strip the skin of moisture intensifying the itch for some.
There are many other tips and tricks to naturally address eczema and ditch the itch but you want to make sure you are focused on getting to the root of the cause. Consider seeking a consultation with an allergist and then create a good plan of attack to change your dietary and personal care products so that you can love the skin you’re in!