It’s been awhile since I updated on our baby/toddler Eczema progress and honestly this is just one of those subjects that’s really hard for me to write about. Why? … because I hate it. For us, the key to healing was in the bath water. Let me explain.
How bad was Maverick’s Eczema?
Maverick’s patches are located on his ankles, forearms, shoulders, back of the knees, back of his neck, hands, lower back and inner thighs. The color of his skin around these areas were constantly pink, red, dark like a bruise or bleeding. When he stands up straight the skin on his back was so dry it would be wrinkled which was really heartbreaking to see. His Eczema used to be weepy and swollen – but it’s calmed down over time.
Was? So does that mean he’s better now?
At the time of writing this post, Maverick is much better. Most of his skin is soft-ish and he’s not scratching through his skin. He’s even able to wear regular pajamas to sleep 🙂 He used to only wear footed jammies even while at school because he was constantly lifting his shirt and pants to scratch. I liked the footed pajamas from Leveret for awhile.
Maverick’s Current Eczema Routine
****Before I write this I just want to add that our routine won’t work on everyone. Eczema will vary from person to person, I highly advise for you to visit your pediatrician, family doctor, allergist or dermatologist for an in depth analysis of your condition.****
I found over time that with Maverick the key to keeping his flares under control was during his bath routine. He needs no more than 20 minutes in the bath, the water has to be warm – not hot. Frequent baths (2-3 times a day) didn’t help much. Some people swear by this method but it didn’t do much for us and it was a hell of a lot of work for me so I stopped.
Maverick takes a warm bath every 1-2 days but with Dead Sea Salt once a week. I fill the tub and throw in about 2-3 handfuls of salt into the bath and make sure to mix well until the salt dissolves before he gets into the bath. I found when his skin is really red and flared up it’s better not to use the Dead Sea Salt as it can sting. The brand we use can be found at your local Sprouts market for about $20 or $25 off of Amazon. It’s a decent sized tub and lasts us a good month or two if I really stretch it.
Why Dead Sea Salt?
Dead Sea Salt has been used in cosmetics and all kinds of skin care products throughout the years. Dead Sea Salt is filled with over 20 minerals. 2 in particular are magnesium and bromide which can help soothe skin while keeping away allergenic elements and microbes (those can cause negative skin reactions).
If I absolutely have to use shampoo or soap
Rinse the soap water
After we’re done scrubbing and cleaning, I drain the water in the bath and use clean, un-soapy (is that a word?) water to rinse Maverick one last time. When soap is left on the skin it dries out and we’re trying to avoid that. If his skin is particularly in a bad state I use a bowl of acidic water from my Alkazone Antioxidant Water Filter Ionizer to rinse him. It’s pricey but well worth it in my opinion. If you’re looking for the best Alkaline water filter system, this is it.
Going back to acidic water
Acidic water is water with low pH levels. I won’t get into too much detail here but here’s the basic idea of what we’re using:
We have a water ionizer which is attached to our tap water pipe in the kitchen. This machine filters and ionizes our tap water creating Alkaline drinking water. (Read all about Alkaline water and it’s benefits here). When our ionizer makes alkaline drinking water for us it also filters out acidic water and drains it out into the sink as ‘waste’.
Why are you using ‘waste’ water on your child?
Acidic water is bad to ingest, but on your skin and hair, it’s a godsend. As a natural astringent Acidic water may help relieve itchiness and dryness caused by skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and athlete’s foot. Acidic water is also great for your hair and scalp. It has antiseptic and antibacterial qualities that make it great all natural way to wash your hands, sterilize minor cuts and wounds and of course kitchen surfaces. I also use Acidic water to rinse our fruits and veggies. Read all about it on Google.
In short: Acidic water helps to relieve itchiness on the skin and scalp while killing bacteria.
After the bath
Right after our bath I smother my child in Aquaphor. I found it to work better than Vaseline. I just slather Mavericks entire body with it and put him in a long footed jammy for as long as he’ll keep it on.
If we’re just having one of those days where his skin is crazy itchy and out of control I dab some Barmicil Compuesto on the itchiest spots and then proceed with the Aquaphor slathering.
Barmicil is an over the counter topical steroid except I don’t use the one from the United States, I ask a friend to buy some for me from Mexico. It’s a little stronger than the usual cortisone creams from the U.S but not nearly as strong as the ridiculous steroids our dermatologist gave us. It works for us and at the time of writing we only need to apply this stuff once every 2-3 weeks. I used to have to apply topical steroids on Maverick nearly every day, the itching was just unbearable. By using as little steroid as possible only when absolutely needed while ‘diluting’ the potency of the steroid by mixing it with lotions or thick emollients we’ve been able to stretch out this number to 2-3 weeks. My next goal is to stretch this time period to 1 month.
(btw, if you’re here to “steroid shame” me and write a comment about the dangers of topical steroid use: please stop here. I get it, but this is me, my child and what works for us).
On another note: If you don’t know what steroid withdrawal is, I highly highly recommend you looking it up on Google or asking your doctor about it. It is most definitely a real condition and a risk you’re taking when you do opt to use topical steroids.
All the times in between
We’re still a solid supporter of Vanicream, I don’t think there’s a better lotion for us out there. I have a bottle of Vanicream in nearly every corner of my house and apply it on Maverick when his skin looks dry or he itches in between baths. In my diaper bag a carry around a little tin of C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve that’s great for Mavericks little fingers after washing his hands and sometimes his forehead and along his hairline. Sometimes when the weather gets really dry (West Coast desert dry) I carry around a little spray bottle of my acidic water and mist Maverick down 5-10 times a day and apply lotion when needed.
I mean, we still have healing to do but we’ve come a long way! Maverick is doing so much better now and we’re on the road to healing completely. Hopefully you were able to take a look into our regimen and take away some ideas.
Although, this stuff may not work for you, it’s great that you’re out here reading on the subject to learn. Broaden your knowledge on Eczema and you’ll figure out something that will help you sooner or later, don’t lose hope!
Sending you much love.
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