Eczema And I Go To Battle.
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I'll never forget that day. It was April 10th, 2009, when my 17 month old daughter was officially diagnosed with the painful and irritating skin disorder eczema. A mixture of emotions immediately consumed my very being.
Since January 2009, we had been beating our heads against the wall trying to figure out what was wrong with her, and now that we had a proper diagnosis, I was both relieved and frustrated.
The previous months had been filled with sleepless nights (for both my daughter and myself), and days of running my daughter back and forth between our local hospital and her pediatricians office. Consequently, I could only foresee what life would continue to be like since this condition is life-long.
I was quickly informed that eczema could only be managed, and that if my daughter was one of the fortunate few, she'd eventually outgrow it. Needless to say, I was not satisfied with that information.
As I drove home with a bag full of steroidal medicated cream for her face and body (which cannot be used for an extended period of time), and prescription liquid histamine blockers (that I was instructed to use every single day), I said to myself, "There has to be a better way."
To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of medication - especially where children are concerned.
Please don't misunderstand me, I do realize that there are times when medicine is the best and only option for dealing with a medical condition. However, medicine only treats the symptoms, and unless you treat the cause, the condition will continue to resurface.
That is why on April 10th, 2009, eczema and I officially went to battle.
* The Battle Begins - My Resolve To Beat Eczema.
I was determined to beat the odds come what may, and to find a more natural solution to control her condition. I was not going to settle with the idea that my daughter "might" grow out of this condition.
Besides, when would that be? How long would that take? From my conversations with other parents, their children "grew out of it" at the age of five, some fifteen, and others weren't so fortunate.
"No!" I screamed to myself. Eczema will not get the best of my daughter. She hasnt' even begun to live her life yet, and if it was in my power to take "the bull by the horns", I was more than willing to throw down.
* My Battle Plan.
It took me 2 1/2 to 3 months to get her eczema under control. It was a struggle, but she has never looked so good.
Through exhaustive research, and trial and error, other than an occasional dose of liquid histamine blocker, I have been able to control and keep her outbreaks at bay without medicine.
Here's the battle plan that worked for my daughter:
* Reducing Toxins In The Home.
1.) Pesticide spray is off limits in my home (it was pesticide spray that brought on my daughters condition - but that's another story). Instead, pesticide spray is limited to the outside of the home.
2.) Removing shoes before entering the home. Request that your friends and acquaintances remove their shoes when they visit as well (thereby, preventing outside toxins from embedding in the carpets in your home).
3.) Go green by using multipurpose nontoxic cleaning products. Better still, you can make your own nontoxic cleaning products that will be very easy on your pockets (just goggle "homemade cleaning products" and you'll get a bevy of recipes that will work for you).
* Reduce Toxins In Your Child's Body.
1.) Use natural, dye free, scent free bath soaps (Toms Natural has a line of natural soaps that are about $2 to $3 a bar, or pay a visit to your local health food store).
2.) Restrict foods and drinks that are artificially colored and artificially flavored.
* Enforce Dietary Restrictions.
Since certain foods exasperate my daughters problem, I have found that restricting certain items from her diet have really improved her condition. Food items such as:
1.) all citrus
2.) tomatoes and tomato base products
3.) all tree nuts
5.) all diary
6.) gluten (Celiac Disease Foundation: celiac.org and Gluten Intolerance Group: gluten.net provides you with ways to live gluten-free)
(*It's important to note however, that a simple allergy skin test may not provide true results regarding what your child is allergic too. In my daughter's case, in addition to careful observation on my part, a blood test was also needed to determine that these foods exasperated her condition as well)
* Take Care Of The Skin And Scalp.
1.) Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I apply non-scented Vaseline at least five to six times a day on my daughter, in addition to a smoothing cream called Udderly Smooth. I opt for these because I've found them to be just as effective as the more expensive creams but for half the price.
2.) My daughter gets a quick bath every other day in warm water. If the water is too hot or the bath is too long, it will only rob her skin of moisture. In addition, I put a capful or two of extra virgin olive oil in her bathwater to keep her skin moisturized even while she's receiving a bath.
3.) My daughter's condition was so bad, that it spread to her scalp as well. Therefore, when the itching and flaking gets out of hand, I use Dermarest medicated conditioning shampoo for about a week (you can't use it over a week) to repair her scalp.
On other occasions, I use an all natural shampoo and conditioner product from my local health food store, and massage olive oil on her scalp every other day.
4.) Since synthetic fibers irritate her skin as well, all of my daughter's clothes are 100% cotton, including her bedsheets and pillow cases.
5.) 100% cotton scratch mitts are placed on her hands to prevent damage to her skin on the occasions she does scratch.
6.) To prevent further irritants to her skin, I make homemade washing powders since I can control what ingredients are used in washing her clothing (goggle "homemade washing powders to find easy recipes if you choose to go this route).
7.) Prolonged sun exposure has also shown to be a major cause of her flareups. Therefore, I limit her exposure to the sun by ensuring she wears a hat, and lightweight cotton long-sleeved shirt and pants when we'll be spending any extended time in the sun.
I have come to terms with the realization that my daughter's battle with eczema may be a long and arduous one, but I'm determined not to give up. Resistance is not futile in my mind.
In order to provided my daughter with some normalcy and relief, I will battle this skin condition for as long as I have breathe in my body. I am determined to be victorious and beat eczema - come what may.
copyright © 2009.