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Posts tagged ‘Atopic dermatitis’

10 Years of Eczema: What I’ve Learned (Guest Post)

Our guest today may only be 16, but he is wise beyond his years due to many years of suffering from severe eczema. He healed himself through dietary changes, something I’m a big proponent of, and is currently writing an e-book (which will be free) that will discuss how he did it. I think that’s pretty great. And a reminder again – he’s only 16! What were you doing at age 16? I certainly wasn’t trying to help others find inner peace and healing, like Harrison. I can only hope my son can take his experiences from growing up with allergies, asthma, and eczema, and turn them into something beneficial for others.

10 Years of Eczema: What I’ve Learned (Guest Post)

By Harrison (Bio below)

I’m really happy to be featured on Jennifer’s blog today. I would like to share with you the lessons I learned about life when I had eczema. Let me introduce myself. I’m Harrison and I have had eczema since the age of 6. I developed this horrible skin disease and never grew out of it even when I got to high school. I prayed to God every night and hoped that he would help me grow out of it too. But I guess I wasn’t lucky enough. Until in the 10th grade of high school, the social consequences of having terribly scratchy, bleeding wounds had greatly reduced my self-esteem to the lowest point possible. I was very embarrassing when asked “jeez, what happened to your skin?” And, as you know, sweating can cause an itching frenzy, so having eczema also cut out any physical activities. It felt unfair when all I could do was sit back and watch my friends shoot hoops on the court. I hated my restricted life. I realized it was time, I had to get serious about getting rid of this skin problem.  It had to go. So I began hours of internet research on possible permanent treatments that were not steroid-related or overnight fixes.

I combined multiple resources together and developed my method. After a little over 6 months, I was free of eczema! After the past 10 years of struggling with this annoying, ugly, humiliating skin disease, I was finally free.

During those 10 years, I learned some lessons along the way. I’d like to share them with you.

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Healing Eczema with Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine (Guest Post)

We have dabbled in treating Tristan’s eczema with acupuncture, but it didn’t go so well. He was three years old and was not at all ok with the needles (that were very tiny and disguised as stickers) being applied to his body. So, we didn’t get through enough treatments to see a difference. BUT, I will say that I’ve heard of many adults who saw great results with treating their eczema with acupuncture. One primary reason is that acupuncture is great for treating stress, and we all know that stress can play a big part in eczema flare ups. So, I certainly believe acupuncture is worth a try if you can find a great practitioner with a good reputation in your area.

– Jennifer

Healing Eczema with Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine  

By Rebecca Ong-Sutherland (See bio below)

Eczema affects millions of Americans in varying degrees.  From mild unnoticeable cases to uncomfortable and unsightly skin irritations, people have been looking to Western medicine to heal this condition for decades. Countless medications and products have emerged that offer temporary relief, but few provide lasting results.  There’s hope in an often overlooked and underutilized resource in skin care – traditional Eastern medicine.

Eczema – The Basics

People with eczema have patches of skin that become inflamed, red and itchy. These patches can appear anywhere on the body and range in severity from mild irritations to skin that can become extremely dry, cracked and painful.  The most common type of eczema is Atopic Dermatitis.  This type of eczema is a genetic condition that’s triggered by allergens and is often seen in people who also suffer from asthma. The correlation between eczema and allergies is very strong, and children that are born with Atopic Dermatitis are much more likely to develop allergies as they grow. Read more

Could The Eczema Company Win The Cribsie Awards?

Why not?!!! But we can’t do it without your help!

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IF, and only IF,  you love The Eczema Company, then show us and nominate us!

Until December 20th you can nominate The Eczema Company for the Cribsie Awards. The Cribsie Awards recognize the best products, services, and websites for babies and tots. These are the ultimate open choice awards. You can nominate any product, brand, website or service! It’s your choice. Speak up and tell the Cribsies who or what you love.

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Anniversary Sale – Today ONLY – Come and Celebrate With Us!

Our 2nd Anniversary!

It’s The Eczema Company’s 2nd Anniversary and we want to celebrate by having a store wide sale!

For one day only, today, September 26th, 2013, we are offering 15% off everything in our store! You do not need a coupon or code just go into our web store and start shopping. The discount will be applied at check-out. The discount will be applied in addition to any other offers or promo codes – the savings could really add up!

If you have been shopping with us for a while you know we offer natural and non-toxic, proven eczema products and you have your favorites. Now it’s time to try some of the amazing new products that we are offering.

New Products

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And if you’re new to The Eczema Company then we suggest you try some of our top-selling products. These products are given great reviews over and over again. 

Manuka Honey Skin Cream

Manuka Honey Skin Cream

Manuka Honey Skin Cream is a nourishing and gentle balm for the skin. It soothes rough, red skin and is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

ScratchMeNot Mittens

ScratchMeNot Mittens

ScratchMeNot Mittens  are a parent’s dream and very versatile.  These sleeve mittens can be worn over or under clothes and prevent your little one from scratching, no matter what the cause.

WrapESoothe Sleeves

WrapESoothe Sleeves

 WrapESoothe Sleeves come in a variety of sizes (children and adults) and are 94% TENCEL. This fabric is good for wet or dry wrapping and is uniquely breathable and cooling. 

—–We ship world-wide and offer flat rate shipping to the US and Canada.——

—–Free Shipping on orders $75 or more.—–

Soap Nuts: A Soothing, Natural Laundry Detergent & Soap for Eczema (Guest Post)

I met today’s guest blogger online a few years ago when I was just starting the blog. I was reaching out to online support groups and found Heidi at her eczema FB support page and immediately loved her natural approach. We’d been using soap nuts for a while at that point, so when I saw she loved them as I did, we started chattering away about them. Eventually I asked her if she’d honor us with a story about why she started using soap nuts and she went a few steps further – including tips, facts, and even a recipe for making soap nut liquid!

Again, a big thanks to Heidi for her post!

– Jennifer

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Battling Eczema: A Family Affair (Guest Post)

I think you’ll find today’s guest post interesting as it’s told from a sibling’s perspective. Rarely do we hear about how a sibling’s battles with eczema affect the other siblings….and even more rare is to hear about the experience first hand from one of the brothers or sisters. This story touches my heart as it’s clear how much these children cared for their brother as they would do anything to help relieve his suffering – even behind their parent’s backs!

– Jennifer

Battling Eczema: A Family Affair (Guest Post)

by Malvina Beker (see bio below)

“Wow, that looks terrible!” The doctor started to say, looking at my brother’s exposed stomach that was covered in red patches, scabs, and puss.  My older brother Eugene and I had decide to take matters into our own hands and take our younger eight-year-old brother, Milan, to the doctor our selves.  His rashes were just completely out of control and nothing that my parents were doing was helping him.

Mavina's brother with moderate eczema flare-up.His rashes began very early on, when he was about six months old.  My parents had no idea what the patchy rashes were or where they had come from.  He had struggled with them ever since.

What started off as little patches began to formulate to bigger patches.  It would appear seasonally around the folds of his skin and had gotten my parents attention from the beginning.  They went to the doctors who had confirmed that indeed these patches looked like eczema and prescribed cortisone cream.  Since they had never seen or heard of eczema before, my parents didn’t know how big of an ordeal it would be. My parents started using the prescribed cream with much caution, being very uncomfortable with it because it had steroids in it.  More so than treating the rashes, they wanted to prevent them from resurfacing.  My poor brother went through all sorts of preventative methods that my parents had tried, including homeopathic medicine, diets, hypnosis, even a trip to the dead-sea, but the patchy rashes continued to come back, and what was worse, the older he got, the less control they had over them, since my brother would scratch at them whenever they would appear. By the time he was eight-years-old my brother was being wrapped like a mummy for bed to prevent him from scratching.  His stomach especially was a problem.  My parents had no real direction or answers on how to battle eczema and had given up going to the doctors.

And so, my older brother and I had snuck him off to see a doctor hoping that we could find something to help control the eczema.  The doctor prescribed cortisone yet again.  “Unfortunately there is not much else that will help, especially because he has an infection in the area from all the scratching.”  The doctor then had a chat with him and told him to  be a bit more responsible about his eczema and encouraged him to try to control his scratching urges.  We were once again back to square one. To treat the really bad outbreaks we resorted to using the cortisone cream, but in the meanwhile I started to help my brother with some easy solutions to prevent the outbreaks in the first place.  These easy solutions included restricting any perfume based soaps from ever touching his skin and during a scratching urge, I insisted he bathe or shower or put ice around the itchy area.

My brother’s eczema was something that everyone in my family had suffered from and lived with right along with him.  It was a real ordeal for him in his daily life.  He had to be wrapped to go to bed, he even wore wraps around his body during the day sometimes.  He didn’t feel comfortable going swimming and exposing his stomach to anyone, and did not like discussing his eczema either.

With time however, eventually, the eczema sort of stopped coming on as strongly.  He was lucky that there were no scars left behind from all the scratching that he had done, and with age, had gained control over his rashes whenever they would come back.

As my brother grew into his teenage years, his eczema was like a forgotten dream for me.

And then I gave birth to my child, Alyssa.  A few months later, I almost had a melt down when I noticed the very same patches of red rashes forming on her skin.  I made an appointment to see the doctor right away, there was no way I wanted to go through this again.  The doctor didn’t seem concerned at all.  She prescribed yet again, more cortisone cream.  Was there no other solution?

My husband found a more natural cream, that had no steroids in it, which I started to apply at once.  I didn’t bother with the cortisone and stuck with applying the cream every time I felt the eczema patches forming on her skin.   Our battle to control eczema continued as I noticed my one-year-old daughter, Emma’s, skin began to break out too, but by then I knew what I was in for.   I have now incorporated a daily routine with my kids to always check their skin after they’ve had their baths, to look for any potential patches forming, and to put cream around those patches so that they don’t spread or continue to form.  Neither one of my girls have ever experienced anything remotely close to what my brother had, and I hope that we can keep their eczema as much under control as possible so that they never do.

Dealing with severe eczema outbreaks is a very tough battle that sometimes can affect the whole entire family, as was in our case.  In some cases, it can be a difficult fight, as it was for my brother, but for the most part it can be kept under control.  For our family, monitoring our children’s skin daily and using natural based creams has been very helpful in preventing major outbreaks and keeping the eczema under control.  Good luck to everyone else battling!

Malvina Beker - Start with MomBio: Malvina Beker is a teacher, an author, a sociologist and a mom. She has a Masters degree in Sociology, a Bachelor of Education, and a background in child psychology and development. She has taught high school Family Studies, Parenting and Music courses, and has research experience through interviewing as well as surveys. She is a mother of two little girls that inspire her the most, and is always excited to share and exchange opinions and experiences with others.  She is also the founder of Start With Mom, an online resource/directory for moms seeking solutions to healthy living. You can follow Start With Mom on FaceBook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

How Quickly They Forget or Choose to Forget the Hard Times

One of things I worry most about with Tristan’s eczema is, will he look back on his toddler years (when his eczema was the worst) with fear in his eyes?

  • Will he remember the countless nights he spent writhing in itchy agony in his bed as my husband and I took turns holding him and trying to calm his irritated skin and restless mind?
  • Will he remember his hysterical pleas to skip just one bath or how it felt when the cool bath water burned his broken skin as he screamed and lashed out?
  • Will he remember my husband and I holding him down as we slathered on cream multiple times a day, every day, each time the stinging and his tears were relentless?
  • Will he remember seeing mommy cry all those times?

At 4.5 years old, I’m very relieved to say that Tristan doesn’t remember how itchy he used to be or how severe his head-to-toe eczema actually was.

Happy Eczema Free Days

A happy Tristan and a tear-less mom enjoying these eczema managed days.

Just a few months after he turned 3 we FINALLY got a handle on his eczema. (You can read about our family’s battle with eczema here. Or you can view our various Eczema Trials for all the details.) That was just a little over one year ago.  He has memories from around that time, just nothing to do with his eczema. For that I am grateful. I’m guessing this is an example of selective memory at it’s finest.

If you’re dealing with the emotional and physical stresses of eczema today, hang in there. Things will improve. Just stick with your intuition and be an advocate for your child, like this mom.

If all this talk about the challenges of dealing with severe eczema has got you down, take a minute to enjoy a laugh at our eczema spoof “Stuff Eczema Mamas Say.” I’m sure you can relate….and please try to look past my horrible acting skills.

Asthma, Eczema, and Attitude (Guest Post)

I was so charmed by the incredibly cute Asthma Peeps stickers for asthma inhalers and spacers that I asked Kym, the lovely and brilliant momma behind their creation, to share how she managed her daughter’s eczema.
Kym Latter

Bio: Kym Latter is an Australian mum and founder of Asthma Peeps.  Her asthma journey is about educating herself as much as she can about childhood asthma so that she can help her daughter, and other children like her, accept their condition in an open and positive way. You can find out more at the Asthma Peeps website, blog, or Facebook page.

Asthma, Eczema, and Attitude

When my daughter was just a baby she began to suffer from eczema. We knew it was only a matter of time before she developed asthma. They do seem to go hand in hand and we were somewhat prepared as we have a family history of both.

My daughter’s experience has shaped and changed our family life, and has also changed me. I’ve become an advocate for parents who have children with asthma and I thought I’d share a few tricks that have helped our family manage the pairing of skin and lung sensitivities.

Dear diary
We keep an asthma diary, or more accurately a ‘triggers diary’. In it we note down the date of any flare-ups, the time of day, what we were doing, the weather, what she ate that day, who (or what) else was around. Over time this gave us a really clear understanding of situations and environments that brought on asthma or eczema.

Avoiding triggers
They are the same triggers for asthma and eczema! Scented soaps and dust mites are nasty for broken, sensitive skin and can also flare up asthma prone lungs. We have the gentlest of skin cleaning products (and the fiercest vacuuming schedules).

Watching the seasons
Temperature, weather and clothing take on new importance for parents of children with asthma and eczema. Through our triggers diary, we noticed sweaty, active days were the worst for her skin, so our daughter prefers cool cotton clothes through summer. To the other extreme, windy, cold seasons also meant extra moisturizing balm for her exposed hands.

Her asthma is definitely worse in winter, that sharp air and the added issue of colds and runny noses. Winter has become the time for our regular check-in visit to the doctor where we review our daughter’s Asthma Action Plan.

Have some fun
Our daughter knows how to have fun, and she reminds us daily that even the most serious of topics can be approached with a smile. We try to keep all her health precautions, medications and considerations a light-hearted part of our day. We protect her as much as we can, and ensure she feels in control, not controlled by our best intentions. Just because we are her parents, we try to find a balance between seriousness and play.

Thank you Kym! Asthma Peeps just launched an adorable child’s book about asthma called, The Trouble With Bear Hugs. Take a look at the gorgeous illustrations. It’s available for sale on the Asthma Peeps website.

trouble with bear hugs book

Our Eczema Trials: Dry Wrapping

With severe eczema, nothing can provide immediate relief like wet wrapping. See the step-by-step instructions on how to wet wrap in my post here. Wet wrapping isn’t a long-term solution and isn’t necessary for mild to moderate eczema, but dry wrapping is!

Dry wrapping is VERY easy to do and you may have tried it without even knowing there was a term for it.

What is Dry Wrapping?

It’s simply heavily moisturizing the skin and covering it with a dry layer, such as mittens or gloves for hands, for an extended period of time.

Why does it work?

The dry layer helps hold the moisture next to the skin and is more effective than just applying moisturizer to the skin alone. Wet wrapping is even more effective as the wet layer will maintain the moisture for extended periods of time.

What are dry wraps?

WrapESoothe wet wrapping and dry wrapping suit

AD Rescuewear suits, great for wet wrapping or dry wrapping for eczema relief.

Dry wraps are clothes or bandages used to wrap and protect eczema skin. You can use clothing made specifically for dry or wet wrapping, but items you already have at home can work too (pajamas, tube socks for hands and feet, etc). Clothing should be form-fitting and made of natural fibers like cotton or bamboo.

What do you need to get started?

  • Cream or balm/salve
  • (1) Set of clothing or bandages/dressings. Exact garments will depend on areas you want to treat, but can include:
    • (1) one-piece pajamas or top & bottom, form-fitting
    • (1) turtleneck for wrapping the neck, or scarf
    • (2) pairs of long white cotton tube socks to cover hands and feet or cotton or bamboo gloves and stay-on booties like these.
    • (1) sets of gauze bandages for wrapping the face and head/scalp or an stay-on infant hat like this one.

How to dry wrap step-by-step

You can dry wrap your entire body, but if the eczema is that extreme you may want to consider wet wrapping instead. Usually dry wrapping is done on specific parts of the body with chronic eczema or an irritating flare up. I like to lather my hands up with cream and slip on a pair of white cotton socks before I go to bed as it really helps the mild eczema I get between my fingers and on the backs of my hands.

  1. Moisturize the skin with a cream or balm/salve of your choice, making sure to liberally apply on the areas of the body that need treating. The skin should be very moist when finished. You may need to go back and apply another layer in some areas before moving to the next step.
  2. Cover the areas to treat with a dry layer of clothing or bandages.
  3. Leave the dry layer on for a minimum of two hours, overnight is great.
  4. If you’re able, remove the dry layer every few hours, re-moisturize, and cover with the dry layer again.

Tips for dry wrapping and your eczema child

  • Try wet wrapping at night for minimal objection from your child. An added bonus, keep the hands covered to prevent night-time scratching.
  • Virgin coconut oil and raw shea butter work great for dry wrapping. We also love Manuka Honey Skin Cream. Take a look at some other great natural moisturizers here.
  • Use caution with long wrapping bandages that could become unwrapped, potentially creating a suffocation hazard. This would be of particular concern if the child wears the wraps to sleep.
  • Children’s eczema clothing is made specifically for those with sensitive skin and is great for dry wrapping. The Eczema Company also offers a few clothing items for adults and teens as well.

Have you tried dry wrapping? Did it work well for you?

The Eczema App, a New Personalized Resource for People Living with Eczema

Today I came a cross a brand new app created just for eczema. How cool! And how over due.

the eczema app

The Eczema App enables patients to record and track their flare-ups over time, store photos of affected areas, and keep notes on their flare-ups and treatment. Patients and parents can then use this information to have more informed discussions with their doctor or their children’s doctor. Additionally, the app provides news from the National Eczema Association and access to comprehensive information about the condition, which is categorized by age, including infant (3 months-2 years); toddler (2-4 years); kid (4-12 years); teen (13-18 years) and adult (>18 years).

The app can be downloaded for free at

This app is sponsored by Bayer HealthCare, so expect a good deal of medical advertisements, but other than that I’d say this is one very promising app for all of us affected by eczema.

12/13/12 Update:
I’m going to start a list of eczema apps, because apparently there are others out there. Please comment below if you know of any other apps to add to this list. Thanks!
Eczema Expert

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