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Posts tagged ‘eczema support group’

How to Start an Eczema Support Group

In honor of eczema awareness month, please welcome our guest, Mei, as she shares her experiences with starting her own eczema support group!

Dealing with eczema is stressful (read more about that here), but you’re not alone. Everyone knows someone effected with eczema, sadly it’s too common these days. There are online blogs like this one, FB pages and groups, an endless supply of online resources for eczema!

But meeting someone person-to-person in a support group is priceless. We listen to one another, offer advice, provide a shoulder to lean on, offer ways to cope – I could go on. So, if you’re dealing with eczema yourself or helping someone else through it, please consider a support group. First check with the National Eczema Association (USA) or the Eczema Society of Canada to determine if there is already a support group available in your area. If there is, great! If not, read on to learn some valuable tips for setting up your own support group. Read more

October is National Eczema Awareness Month (USA)

October is eczema awareness month in the United States.  In Canada it will be celebrated in November (more to come on that next month).

To help support eczema awareness, The Eczema Company will donate $1 from every online order during the month of October to the National Eczema Association.

Let’s spread as much eczema awareness as we can! Now, how else can you help? Here are a few ideas:

EC - Oct Donations - FB copy

 

Announcing a Breakthrough in Eczema Treatment: Chicago Integrative Eczema Center

Honestly, I am quite beside myself over the launch of this new clinic, the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center. I met the co-founder, the amazing Dr. Peter Lio, at the National Eczema Association Patient Conference last summer, and he mentioned this clinic was in the works. So, I waited patiently for the launch and now that the clinic is open for business, I just want to shout about it from the rooftops!

Just what makes this clinic so special?

It combines the best of western medicine and natural therapies to treat eczema. Can it possibly get any better than that?! I am a firm believer in holistic medicine, but I also understand that western medicine can be essential at times. So, this clinic’s approach is spot on in my opinion. Not to mention the involvement of Dr. Lio, who is a highly qualified and respected dermatologist and happens to be incredibly kind and forward thinking. I have not had the fortune of meeting his partner, Dr. Ryan Lombardo, but if he’s collaborating with Dr. Lio, he must be just as wonderful.

Without further ado, please welcome Dr. Peter Lio for a Q&A about the new Chicago Integrative Eczema Center!

Chicago Integrative Eczema Center

Q: Dr. Lio, please give us a brief background on yourself and why you chose to go into Dermatology, particularly why you chose to specialize in atopic dermatitis.

A: I have been interested in becoming a doctor since I was little, but once I got to medical school, I realized that it wasn’t so simple–there were lots of fascinating specialties to consider! Initially, I thought I was going to be a neurologist.  My research during college was all about learning and memory and I found the study of the brain to be extremely compelling.  However, during the second year of medical school we were exposed to a one-week lecture series on dermatology.  About 15 minutes into the first lecture (given by the great teacher and mentor Dr. Charles Taylor), I was hooked!  Interesting words (where else do you get to use terms like “ostraceous” and “serpiginous”?!), fascinating diseases, and lots of unanswered questions!  While in other areas of medicine there were pathways, cycles and genes that seemed to explain almost everything, dermatology was wide open… there was a lot of mystery!  That drew me to it and still does.  Atopic Dermatitis is perhaps the ultimate dermatologic disease: on one hand, we know so much about it and can do some things to help, but we still don’t fully get it and–try as we might–we can’t seem to get to the root of it to cure it.  YET, hopefully…  I found lots of patients and families struggling with eczema, and I decided to dive in to learn everything I could and try to help out as much as possible.  It’s been an incredible adventure so far: difficult, but deeply satisfying.

Q: How do you feel about alternative and integrative medicine as it relates to eczema? (Do you have any good recent research on treatments you can quote here?)

A: Part of what was frustrating for me was coming to terms with our fairly limited armamentarium of treatments for eczema.  After I finished my Dermatology residency, I decided to study acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine to see if I could gain a new perspective and open the door for new treatments.  I spent a year with Kiiko Matsumoto and David Euler in Boston and completed the wonderful course called Structural Acupuncture for Physicians.  It opened my eyes to many things, most importantly the reality of “energy medicine”, which is what acupuncture is on the most fundamental level.  To that end, a few colleagues and I published a paper last year that was able to show some benefit for the itch of eczema–arguably the root of the disease–by using acupressure.  The study can be viewed here.  This led to looking into other forms of alternative medicine, and I am particularly interested in botanicals that can heal.  Lately, I’ve been very excited about the anti-inflammatory effect and skin-barrier-rebuilding powers of topical sunflower seed oil.  I’ve been recommending this combined with coconut oil, which is known to have some anti-bacterial properties which is also very useful in atopic dermatitis.  I’ve written a few updates on some of these alternative treatments, you can view them here – part one and part two.

Q: From what I understand, you are a pioneer in the world of eczema, founding the first integrative medical clinic specifically for eczema sufferers. What was the inspiration behind this amazing idea? Was it a difficult task to achieve?

A: At the end of the day, my goal is to help patients.  My thinking is that I want to take the best of every tradition to get people better.  In my time of intense focus on acupuncture, I found that the acupuncture approach did some things better than the “pure” Western approach; but for other things, not so much.  There was a part of me that was disappointed when a patient returned to my very talented teacher and was only a little bit better.  I had secretly hoped that this was “the cure”, and that I’d find a powerful technique to zap the eczema and make it go away for everyone… It didn’t quite work out that way.  But, I did see some things that were important and were being overlooked by many Western physicians.  That was almost a decade ago, but the idea was planted then for me: to use some form of integrative care to help eczema patients and families.  The Chicago Integrative Eczema Center is the realization of that dream.  It’s been a lot of work getting things organized.  I was lucky when I met Ryan Lombardo, who is a DAOM (Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) and also very interested in skin disease.  We shared a number of patients and began to meet to discuss treatment approaches. Before long, we realized that we should probably pool our resources and collaborate… and the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center was born. 

Q: What do you hope to achieve with your clinic? What is the general approach?

A: The Chicago Integrative Eczema Center has 4 main goals: First, to be a trusted source of information and education about eczema that is inclusive of alternative and complementary medicine.  Second, to be a place for holistic care of eczema, offering a range of treatments from a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to the standard Western approach, and everything in-between.  Third, to be a place for patient support and connections.  We are closely allied with the National Eczema Association and their official Chicago Eczema Support Group, run by Erika Czopkiewicz and Nathan Jetter, two amazingly dedicated individuals. Fourth, to be a place to push the boundaries forward and learn more about eczema through research studies like the acupressure study mentioned above.  To meet these goals, in addition to collaborating on patients that we see in our individual clinics, we will have combined sessions where Ryan and I will see patients simultaneously and have guest speakers with questions and answers, and I will be the medical adviser of the Chicago Eczema Support Group as well.

Q: What services will you offer?

A: We will be seeing patients and, through Ryan, offering acupuncture, acupressure, herbs, nutritional supplements and other botanical topical treatments.  We also work with nutritionists, allergists, a hypnotherapist, and several other practitioners closely for when our patients need other types of expertise.  Part of what we are building is a network of providers who can work together and meet the need for holistic and integrative care, which is very exciting to me.  

 Stay in touch with the Center:

Website: http://www.chicagoeczema.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChiEczema 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoEczema

About the co-founders of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center:

Dr. Peter LioPeter Lio is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology & Pediatrics at Northwestern University, Feinberg  School of Medicine. Dr. Lio received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, completed his internship at Boston Children’s Hospital and his dermatology training at Harvard. He has had formal training in acupuncture under Kiiko Matsumoto and David Euler, and has held a long interest in alternative medicines. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Eczema Association. His clinical office is located at Dermatology & Aesthetics of Wicker Park.

Dr. Ryan LombardoRyan Lombardo received his Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, IL. The Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM) is the highest formal educational credential available in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the United States. Dr. Lombardo is one of 6 doctors practicing as a DAOM recognized by the State of Illinois and has been practicing acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the Chicagoland area as a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) since 2003. Dr. Lombardo is a faculty member of Midwest College’s doctoral program, leading the Nutraceutical Science and Chinese Medicine Energetics curriculum.  His clinical practice is located at AcuHealth of Wicker Park.

Running to the Ends of the Earth for an Eczema Cure

I read about Shane’s unbelievable journey and immediately wanted to share his courageous story here in hopes of further helping him to raise awareness for a cause very near and dear to him. Please help me share his story with others in order to make his goals of eczema support and awareness a reality.

Shane and Jenny

Bio:  Shane Nicholl is a 23-year-old web developer from Lincoln, England. This year he is running 1000km to raise money for the National Eczema Society, with the hope of raising awareness of eczema. He has chosen to raise money for the National Eczema Society because he has witnessed first-hand the physical and emotional toll these conditions have had on his partner, Jenny, who has been suffering from eczema for the past seven years. Alongside eczema, she also suffers from other skin conditions including atopic dermatitis (and asthma, hayfever, rhinitis), contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, neurodermatitis and urticaria.

Running to the Ends of the Earth for an Eczema Cure

If you had asked me four years ago what Eczema was, I would have said it was a mild skin condition that causes red, itchy wrists. Then I met Jenny. Now, if you were to ask me the same question, my answer would be that it is a debilitating condition that can result in weekly hospital appointments, routine blood tests, weepy skin, infections, and endless amounts of medication. It can leave you housebound for days and at it’s worst it can slowly eat away at your self-esteem and take over your identity.

When Jenny’s condition is at it’s worst I feel completely helpless. Seeing someone you love suffering so much and all you want to do is give them a hug, but knowing you can’t as it would only exacerbate the situation, is heartbreaking. Her urticaria means that we often can’t even share the same bed. Fortunately nowadays we have a spare room I can sleep in, though whilst we were at University this often meant sleeping on the floor as I was reluctant to leave her side should she need me in the morning.

I have witnessed the worst her condition has thrown at her. This past year in particular has been especially grueling with being prescribed several types of immunosuppressants, diagnosed with numerous skin infections and tonsillitis, leading to four bouts of eczema herpeticum. Jenny's eczema copyDespite all this she battled through and managed to graduate from University, showing remarkable strength in adversity, which was in turn the inspiration behind my challenge this year. As much time as I spend with her, through both the good and bad times with her skin, I will never truly understand what she is going through. I have come to realize that at times there is very little I can do to help when her skin is bad, other than making her environment as comfortable as possible. It is hard to not feel completely helpless, so I decided I needed to take drastic measures to improve her situation, as I could not sit and watch her suffer any longer. So what could I do? The one thing I knew how to, run.

For as long as I can remember, I was always an overweight child. Although I enjoyed sports at school and played in a football team, I was never particularly active as I suffered with severe Osgood-Schlatters disease, which made any prolonged exercise extremely painful. Eventually it reached the stage where I was 17-years-old and dangerously approaching seventeen stone (238 lbs). Around the same time my older brother had recently taken up running and was training for the 2007 London Marathon. He used to encourage me to come out for runs with him, and whilst I was reluctant at first, I knew some action needed to be taken about my weight. The first run was tough, but gradually with each run it became less and less of a struggle. During my first year at University the commitment of regular running allowed me to lose over five stone (70 lbs) and it has since become a major passion in my life. Taking up running has undeniably helped to change my life and turn me in to a much healthier person, and now I intend to help it change others.

This year I am going to extreme lengths to raise awareness of the extremity of eczema, and how for many it is a chronic condition that has complete control over their life. As a keen runner, I had the intention of raising money for this cause through running, with the initial idea of potentially run the London Marathon. However, the more I thought about the cause, the more I realized how I would have to do something big to stand out from the thousands of other charity runners. This is where the idea of my 1000km challenge was born. Where I would run not one, but six marathons alongside 26 half marathons and 20 -10km races.  A year of running, far beyond anything I have done before, that would push my body to the limits and make people more aware of the severity of the condition.

Shane running

The thought of Jenny going through the emotional and physical pain alone is terrifying, but the scary fact is there are others like her, suffering in similar ways, but without someone by their side to support them. This is why this year my focus is as much about raising awareness of the condition as it is raising money for the charity. I have seen first hand the benefit of Jenny talking to others openly about her condition. I hope my message can reach others to let them know they are not alone with their suffering and that there are people out there doing all they can to help them.

This challenge has been described as me running to the end of the earth to try and find a cure for Jenny and to help her live an ‘ordinary’ life. However much pain my body goes through this year, and I expect to receive multiple injuries, it wouldn’t be a patch on what Jenny goes through on a daily basis. I hope that by the end of my challenge this year to have made a significant impact on people’s lives, and to have opened people’s eyes to the condition. I am not preparing to hang up my running trainers at the end of the year, despite how tempting it may be. For as long as there are people suffering with Eczema and ignorance surrounding the condition, I will be out there running, ‘looking’ for the cure.

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Join me in following and supporting Shane on his courageous journey:

Sponsorship Page: http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km
Official Website: http://runshanerun.co.uk/
Blog: http://1000kmchallenge.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/1000kmChallenge

Coping with Food Allergies, Eczema, and Asthma – A Parent’s Guide (Guest Post)

Elika and I met over twitter, both enjoying each others comments about food allergies. I asked her to help us. To help parents managing health conditions like food allergies, eczema, and asthma. Living with these conditions is so overwhelming and we focus so much on our children that we forget to take care of ourselves. Please take a minute for yourselves, to read this post, you deserve it.

Bio: Elika Kormeili, is the founder of Center for Healthy and Happy Living. She launched the company after struggling with her own food allergies and realizing the toll a restricted diet has on your emotional well-being. Elika wanted it to be as stress-free as possible to get quality counseling. Through her professional and personal experience, she realized that emotional health needs an integrative approach. Elika obtained her B.A from the UCLA in Psychology and an M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is passionate about working with individuals (just like you) who struggle with food allergies/sensitivities, stress-induced health problems, digestive health problems, food cravings, and emotional eating. Please visit her website or Facebook page and let her know how she can be of service to you.

Coping with Food Allergies, Eczema, and Asthma – A Parent’s Guide

I remember as an adult telling my mom about my food allergies and her face dropped. The wheels in her head were already turning thinking about how she will adapt her recipes so that I can eat (thanks mom).  I started reciting what I can and cannot eat – I paused and asked if she wanted me to continue, she looked at me and very reluctantly said “yes and no”.  My food restrictions were also causing her stress and anxiety.

Moms and dads you do so much great work protecting your kids with food allergies, eczema, and asthma and it made me wonder who takes care of you?  Here are a few tips just for parents.

1)    Work on your acceptance.  It is unfortunate, but you have a child with “special needs” and with that there comes a grieving period.  Sometimes, children are born with needs that weren’t anticipated and it challenges you as a parent. It takes more work on your part and you may feel a bit resentful.  Go ahead and grieve, grieve for the quality of life you wanted and the foods that you can no longer have in your home or the vacations that have to be placed on hold. Once you’re done grieving, accept the situation and deal with the hand you were dealt.

2)    Develop a self-care practice. You do so much for your family and probably don’t stop until you literally drop.  Learn effective ways to manage stress, from going for a walk, breathing exercises and eating healthy.  Remember that you are not invincible and even a superhero needs down time.

3)    Laugh every day. It’s the cheapest medicine and it really does work wonders. Guess what? You don’t even need a reason to laugh-just laugh for the sake of laughing, pretty soon it will be genuine laughter.

4)    If you are on this website, then you know the power of social support. It helps to connect with others and share your experience.  From learning about the experience of others you feel less isolated.

5)    Gratitude Attitude. Every night before you go to bed list 3 things that you are grateful for.

6)    Recognize when you need to talk to a professional.  You may benefit from talking to a licensed therapist if food allergies, eczema, or asthma are causing you or your child to avoid social situations, are impacting your relationships, or if your child is being bullied at school due to one of these conditions. If the daily anxiety of caring for your child becomes overwhelming, seek out a professional and don’t think twice.

7)    Last but not least, in case you are reading these tips and thinking “I don’t have time to do this” remember – you don’t have time to get sick and if you were not well then you are not able to fully be there for your family.

Thank you Elika. Those are some powerful tips, many of which I need to work on myself, like the gratitude attitude. What a great idea to remind myself what I’m grateful for everyday. It’s taken me a long time to get a proper handle on my self-care practice, but yoga and reading help to keep me in check. Social support is a big one, at least for me. I’ve connected myself with a large network of parents managing eczema, allergies, and asthma – mainly online through Facebook, Twitter, and this blog. It’s been such a relief to communicate with these parents – to share our frustrations, worries, and hopes.

Which of these tips have you mastered? Which tips do you need to work on? Do you have any tips of your own you’d like to share?

Eczema Awareness Month (USA) & Secret Sale Day 1

October is eczema awareness month in the United States.  In Canada it will be celebrated in November (more to come on that next month).

In October, $1 from every sale will be donated to National Eczema Association.

So, let’s spread as much eczema awareness as possible in the US in October!  But how? Here are a few ideas:

  • Speak to your child’s school or class to educate them about the myths and truths about eczema.
  • Form a support group in your area, the National Eczema Association can help.
  • Raise funds and donate them to help a family get to National Jewish Hospital’s Atopic Clinic or donate money or time to a local support group.
  • Buy from The Eczema Company! During the month of October, $1 from every sale will be donated to National Eczema Association.

A SECRET SALE!

To celebrate eczema awareness month, The Eczema Company is offering a daily SECRET SALE item.  Each day a new sale item will be announced, but the sale will only be valid until 11:59pm the same day.

What’s so secret about it? The coupon code for each secret sale item will be announced only on this blog, not promoted anywhere else. Make sure you’re subscribed to this blog, so you’re in the know as soon as a new sale is announced!

And to kick start this promotion…

Today’s secret sale is for ScratchMeNots! Save 50% off the retail price of $24.95. Keep little fingers from scratching with these mittens adored by parents everywhere. Try one if you haven’t before or stock up on the next sizes you’ll need for your growing child.

Use the following coupon code at checkout to take advantage of this one day secret sale.

SECRET1SMN

And remember to feel good about your purchase, $1 from every sale will be donated to the National Eczema Association!

An Incredible Experience with National Jewish Hospital’s Atopic Dermatitis Clinic (Guest Post)

Nancy, of Real Food, Allergy Free, and I connected via an eczema Facebook group, around the time I was starting The Eczema Company. When I learned that she was heading to National Jewish Hospital with her daughter, I was so excited for her and eager to hear first hand what her experience was like. NJH has such a unique, team approach to atopic dermatitis. I was sure you’d be just as curious as I was about how the hospital’s specialized clinic helps parents and children gain control over their eczema. So, I was thrilled when Nancy agreed to share her story with us. Thank you, Nancy!

Bio: Nancy is a home-schooling mom of four beautiful children.  Her youngest struggles with severe eczema.  Nancy is passionate about the real food movement, but is also a real mom with a limited amount of time and money.   Her blog, Real Food, Allergy Free , features fast, frugal and (mostly) healthy allergy-friendly recipes that even “normal” people would enjoy.

Born just a few days after her due date, Bella was a content and healthy newborn.  At six weeks old her skin turned bright red.  It almost looked raw.  I didn’t rush her to the doctor until it started oozing yellow fluid.  The doctor diagnosed her with infected eczema.

I remember thinking it didn’t look like the eczema my other children had.  My other children had small raised patches of itchy skin.  Bella’s entire body and bald head was bright red and oozing.  But then again, my other children never developed eczema this young nor had it been infected.  We were sent home with oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics and steroids, and a referral to a dermatologist.  That was the beginning of an exhausting five-year battle with the worst case of eczema I had ever seen.

As a newborn, eczema didn’t seem to bother Bella, but as she grew older and developed motor skills, the itching and scratching never seemed to stop.  All of her clothing and sheets were covered in blood stains from the wounds she opened while scratching.  We saw multiple pediatricians, dermatologists, and allergists.  Allergy testing showed she was allergic to egg, dairy, soy and nuts, so we limited her diet accordingly.  We tried every holistic approach we could find including consulting naturopaths, trying the GAPS diet, homeopathy, nutritional supplements and UVB therapy.  I was thankful that these treatments made the days somewhat tolerable, but the nights were unbearable.

Sometime in those first years Bella developed night terrors.  Even before she was able to talk in complete sentences, she would scream “no” and “ow” while tossing and turning like she was in pain.   Because she dug into her skin like a crazed person, my husband or I had to sit with her and do our best to stop her.

The older she grew, the more frequent the night terrors occurred.  It came to the point where there were more night terrors than sleeping.  Two hours of sleep per night became the norm.  We just couldn’t do it anymore.  When Bella was four years old, we asked the pediatrician for something to help her sleep.  After trying herbs and Melatonin, the doctor prescribed Clonodine.  It helped, but she was still having a couple of night terrors per night.  The doctor mentioned the next level of medication he could offer was Prozac.  We were not willing to go there, so we decided to be thankful for what sleep we were now getting.

I HATED that my child was so dependent on medication and yet was still miserable. My pediatrician and my dermatologist both independently recommended I take her to Cincinnati for a therapy that was basically chemotherapy.  I drew the line there.   I would have to be happy with where we were in this battle.  There were no options left.  That is until I joined a Facebook group I saw Jennifer was part of called “eczema parents.”  Everyone there was talking about a two-week program for children with severe eczema at National Jewish Health in Denver.

Bella in her wet wraps at NJH

I cannot explain in words the emotions I felt when hearing about this program.  I saw before and after pictures that blew my mind.  They were helping children live normal lives without extreme medical intervention.  I wanted to hope, but I was so afraid of disappointment.  I had no idea how we would afford a program like this, but I knew we had to give it a shot.

A phone call later I learned that National Jewish has a unique approach.  Every patient is assigned a team of doctors and nurses including an allergist, dietician and psychologist with specialized training in Atopic Dermatitis.  The skin is treated with hydration therapy (wet wraps) while extensive testing is completed to find triggers that cause the eczema to flare.  The child also attends individual therapy and group art therapy, and the parents attend group therapy.  I was thrilled to learn that our team would also include a sleep specialist.

National Jewish Health was a true answer to our prayers!  Through the miracle of wet wraps, Bella’s skin was 99% clear within three days!  You can read a daily log of our experience here.

The rest of the two weeks were spent teaching us how to maintain her new skin and testing and challenging her food allergies.  To my utter and complete amazement she passed all of her food challenges.  Not only did we leave there with new skin, but we left with only one dietary restriction: nuts.

Going into this program, I felt fairly confident that they would help Bella’s eczema and maybe open up her diet a bit, but I had no idea if they could help with the night terrors.  In just a few consultations, the sleep specialist gave me the hope I was looking for.

The sleep specialist explained that night terrors were nothing more than the child getting stuck between stages of sleep.  Night terrors are usually triggered by lack of sleep.  It was normal for kids with severe eczema to wake up from the itching several times per night.  She was sure that once we got the itching under control, the night terrors would go away.  We would no longer need medication.  To my amazement she was right!  Bella started sleeping through the night while we were there.  In the five months since, she has had three or four night terrors, and they were obviously connected to not getting enough sleep (sickness, house guests, etc.).

Should you take your child to National Jewish?  Absolutely!  Can you imagine walking into a hospital where all of the doctors just “get it?”  Everyone from the doctors to the nurses and even the sleep specialist, who isn’t normally part of the team, understood exactly what we were going through, and were confident they could help.  There is no cure for eczema, but the team at National Jewish has come pretty close.  Our lives were forever changed by the team at National Jewish.  I only wish I had known about it sooner.

Bella is all smiles with her eczema now under control.

Giveaway Celebrating our New Itchy Skin Support Forum

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winners – Bubbetta and Bevvy!

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I am happy to announce the launch of our new Itchy Skin Support forum!

As a mother of a child with eczema, food/seasonal allergies, and asthma, I’ve tried many medications, natural therapies, supplements, food restrictions, etc. I have found many things that work for my son and many things that haven’t worked. What works for you or your child, may not work for me or my child. Finding the itchy skin triggers and the right treatment program isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Let’s share our wealth of knowledge with one another. We can help and support each other – that’s what this board is all about!

Itchy Skin Support Forum

To celebrate the launch of our new Itchy Skin Support forum we’re giving away:

Kumfy Cotton Closed Mitten Shirt

(1) Pair of Kumfy Cottonpants OR shirt

(1) Bottle of All Things Jill Outdoor Joose (bug spray) OR After Sunny Spray

Giveaway Details

To enter simply sign-up to be a member of this forum AND either ask a question, post a comment, and/or respond to one of the topics already posted.

Two members with the best comment/question/response will be selected as winners. One member will be awarded a Kumfy Cotton shirt or pants of their choice. Another member will be awarded one All Things Jill item listed above.

The more posts you make, the greater your chances of winning!

Winner Selection

All Things Jill Outdoor Joose (bug spray)

The winners will be selected on Wednesday, June 20th. The winners will be notified and has 48 hours to select their clothing item and provide a shipping address to The Eczema Company. After 48 hours, if the original winners have not provided this information, other winners will be chosen and notified.

Thank you! Happy posting and welcome to our new forum!

Eczema Twitter Party! Friday, March 16, 2012 at 9pm EST

I’m super excited to announce….an Eczema Twitter Party! The first one exclusively about eczema…ever! You don’t want to miss out on this!

New to Twitter Parties? No worries! Mei, our host, has put together a really great post for twitter party newbies – so no one will be left out. No excuses.

Join Us for an Eczema Twitter Party!

When:     Friday, March 16th at 9:00pm EST

Topic:      What Works for your child’s eczema!

Hashtag:  #4Eczema

Host:        Mei of Eczema Blues

Sponsors: ScratchMeNot and The Eczema Company

We’ll be giving away 3 prizes suited for eczema children. Winners (from US or Canada) will be selected and contacted by our sponsors.

1st Prize:  US$30 store credit at The Eczema Company

2nd Prize: 1 ScratchMeNot Classic 3m-3T (Winner specifies whether for a boy or girl)

3rd Prize:  ZeeSpot – 100% Organic Onesie (Winner specifies whether for a boy or girl, may be short or long sleeve depending on the size)

Please read more details and RSVP at Eczema Blues.

Please help us spread the word! Please retweet:

Join #4Eczema Twitter Party 16 March 9-10pm EST as we chat What Works for Eczema! RSVP at http://bit.ly/AAJcuE Pls RT @eczemacompany

Looking forward to seeing you at the party!

The Emotional Side of Eczema (Guest Post)

Below is the beginning of a guest post I wrote for Sweet Knee. This week I’ve launched their full line of skincare products at my store, The Eczema Company. The company is mom owned, family operated and their products are great for eczema because the ingredients are organic, gluten free, and very soothing for dry, irritated skin.

The Emotional Side of Eczema

Eczema is a chronic illness that affects 10-20% of children in North America. The severity ranges from mild dry skin to extreme head-to-toe, red, inflamed skin. My son had the more severe form of eczema, but now that we’ve identified his key triggers (food allergies, detergents, and heat), his skin is 95% better. We count our blessings everyday for his miraculous turn around. And, as one mother who has been through the worst eczema can offer, I understand how truly gut wrenching and emotional this skin condition can be on the child and the rest of the family.

Something I heard early on is “what works for one child’s eczema, may not work for another.” I repeat this phrase constantly to remind myself and to others as it really captures what a challenge eczema is how frustrating it can be. It is NEVER easy. It keeps our children (and us) awake for hours at night as we cover their hands and try to comfort them doing anything in our power to distract from the itchiness and the overwhelming desire to scratch. It has us researching for hours about treatment options and new moisturizers to try. It has us racking our brains for any possible indication as to what may have triggered the last flare-up. We wonder if our children will be bullied because their skin looks different. We wonder if all the painful creams, different treatments, and nights without sleep will cause lasting damage to our little ones. Will they grow up to be happy and healthy or will they suffer with this condition forever? If they don’t grow out of it, how will they cope without us there to prepare their food free from allergies and to carefully monitor their skin? This is the emotional side of eczema and it’s a beast.

Read the full post on Sweet Knee’s blog.

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