Please welcome Kaitlin to the blog! Kaitlin is a higher ed professional and health-conscious mom committed to creating a healthy environment for her little one.
As winter slowly melts away, I am heartened by the glimpses of springtime - the birds chirping at sunrise, crocuses sprouting up from the soil, the sun remaining higher in the sky for just a few minutes longer each evening. I always look forward to spring - it feels like a time for new beginnings and new possibilities. Now that I have a child, I find myself yearning for spring all the more. Spring means more afternoons and evenings playing outside until sunset, fewer layers to put on to leave the house, and for my little boy, hopefully the end to his most recent bout of eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a fairly common skin condition that plagues up to 10% of the US population. The term “eczema” is actually an umbrella term for a number of different skin conditions, each with their own symptoms and treatments. 1 With that in mind, common symptoms of eczema include dry, red, and itchy skin that can be scaly and become raw from scratching. The causes of eczema vary person to person but triggers can include:
- Allergies due to animal dander, dust mites or pollen 2
- Stress (yes, even for children) 3
- Skin irritants, such as laundry detergents, perfumes, soaps, and clothing fibers 4
- Heat and sweating
- And the opposite! - The cold dry air of winter and the dryness caused by household heating and bathing can further exacerbate irritated skin as well. 5
Natural Eczema Remedies
Having spent much of this past winter wrestling with the most effective and natural products to give my toddler to fight his eczema, I found that a few of the tried and true suggestions truly did work best. Because the causes of eczema are diverse, it is important to consult with a natural health practitioner (as I did) who can create a plan tailored to meet individual needs. Below are three approaches that I found worked well for my son:
1. Cod Liver Oil
A daily dose of fish oil has been a long-standing remedy for combating dry skin and eczema. 6 We specifically use cod liver oil, which also incorporates a dose of vitamin D into his diet. He has loved the cod liver oil so much that he literally runs over to sip it off a spoon and actually says, “Maybe more tomorrow, Mommy?” after each serving!
2. Topical Oils
Probiotics can help with allergy prevention by improving the health of the gut. Given that eczema can be a sign of an allergic reaction, I have been giving my son a daily probiotic to help bolster his immune system. 7
My little boy’s skin is looking better than it has in months and even as the warm weather approaches, I’m thrilled to have these natural approaches in my toolbox to use all year round!