The diagnosis of eczema in children under 17 is becoming more prevalent in the United States. A portion of it to be blamed on genetics and a portion on environmental as well as dietary factors. It is a scary thing when you first see it on your child. At first you think WHAT IS THAT? Is it hives? I thought they were hives because my son’s nanny at the time decided to give him two eggs each morning for a week. Excessive right? We started eliminating eggs from his diet but that didn’t seem to help much. I rewinded back to late October and remembered that we had a lot of chemical and emotional stressors in our life. We were exposed to high levels of toxicity unfortunately and we as a family paid for it with our health. Coming from an alternative health care background as well as growing up in a family that always supported natural remedies prior to medication, we held back on the anti-inflammatory steroid drugs that most pediatricians prescribe.
We were fortunate to be able to change pediatricians and fall into the open arms of a one of a kind pediatrician. A pediatrician who supports alternative medicine and will try everything else before he over prescribes medications to a child. We got lucky, but many families don’t. Can you imagine having a child on prescription steroids for the rest of their life? I heard a story like that. A 30 year old man who was diagnosed with eczema when he was a toddler and ended up on prescription medications at an early age. He felt like an 80 year old. He had more illnesses than he could have imagined due to so much inflammation building up in his body from the medicine. He overwhelmed his body and now it was failing him. That story made me feel very afraid for my son and his future. I didn’t want my son to end up like that so I knew I had to be pro-active about it. I write this because I want other moms to know that there are other ways to help your infants, toddlers, and kids with eczema. I am happy to know that what helped my son, helps other kids and I will continue to spread the word. They say there is no cure for eczema but at least there is a way to become asymptomatic. For some kids this may work better than for others, but you try and you do what you think is best as a mom!
According to the “National Eczema Association” most kids who get eczema will continue to have it in adulthood.
“A substantial proportion of the US population has symptoms of eczema; 31.6 million with eczema, and at least 17.8 million with moderate to severe eczema or atopic dermatitis. The prevalence of childhood eczema/atopic dermatitis in the US is 10.7% overall and as high as 18.1% in individual states and 21% across various countries. Approximately one out of every three children with eczema/atopic dermatitis has moderate to severe disease. A recent study found that the prevalence of eczema in adults is 10.2%, which suggests that most children with eczema/atopic dermatitis continue to be affected even in adulthood. Three percent of US adults have moderate to severe eczema/atopic dermatitis requiring systemic therapy” (http://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-prevalence/).
This is a growing problem. There is limited treatment and the steroids that are supposed to control the symptoms do more harm than good. One side affect listed of a topical hydrocortisone cream says, “If the cream/ointment is used for a long period, there is a risk that the skin will become thinner, there may be some scarring and small blood vessels may become visible on the skin and areas of the skin may become darker” (http://www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/search-for-a-leaflet/hydrocortisone-topical-for-eczema/). Yes short-term use can help with the symptoms but what do you do after? What do you do if you have to use it long-term? You risk that your skin will become damaged and other unpleasant side effects. You need to search for the underlying cause, instead of masking the symptoms.
To investigate what those underlying causes are we started with an elimination diet. Everything in his diet for two weeks was gluten free, grain free, no eggs, and nothing red. We would start to re-introduce the foods slowly and monitor the rashes. For some reason we would see a spike in redness if he ate tomatoes or red apples. He loves apples so we switched him to green apples instead. You can also request blood work specifically to see what your little one is allergic to. The doctor also suggested daily vitamins and probiotics. Along with that we offered itchiness relief by applying a miracle lotion (at least I thought it was) called “SHIKIA BORAGE THERAPY CHILDREN’S LOTION.” I also used aveeno baby eczema lotion but found that Shikia’s was more effective in the beginning. My son’s pediatrician also prescribed him homeopathic droplets. During bath-time I would put in Aveeno baby eczema bath treatment for soothing. He was also constantly adjusted as needed. Chiropractic does help restore the nervous system and played a major role in helping his system detox from all the toxicity.
My son’s eczema was between mild and severe. It was getting to the severe stage before we finally hit a downward spiral and all the inflammation decreased. After everything we followed through this regime day by day religiously and it was gone. Sometimes it may still pop out once in a while when he eats something he’s not supposed to, but it goes away. It never hits the severe stage.
You need to find an underlying cause to disease and fix that, not only treat the symptoms!
SHORT REMEDY LIST OF WHAT TO TRY:
1. Elimination diet
3. Daily vitamins (we did Vitamin D and C)
4. Best lotions that worked for us: Shikai borage therapy for children & Aveeno baby eczema
5. Bath time with Aveeno baby eczema treatment (avoid over–bathing)
6. Keep your toddlers nails short! I learned that the hard way. He would scratch until he bled!
7. If possible see a pediatrician with an alternative health care background.
8. See a Chiropractor who specializes in pediatrics (check out ICPA or click here for one in your area!)
It’s difficult to see your child in pain or covered in rashes. It takes time to clear. Be patient. Be consistent. And follow through.