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4-year-old with VERY dry skin

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My 4yo dd has developed very dry skin of late, and I'm basically stumped for what to do. When we bathe her (as needed - read, not every night), I apply Burt's Bees Baby Skin Cream and it has always worked just fine; it even completely eradicated some eczema she'd developed early in life. In addition to that, during the winter months, when the air is always a bit drier, I also apply Burt's Apricot Oil - with great results -- but right now, nothing is working and she won't stand for being slathered up on the nights when she doesn't get a bath. Her skin looks absolutely fine (everywhere except around her upper thighs and hips, where she seems to be developing a few little red pimples -- as I have eczema, I know that this is not what this is), but to touch her skin, almost anywhere except her torso and face, it feels like sandpaper! Her scalp has also become extremely dry. Any suggestions? Do they even make a safe dandruff shampoo for children? Her diet hasn't changed in any appreciable way -- we're not eating anything we weren't before. I don't know where it's coming from and I don't know how to make it go away. ?????
post #2 of 19
We are dealing with extremely dry skin and eczema here in my younger 2 children. Fish oil is really helping my son, but nothing is really working on my little girl. Right now they only bathe every few days and only with water or a bit of handmade soap to wash their hair and then I lather them up with some lotion from Trader Joe's that isn't all perfumey. The childrens fish oil though made a HUGE improvement in my son's skin.... too bad my daughter still feels like she has scales....
post #3 of 19

dry skin

HI, go to your local health food store and buy some essential oils - give it in a teaspoon. This really helps lubricate the skin.

post #4 of 19
Are they getting an EFA/fish oil supplement? That seems to be the big thing on my boy's skin. If he misses his "fishies" in the morning by the evening his little patch of eczema will flair up and go red. A few days of that and its gone seriously yucky and his whole body starts to dry out. When he's on it he has great skin. We have him on double the recommended dose on the bottle. He had been on the normal dose for years, but for some reason something in his system kicked it up a notch and he started to *need* two.

Also, we use a plant based detergent on anything that touches him, as well as only using natural, plant based soaps in the bath.

To me, it really sounds like there's a real need to get some oils into the system.

Oh, and the best thing that I've found for dandruff is my henna treatment, but then you'd have a redhead (if you don't already), hehe. I've heard of people intentionally "killing" the dye through the paste preparation and just using it for dandruff or antibacterial/antifungal applications, but it seems like it would be tough and you'd be risking orange hair. But if everything is sloughing off, I doubt that you have a case of true, fungal dandruff, rather extreme flaking.
post #5 of 19
Hey did you give a try to shea butter? It works well on the skin of my five year old. But, I am not as consistent as I should be and her skin does feel like sandpaper. Can you tell me more about fish oil supplement? What is EFA? What should I look for (and avoid) when I go shopping for it? I mean what is a sign of good/poor quality? (please, do not give brands because I do not live in the US, so we have different brands here)
post #6 of 19
Do you use a humidifier in your home and/or her bedroom? This seems to help our dc's. Furnace heat can really suck a lot of moisture out of the skin.
post #7 of 19
to the poster recommending fish oil - what brand of fish oil are you giving and are you just giving it in a liquid form on a teaspoon or some sort of pill? I am interested in doing something for my ds (who has mod/severe eczema). Thanks!
post #8 of 19
Especially this time of year, dry skin and scaly patches can be allergy-related. Letting DD take a warm (not hot) shower every evening to sluice off allergens might help. I'm not sure about the dandruff shampoo that's safe for kids, but at four, she might be able to hold her eyes closed long enough for you to use a dry scalp product in the shower. I highly recommend the Aveeno eczema and severely dry skin products. It makes my skin so much better and it works with my little ones as well.
post #9 of 19
I second, or third, or whatever, the fish oil. It is key for me. I take an EPA/DHA supplement and when I don't, if it's winter, my hands crack and bleed they get so dry.

I give both of my kids 1 tsp/day of Nordic Naturals cod liver oil. (And I double that when they are sick.) The orange flavor is the only one I can get my LO to take. I am thinking about switching to a high-vitamin CLO. You could look on the Weston Price Foundation website for doses of Vitamin A to look for in the CLO. Every brand is different, as far as how much Vit A, EPA, DHA, etc, it has in a tsp.

It really helped my older DC when he was a toddler and had eczema. (In addition to identifying the food allergens.)
post #10 of 19
Another vote for fish oil - we love Nordic Naturals.

And the best lotion I have found, ever, is ShiKai Borage Lotion Pediatric which was recommended to me here, on an eczema thread I asked for help on finding a good lotion. Frontier carries it, if you are ever lucky enough to get in on a co-op.
post #11 of 19
My dd's eczema / dry skin is directly associated with the foods she eats. Have you taken a look at the diet? There could be food insensitivities.
post #12 of 19
Im sure you already know this, but thought I would put it out there... Have you thought of any food allergies? My ds (7months) has soy and milk protein allergies, he is breastfed and the smallest amount of soy or milk in my diet covers him in excema. After the break out his skin feels like sand paper :0( poor kids!!!
I have been washing him with burts bees and then when he is still in the bath I cover him with the Burts apricot oil. Then when I pull him out I put baby shea butter from www.simplypureproducts.com (with out essential oils or frangrance) all over him. The burts bees lotion just didnt seem to cut it for him. We also got a whole house humidifier.

I hope she is feeling better!!
post #13 of 19
Oil helps my DD with dry skin, but rather than fish oil, I just give her Smart Balance, which is a combination of olive oil and canola oil. It is tasteless and easy to mix in with other food, such as a smoothie, yogurt, cottage cheese, or to pour a little on top of salad, soup, etc. I try to give her at least 2 teaspoons a day. This is an easy way to get the oil into her, as they sell this type of oil at a regular grocery store and since it is mixed with her food I don't have to get her to *take* it.
post #14 of 19
We use SmartFish, I think its called. Its in a gel cap shaped like an orange fish and is orange flavored. I eat his when I run out of mine . He considers it a big treat and will crunch down on them to get the oil out.

I think Dr. Sears sells a similar product on his website if they don't sell them in the US. (Wasn't really in the market for that sort of thing back when I lived there, hehe)
post #15 of 19
yes, fish oil. also, i didnt see a mention of water intake. do they drink enough water? my ds scalp will get dry within three days of less water, if we just forget to bring some in the car, say. also, good fats in general. remember not to give kids foods as lean as parents eat- they need the fat. ds eats a lot of white asian rice, but i make his using homemade chicken broth or fish oily broth to make it fattier. i dont do this for dh, he is on the other end, LOL!
and if the winter is the problem- the housing market is good for buyers right now in sunny florida!blessings, stay smooth.
post #16 of 19
I STIK M you're right about water intake. Now, how to get my dd to drink more water I do not know. You're also right about good fats, I think. My dd1 loves butter and eats a good portion of that everyday. I can see she craves it, and perhaps that's because there's a lack for fat in our diets as a family (we're skinny)? We really do not eat much fat. Like, I do not eat meat, eat very little fish once in awhile, I am not even sure what kinds of food have fat that you think would be good?
post #17 of 19
Avocados jumped right to my mind. When my skin is really dry, I eat a lot of those and I try to cook in olive oil more often. Just a simple salad with oil and vinegar dressing can give you some good fats. Nuts contain good fats, too, although with allergies, you have to watch those!
post #18 of 19
Omega 3s, definitely! We buy Coromega for the kids. It's an orange flavored paste. They can suck it right off your finger or a spoon, or you can add it to yogurt. It tastes terrific-- I eat it myself several times a week. I give DD1 half a packet a day, and I give the twins a packet a week since they're still breastfeeding and don't need it as badly.
post #19 of 19
my dd and i both have super dry skin. when it's dry to the point of itching bad, our doc suggested the 1% hydrocortizone cream, and it works wonders. the rest of the time we use eucerine (has tea tree oil in it) or shea butter based lotions
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