I know they are recommended, but most people do not realize that lanolin can be a HUGE HUGE trigger and irritant for people with eczema.
Even the dermatologist I went to as a teen recommended products with lanolin - no wonder my skin was constanty in bad shape.
This is a general post I developed a while back because I found myself answering similar eczema questions over and over again.
I've dealt with eczema my entire life. It's not necessarily just a childhood issue. I will preface my post by saying I am NOT pro-steroid and actively avoid prescription and OTC meds for eczema when possible, but sometimes it may be necessary to do a brief stint of them to get it back under control. When my eczema flares up badly, it becomes 100x more sensitive to any and all irritants.
I generally do not use any type of steroid BUT if I have a severe enough outbreak, I will for long enough to get it under control. The rashes have a tendency to spread like wildfire if you scratch, which really ups the chances of getting an infection in them. Been there, done that more than once. If I can get it calmed down, it’s much easier to manage. Severe outbreaks need a more aggressive treatment. I think they justify allopathic just to get them initially under control. THEN, I'd go for natural treatments in the case of a child who can't resist the scratching, which makes it much, much worse.
Although I almost always have a have at least a small area somewhere, usually on my hands or legs. As a child, I used to get it badly on the backs of my arms from elbow to wrist, legs, hands, etc. I'm answering you based on my personal experience and what does and does not work for me. My hands can get dry, scaly or blistered from peeling certain fruits, veggies, handsoaps….and on and on. Once it’s broken out, it’s SO MUCH more sensitive to everything and susceptible to infection. If you can just get the skin to heal, it’s still sensitive, but not so raw.
Eczema is closely linked to allergies, especially dairy. I didn't learn that until I was an adult, but it's true. I drank a lot of milk growing up and into adulthood and only found out it could be causing some of my problems a few years ago. Within a month after I quit milk, I noticed a *dramatic* improvement. I still eat some cheese (lack of willpower) but I do not drink any cow's milk.
Eczema can also be caused by seasonal and topical allergies: dust, mildew, mold, soaps, lotions, etc. When my seasonal allergies flare up, I tend to have more problems with my skin breaking out into rashes. Dust mites/dust allergies affect it too. You want to vacuum and dust more frequently than you ordinarily would.
Topical stuff is a HUGE HUGE problem for me. Switching over to handmade soap without harsh chemicals has helped a lot as well as giving up any lotions made with petroleum or mineral oil (they aren’t actually good for you though they are frequently recommended.) I avoid lanolin like the plague! I found oatmeal and Aveeno somewhat helpful, but some eucerin has lanolin in it and that makes my skin flare up. Plus, even though Aveeno is the best I've found OTC, it still has preservatives in it. The lotions the dermatologist I had seen recommended all had lanolin, petroleum, and other chemicals that I've since learned make my skin much worse.
Moisturizing is important and for that I use natural oils and lotions: almond oil, apricot kernel, shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, etc. I know some WAHMs who sell some homemade natural soaps, salves, and lotions that I love that don’t have the irritants that you find in even the best of what you can buy in a store. I also make some of my own skincare stuff. If you are interested in that, a good place to buy raw ingredients is A Garden Eastward ( http://addy.com/brinkley/
). If you buy one book about making natural skincare stuff, I recommend Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair by Dina Falconi ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...007954-4161614
I really STRONGLY recommend using only natural products on his skin. I can have a flare up from using the wrong commercial soap, shampoo, lotion, cleaner…pretty much anything with chemicals.
Last recommendations from my experience:
• Stay away from anything cosmetic like lotions or soaps. I use Lisa’s Custom Creations stuff – she’s been very helpful to me in dealing with my skin.
• Avoid lanolin. Some people recommend it, but it can be a bad trigger for some people, like me
• Stick with the dairy free diet
• Dust/vacuum/mop often so that she’s not getting into dusty areas
• Moisturize often
• Use laundry detergent without perfumes and dyes…I use All Free & Clear
• Cotton clothes that are breathable are best, avoid synthetics• If you have to use creams for a while, don’t beat yourself up. This is HARD to manage. You don’t have to use them forever, but just lessening the inflammation does so much good. I’m an adult and have a hard time with not scratching sometimes, even knowing fully well that when I do, it’s going to make me break out or break out far worse.