Please help me clear up my baby's eczema without steroids! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 12-26-2003, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please please tell me there is something else I can do besides giving my little sweetie steroids! He's got awful eczema, it's weeping and red and he just itches like crazy. He can't sleep at night and I'm exhausted. It's only on his head, he doesn't come in contact with anything but 100% cotton and we've tried switching soap and detergent but it keeps getting worse, not better. I've tried some homeopathic remedies but nothing seems to be helping. Is there anything I've missed or should I just take him to the doctor and let her give him steroids?
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#2 of 25 Old 12-26-2003, 11:27 PM
 
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Have you tried dairy elimination?
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#3 of 25 Old 12-26-2003, 11:34 PM
 
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I think that Elidel is non-steroidal. It works well.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#4 of 25 Old 12-26-2003, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am eliminating dairy right now.
And that is the second recommendation for Elidel I've gotten. Do you know where I could find it?
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#5 of 25 Old 12-26-2003, 11:37 PM
 
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I think it's prescription only. I'd recommend calling your ped.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#6 of 25 Old 12-26-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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Elidel is recommended for ages two and up. You didn't say which of your dc have eczema but it sounds like the younger one. It's pretty expensive too.

It could take a full month to see the benefits from dairy elimination so stick with it.
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#7 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Trish, yes it is my youngest that has the eczema so he probably couldn't tolerate the Elidel anyway. I am bathing him frequently and trying to keep the skin moist and cool. I guess all I can do now is wait and see if the dairy elimination does any good.
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#8 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 12:31 AM
 
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JMO, but I'd ask the doc anyway....can't hurt to ask. I'm fairly certain it was prescibed for my youngest before she was two.

As for the expense....my ped gave me enough samples so that I didn't even have to fill the 'script.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#9 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 12:38 AM
 
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I am bathing him frequently and trying to keep the skin moist and cool.
Frequent bathing is acutally very drying to the skin. I'm not saying to let your babe get stinky but when ds had it I bathed him every other day at most.

As for Elidel before two, the literature that Novartis distributes says for children 2 and up. I know that there are a lot of under two year olds on Elidel but I would not allow my under 2 year old to test the drug for them.
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#10 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The Dr. Sears web site recommends daily bathing.
Quoted from askdrsears.com in the section on eczema "moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! This is the single most important step in minimizing your child's eczema. Do not underestimate this! This needs to be part of your daily routine with your child. Luke warm baths – hot water can dry the skin. Let your child play and soak in the bath. Do not let him soak in soapy water. It used to be felt that frequent bathing made eczema worse. Now we know that lukewarm baths allow water to soak into the skin"
That's the only reason I started bathing him every day.
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#11 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 01:54 AM
 
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IMO bathing your ds every day will not be helpful.

I have posted here about my ds's eczema here several times. Here's what happened with him:

He developed eczema at the 6-7 month mark. From head to toe. It was incredible. So severe that it was a nightmare for him and he could not get relief. I took him to my peds office and he was given a topical steroid, which I applied to him once and then realized that I just was not comfortable with doing that.

My next step was to take him to my cousin, who is a homeopath. This is what he told me about treating any skin condition:

-You need to treat from within. Any skin problem is a symptom of something happening internally in your body. A topical steroid will offer quick relief, but your ds's body will eventually need to flush those toxins out and the eczema will come back (probably worse than before). Topical steroids can also lead to breathing problems or effect exhisting breathing conditions.

-To find out the cause of my ds's eczema, my cousin used muscle testing (painless and easy) to find out what food and/or environmental triggers were causing any internal issues to manifest through my ds's skin. In his case it was dairy, chicken, and oranges. But every person's triggers and intolerences are unique.

-My son was treated with a few different homeopathic remedies for about 6 weeks. These remedies were tailored to his situation and his body's needs. He was not treated topically at all. As I explained before, the body needs to flush out toxins and covering the skin will not allow those toxins to come out.

-I asked my cousin about scratching, bathing, and anything topical and here's what we did:
-we limited bathing and used only water or a mild organic baby soap when really necassary.
-As long as your child's nails are kept short and his hands are washed frequently, scratching will do nothing to harm him, but may provide some relief.
-The only thing that we put on my ds was the purest calendula lotion that we could find. Once a day (if that) very sparingly.

The most amazing part was that my ds experienced a HUGE improvement in about a week and it was completely gone within a few weeks. He will be 2 tomorrow and he hasn't had one patch since that time.

It was pure hell when he was going through it, and I wanted a quick fix just so that he would feel better. But I am glad that we helped him the way we did. It was a lot of staying up and holding him and rocking him and distracting him during the day, but it was worth it.
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#12 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 02:10 AM
 
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We are struggling with eczema here too. Ian is 9 months old, has had eczema since he was around 10 weeks old.

The first thing the peds recommended was daily bath, and then slather on petroleum. I tried that - using Lanolin instead of petroleum. No luck - in fact, the daily bath made it worse. Then they wanted me to use Elidel. The insert says not for children under 2, but I know a lot of people who use it anyway. It is an immunosuppresant. That is why the pharmco won't recommend it - they are not sure how it will affect the developing immune system. I said no thanks and haven't been back to the ped since. They just want to fix the surface - I'm on a mission to find out what is wrong with my baby!

I believe the key is gut repair and finding the trigger(s). I started taking probiotics and also giving them to Ian. I eliminated dairy, gluten, and cut way back on sugar. I started supplementing with Vitamin C, cod liver oil for general health; and zinc, MSM, and EFA's as eczema can be exacerbated by these deficiencies. I still can't find the trigger. We have an appointment with an environmental allergist, and I am going to request a series of tests on Ian to measure his immune system function, his mineral levels, and heavy metals.

Florasone is a homeopathic alternative to steroid creams - it helps some. Hemp oil on the skin is pretty soothing and helps to add moisture. I have also used calendula cream to sooth. Oatmeal baths will give some relief to itching.

Also, I wanted to add that the extreme red and the weeping sounds like impetigo - a staph infection that settles is. BTDT way to often. They scratch and rub and the staph makes a home on the raw skin. And since eczema is an immune system dysfunction, it makes sense to me that they are very susceptible to skin infection. It is very persistent. Nip it in the bud if you can...I have had to resort to antibiotic creams a couple of times, but I am trying really hard to avoid oral antibiotics.

Anyway, that is my story if it helps any.

There are so many links here that have been a huge help to me - I have been lurking and learning from the archives for months trying to figure out what is wrong...I hope you find something that helps.

*Edited to correct spelling mistakes
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#13 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 02:19 AM
 
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I second staying away from any petroleum based products.

And hugs to your children. May they find some relief.
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#14 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MamaOui - I would not bathe him daily if it didn't seem to provide any comfort or relief to him. It does, so I am continuing to bathe him daily.
If I could afford to see a homeopath, I would have already. I simply cannot. It is a choice between electricity and a homeopath, simple as that.
I would allow him to scratch but even with short, short nails he digs in and it starts bleeding, not to mention it gets more inflamed and red and starts to look awful.
I will look for the calendula lotion, if I can find some I will use it.
Iansmama - My DS developed it right around 10 weeks as well.
I had used some petroleum-based products like Aquaphor and I also tried some lanolin but he kept rubbing them off, getting it in his eyes and in his mouth and the danger of him ingesting it made me stop using it.
What exactly is a probiotic and how is it going to help this situation?
I have eliminated dairy, wheat, refined sugar, soy and eggs. It hasn't been long enough to tell if it's helping or not.
When I can afford to I will pick up some fish oil capsules because I have heard it might help. I already am taking a vitamin c and zinc supplement to get us through these lingering colds. What are MSM and EFA?
Where can I find some Florasone? It is prescription only?
I will see if I can find/afford some hemp oil.
My mother, who is a nurse, also suggested impetigo. How does one treat that, if that is in fact what he has?
I, too, am trying to not resort to antibiotics and steroid creams. I just don't think my almost-4-month-old's immune system and developing brain and body need these kinds of things in there messing things up. I just want my baby not to scratch and rub his head until bleeds. I want him to be able to sleep in general comfort. I want him to feel better!
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#15 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 10:16 AM
 
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Your poor baby -- and poor you.

I had a bit of eczema on my breasts from breastfeeding and the allergist suggested using Domeboro soaks. They provided so much relief. I copied the info from Walgreen's web site for you. I'm not sure if you can use it with a baby, but here's the information. Hope it helps.

Domeboro
Astringent Solution Powder Packets

12.0 ea.
Price/Unit: $1.17/ea.
Price: $13.99

Quantity:


Aluminum Acetate.
Soothing, Effective Relief of Minor Skin Irritations Due to:
Poison ivy
Athlete's foot
Insect bites
Rashes
Domeboro provides soothing, effective relief of minor skin irritations.
For over 50 years doctors have been recommending Domeboro Astrigent Solution to help relieve minor skin irritations.
Aluminum Acetate:
Each powder packet, when dissolved in water and ready for use, provides the active ingredient Aluminum Acetate resulting from the reaction of Calcium Acetate 938mg, and Aluminum Sulfate 1191 mg. The resulting astrigent solution is buffered to an acid pH.


Uses

Temporarily relieves minor skin irritations due to:
poison ivy
poison oak
poison sumac
insect bites
athlete's foot
rashes caused by soaps, detergents, cosmetics or jewelry


Instructions

Dissolve one, two or three packets of Domeboro Powder in 16 ounces of water to obtain the following modified Burrow's Solution:
One Packet:
1:40 Dilution, 0.16% Aluminum Acetate.
Two Packets:
1:20 Dilution, 0.32% Aluminum Acetate.
Three Packets:
1:13 Dilution, 0.48% Aluminum Acetate.
Do not strain or filter the solution.
Can be used as a compress, wet dressing or as a soak.
As A Compress or Wet Dressing:
Saturate a clean, soft, white cloth - such as a diaper or torn sheet - in the solution.
Gently squeeze and apply loosely to the affected area.
Saturate the cloth in the solution every 15 to 30 minutes and apply to the affected area.
Discard the solution after each use.
Repeat as often as necessary.
As A Soak:
Soak affected area in the solution for 15 to 30 minutes.
Discard solution after each use.
Repeat 3 times a day.
Active Ingredients
Aluminum Acetate
For external use only.
Avoid contact with the eyes.
When using this product, do not cover compress or wet dressing with plastic to prevent evaporation.
Stop use and ask a doctor if conditions worsen or symptoms persist more than 7 days.
Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
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#16 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 11:05 AM
 
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#17 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 11:28 AM
 
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Didn't have time to read all posts, but here are some suggestions that helped my ds and me rid our eczema:

avoid wheat, dairy, sugar

use Aura Cacia Exotic Massage Butter (It is cocoa butter, coconut oil and essential oils, found probably on web but also in natural food stores) - this stuff stops itching on contact and is healing as well. Of course doesn't help with the source of ezcema but is excellent topical reliever.

don't use any moisterizers with alcohol

Don't use bleach or harsh detergents (use white vinegar and natural dish and laundry soap).


I had eczema all over my legs arms and hands and today have none. Babe's was slight but as soon as I started above it disappeared.

Good luck, Mary
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#18 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 12:38 PM
 
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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.
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#19 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 04:00 PM
 
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I use lanolin on my eczema and it works wonders. Everyone has different skin and different responses. What works for one person will not necessarily work for all.

I also use a wet-to-dry dressing on my eczema to heal and protect the area if the skin becomes broken. Wet to dry dressings involve normal saline soaked into a gauze pad with a dry gauze pad over that to protect it. It heals very fast that way. I keep the dressing on for only a few hours a day. when the dressing isn't on I use either lanolin or carmex for maintaining skin moisture and reducing inflammation. (the saline also reduces inflammation). Wet-to-dry dressings are used in hospitals to heal wounds. They're easy, cheap and effective.

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#20 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 05:40 PM
 
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My homeopath also recommended tuberculinim...cleared up dd's skin quickly. I've also given her a dose here and there since. Oddly enough it cannot be purchased over the counter as the FDA has "mysteriously" (per the MD/homeopath) as a prescription.
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#21 of 25 Old 12-27-2003, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by shine
I use lanolin on my eczema and it works wonders. Everyone has different skin and different responses. What works for one person will not necessarily work for all.
sandi
I just wanted to make it clear that lanolin can be an irritant and most people are not aware of that. I spent years using lotions with lanolin that the dermotologist recommended and feeling frustrated that my skin stayed broken out. My legs used to be broken out constantly and since I stopped using anything like that, I very seldom have problems with that.
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#22 of 25 Old 12-28-2003, 04:15 PM
 
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My ds has eczema as well- I agree that most topical applications inflame this type of eczema (food allergy eczema). I haven't been able to clear it completely- it is on his wrists and ankles- but foods in my diet (am bf-ing) and his trigger flares.

The BIGGIES for us are wheat, tomatoes, corn, citrus, soy and hugest is any tupe of nuts.

We eliminated dairy for 2 days with no effect- that was the first thing. Still, if gets too much dairy, I notice a flare. It's mostly butter that does it.

My doctor said beware of using steroids to block it- that can result in asthma.

I am concerned that my ds might have a secondary infection int he eczema from scratching, but its not impetigo- are there any others?

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#23 of 25 Old 12-28-2003, 05:06 PM
 
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We eliminated dairy for 2 days with no effect- that was the first thing. Still, if gets too much dairy, I notice a flare. It's mostly butter that does it.
2 days is not nearly long enough to see a difference in eliminating dairy. You need to stick with it for at least 2 weeks, a month is much, much better.
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#24 of 25 Old 09-03-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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I have a daughter now 20 months old who has had eczema since she was born. When she hit about 1 yrs. Old she started breaking out with head to toe eczema I would stay up with her off and on throughout the night while she cried because she itched so bad. I would cry with her at times due to me feeling so bad for her and our lack of sleep. I have looked through forum after forum, internet searches and doctors looking for anything that would help relieve her eczema. I have tried oatmeal baths, no bath, then switched to 20 min. long baths and I found that no bath for a few days works best. I went to the doctor who prescribed oral steroids, with much hesitation on the steroid thing, I went ahead and gave them to her because we were so desperate. After about 9 days of giving her the oral steroids they were doing nothing for her. I called her doctor and asked if this was normal and he said most children will show some improvement. With her there was none so we took her off the steroids immediately. The next day her skin cleared up by about 30%. But her skin was still bad. I was searching in forums for natural ways to help her and heard about Flax oil, Borage oil and different things that have helped other peoples children. I finally ran across a forum were a lady with a lifelong battle with eczema has been relived with a phytoplankton whole food liquid (Multivitamin of sorts) called FreaquenSea . I went to the website she listed to get it, I was willing to try anything natural that would not harm my child like prescription steroids. I gave it to her and within the first week I started seeing her inflamation in her skin go down. After a month and a half of being on this product She is about 90% clear of eczema. I hope the longer she is on she will improve even more. She occasionally has flare ups from certain foods she eats but the FreaquenSea helps them subside in a day. I also Put Jojoba oil on her 2x a day and this seems to work well for her. You can get Jojoba oil at most natural food stores. . I know how desperate moms are out there for help with their childrens eczema so I hope these things can work for you. Good Luck to all. send me a message if you have questions
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#25 of 25 Old 09-03-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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I put Epsom Salts in my DD lukewarm bath. But her bad spots were on her ankles. The magnesium in the salts can help. I also take Evening Primrose Oil as she still nurses (she'll be 3 soon). It seemed that her skin got worse with exposure to egg, also. Now I know she is highly allergic to that along with dairy.
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