Why not to use vaseline for eczema? (nt) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 01-27-2006, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A mom on a local message board said her Dr. advised to use either baby oil or vaseline on her eczema baby. Both are pertrolium products to the best of my knowledge. To me it just makes sense, I need no convincing that petrolium-based products musn't go on my kids, but what are the exact reasons why? What's so bad about these products?
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#2 of 37 Old 01-29-2006, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone?
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#3 of 37 Old 01-29-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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Your skin is your biggest organ. Whatever you put on your skin, you just ate. Would you feed your dc petroleum? Also, It blocks the pores. Not generally a good idea. Hope that helps.
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#4 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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The main thing that helped my son's ezcema was Aquaphor and it is basically Vaseline. I only had to use it a little bit. Surely a little won't hurt.

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#5 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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mineral oil can draw nutrients OUT of the skin so that when it is no longer on the skin, the skin can be in worse shape than before and you must keep reapplying it.
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#6 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 11:26 AM
 
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Eucerin unscented worked well for ds#2, but I don't remember what was in it. Since you can buy it at a regular store, I'm guessing not such good things are in it.

Non-Petroleum Jelly from the health food store might be something you could suggest for her to use.

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#7 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suggested calendula ointment because it worked miracles for us, and is all natural (the one we bought anyway).

I'm still looking around for scientific resons why petrolium jelly is as bad as I've heard. I want my reasoning to be based on that, not how I feel because I'm not going to be taken seriously then *he he*

Can you tell I'm really out to debunk this vaseline obsession that so many North American parents have! May be I'm being a bit obsessive on this one, but my gut is telling me that this stuff shouldn't be on the skin of babies.
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#8 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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Don't use a product with minaeral oil or petroleum jelly. I am not a fan of wiping my DC with purified motor oil. The skin can't breathe it drys it out and can cause it to get worse. I used olive oil mixed with oatmeal and heated up for a few seconds so it is warm. The warmth soothes dry irritated skin and the mixture moisturizes. Another good remedy is Tea tree oil, Sweet almond mixing oil and a little bit of lavander.
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#9 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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I would recommend that people try everything natural before going the petroleum jelly route. That is what I did with my daughter's eczema. Unfortunately, Aquaphor and hydrocortizone in a petrolatum base have been the only things that have worked for her. For me, the obvious and immediate threat of hospitalizations due to secondary infections was scarier to me than the *possible* long term effects of using Aquaphor.

We did try everything natural that we could find. It cost a heckuva lot of money. But Aquaphor is very expensive, too.

I hope your friend is able to find a natural remedy, but she's not a failure if she has to turn to Aquaphor.

Everyone's body chemistry is different, and they all respond to different things.

L.
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#10 of 37 Old 01-30-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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I was so happy to see this thread! Just this morning our ped told me to use Aquaphor for my dd's eczema, and I'm so reluctant to use it. I hate the way it feels (so does dd), and it just doesn't sit right with me. I avoided petroleum products all through my pregnancy and now I'm rubbing one into her skin! Unfortunately, dd has had the eczema for two weeks now (she's 3 1/2 months old) and I've tried many homeopathic creams, such as Florasone, Weleda Calendula Baby Lotion, and Weleda Skin Food. The skin food is nice and thick, like the Aquaphor, but it has lanolin in it, which I've heard also can be an allergen!! Anyway, none of these really helped...

BTW I've tried the elimination diet too - now at 2 1/2 weeks, but I don't see much of a difference. Eczema's all over dd's torso, arms and legs (but not nappy area or face or hands). Still looking for a good and safe laundry detergent (no brighteners, perfumes or dyes) if anyone has any suggestions.
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#11 of 37 Old 01-31-2006, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that pertrolium jelly has it's place in skin treatments, but it gets under my skin that many parents use it as a fix-all. I suppose my agression toward this comes from the excessive use of pertrolium jelly to fix diaper rash -- hello, ever heard of changing your baby's diaper more often, using cloth, or EC-ing? Anyway I *hate* when practitioners and everyone else seems to think that pertrolium jelly is a gift from the gods to be used lavishly whenever and wherever possible.

The mamas who are still struggling to find something to relieve their baby's itch, a goes out to you. I've been there, and it was no fun. We were lucky enough that calendula ointment worked wonders. I know I was desperate to just give my son that little relief so he wouldn't be miserable every waking moment while I desperately tried to find the allergens. For those moms who need to use pertrolium jelly, you just have to, and I completley understand that.

MuesliMama, 2-1/2 weeks may not be long enough to get the allergens out of your systems (especially dairy I hear). Keep at it mama. The best advice I got is to focus on the foods I could eat rather than those I couldn't. That changed my outlook completley (though may be you aren't having issues with adjusting to the elimination diet).

I know Seventh Generation is one company that makes detergents like the one you're looking for. The site lists all the ingredeints for every product. There are others out there, but no other brand names come to mind at the moment.
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#12 of 37 Old 01-31-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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You can also wash laundry with baking soda in place of detergent and vinegar in place of fabric softener. You can omit the vinegar if it's causing allergic problems (since distilled white vinegar is made from grain, it might be a problem for somebody allergic to grain.)

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#13 of 37 Old 01-31-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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we use pure sesame oil (not toasted) I rub it on 15 minutes before I bathe her and then I bathe her like normal. I think it works miracles! I got it out of an ayurvedic remedies book for excema. also My dh had excema his whole life he cut out dairy (mostly) and increased his (wild caught fresh frozen)salmon consumption(he's a vegetarian otherwise),he uses only olive oil and sunflower oil to cook with also for essential fatty acids. Could you be eating too much dairy?? too much Meat?? ok
good luck-hth!

P>S. we use ECOS 'free' laundry detergent
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#14 of 37 Old 01-31-2006, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
You can also wash laundry with baking soda in place of detergent and vinegar in place of fabric softener. You can omit the vinegar if it's causing allergic problems (since distilled white vinegar is made from grain, it might be a problem for somebody allergic to grain.)
I agree. If you are avoiding corn, you'll probably have to get corn-free baking soda. I've also heard apple cider vinegar (ACV) is much better tolerated than white potato vinegar. You might want to try the more unprocessed varieties however to be safe (raw ACV)
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#15 of 37 Old 01-31-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siana
I agree. If you are avoiding corn, you'll probably have to get corn-free baking soda. I've also heard apple cider vinegar (ACV) is much better tolerated than white potato vinegar. You might want to try the more unprocessed varieties however to be safe (raw ACV)

Baking soda is a mineral (sodium bicarbonate.) Baking powder is what usually has corn in it.
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#16 of 37 Old 01-31-2006, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops (my daughter calls it "sodium bicarbonate", not "baking soda"!). I thought both the soda and powder had some corn derivatives in it for freshness and to keep it from clumping together. Anyway, I think you're right.
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#17 of 37 Old 02-03-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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Mueslimama, it's true that it will probably take longer than two weeks to see results. What have you eliminated?
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#18 of 37 Old 02-03-2006, 02:40 PM
 
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We had good luck with olive oil. I use eucerine also..........but I will admit my dd had one out break that I finally grabbed vasiline. It was messy ruined some clothes but she got relief. It was last resort.
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#19 of 37 Old 02-03-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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Thanks for all the good suggestions!

Let's see, I've tried eliminating dairy, soy, eggs, all nuts, tomatoes, citrus, and chocolate (!!!!) for three weeks now. Also tried eliminating wheat and corn for 10 days, then added back with no difference. Problem is, I messed up: just saw that the wheat bread I bought this week has some whey in it!! Arghhhhhh. Should've read the ingredients better. So I guess I'm starting over.... I've also been taking fish oil capsules and eating ground flaxseed to see if they help. Thinking about doing the real Sears elimination diet if things don't improve soon.

Last night DD figured out how to scratch! Just about broke my heart. I got desperate and put on a little 1/2% hydrocortisone and a little Aquaphor just where she was itching, and sure enough this morning it looked a lot better. I think I'll only use it for the worst spots and use the homeopathic stuff everywhere else. I've been trying shea butter this week to replace the Aquaphor, but it hasn't really helped (yet?). I just reread about the olive oil and oatmeal, so maybe I'll try that for a week.

Also, I switched detergents to the Ecos free and clear. The All free and clear has brighteners added, so I got rid of that. Her eczema's been just about the same for a month now, and I know I'm changing too many things at once. I'm just trying everything I can think of, and then will add back foods one at a time in about a month.
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#20 of 37 Old 02-03-2006, 09:37 PM
 
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FWIW-and you may already know this-it generally takes a solid two weeks for the allergen to be eliminated, and closer to a month to see visible results (changes in bowel habits, changes in rashes etc.) I would also recommend eliminating gluten-not just wheat. And, if you're up to it, you'll get more benefit from cod liver oil instead of the capsules. Instead of the elimination diet I would steer you toward the healing the gut tribe in health and healing and have you check out the specific carbohydrate diet. It's how we healed our guts...we had a TON of allergies...dairy, gluten, corn, nuts, soy, eggs, sesame seeds, and a bunch of fruits and veggies. I totally sympathize, it sucks.
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#21 of 37 Old 02-05-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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MuesliMama, it could be something environmental... like the dog or dust mites. Our allergist explained that excema is an allergy that manifests in the skin, and it could be any allergin that causes it.

I try not to use anything that has mineral oil in it on the our excema. It seems to make it worse... it ends up feeling dry and oily at the same time. Gross. What worked well for us were Arbonne products ($$ though), some of the Bath and Body line (check the labels) and JASON products. I also put dust mite covers on the beds/bedding, vacuume a lot, use dye-free/perfume free when the budget allows (sometimes it's the cheap stuff or nothing!), cutting fingernails as short as possible, and wash the pets every month (I also use AllerPet). When it gets really bad the kids have oral meds they take.

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#22 of 37 Old 02-10-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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I've been lucky enough that none of my boys have had this, but I and my mom have had it for years. What I have found to help the most is pure cocoa butter. I slather it on really thick in the spots that are broken out. Unlike most creams it doens't burn going on, and helps a lot. Another one that was recommended to me was jojoba, but I haven't tried that one myself. Eczema can also be a signal to some vitamin/mineral deficiencies (which is usually where mine come from), so some research in that direction may help if alergens can't be found. I know usually for me it is a lack of A, but to much A can also cause it as well as I think low potassium (I'm not an expert and this is just from memory) so it maybe worth checking into, especially if you have cut so much from your diet, you may not have enough fat to be absorbing the A you get, since it is fat soluble, and if you are low, then so would your milk be.

Hope you find an answer soon,
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#23 of 37 Old 02-12-2006, 02:42 AM
 
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I just wanted to post about eliminating gluten. It takes up to 6 months for all gluten to work itself out of your system so a 10 day elimination of wheat may not show any difference. My dr was surprised that after only a week off of gluten my dd and I both had a reaction to a small exposure since it usually takes longer to work out of your system. At about 2 weeks off gluten (not counting the small mistake) I began to have a lot more energy and feel better than I have in a long time.

Good luck!

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#24 of 37 Old 02-12-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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Yup-we've been off gluten completely for about a months (mostly off it for a year-but that doesn't really count) and the rashes are almost gone. It takes awhile for the physical symtoms to go.
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#25 of 37 Old 02-13-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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gluten free here, among many other things.

I *just* last-resorted to vaseline yesterday bc nothing else was giving ds relief for his eczema, and most things I put on him "sting" so he cries and protests. He lets me put on the vaseline.

I have to find something with no scents or allergens that I can get on his skin that is not petroleum based... there seem to be some good ideas on this thread.

also, we have been trying www.naet.com to see if that will cure his eczema and help alleviate some of his allergies... hope it works :
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#26 of 37 Old 02-13-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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What I've used for when we need serious moisturizing--winter dryness as well as eczema issues--are olive oil, Neutrogena oil (not so often), coconut oil, Lubriderm for Seriously Sensitive Skin. A real mix of natural and less so! Straight cocoa butter is nice too, but mostly for the chocolate smell.

For me, petroleum jelly or nonpetroleum jelly (which is what I keep upstairs for human use now) is for the times when outside moisture must be blocked from the skin so that that source of irritation can be eliminated and the sore spot heal in dry peace. This mostly applies to private areas for DD and me. It's also good for really chapped lips and when you need to block really cold wind too.

I would not consider either for eczema because it seems to me that the skin cannot "breathe" with something that heavy on it. I prefer oils or lotions, maybe creams, that are absorbed to some degree into the top layer of the skin. It could be that I just can't stand being able to feel something on my skin though. If it works for someone, then great.

Even when I use olive oil on myself in my sugar scrub, I resoap to take enough of the oil off that I don't slide though the very air. Enough is left for moisturizing.

Another thing to remember with eczema is to bathe/shower in not so hot water. Doesn't have to be tepid, but hot can be drying. Patting dry rather than rubbing dry is important too--and something I have difficulty remembering.

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#27 of 37 Old 02-13-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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Our dermatologist also recommended Vaseline or Aquaphor for ds's eczema. We ended up using non-petroleum jelly, and I think it works just as well. The dermatologist recommended that over something oil based.
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#28 of 37 Old 02-13-2006, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Our dermatologist also recommended Vaseline or Aquaphor for ds's eczema. We ended up using non-petroleum jelly, and I think it works just as well. The dermatologist recommended that over something oil based.
Umm, this makes no sense. Vaseline is oil based. Unpetroleum jelly is made from the oils of whatever plants.

The point of the lotions and oils and greases is to trap the body's own water moisture and water from bathing/showering in and on the skin. They prevent the evaporation that leads to dry skin. They also form a barrier againt irritant moisture--stopping the wet/dry changes that cause irritation.

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#29 of 37 Old 02-13-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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You're right, I guess I should have said "olive oil based". We had been using a homemade salve that was olive oil based and the dermatologist recommended that we use petroleum jelly or aquaphor instead. I do still use my salve, but found the nonpetroleum jelly didn't need to be reapplied as often.

ETA - thanks for the thoughts on the "jellies" not giving the skin a chance to breathe. I hadn't thought about that before, but you are exactly right.
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#30 of 37 Old 02-13-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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That makes more sense, thanks for clarifying.

As far as the jellies not letting the skin breathe, if that's what helps the eczema, use it, in a thin layer. It does wear off over time, which would allow for "breathing". And it's also not like you're putting it on 100% of the child's body.


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