Tag Archives: eczema

Natural goodies for dry skin

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We’re now into the eighth week of no topical steroid use on our three year old daughter’s eczema. When we decided to give homeopathy a try I knew that it wasn’t going to be an instant fix and went in to it expecting that it would take some time before we saw positive results. I wasn’t prepared to be asked to stop using steroidal creams on Alice’s skin during the treatment. Although our uneasiness in using steroids was a main motivator in our decision to try homeopathy, we hadn’t anticipated going cold turkey.

I immediately started researching natural skin care products and Bria Organic Balm has been our staple “steroid replacement” since Week 2. It’s few ingredients include chickweed, sunflower oil, borage oil, beeswax, jojoba oil and rosehip oil (all organic). The lable reads: “Borage oil replenishes, rosehip repairs, chickweed cools and helps sooth the itch while beeswax protects”. Alice’s skin had been flaring badly and the improvement was quite dramatic in the week that we started using Bria balm. I was convinced that we had got her eczema under control. Okay, so I was being a little premature – we’ve had a few tough weeks since, but for the most part Bria Balm has been an essential part of Alice’s new skin care regime. I was home visiting my family in Ireland and both my sister and brother who have dry skin patches applied a little Bria balm and found it very soothing. I considered ordering an extra little pot for each for them this week but at £12 for 60mls (£18 for 120ml), it’s not cheap!

My first order of Pure Potions Skin Salvation moisturising ointment (£18.99 for 120ml) arrived today. I’m considering using this for a while instead of the Bria balm. Alice’s skin condition hasn’t been great in the last couple of weeks so I thought it might be worth trying something else. However, I’ve become quiet reliant on Bria, so ordered it too just in case! Skin Salvation also has lovely organic ingredients. It was recommended by another blogger who is studying homeopathy and has a sister with eczema. I like that calendula is one of the ingredients as I want to try it on Alice’s skin. The leaflet recommends a 24hr patch test so I applied just a tiny amount today. I am actually going to hold off for few days though as Alice’s skin seems to be going through a rare bout of healing and I don’t want to interfere with that. I’m not getting carried away with optimism as the last two months have shown themselves to be a bit of a roller coaster ride. After her skin taking a major turn for the worse this week, her right wrist has suddenly shown signs of healing for the fist time in 3/4 months. Fingers and toes crossed!!

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Up and down

Last night I really wanted to throw in the towel with this whole homeopathy thing. Alice’s skin was hot, red, broken and was really bothering her. She has several problem areas of eczema which have not shown any sign of improvement and all around her neck has been bad for about month and was itching her like crazy last night. She asks me to stay with her to rub her neck and back as she tries to fall asleep at bedtime.

It is so hard to see her go through this discomfort and I feel guilty for not using the steroid ointments that her doctor has prescribed. Alice is 3 and has only had eczema since last Summer.  I now keep thinking that maybe her eczema is something that she will grow out of like so many children do and we shouldn’t deny her relief from it in the meantime. The owner of Alice’s pre-school nursery commented last week that her remedy didn’t seem to be helping any. I had mentioned to her and some of the staff that we were trying homeopathy and let them know that her skin might be worse for a while. It crossed my mind that they might think I am neglecting her by not using her ointments on her wrist. I mumbled something in response saying I didn’t think it was going to be a quick fix…

I try to remind myself of why we are doing this. In the 6 months since we first saw her doctor about her skin we were applying steroid ointments daily and the eczema just seemed to move around her body. Some areas such as her right wrist never healed completely and we were moving on to more potent steroid ointments. The eczema then flared around her eyes and her doctor advised we put the mild cortisone on her eyelids for a short term to try to nip that in the bud. It just did not seem to be getting under control.

Alice’s Dad has been using topical steroids since he was a little boy and he now has thinning of the skin. So it’s in the family and as I don’t know that she will grow out of it, I really feel that I have to try and resolve the underlying cause rather than continually treat the symptoms with steroids. I need to give homeopathy some more time.

We have just returned today from a trip to visit my family in Ireland so it was nice to have my sister around for some words of advice when I was feeling a bit low last night.  Her hubbie recounted how a homepathic remedy worked for his hay fever last year. While taking the remedy he continued to suffer badly from hay fever but eventually their homeopath told him it was time to come off the remedy and he hasn’t suffered a day of hay fever since.

Today, Alice’s skin is a lot calmer than yesterday and even looks like it is healing a bit. She went off to sleep tonight without any fretting. It really is up and down at the moment.
I think it is time to contact Alice’s homeopath for some advise.

Final note: This latest bad flare-up has occurred 9/10 days after taking her last remedy. I think that is around the time that it takes for the system to react to the psor remedy.  It also happened during our short holiday so after a day of travelling – with a flight and car journey and several days of a more sugary that usual diet for Alice, and Easter treats! The weather has been very cold but is milder again today.

Renewed optimism

It has been under 4 weeks since we my first visit to see a homeopath about my 3 year old daughter Alice’s eczema.  At her request we have not used topical steroid ointments since that appointment. She also asked us to refrain from using paraffin based emollients which do not allow the skin to breathe.  The first step in the healing is to let Alice’s body work naturally by not suppressing the eczema with these treatments.  We continue to use her Aveeno Lotion and I have sourced some natural creams such as an aloe vera gel,  an organic beeswax based balm and most recently 7 cream. Elaine also prescribed 2 small pills of the remedy psor which Alice took 3 weeks ago.

We had a homeopathy review today.  It was a shorter session of information gathering this time. I updated her on week one’s flare up,  the few days of reprieve when Alice’s skin improved dramatically, before the next nasty flare up which occurred around the time that a reaction to the remedy was expected (but also coincided with a big freeze outside).  Alice chattered incessantly in the background, interrupted continually (“What are you talking abut Mummy?” , throwing her arms in the air in exasperation), so it was a little hard to stay focussed, but I think Elaine was using the time to observe her (big) little personality and at the end of the meeting said that she was going to prescribe another remedy. She said the first remedy was dealing with the inherited conditions and aided in removing the suppression of her eczema … or something along those lines. She said it was good to have a look at the true condition of Alice’s skin now that the steroids are not used.

So, we will have another review in a month.  It does seem to be a bit of trial and error  but then so is conventional medicine. I do feel reassured by Elaine’s quiet confidence and if I am going to continue down this route I have to trust her judgement. At the very least today did remind me that Alice is coping fairly well without the steroid ointment and that is a massive achievement in itself.

Since I started this blog,  I’ve been reading  other bloggers’ accounts of topical steroid withdrawal and after some initial shock at the harrowing symptoms of steroid withdrawal following addiction, I’m in complete awe of their strength of mind and determination to become healed. This reinforces to me that I am doing the right thing by Alice by stopping the use of these medications before her body has become addicted or suffers any other side effects. 

I don’t know whether homeopathy will be the solution to achieving eczema free skin for Alice but I believe we are on the right track.

Square One

It’s been over a week since I’ve posted and it feels like we are back at Square One.

After an initial reaction to the withdrawal of her steroid ointment, Alice’s skin seemed to be really calming down. I had found what I was considering to be a steroid substitute in Bria Organic Balm and her skin looked better than it had in weeks. There were a few stubborn areas but generally much better and her eyes were clear and bright again.

Now, her skin is back to the way it was when we last saw her doctor 3 weeks ago – the time he recommended putting hydrocortisone on her eyelids. The eczema isn’t as widespread as the post steroid withdrawal flare up,  but I hate seeing it around her eyes and her wrist looks on the verge of infection. I’m applying the Bria balm and Aveeno lotion regularly and put some antiseptic ointment on her wrist tonight.

She is scratching but not too badly and she is sleeping well. I’m just going to try and hold out until we have the homeopathic review in 6 days time.

I’ve been pondering the possible reasons for this recent flare up:

  • It could mean the psor homeopathic remedy she took over two weeks ago has kicked in and this is the expected reaction which will hopefully be followed by healing.  This seems like wishful thinking right now.
  • The weather had become quite mild here for a week or so which on reflection coincided with the good spell in Alice’s skin condition. We’ve had snow (in Scotland) over the weekend and the temperature is still sub zero.  Did the return of the cold weather cause Alice’s skin to get worse again?
  • With a random good spell over,  we’re now seeing the negative effects of not using the steroid ointment on her skin. (= guilt ridden mother).

Any suggestions on how to treat a 3 year old’s wrist without steroid ointments would be gratefully received.

 

 

The waiting game

It’s been 1 week since my 3 hear old daughter Alice took her two doses of a homeopathic remedy that will hopefully bring her eczema under control. The psor remedy is slow acting but I hope to see signs in the next week that Alice’s system is reacting.

I don’t know much at all about homeopathy. My sister is the homeopathic champion in my family and trusts her practitioner implicitly, relying on her advise and remedies for nearly all the medical needs of her growing young family from lingering coughs, to tummy upsets as well as her husband’s hayfever and her own sporadic bouts of dry skin. She turned to homeopathy some years ago when medical investigations into the intermittent but crippling stomach cramps she suffered drew a blank. So, it is my sister who convinced me to give this  a go and I know she is as hopeful as us that it results in the outcome we want for Alice.

My homeopath Elaine recommended that I get a book on homeopathy. She said it would help me understand the treatment she was prescribing for Alice and her asking us to withdraw the steroid ointments during it. I haven’t actually got around to getting it yet. Instead, I seem to be spending alot of time researching alternative to steroid treatments for eczema.  It has been 10 days or so since we last treated Alice with her steroid ointments so I’ve been determined to find something to ease the irritation during this ‘transitional phase’.

Bria Organic Balm has been quite a godsend. It has lovely natural ingredients, rosehip oil, jojoba oil, chickweed, beeswax wax etc and it definitely has helped subside the angry flare up Alice has suffered this week. She still has several nasty patches that we’ll really need to keep in check, but her skin overall is much better and her gorgeous eyes are back to their shining beautiful selves, no longer red, dry and sore looking. I’d highly recommend any dry skin sufferers to give Bria balm a try. There was momentary panic in our household today when we mislaid the jar!

This week, I look forward with some trepidation to a sign that the remedy is acting. I have read a really unsettling description of it causing appalling skin eruptions, often on the face, that can last for weeks.  I just really hope that whatever happens in the next few weeks, it will all be worth it for my baby girl.

One week down!

I wanted this blog to be quite light hearted, not the endless outpouring of a despairing mother, so  I decided not to post if there was nothing positive to say,  hence I haven’t for the last few days!

So many families are going through the mill coping with very serious illnesses and I’m well aware that Alice’s eczema is not too severe a case,  but it isn’t easy for any parent to see their child suffering.  Intentionally withdrawing the prescribed medicine that can ease her discomfort does not sit well with my maternal instincts, so I’ll just have to keep reminding myself of the end goal. (That’s for Alice to to be eczema free in case I haven’t already mentioned!)

Her eczema has really flared up this past few days which was to be expected really coming off her hydocortisone. We’re slapping on the Aveeno cream, along with some aloe vera gel.  I tried to get a calendula cream but can only find brands containing almond oil and we have been staying clear of exposing her to nut ingredients due to John’s allergies.  I did find a really nice product online called Bria Organic Balm which we started to use yesterday. It’s a bit of a wonder product if the website testimonials are to be believed. Today is the first day her skin has shown signs of improvement.

Alice has had no steroid ointment on her skin since we saw Elaine, our homeopath, for the first time a week ago today.  That makes me happy. Alice is coping fine so that is great. I’m also not missing the twice daily stuggle trying to contain an excitable three year old while meticulously applying 3 different types of ointment to her skin.

That’s one week down!
Just got to sit tight now and wait for signs of a reaction to the remedy over the next week or so.

A new start

Today I decided to entrust my precious daughter’s well being into the hands of a Homeopath. This is a massive step and I really hope it is the right one.

Alice has had eczema for 8 months, since around the age of two and a half. It appeared quite suddenly as a few scratch marks on her elbow creases and has gradually and steadily worsened.

At the first appointment for her condition, I mentioned to her paediatrician that we were reluctant to treat her with a steroid cream (as a result of side effects John suffers after years of prolonged use) and were considering natural routes such as homeopathy . He curtly replied that I could pursue that if I wished but she needed to be treated NOW.

Almost twice daily since that appointment, I have treated her a with mild potency Hydrocortisone ointment and on occasion with a moderate potency steriod for stubborn flare ups. This week she was prescribed a potent steroid for a patch on her wrist which has not been improving and I have been advised to put the Hydrocortisone on her eyelids, the recent problem area as her eczema continues to spread.

The consultation with Elaine lasted 90 minutes. Alice had enough quite early on, asked us to stop talking but eventually fell asleep on my shoulder allowing us to finish uninterrupted. Elaine assured me that Alice’s treatment would be successful but warned me that it might take some time and would get worse before improving. She then stunned me by saying the hardest part would be to do what she was going to ask us to do before we start Alice’s treatment  –  she asked that we ditch the steroid creams.

I’ve decided it’s now or never.
It took a bit to convince John who thinks we should continue with her medication until her angry bits are fully healed and and seek a skin specialist referral. He eventually opted for the path of least resistance after my accusations of deliberate obstruction and awkwardness in general.

So, with Alice now tucked up asleep sans steroid for the first night in long while, a few online purchases of aloe vera and suchlike, plus a first blog entry under my belt, I’m now turning the lights out on our first day of going natural.