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Dealing with Eczema organically (lard, coconut oil, nettle tea, vitamins, colloidal oatmeal, etc.)

 
Posts: 284
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I'm hoping some of you here may be able to help. My youngest (22 months) has been suffering from eczema for quite a while now. My doctor has been pretty useless just announcing that "lots of kids get it at that age" and prescribing steroids. The steroids do work but we are having to use them a lot which I am very uncomfortable with. I have tried all sorts of natural creams which really haven't made much of an impact. He drinks raw goats milk but does eat some cows milk cheeses, eats loads of our home produced eggs and other than that he has a pretty varied diet with little processed stuff. I really don't know where to start with trying to identify if it is any of these that are causing it. He also suffers from terrible nappy rash but that does clear up a bit if we put him in disposable nappies. I have tried switching to soap nuts for washing our cloth nappies and I have done a white vinegar stripping but he still gets it worse when wearing them. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I'm sure there will be lots of differing opinions on this one - here is mine:

Remove all chemicals from his diet. Read every label - and really - try not to feed him anything that has to have a label. If you have to look up the ingredient then don't feed it to him.

No sugar.

No Artificial sweeteners - of course that is a chemical.

Just doing that much will be very difficult I am sure - because that means that he can't even have minimal amount of processed foods.

Then - if you want to take it all the way -- no dairy or wheat.

Oh and by the way - where does this cow's milk cheese come from? And where does the goats milk come from? Many people don't realize that an unfortunate number of dairy goat farms have the same added hormone and routine anti-biotic regimines that factory farmed dairy cows have.

I have had a lifetime of awful skin conditions - most went away with the removal of all chemicals. Completely cleared up when I got rid of the dairy and wheat (yeah, even the 'good' dairy). I still nibble homemade cheese now and then - and I still get scabby skin from it. One day of enjoyment takes two weeks to clear up.
 
Mother Tree
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When my son was young he had terrible eczema and, as I was breastfeeding him at the time, we *both* went on an exclusion diet to try to figure out the cause. It meant eating a very limited diet consisting solely of things that aren't normally associated with triggering eczema. Then I would re-introduce things one at a time, first into my diet for a few days (in case I passed anything on through my milk) and then into my son's diet. We narrowed down in the end to anything with milk in, either cows or goats (this was a nuisance as I'd kept goats for years and was totally into the local 'goaty' culture), but only if he ate it himself. I could eat anything and it never passed through to him. He would react within three days to any milk in the diet, raw or cooked, cow or goat, until he was 14 years old. When I met my current partner, I realised I would have to demonstrate the problem and allowed him to give my son three white chocolate buttons, containing cows milk, and told him to notice what happened in three days time. He never attempted to repeat the experiment and would guard him fiercely from anyone else who attempted to give him anything milky.
 
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Location: Tangiteroria, North Island, New Zealand
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Not a food suggestion, but when my son developed eczema, we found colloidal silver spray to help wonderfully, I was NOT keen on the steriod cream!!
 
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I agree with Jeanine, I suffered from just about every skin condition there is until this past year, when I started eliminating chemicals from not only my diet but things like soap/shampoo as well. I am not completely over my skin conditions, I do still have a dandruff issue but I also still eat some processed foods and I can definitely tell it gets worse on those days. I don't know if you can use vinegar on a child's skin but it seems to soothe me, both scalp and skin.
 
Katy Whitby-last
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He doesn't have much exposure to chemicals externally as he is just washed in water. I do struggle with my hubby buying processed food - he doesn't get much but I guess that could be the problem.

The goat's milk is from our own goats so no antibiotics etc there

We tried eliminating sugar (for other reasons) and that hasn't made a difference.

I don't think I can manage to eliminate both wheat and dairy at the same time because my hubby would be difficult. Which one should I try for?

I do have some collodial silver but it is out of date. Does that mean it will just be less effective?
 
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Wheat would be the one I would most likely go for first.
 
pollinator
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Hi there!
My son and I have been fighting eczema most of our lives... in some cases so bad that we had staph-infections. We have tried almost everything, including total elimination diets, paleo, AIP etc. - not really any luck. OK - I had a really hard time with AIP... not having neither eggs, milk, seeds nor nightshades... on top of the regular Paleo diet is hard! And I eat way more meat that way...). Last year I developed hand eczema - so horrible that the skin was litteraly falling of my hands. I have been avoiding cortical steroids for years on myself, but I this time I felt I had not choice... I have been using steroids for my son, but his eczema has been way worse than mine too.

So recently I found out that my local supermarket carries Iberian lard - at €3 a kilo. I just have to render it myself. Which I am happy to do because it is way way way cheaper than coconut oil, and local and heritage pigs and free range mostly eating acorns. What's not to love right?

When I grind the lard I usually end up with a lot on my hands and they felt SO good! So I started taking a little bit and using it instead of cream. I asked my son to do the same - he hates all creams, I have been trying 100 different creams and natural oils on him and he always complains that they itch. But lard doesn't - he uses it voluntarily and it has helped his skin tremendously.

Recently I started making bullet proof coffee for me and my husband in the morning, and then I tried making bullet proof chai, and I made that for my son too with coconut oil and no butter - and when we ran out of chai, my son asked for nettle tea. Currently he drinks 2-4 cups of nettle tea with organic honey and coconut oil blended in every day - and his eczema is almost gone. We are of course continuing using the lard for cream and I do think that it is a combination - but the tea is definitely a contributing factor.

A friend of mine suggested that I gave him activated charcoal - in case he was trying to cleanse through the skin, most toxins could be sucked up by the charcoal. I have been doing that today and yesterday - but I am a little worried that the charcoal sucks up too many of the minerals he gets from his food... (that is a caution they write on the label of the charcoal pills), but OTOH the nettle tea is so smack full of minerals, that sometimes people caution that if you drink a lot it could be hard on your kidneys... OTOH maybe the minerals in the nettle tea is what is helping him heal (like a sea-water bath or eating extra himalaya sea salt often helps with eczema and allergies).  Maybe I should just be happy with my current results and not give him the charcoal.

Any ideas? (This thing about going outside the mainstream in medicine is really hard, because you have to think for yourself all the time).
 
Posts: 130
Location: Wyoming Zone 4
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I had some pretty serious eczema on my hands and legs - roadmaps on the backs of my hands, flaking and bleeding on my legs.  And then I tried making my own lye soap - lard, coconut oil and a couple of organic additives.  It was better than any of the expensive creams or soaps I had purchased in many years, and far less expensive!

If you have access to organic/natural lard, you are way ahead of me!  I started out with Wally World lard and only then learned about all the nastiness that might be present.  I looking for affordable natural lard now.

Best of luck to you.  I know how uncomfortable and even embarrassing eczema can be.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Marla Kacey wrote:I had some pretty serious eczema on my hands and legs - roadmaps on the backs of my hands, flaking and bleeding on my legs.  And then I tried making my own lye soap - lard, coconut oil and a couple of organic additives.  It was better than any of the expensive creams or soaps I had purchased in many years, and far less expensive!

If you have access to organic/natural lard, you are way ahead of me!  I started out with Wally World lard and only then learned about all the nastiness that might be present.  I looking for affordable natural lard now.

Best of luck to you.  I know how uncomfortable and even embarrassing eczema can be.


I will try to get my husband to use lard next time he makes soap - thank you 😊
 
Marla Kacey
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What does he currently use to make soap?
 
Dawn Hoff
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Marla Kacey wrote:What does he currently use to make soap?

olive oil - but it has been a while and I have had to buy oil at my herbalist (and even if it says perfume free it smells like lemon, so I'm guessing it has essential oils in it...). Will have him make some soap again ASAP.
 
Posts: 96
Location: Lancaster, UK
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Eczema - such an awful thing - anyone who hasn't experienced it has NO idea.....
I know what you mean about the lard. I have managed to eliminate my eczema from all but one hand... and that patch really responds well to 'squeezing meat to make burgers' !!!

to get to this point however - we use NO soap powder, I use NO soap - and also limit exposure to water.... but we also now have no pets - all animals really upset my skin....
 
Dawn Hoff
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Linda Secker wrote:Eczema - such an awful thing - anyone who hasn't experienced it has NO idea.....
I know what you mean about the lard. I have managed to eliminate my eczema from all but one hand... and that patch really responds well to 'squeezing meat to make burgers' !!!

to get to this point however - we use NO soap powder, I use NO soap - and also limit exposure to water.... but we also now have no pets - all animals really upset my skin....


How about clothes and after bathroom visits? And plates after eating? No soap at all?

I don't use soap when I bathe, and only bathe once a week. But I wash my hands when I have been to the bathroom and when  I cook. I use soap for doing dishes (but also use gloves), and in my laundry. I cannot imagine not doing that.
 
Marla Kacey
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This might sound gross to some, but in public restrooms, if all they have is smelly standard soap, I just use water - lots of water and lots of scrubbing.
 
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Marla Kacey wrote:This might sound gross to some, but in public restrooms, if all they have is smelly standard soap, I just use water - lots of water and lots of scrubbing.



I also generally just use water. Some of the soaps have such strong scents my hands smell for hours. Those scents and antibacterial agents contain hormone disruptive chemicals.
 
Linda Secker
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Hi Dawn

I don't use any laundry detergent any more at all. My whites look a bit grey, but hey, i don#t itch I use a spoonful of washing soda crystals and hang out on the line any time the weather is dry. Our clothes smell clean!

Washing up? Yes, I DO use dish liquid - can't imagine how to do it otherwise - but always wear gloves (I need to avoid too much water on my hands) and always rinse off the dishes with plain water. Also, my hubby is a good washer-upper

face - no soap, ever. body, no soap, ever. Pits and crotch - you got it, don't care how gross it sounds, but no soap, ever. Hands - I use a tiny bit of very mild home-made soap only if my hands are actually DIRTY. I do rinse my hands OFTEN though - dozens of times a day probably. After bathroom visits - never at home, but if I have to 'go' in a public bathroom, I might consider the soap if the facilities are less than spotless.... but my skin really suffers for it... I DO still use shampoo on my hair - I've tried the no-poo regimen, but my hair just looked and felt utterly skanky. I hated it.
 
pollinator
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If I get a problem patch I either squeeze some comfrey leaf juice on then cover or take a comfrey leaf , stick that on some surgical (or duct) tape and lay that right on the cracked skin and leave overnight.
Nitrile gloves work well overnight for hands.
Both work but the comfrey leaf poultice leaves the skin feeling normal for a week.
 
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Foods containing Essential fatty acids - wild caught fish, flaxseed oil reduce symptoms.  Pumpkin , Chia seeds contain zinc essential for wound healing and for metabolizing fatty acids.
Other very effective solutions include coconut oil, jojoba, soothing butter,gycerine and water.
 
pollinator
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Getting out in the sun as much as possible really helps my eczema so much so I only really get it in winter now. All the usual anti inflammatory foods are really good too e.g camomile, ginger and turmeric. Dandelion is also good as its anti inflammatory and stress relieving which is usually a trigger for me.
 
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I wonder if avoiding chlorinated water for bathing would help? Most of my life, I've used city water with chlorine and my skin would always be super angry after a shower. It would feel beyond dry, itchy, tight and painful to move, no matter how much moisturizing I did. Eliminating soap and improving my diet didn't help. I've been using rainwater the past couple years and no more skin issues! Even in winter, which in the past was always a time of my skin being so bad my hands would bleed and it would just constantly hurt. I hadn't thought about the impact of chlorine on my skin in awhile, but recently, we had a problem with our rainwater system and had to get city water from a neighbor. All the terrible skin issues returned after the first shower and have gotten worse since. Can't wait til we have our rainwater back!
Obviously, not everyone has the luxury of using rainwater, but I believe they make shower filters that remove chlorine. It might not totally fix it, but I bet it would at least reduce the irritation.
 
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I had two red patches show up on me and I didn't think too much about it until they were still there a couple of weeks later.   When they passed the two month mark, I finally went to a doctor.  The doctor says "I bet you saw something like this the last few winters?"  And I didn't connect the dots until he said something - in previous winters it was on my right shin - and this winter is on my face and my chest.  

He gave me a prescription for steroids and said "use this only if it gets really, really bad.  Until then, the cure is probably worse than the problem."  And then we talked about alternatives.   I showed him the buffet of goo I had tried.   In reference to the one that had been doing best he said "it is probably the colloidal oatmeal that is helping the most".

When it first showed up, I hit it with my old reliable for any skin stuff:  organic coconut oil.  It helped a lot, but the problem didn't go away.   I then went through about six other things with the same story.   Including two things I bought specifically because they did NOT have tea tree oil, but it turns out they both did - so they both utterly stunk of the stuff.   And for some reason I just can't stand it.  



Here is the stuff I had started the day before the doctor visit - the stuff that worked the best up to that moment:


https://amzn.to/3sLFNQ6

It is a little goopy, but it was getting the job done.   It had zero tea tree oil so it had no real smell.   It did smell slightly flowery - but that probably went away in a few seconds.




About the same time, I got this fancy light and put it in the swinging arm lamp this is a few inches over my head:


https://amzn.to/3uHxJlv

The eczema on my face gets to spend time with the lamp and my chest does not.  As of this moment of writing, my face looks 99% healed and my chest is about 80%.  Outside of the light, the two spots get the exact same treatment - so I think the fancy light is doing some heavy lifting.




Here is the stuff I am sporting today:


https://amzn.to/3uKbuLE

This is a sticky paste that kinda looks like super creamy peanut butter and caramel blended together.   I like this more than the previous one.  It smells a little like oatmeal.  

The goopy one needed a half hour to kinda dry a bit.   This one doesn't need any time at all.  Today is my third day with it.  And it seems to be making faster progress - but that could be because of the combination of the next thing .....



This arrived last night:


https://amzn.to/3bSRHkG

I ate two gummies before bed.  I woke up in the morning and my skin looked 90% better than when I went to bed.  Very anecdotal to the power of anecdotal.

I got the idea for this because my fingernails have been looking pretty shitty.  I've been eating bone broth and gelatin, plus consuming DE - so my fingernails should be magnificent.  Clearly there is an ingredient missing.  A bit of research suggested biotin supplements.


This is supposed to arrive later today:


https://amzn.to/3sEwGAX

Now I'm thinking that I might be all set without this stuff, but i plan on trying it as soon as it arrives anyway.



This eczema stuff was really starting to freak me out.  When I went to the doctor, I thought he was going to take a sample of my face to test it and stuff.  But after looking at it for about three seconds he says "probably eczema" and then went into the winter time thing.   He seemed to leave it to me if I wanted more tests and stuff - but I felt that I'm willing to go with the "probably" diagnosis.  If nothing else, I didn't have the "eczema" word until that moment - so I now have a keyword to feed to doctor google.  The thing on my face looks about 99% gone and the thing on my chest is at about 80%.   I plan on continuing with stuff for a week after it appears to be all gone.  





 
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There's a newish product called gladskin that I learned about via a podcast on eczema and am trying out. This page explains how the product works. Basically it selectively targets and combats  staphylococcus aureus (implicated in eczema studies) via endolysins. It's not cheap so probably not for large areas of skin but may be useful for aggravated patches. I only ordered some recently so I can't really personally vouch for it's efficacy at this point. Reviews look promising.
https://us.gladskin.com/pages/science

Chlorine in city water or hard well water can contribute. Filtering bathing water could potentially help if you don't already. Household humidity especially with winter eczema would be worth considering too. I find 40-45% to be the sweet spot personally. This requires running a humidifier for us. These two environmental factors may be easy to address if relevant to your situation.
 
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