Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Enlighten Me...

Bryce is the most amiable, kissable baby.
Like his siblings before him, he is just too hard to resist when casting that bright smile my way!

I began mister Bryce on his first solid food last week: Avocado, and Brown Cow Vanilla yogurt.
He is my first baby to slurp it down like he'd been waiting on me all this time :-)

One thing is throwing me for a loop these days; Bryce has been battling Eczema.
It is not merely dry skin, but an outbreak especially bad on legs and arms.
I am working with our dear Doctor Monk to determine the cause and eliminate the detestable rash, but so far I am not seeing the results I'd like.

Here is where I make a query of you mommas - please give me your Eczema 2 cents!

A couple clues:
We believe Bryce's Eczema to be caused by a chemical sensitivity, exacerbated by lack of the good oils his skin needs. I am trying to avoid eating anything with chemicals in it (those long unpronounceable ingredients on food labels), taking several kinds of oils including fish oils, and giving Bryce Cod Liver Oil, and Probiotics.

Here' my thought: if he is indeed chemical sensitive (he did not show up sensitive to wheat or dairy) I should probably make some outward adjustments.
What about laundry detergent?
Chemically treated clothing? Did you know that a lot of baby clothing is treated with Formaldehyde, or that those new tag-less labels inside the neck of baby clothing also has potent chemicals in the ink? (Think that's bad? [!])

Anyway, I have no idea where to start with this information.
I'm not prepared to make an overhaul on everyone's wardrobe, but I would do some drastic experiments for the littlest Bug if it might help.

Favorite laundry detergent? I'm thinking about trying Soap Nuts.
Would 100% cotton clothing help?
What natural ointments would help his skin? I'm going back and forth between Bag Balm and Coconut Oil.

I can't promise to try every favorite tip, but I'd be obliged if you'd bring it on!


Lauren said...


My 15-month-old has an eczema rash on his back (just a small one, but it's scabbing and looks really bad). I need to get more consistent with coconut oil, and also work on cod liver and probiotics with him (both on my list of to-do's before the eczema showed up).

I've tried soap nuts, and was both happy and unhappy with them. I *love* the fact that they're the most natural laundry detergent out there! However, when I tried them, my then-6-month-old was spitting up (and spitting up and spitting up and spitting up...), and the soap nuts wouldn't get the spitups out like my other natural detergent (I use Ecos). Because I was expecting #2, and can't nurse while I'm pregnant because of some premature baby issues, he was on homemade Weston A. Price formula. It has a fair amount of oil in it, and I suspect that was what was making the spitup so hard to get out. I'd like to give the Soap Nuts a try again, now that the spitups are gone.

I do try to use mainly cotton clothing, organic when possible (so expensive, though ... which is why I say "when possible"). Most clothing is treated with formaldehyde, so I definitely wash all clothing before it is worn - which I know doesn't completely solve the problem. Another HUGE problem with baby clothes is flame retardants, especially in sleepers and pajamas. I've been able to find quite a few little guy pajamas that "warn" that they don't have any flame retardants on them (oh no!). :D I try to buy these whenever possible, and so far have found them at Target, Old Navy, and Costco.

That's the limited bit of knowledge I have on the subject. Hope something helps, and that we can clear up both our little guys' eczema!

Grace McHugh said...

My comment is on household cleaners and laundry detergent. I am a Shaklee girl. No scents or junk in any of it and my children can actually use the cleaners because they are so junk free and friendly. I know Carrie could shed some light on the food issues. Hope this helped.

Grace McHugh said...

Oh and............that is the cutest picture of Bryce to date! I would be smoochin' him all the time.

princessmama said...

Biokleen! Unscented laundry liquid. And homemade bar soap for the bath. Anything else really aggravated Joshua's eczema. Even a year or so ago he had a bath at grandma's house and they were playing with a bar of 'regular' soap in the tub and J came out of the bath with a bright red rash covering both legs. If grandma washed his clothes (even with some kind of 'free and clear' detergent) he'd get a terrible rash.

The other things that really aggravated him were dairy(thankfully you don't have to worry about that one it looks like) and soy. There is soy in a Ton of stuff.

You can feed him good oils too, now that he's eating solids. Avocado, coconut oil,mix olive or flax oil into his food, things like that.

Diane said...

I've dealth with skin issues my whole life. My grandma used Bag Balm on me ALL the time - she insisted. lol And actually it is one of the things that definitely helped. I can't use anything with scents, so natural laundry detergent, soaps, deodorent, all that stuff is key. And of course the oils like you are experimenting with. Since I am not a baby expert yet I do not know what is okay for babies, but as I got older Eucerin Products came out on the market and they helped a ton. I had a presciption for them before they became over the counter. Hope you can figure this out. I'll be praying!

Carrie Ann said...

your babies are sooo adorable =]

pinamarie said...

A little girl that I have been babysitting struggles with that. She is allergic to wheat, soy, dairy, gluten, peanuts, and eggs. Here mom has been really good about ridding those things from her diet, however soy is the hard one. It seems like it is in EVERYTHING!! Including Laundry detergent.
That is pretty much all I know about it.

Anonymous said...

Our youngest has some eczema here and there and what I found to help is oats or products containing oats (Aveeno is good). I make up little bath sachets with coarsely ground oats, chamomile, and lavender (sometimes powdered milk too) and put it his bath with him. It makes for a creamy wash that seems to be improving his condition.

We use the unscented/dye free detergent available at Costco because all of use have very sensitive skin. It's never given us anything to complain about.

I hope you find something that works for Bryce!

Shauna said...

Analene, I wish I had the answer for you because that would mean I had found it for myself! So far, I have tried several elimination diets for Heidi and food doesn't seem to be the culprit (unless it's something I haven't tried yet). Making my own laundry detergent has helped some, but not lots, and it doesn't clean as well as comercial. I have tried coconut oil (works well for cradle cap!) and making my own lotions, but have had no success there so far. The only thing that keeps it somewhat under control (meaning no bleeding or oozing) is Aveeno lotion. Not my favorite as it has some things I would rather not put on her skin, but I also hate to see her bleeding and crying.
I hope you find something that works for Mr. Bryce. Keep me posted, I'm always willing to try something that works for others - well except for the steroids my friends keep trying to push on me. THey're over the counter so they must be fine, right? =P

Katie said...

It could be your water. I have a terrible time with my skin when I am on city water because I am allergic to the chlorine in the water. Every time you bath him the chlorine is in the water. Robert and Rachael had an awful time with Cedes and her skin but I believe it was because they were in Vegas with awful water. Every time I would visit I would break out. We have used water filters on the shower head in the past and that has helped. Nothing compares to good old well water from Nor Cal:-)

When I go on vacation and stay in hotels with sheets that have been washed in chlorine and bleached as well as an evening in the hot tub I break out from head to toe. The cold weather also effects my skin as well.

We have used the Free and Clear Laundry detergent from Costco for years and it works great for us.

Shaklee is great as well and my mom sells it if you want to try them.

Hope you find a solution!

Lady Jess said...

I get a really bad eczema outbreak whenever I use scented body wash or if my clothes are washed in scented detergent/softener(liquid or sheets). My skin also dries out pretty bad if I shower every day, so I have to shower ever other. Lotion, lotion, lotion (as long as it's not scented) helps me a lot too! I've had eczema since I was a baby and this has helped. Hope this helps you! ((hugs))

Jana said...

Looks like you've already gotten lots of advice! Here's a link to a blog of mine where I posted some of the research I did back when Evie was suffering from it.


I was able to find more than just the average internet article since I had access to scientific journals through my nursing school. Even then, the research was mixed and mysterious!

We used biokleen with good results, but E's eczema wasn't chemical. Hers was eggs and chicken. As soon as I cut those out completely, it went away forever.

To give you some hope, much of the research I read said that eczema that shows up in infants under 1 often goes away never to return!

Hopefully, you're able to find the culprit!

Momma Bug said...

Dearest Jana, I think of you every time I deal with Bryce's sad little skin!
I am thankful to all for their advice and am trying some things as I type. Please All, continue to bring it on, because it's comforting to see some similarity in suggestions.

Jana, I had hoped it would be chicken and eggs :-) But was thrilled that it wasn't wheat and dairy!! Still.. I am laying off the dairy for some days to see if that helps and once he looks better I'll add things back in.

Katie! Chlorine in the water... hm. That sounds plausible.

Shauna, it is a comfort just to know I am battling with others (not that I want my friends to battle). I bought some Aveeno today and something else recommended. I am stripping his clothes right now, and will bathe him in oatmeal :-) if those things don't make a big difference I will apply the goo.
I agree that a bleeding crying sweet precious baby is not a welcome sight!

I love you each! Thank you for commenting Lauren,Grace, Diane and all you wonderful, dear gals!


Ashley said...

Hey Analene!

Not a mom, but I'm gonna throw my 2 cents in anyways. :)
I have Eczema really bad on my arms, where they bend (like the under side of the elbow?).
I think it is food related, but not sure. Sometimes I try and stay away from dairy, but it flares up randomly.
We use homemade laundry soap. I make it with Fels Naptha, borax and soda. But I've heard great things about Soap Nuts. I've wanted to try them for awhile actually.
100% cotton clothing would probably help. Ethan got heat rash overnight several times, and he was wearing a poly shirt instead of cotton.
For my eczema, I've used an herbal salve, coconut oil, and almond oil. I can't really tell you what worked best. The herbal salve helped with the itchiness when it would get pretty bad, and the coconut oil helps if I use it regularly. Every time we give the babe's a bath, we coconut oil them up.
Hope you can find what helps your little man!

Love you,

Faith Alterton said...

Hi Analene - Bryce is charming!!! I'm loving these stages with little Christian too. So sweet.

I'm no expert with eczema, but Peter's had it for a year or two now and we finally just got it under control:

-He's off milk in large servings. Occasional ice cream or cheese doesn't seem to hurt. This is a family thing - Dad is the same.

-Baths every two to three days, but not hot, under fifteen minutes, with no soap other than shampoo, and no scrubbing at sore areas. Pat dry, and apply a heavy cream like Eucerin (nothing called a "lotion", since it has alcohol and will sting and not work as well) to all trouble areas within two minutes of drying. If the skin dries out it won't help. Must lock in the moisture.

-Ditto on 100% cotton clothing, and avoid overheating. Those fuzzy fleece sleepers really seem to set it off on him.

Also, Peter's was really bad for over a year. Nothing of the above could calm it down until our Pediatrician tried some different medicated creams. It took two or three tries of different one, but it's been two months now and his skin is whole and normal again. So long as I keep up with the moisturizers after baths it seems to stay that way too. Hooray. Eczema is tricky though. Hope things go smoother soon for little Bryce!

Looking Best for the Dress said...

Hi! I started a new blog to document my weight loss journey. Since I want to be brutally honest, I've kept it anonymous - therefore can't invite my friends to read it. I'm looking for some followers so I have a little support in this. Check out my blog if you'd like! :)

PS - your baby is so cute!

Momma Bug said...

Thank you Faith. I'd sure like to see your home in action! It intrigues to say the least :-)

Good tip on the PJ's. I need footie jams though because he'll scratch to bleeding if I don't keep him completely covered. In fact, I have to put pants over his pajamas because he'll kick out of his snaps too.
Poor guy!
He's such a trooper, but I hate to see him so uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable is probably an understatement.

I'll give some of those suggestions a try.

Love to you!

thechattymommy said...

I know everyone is giving you a lot of info, but I have to tell you my own piece of info. My daughter is 10 and had eczema from infancy to 5 or 6 really bad. The only thing that ever worked and continues to work that I use for all my 4 kids is Miracle 2 moisturizing soap. I put it in the bath and it makes bubbles- which the kids love because I never allow them to use real bubble bath. It can also be used as shampoo and has 100 other uses. They even have laundry detergent that I still have not tried. My daughters' hands would get so bad and she would soak them in the soap and have instant relief.
The website I buy from and am not in anyway affliated is http://www.miracle2distributors.com/.
It is really worth it. Any questions, just let me know.

Faith Alterton said...

Sounds like things are going better from your more recent post - hooray! We have found 100% cotton footie pajamas though should you ever need to try them. They are harder to find for sure though. Might have to go online. Peter is three, and we've been mostly using the two-piece cotton ones with socks. Glad Bryce is doing better though!