Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baby eczema cure - it worked for us!

It's warming up here in middle Tennessee which can only mean one thing:


Well yeah, obviously, but that's not what I was thinking.


Dammit, no! I mean, not yet anyway. Yes, we will soon be sweaty and smelling like deet for months on end but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the return of the onesie. Which means, lots more exposed baby skin for me to love on!

I've noticed myself carrying Finn around a lot the past few days. Even though he's a squirmy worm and wants to get down on the ground ASAP so he can practice army crawling across the room, I can't help myself. His fat little baby legs are SO SOFT!

Maybe it's the exfoliation treatment he got on Sunday...

Yeah, his mouth is full of sand. He's soft from the inside, out.

But really, his soft skin is kind of a new thing. When we first got him, he was soft but also a little red and scaly and dry and kind of gross. His pediatrician said it was eczema and was probably flaring up because of the cold dry winter air. We did everything he told us to do - fewer baths in cooler water, Aquafor all over his body, hydrocortisone cream on the really scaly bits - but nothing seemed to help.

Then sometime after the first of the year, we took Finn on his maiden voyage to the YMCA pool. Not the one by our house, the fancy one across town with a saltwater pool. I figured with Finn's skin already a mess, the last thing he needed was a dip in chlorine. I wasn't sure about the saltwater either but he was in the pool for such a short amount of time, I didn't think it would hurt.

But we neglected to shower him off afterwards and he fell asleep in the car on the way home. So by the time we washed the pool water off of him, it had been at least an hour or two. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried. I half expected to take off his jammies and find a mutant red lizard baby underneath.

Imagine my surprise when the exact opposite happened. His skin looked miles better than it had just that morning. And after a quick rinse in a warm (not hot) shower and a slathering with Vaseline (like Aquafor but cheaper - and we have tons of it left over from my 30th birthday pinata!) his skin was actually as soft as a baby's!

Now we always throw a handful of Epsom salt* into the tub with him and only use a little bit of Burt's Bees baby wash for the parts that really need washing (head, armpits, booty area...). After his bath we pat him dry and immediately rub him down with Vaseline. It's a little greasy and awkward at first but it soaks in pretty quickly. I usually just bathe him right before a nap so I can put him in cotton footie pjs and lay him down for a rest (fleece overheats him and upsets his skin). By the time he wakes up, he's a soft as a baby's bottom! (A baby without eczema, that is.)

His skin has been perfectly soft and flawless every single day since we started doing this. Not red or dry or scaly at all. What a happy accident! I just thought I'd share in case there are any other parents out there with mutant red lizard babies...

*Epsom salt is great for grown up baths too! It soothes sore muscles and can be combined with a few drops of lavender oil for relaxation or tea tree oil when you have a cold. And it's inexpensive so you don't have to feel bad about using a lot of it!


Anonymous said...

I used to have bad eczema as a kid and it always cleared up when we went to Florida and I played in the salt water. Perhaps an excuse for a vacation?

I'm really happy to see the new posts - keep writing!

IQ Test said...

I love you blog. I love the title and everything that you have going on with it. Eczema can be bad. Make sure the change is not just do to the change in the weather. It can be caused by lots of stuff and cold weather tends to cause outbreaks.

No Mommy Brain said...

thank you both!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I too live in Middle TN and my 10 month has suffered with eczema for months now. The winter months were the worst. Finally got that cleared up and here comes the heat. Yesterday started the bad breakout again. And we went to the pool so today was miserable for him I think. I'm doing oatmeal baths alternating that with baby Phisoderm (might have spelled that wrong) and hydrocortizone cream on the bad spots and eucerin lotion 3 times a day until it clears then I'll do 2 times a day. I'm going to try to epson salt too. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to start following you since you are in MD TN too. Blessings.