Essential oils for managing eczema

Eczema has been a great teacher. Over the past 8 or 9 years of dealing with my daughter’s eczema, I have learned many lessons though often reluctantly. Infact my whole family has. My daughter has learned what it means to be strong during very tough times and also how to deal with the many challenges she has faced in her young life. As a family we have learned the importance of showing our love for our daughter and being supportive; being there for her no matter what. Personally, eczema has taught me what patience is all about and that often there is a silver lining behind the grey cloud on the horizon. Of course, we have learned many other lessons as well, but these to my mind are the most important ones.

In the quest to learn more about this chronic condition which has been our constant companion for almost a decade now, I have learned a lot. I have been writing about it in my blog for almost three years now. I have written about the Functional Medicine treatment that my daughter is on currently. She is in fact responding very well to the treatment and we are in the process of lowering her immunossupressive medications.  But that topic is for my next blog post, today I am writing about another aspect of treating eczema.

Our experience with essential oils

I first came across essential oils in a meaningful and relevant manner in October last year. Before that mostly what I knew about essential oils were from my visits to the spa or salon and/or from fragranced beauty and other bath products. But even then I came to know much later that the fragrances in the usual beauty and bath products are actually artificial chemicals which try to imitate the natural fragrances of plants.

Last October, my daughter’s doctors were struggling to control her widespread staph infection due to the skin wounds from her constant scratching. Staph infection is a bacterial infection caused due to the presence of the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (or staph in short) which gets in through the cracks in the cuts and wounds on eczema prone skin. It is commonly present in those with healthy skins as well but is usually not able to create as many issues. The doctors had to give her two back to back week long dosages of antibiotics when the infection came back within 2 weeks of completing the first round of antibiotics. And even after that the infection was not completely under control and she was very itchy, inflamed and uncomfortable.

I was desperate enough to try bleach bath for her where I diluted household bleach with bath water and forced her to take a bath in it in an effort to get rid of the infection. It is a practice used to control severe staph infections in those with eczema. It was a a very painful time for her since the bleach bath used to sting her whole body. I felt like a really horrible person and mother for inflicting this kind of suffering on my daughter but my desperation forced me to try it out. Those were very trying times filled with pain and tears for all of us but thankfully they are behind us now. Now my daughter is able to enjoy both her bath and swimming lessons after many years. Essential oils came to our rescue and brought the infection under control and we have not looked back since.

 

(Further reading

Staph

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030142414.htm)

Essential oils and Aromatherapy 

Aromatherapy

Unfortunately, in our zeal to embrace modern versions of medicine, quite a few of us have lost touch with other forms of treatment which can be equally effective. Luckily, I was thrust in the midst of the wonderful aromatic world of plant based therapy which have actually been used by man for millennia. But keep in mind that I am referring to the class of essential oils that are of therapeutic grade due to their 100% purity and which can be used for healing purposes. There are no bases, fillers or additives added. Most of the essential oils which are available in the market are not of therapeutic grade but are diluted and are good only for cosmetological needs and consumer products. I will be writing more about the brands and the companies that I use for managing eczema later in this post.

Essential oils are volatile liquids and are made mostly by a distillation process by extracting these from the leaves, flowers, seeds, roots and resins. The process of distillation separates the water and oil based compounds of the plant and makes the oil highly concentrated.  Infact it takes about 30 kgs of rose petals to make just about 15 ml of rose essential oil! This makes essential oils highly potent and effective for healing purposes. Essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory and highly therapeutic properties.  But like any other treatment, essential oils need to be treated with respect and with due knowledge of how to use them. Also, just like other treatments, aromatherapy works best in  combination with conventional treatments (if required for an existing condition), a good balanced and healthy diet, a daily stress management routine and regular excercise. 

(You can read more about them at

https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/what-are-essential-oils

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033)

All oils are not created equal

bunch of lavander

As I have mentioned earlier, there are different grades of essential oils. The ones I am referring to for managing eczema and other medical conditions are specifically therapeutic ones. The other ones might be much cheaper but will not have the healing properties that you need. In any case, since these oils are highly concentrated and very potent, only a few drops are needed at a time. They also have to be diluted at all times for topical applications even though there are a few exceptions.

The essential oils I use for managing staph infections and at the same time healing eczema prone skin are lavender, tea tree, geranium, clary sage, clove and oregano. I make a blend of oils by mixing 2 to 3 oils with a carrier oil (coconut oil) and use it to moisturise my daughter daily. Lavender and tea tree essential oils are the most important ones that I use every time while I add a third oil from the remaining list. Also keep in mind that clove and oregano are warming and highly potent oils and I use it mostly for fighting infections and not daily use. I do not use more than 5 to 6 drops of each in the blend and make up the rest with the remaining oils that I am using for that blend.

The dosage for the oils for a 3% topical (recommended) application is 30 drops of the essential oils (10 drops of each oil if using 3 essential oils) mixed with 30 ml of the carrier oil (coconut oil). In case of very young children and babies, you can start with a 1% 0r 2 % dilution which means about 5 to 6 drops of each oil ( or around 15 drops in all) mixed with 30 ml of the carrier oil. You also can use this concentration for maintenance  purposes once the skin infection has come under control.

A note of caution:  Avoid using essential oils on very young children (less than 2 years) and babies. If it is necessary to use for stubborn infection, use ones which are gentle on their delicate skin like lavender, tea tree and geranium and with maximum dilution. You can also buy a blend called Eczema Helper from the brand Plant Therapy made especially for children from 2 to 10 years of age. So far I have not been able to find any shopping site which ships this product to India apart from the Plant Therapy website itself and the link is given below-   

http://www.planttherapy.com/eczema-helper

The amounts of the essential oils should be increased or decreased in proportion to the carrier oil used. The blend should be kept in a glass bottle in a dark area well away from sunlight or any other source of light and heat. This blend can be applied whenever and wherever on the body moisturisation is required.

There are a few companies based in the US like Edens Garden, Plant Therapy, Young Living and Do Terra from where you can buy therapeutic grade essential oils . However, only Edens Garden Essential Oils and Plant Therapy Essential Oils are available as of now on Ebay India.  Sometimes, some of the other brands are available on Amazon India and Rediff shopping but are more expensive.  You can use the following link on Ebay India to buy the Edens Garden and Plant Therapy brand of essential oils

Natural coconut oil
Also, equally important is the carrier oil used to dilute the essential oils. I have now been using cold pressed coconut oil to moisturise my daughter’s skin through all seasons successfully for more than a year now. Infact coconut oil itself has antimicrobial properties. I use the organic cold pressed coconut oil from Conscious Foods that is available at various retail stores including Godrej Nature’s basket, Foodhall (Mumbai) and online stores like Amazon India, naturalmantra.com, Foodesto.com and allthingsorganic.com amongst others. But you can use any cold pressed, unfragranced (preferably organic) coconut oil that is readily available in your area.

Stop and smell the roses

Essential oils have played a major role in managing my daughter’s skin infections and I am really happy to share it with you. I hope you find this article useful in incorporating essential oils into your eczema treatment routine.
A couple of other thoughts to leave you with.

Very often when we are pressed with stressful times in life, we forget that life is not just about tiding through tough times or “managing  situations”. It is also about enjoying time spent with family and friends, having fun, being creative and simply “doing nothing”. Infact in today’s world where we are hard pressed for time, “doing nothing” seems a sacrilege for most of us. The fact is, it is one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves. I have also had times when I felt that if I took some time out from managing my daughter’s eczema in some way or the other, I would not be a good parent. I did not feel “constructive” if I took out some time to take care of myself. But now I know that is simply not true! We all need a break from time to time to keep our sanity and remain productive.

I now use essential oils frequently for this purpose. Essential oils have an amazing array of benefits and uses. Diffusing a few drops of lavender (calming and sleep inducing) essential oils or other oils like ylang ylang, sandalwood, jasmine (to name a few) can calm you down.

As one wise person said, as you walk down the fairway of life, you must stop to smell the roses, for you get to play only one round. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Products and resources which help to manage eczema

I have been meaning to put up a post of the resources and products (mostly natural formulations) that have proved beneficial in some way or the other in the past few years while treating my daughter’s eczema. These products have been recommended by other parents based on their experiences while treating their child’s eczema. I would like to mention that while my daughter is still on immunosuppressive medication to control her very severe eczema, some of them might prove to be extremely beneficial for your child like it has for many other children.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list by any means and I have listed a few products that have come to my notice and a few other products which I use on my children.

Creams, moisturisers and salves

I have written earlier about moisturisers and creams but these products deserve a special mention. I have put down a few completely natural products which are not mainstream and are mostly formulated by parents of children with eczema after they tried out various mainstream creams and moisturisers but to no avail. Furthermore, all these products are free of steroids, Sulphates, parabens and other preservatives, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals and are made mostly from natural organic ingredients. These products have proven to be beneficial to many children and in some cases, parents have been able to substitute topical steroid creams and moisturisers with preservatives and other chemicals with these natural and organic products successfully.

However, for mild to moderate eczema, you must use the steroid creams and medicines prescribed by the doctor to calm an infection or bad flare up for your child. But in the long-term if you can use a combination of natural moisturizer and other lifestyle and dietary changes to keep eczema successfully under control, that is the best situation one should work towards. I am still trying to figure out what is best for my daughter and how to manage her eczema without using steroids, immunosuppressant and other such powerful medicines and through our own journey it will really make me happy if I can help some other children and their families to cope with eczema.

I have used the first 2 products and coconut oil on both my children. I have found the Purepotions cream to be very effective on extremely dry patches and the organic coconut oil is the main moisturiser for my daughter. Some of the other products have been recommended by other parents of children with eczema and/or adults with eczema who have found relief by using these products. I have also come across some of these products while continuing my search for products to help my daughter and others like her suffering from Atopic Dermatitis.  

However, you have to be careful before using the products for the first time on your child and should check the label to see if your child is allergic to any of the ingredients in any such products.

 

  • Purepotions Intensive moisturising ointment This natural salve was formulated in UK by a mother, Natalie Balmond, when she took matters into her own to find an alternative natural solution to alleviate her daughter’s suffering due to bleeding sores covering 90% of her body. It has Beeswax which acts as a natural antibacterial barrier protecting the skin from external irritants and locking moisture in as well as Hemp  which is extremely rich in essential fatty acids which are often lacking in those with dry skin. One can find out more about this cream and order on their website (they deliver to India) – http://www.purepotions.biz/ and once can also purchase this ointment through other websites like http://www.everythingforeczema.com/skin-salvation.html.

 

 

  •  Chickweed and Calendula cream– The founder of the website, Ms Gail Palmer is another such mother whose daughter had eczema when she was small and she struggled to bring it under control. She developed this product made of chickweed and Calendula especially for chaffed, dry skin like in the case of eczema. Chickweed has been traditionally used by herbalists to help sooth itching, and Calendula to reduce inflammation. She has her own website and blog and one can buy this product on her website http://www.everythingforeczema.com/chickweed-and-calendula-cream.htm

 

 

 

Emily skin soothers

 

  • Baby and adult skin soother from the brand Emily Skin Soothers– Made by an acupuncturist for his daughter’s eczema, this balm contains only natural ingredients. It contains just three chinese herbs in a base of olive oil and beeswax. This product is available on the website http://www.eczemacompany.com/natural-eczema-cream/ and is shipped to India by this website.

 

 

 

  • Odylique Repair Lotion and Ultra Rich Balm by Essential Care– these and other skin care products have been formulated by Margaret and her family since 1980s. She was motivated by the lack of products suitable for her own and her family’s very sensitive and eczema-prone skin and she formulated skin care products based only on organic herbs, plant oils and natural active ingredients. The lotion and the balm are the 2 products made specifically for eczema prone skin and one can purchase their products from their website http://www.essential-care.co.uk/organic-skincare-for-problem-skin/organic-skincare-for-itchy-skin.html 

 

 

LJs natural

 

  • Organic Scratchy Balm and Organic Scratchy Bath/Body Oil by LJs Natural– These products were formulated by Lisa Johnson who had been suffering from severe eczema for a long time after a lot of research and experimentation. The combination of these products and complementary therapy including diet helped bring her eczema under control ever since. The balm is a blend of organic shea butter, avocado oil, evening primrose oil and may help provide relief from itching due to dry skin conditions in a completely natural way. The bath and body oil can be used on children since it is a blend of lavender and chamomile (which are great essential oils good for dry and damaged skin and are very relaxing if used before bed time). This product is now available for delivery to India after I contacted her last week. You can check out her website at http://www.lj-natural.com/my-story/.

 

Organic coconut oil

  • Coconut oil (Organic)– This moisturiser is something we have been using for quite a while now and it has proved to be very helpful especially during the times when my daughter’s skin is broken at places due to constant itching. It is an excellent emollient for not only coating the skin but penetrating it as well, unlike a mineral oil that only coats the skin. This is readily available in India from brands like Conscious Foods, Down to Earth, Kama etc.

 

 

Therapeutic clothing and products

There are some specialised types of products available to help patients suffering from eczema cope with the aches and pains and sleepless nights associated with this skin condition and have to be used in combination to the regular medications and mositurisers. Amongst these, the most obvious and natural ones which help in reducing skin aggravation is the use of completely natural laundry cleaners. I have touched upon this topic in my earlier post – “Eczema- a change in lifestyle”  particularly in relation to availability of these products in our country.

Today I am writing about other products which have been specially formulated to help in reducing itchiness, increasing the comfort level and which might help in reducing the intensity and frequency of flare ups in some people. I have used The Tubifast Garments on my daughter when she still had mild eczema and was advised wet wrapping treatment by her dermatologist. I have also used the Dermasilk full sleeves roll neck t shirt on her and it helped to some extent to reduce her itching at times. In particular, the Dermasilk Elite Girl Brief has proved to be beneficial to my daughter and she wears it to school everyday. It has helped reduce the itching in her groin area to a large extent.

Again, I have shortlisted most of these products based on the reviews and recommendations of other parents who have found these to be beneficial in some way or the other. There must be many more which have been developed  and the good thing is that there are a whole host of products developed specifically to minimise discomfort and itching associated with Atopic Dermatitis and thus improving the overall quality of life for an eczema patient.

 

Dermasilk

  • Dermasilk Therapeutic Clothing–  This is a line of clothing used in the treatment of various forms of dermatitis, eczema and allergic skin conditions and is made of a special, knitted medical grade silk (not regular silk material) by Espere Healthcare in the UK. One can read more about them on their website- http://www.dermasilk.co.uk/. They manufacture full sleeves roll neck T shirts, full length footless leggings, tubular sleeves (for elbows and knees) , underwear (for boys and girls), child gloves, short sleeves T shirt amongst others. I have used the long sleeves T shirt and full leggings for my daughter but intermittently due to various reasons and she was pretty comfortable wearing this at night. You can buy their products on the website- http://www.theallergyshop.com.au/dermasilk-kids/ since this website delivers to India.

 

Tubifast

 

  • Tubifast Garments by Monlycke Healthcare– Tubifast Garments are specifically made to manage eczema using the Wet Wrapping Technique also called Wet Dressing Technique. They are found in various forms for children- gloves, leggings, full sleeves vests in all sizes. Apart from these, Tubifast Patch Wrap,  is used to soothe and protect isolated patches of eczema, especially behind the knees or the elbow and comes in pairs. One can read more about them on their website- http://www.molnlycke.com/patient/en/Products/Wound-care-products/Tubifast-Garments/.  The garments can be ordered at the website- http://www.theallergyshop.com.au/dermasilk-kids/ and they deliver to India as well.

 

 

  • Scratch Me Nots– This is a website where once again a mother, Andrea, developed a product looking for a way to stop her daughter from scratching all the time due to her eczema and wanted to stop the itch- scratch cycle. She then eventually figured out how to bring her eczema under control once her daughter stopped scratching and thereafter they could sleep at nights and decrease the visits to the doctors and the medications. She has developed ScratchMeNot Flip Mittens, ScratchMeNot Flip Mitten Body, Bamboo Bubby Bag, ScratchMeNot Mitten Sleeves all designed for babies and children upto 6 years of age to stop their scratching especially at night. These products are made with an unique blend of bamboo viscose, organic cotton & lycra and one can buy their products on the website- http://www.eczemacompany.com/scratchmenot-flip-mitten-sleeve-formerly-classic/ or the company website- http://www.scratchmenot.com/view-all/.

Skintoskin

  • Skin to Skin biofunctional clothing – These products were developed by a dermatologist especially for babies, children and adults with atopic skin conditions like eczema. These are made from 70% pure cotton and 20% brown algae (seaweed) which has been bonded with silver particles giving the remaining 10%. According to the company, the seaweed extract has natural properties that soothes and protects against itchiness and the silver adds antiseptic properties, drastically reducing the growth of any potentially harmful bacteria on the skin.  The products available are boxer shorts for girls/boys, long sleeves and short sleeves Tshirts, socks and leggings. One can buy these products at  http://www.everythingforeczema.com/skin-to-skin.html (they deliver to India) and their website is http://uk.skintoskin.eu/ incase you need further information.

Diet and eczema

The other aspect of managing eczema that keeps coming up again and again from other parents who have successfully brought their child’s eczema under control and others who have been able to manage their own eczema is through their diet. This is something which my husband and I have been contemplating for some time for our daughter but have not been able to implement by ourselves. For a child, a well-balanced nutritional diet is critical for growth and well being and this is even more true when the child is on a restrictive diet due to eczema, allergies etc.

Fortunately, I came to know of a naturopath based in Mumbai recently and we have approached him to help us streamline Aiyana’s diet to help us to possibly decrease her dependency on medications which keeps her eczema under control currently. Even though no doctor will really recommend a change in the diet for eczema unless it directly affects a person due to his or her allergies, more and more people with severe eczema are going down this path especially when their dependency on powerful medicines with equally powerful side effects becomes too great. Hence the role of naturopaths, natural formulations and home remedies in chronic conditions like eczema.

But you must take the same precautions that you would take before giving any mainstream medicines to your child by finding out about the impact of dietary changes, side effects of any supplements given, regular monitoring required etc. Thus even in the case of managing your child’s eczema through changes in the diet and supplements, you should be clear about why you are eliminating some foods while keeping or even increasing others and not just follow all the recommendations blindly. For a child, a well-balanced diet is very important for growth and the dietary changes should take into account protein, calcium requirements of a growing child amongst other things.

Eczema-Diet-2nd-Ed-Front-Cover-192x300

On this front, after quite a bit of research on the resources available on diet and eczema, I have come across a book called “The Eczema Diet” by an Australian nutritionist Karen Fisher. Twelve years ago Karen’s daughter developed eczema soon after she was born. By the age of two, her daughter’s eczema had become so severe that Karen decided it was time to find her own solution.  Karen successfully controlled her daughter’s severe eczema by formulating a diet plan for her daughter. This book is based on a decade of extensive research of the causes of eczema by Karen Fischer.  It has helped a lot of people to bring their eczema under control and has also helped a lot of parents to manage their child’s eczema in a much more natural way.

I had ordered this book on http://www.theallergyshop.com.au/the-eczema-diet-by-karen-fischer/. This book has recently been delivered to me and I am still going through the same. So far I have read about how it works, the top eczema safe foods as well as the ones which trigger eczema.  In case you have already taken help of this book and tried this diet on yourself or your child, I would be really happy to hear from you.

 

I have tried to bring together in one place a variety of products (creams, moisturisers, clothing) which have helped many children and adults control their eczema and live a comfortable life. Eczema, while not usually life threatening in nature, can really hamper a family’s quality of life on a daily basis since lack of sleep, discomfort, itchiness, medications and their side effects take a toll on children with eczema and their parents alike.  However, there have been a number of parents who have found a way that has worked for their child to some extent or the other and all the trial and error they have gone through has been worth it in the end. While I am also one of those parents still struggling to bring my daughter’s eczema under control with minimal or no medication at all, I would like to live you with a thought that I often have to remind myself on those days when it all seems so difficult-

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed”- Sid Caesar 

 

 

 

Bath time! (And skin care routine for eczema)

Skincare is an integral part of the treatment for eczema. Dryness of skin due to eczema occurs since the skin is unable to retain moisture. As far as my daughter is concerned, her skin care routine during bath and before sleeping at night usually takes up to an hour at times. I also moisturize her in between as many times as required depending on the weather and skin condition. She gets quite frustrated at times since it’s quite elaborate, but there is really no choice. For someone who such severely dry skin we have to take all precautions to prevent her skin from drying out.

Bath routine

The process that I follow is that of “moisturize and seal”. The skin is moistened during bath time and then followed immediately with sealing the moisture in. Also, I am very careful about the bath products that I use on her. I use only non scented, soap free cleansers on her skin . And if her skin has flared up a lot, I sometimes avoid applying anything on her skin at all apart from water or just sponge her gently. The bath is usually kept short to about 2-5 minutes to avoid further drying out of her skin. The steps that I take for her bath are as follows-

  • a short (2-5 min) bath that helps moisturize the skin
  • use some kind of emollient or bath oil/oatmeal powder in the water
  • use a soap free moisturizing cleanser on her
  • apply a thin layer of liquid paraffin to seal the moisturize (if required)
  • pat her skin dry (not rub)
  • apply moisturizer (ointment or cream depending on weather) as soon as possible before the skin becomes completely dry

Cleansing

Soap substitutes and bath emollients are very useful to clean and moisturize skin prone to eczema. I use bath emollients like Hydromol/ Oilatum bath emollient or oatmeal powder to add to her bath water to provide additional moisture to her skin.

Based mostly on the experiences of other parents across the world (through their blogs and other interactions over the years) I completely avoid bath and skincare products which have Sulphates in them and Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) in particular.  Some studies have shown that Sulphates and SLS in particular can damage the skin barrier in people with healthy skin as well. (Source: http://www.eczema.org/aqeoushttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14728695)

SLS is a synthetic detergent (cleaning agent) and surfactant (which means it makes bubbles). It is used in industrial products such as car wash soap, engine degreasers and floor cleaners. But it is also used in a wide range of personal care products such as soaps, shampoos and toothpastes to create lather.  While it is known to irritate skin when it comes into contact with products which have high doses of SLS, it can also damage skin of children with Atopic Dermatits. Usually, regular baby bath products contain Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) which is gentler than SLS and is used to produce foam.

Last year when Aiyana’s skin condition was not improving at all was the time I decided to cut out this group altogether. I found options like Calfornia Baby products which are not only free of SLS and SLES but are also free of preservatives like Parabens. Instead they use coconut derived amino acids in their lotions which act as preservatives but are actually antioxidants; gluconolactone (corn) (and) sodium benzoate, an approved preservative for organic products in their shampoos and body washes. I am sure there are other such products which are equally gentle on the skin but as of now I am sticking to this range since I really do not want to take any chances with her skin care. It has proven to be gentle enough to be used even when her skin was not in a very good condition.

Oilatum Bath Additive Oil

Oilatum Bath Additive Oil

There are other less expensive options which I have used for Aiyana like Aveeno bath products (for e.g. Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash); Oilatum bath emollientHydromol bath emollient and E45 cream and emollient. These have also worked well for her in the past and I still use a few of them (like Oilatum and E45) off and on both my children depending on their availability and skin condition. The paraffin based bath oils and creamy washes are good options in the summer months in a humid climate in our country. I have used the ointment form for cleansing (Epaderm and Hydromol ointments which are emollients and cleansers- all in one) a few times for my daughter when her skin had become extremely dry during the winter months. But I suppose for most children the bath oils and creamy washes should do the trick.

Products

  • Aveeno body wash is an oat based creamy wash;
  • Hydromol bath and shower emollient and Oilatum bath additive emollients are both liquid paraffin based bath oils (they also have cream based washes)
  • E45 has a cream wash and an emollient bath oil which work as a cleanser; Epaderm is in the form of a 3 in 1 emollient, bath additive and skin cleanser in ointment form
  • There are also other bath additives and creamy cleansers from Cetaphil, QV, Eucerin, Neosporin Ecema Essentials amongs others

    Epaderm 3 in 1 ointment

Availability

  • Aveeno products are usually available in Mumbai based stores like Just Moms (Breach Candy), Green Bell (Juhu), Amarsons. They can also be bought online from amazon.co.uk or amazom.com and a few sellers do ship them to India
  • Oilatum is readily available in most big chemist shops
  • Cetaphil, Eucerin and E45 are sometimes available in the same shops I have mentioned above
  • Hydromol and Epaderm is available in the UK and I buy online from amazon.co.uk or request my friends to get it for me
  • QV and other brands like Neosporin are available in the US and can be bought online through amazon.com but are not shipped by all sellers ( I am trying to figure out a way to get Neosporin Eczema Essentials Products for Aiyana since they are being recommended by quite a few parents)

E45 wash cream

Moisturizing routine

Emollients are found in various forms like creams, lotions and oils and are essentially used to moisturize dry skin.  I have already mentioned in details the moisturizing routine in my earlier post “Moisturizers and Eczema”. There are many products from brands like Exomega, Cetaphil, Avene, Hope’s Relief Cream. I have tried various products at different points in time depending on her skin condition and availability.

But the most important thing is to quickly seal in the moisture after bath while the skin is still moist after being patted dry.  Also, when the weather is hot and moist (mostly the case in Mumbai), I go lighter, meaning I use creams and lotions (if it’s very hot and humid lotions work well during the day); when it’s cool and dry I go heavier, meaning I use ointments or creams to provide better moisturization for my daughter.

I hope this article helps in giving you some basic pointers on the skin care routine that is so necessary for children (or even adults) with eczema to keep their skin healthy and their lives as normal and comfortable as possible. Please feel free to share your experiences and write to me with your questions if any!