How I healed my daughter’s eczema (and leaky gut)

In my last post on my daughter’s eczema treatment, I had mentioned once again the Functional Medicine treatment that is helping her heal her eczema from within. In this post I am really happy to say that she is much better than before and her eczema is under control.

She is finally off her immunosuppressive medication after 5 long years of depending on systemic drugs to keep her eczema under control. She has been on prednisone (oral steroid), cyclosporine, azathioprine and methotrexate (at various points in time) to manage her very severe eczema for the past 5 years. For those of you who have been following my blog know that it has been a very long journey filled with a lot of ups and downs. When I started Functional Medicine treatment in 2015 I was convinced that it works but I knew that it would not be easy to implement the changes needed and the discipline that would be required. Countless others have been healed by this treatment for various chronic conditions including the seemingly “incurable” ones like Multiple Sclerosis (read Dr Terry Wahls recovery from a crippling MS here), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto (read Dr Isablella Wentz’s story here), Alzheimers (read up on Dr Dale Bredesen’s amazing work here).

The struggle is part of the story

 

It has been worth every second, minute and hour that I have spent on healing her gut from within when I see her soft and radiant skin today

It has been worth every second, minute and hour that I have spent on healing her gut from within when I see her soft and radiant skin today. It has been worth every tear that I have shed when times were difficult and I questioned myself on the path that I had chosen to follow. It has been worth the effort that I had to put in to make the changes in our diet and lifestyle as product availability was poor initially and I struggled with finding the recipes for a different way of eating (gluten and dairy free). It has been worth it when I hear in her voice the delight of sharing her lunch with her friends in school, where her friends look forward to having the very same (gluten and dairy free, unprocessed foods) foods that she used to once eat alone.

Healing a leaky gut

leaky gut symptoms

It was a precious day for me last Thursday as her Functional Medicine pointed out in my daughter’s latest test reports of how her gut has healed slowly from being “leaky” and how this has resulted in her eczema coming under control. Her stool (GI Map) analysis showed that the her gut lining had healed to the extent that the protein called Zonulin was no longer present in high quantities as previously tested over the last couple of years. In other words the tight junction of the gut lining had healed to the extent that it no longer allowed any undigested foods, toxins, bacteria or yeast into the bloodstream and activate the immune system. This had helped calm down her immune system which had helped bring her eczema under control and allowed her to be pulled off her immunosuppressive medication. There were a few things that still needed to be taken care of as had showed up in her urine metabolite ONE test but every single marker had nonetheless showed improvement.

What had worked for us was a combination of lifestyle change and the right nutrition for her. Healing the gut from within also forms a part of the ancient healing traditions of Ayurveda as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Some of the key things that we did that helped us to heal her eczema-

  • Remove trigger foods (like gluten, eggs and dairy), refined, processed and sugar laden foods (baked products, beverages etc) yeast, nightshades to name a few
  • Remove and reduce toxin exposure by switching to safe and eco friendly laundry and dishwashing detergents, personal care products (shampoo, lotion, cream etc)
  • Use therapeutic grade essential oils to manage and prevent infections and skin conditions; I later started using these for a variety of other ailments as a safe and effective preventive measure including minor burns, cuts, headaches etc
  • Add probiotics and fermented foods like kefir/sauerkraut to help increase the ratio of favourable bacteria in the gut against the harmful ones
  • Increase vegetable intake (through soups, juices and meals) as well as fruits (all colours)
  • Add supplements like Glutamine, licorice amongst others to help heal the gut lining
  • Add supplements like cucurmin, NAC, omega 3, phytonutrients etc to boost her antioxidant levels and lower overall inflammation in the body
  • Address the chronic stress of living with eczema with the help of books, emotional support and mindfulness
  • The whole family supported in making these changes without which we would not have been able to make this kind of difference

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

 

cross road on hillside meadow in mountain at sunset

Eczema remains a part of our life today inspite of what we have achieved. However, as I have mentioned in my earlier posts, it is only a part of who my daughter is and does not define her

Eczema remains a part of our life today inspite of what we have achieved. However, as I have mentioned in my earlier posts, it is only a part of who my daughter is and does not define her. And it is even more true today than ever before. It may remain a part her life but it is not something that she needs to be scared of. She will most likely need to be much more careful of her diet and lifestyle than many others but I believe this will give her a better insight and control over her own health which will actually help her in the years to come. While she has matured over the last few years due to her struggles, she has retained her innocence which gives her a freshness that children naturally possess. I can only hope that these years of learning and accepting the various changes in her young life will shape her into a compassionate, strong and beautiful young woman in the years to come.

As her mother, caregiver and a human being even I have come a long way since I started writing this blog about four years back. Today I would like to share some of the things that I have learned along the way.

  • Remember to always trust your own intuition and instinct where your child is concerned; there is no better advocate for your child than her mother (and father)
  • Try and work with doctors (and other healthcare practitioners) as partners so that you can work efficiently as a team; this is true for chronic conditions where treatment may take years to show any results
  • Food is medicine; nutrition plays a HUGE role in our health whether we realise it or not
  • I have learned not to compromise on the quality and safety of anything that we put in or on our body; buy the best quality and non toxic (if possible organic) produce and consumer care products
  • Taking care of your child’s emotional health is equally important and has a huge impact on their self esteem and confidence; we can unknowingly end up neglecting this aspect of our child’s health while focussing on their medical treatment
  • Self care should be regular part of the daily routine for the primary caregiver (usually the mother) of a child; without taking adequate care of yourself you simply cannot give the best of yourself to your child over a long period of time
  • It is important to include forgiveness as an integral part of your approach in taking care of your child; this is true both for your child as they may fail at times to adhere to the treatment plan and also for yourself as you may make mistakes even if it is unintentional
  • And last but not the least remember to enjoy all the good that is there in your life and treasure each moment with your child; their childhood can disappear in a flash if we are consumed only by trying to tide over the ‘bad times” till “good times” take over

I am thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength

There is so much that has happened in the past few years, so much that as a family that we have covered together and much that we have learnt along the way. While I wish my daughter did not have to go through what she did, it was something we had no control over at all. It took us a while to accept this fact and at the same time be thankful for all that we have. As this year comes to an end, I am grateful to have to come to this point in my life where I have so much to share and an opportunity to make a difference.

As this year comes to an end, I am grateful to have to come to this point in my life where I have so much to share and an opportunity to make a difference

I discovered my passion for helping others in need in the domain of healthcare and have set up my Health Coaching practice. This was done after completing my one year online course from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. I also discovered my passion for writing and creating awareness for various health related topics like the ones mentioned below (links given below)

I have also started creating awareness by giving talks to small groups of people and my first presentation is on “Toxins- hiding in plain sight

Toxins- hiding in plain sight 29th nov

Nourish. Heal. Connect

Transparent copy with name

I am collaborating with Dr Amrita Talwar, who is also my daughter’s dermatologist, for a Health Coaching set up in her clinic in Mumbai. At the same time I also have my own practice where I have started seeing clients for various health conditions.

I focus on the following aspects of healthcare-

  • nutrition and hydration
  • exercise and movement
  • sleep and relaxation
  • social relationships and connections
  • mindfulness and stress management

Incase you are interested in knowing more about my practice, please get in touch with me at

Email: anindita@aninditarungta.com

Contact : +917738533913

Fb: @healthcoachinindia

Twitter: @aninditarungta

Heal

Our new eczema diet and a heart full of gratitude

It has been some time since I have put up a post. There have been a couple of developments at my end due to which I have been a bit tied up. The first and the most important one is that the combination of the new immunosuppressive medication, Methotrexate, and her new diet seem to be working for my daughter. I will be writing more on this particular diet later in this post.

The second one is that the support group for eczema that I started a few months back has been slowly gathering steam at a pace that I am comfortable with.

And last but not the least, I also want to express my gratitude and share with you this time the amazing team of doctors in Mumbai behind Aiyana’s medical treatment over the years all of whom have helped us in their own ways to deal with her severe eczema.

Diet and its impact on various disorders

diet

I had been reading about how diet affects one’s body in various ways and is especially important when dealing with autoimmune disorders and chronic conditions like eczema. Doctors do not really recommend any dietary changes unless allergy tests prove to be positive for various foods. However, I found that there more than a few genuine cases where people suffering from severe autoimmune and other disorders like Hashimoto, Lupus, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as eczema have found relief from the symptoms due to dietary changes and have managed to go off medication completely over time.

It took me more than 6 months to come to this point of view after reading about the life altering experiences of these people and then figure out a diet which I was willing to try out on my daughter. The life stories of some of the people who influenced my decision to try out diet as an option for my daughter are captured in their blogs whose links are as given below-

http://deliciouslyella.com/philosophy/about/– This blog is by Ella who has Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, a relatively rare and painful illness with no known cure and she managed to go off her medications completely after about 18 months of changing her diet

http://www.naturallysassy.co.uk/about– This blog is by Saskia, a ballet dancer with chronic eczema since childhood and who has completely gotten rid of her eczema by altering her diet

http://www.choosingraw.com/about/– This blog is by Gena who has battled with anorexia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and who now successfully uses a mix of raw and cooked vegan diet to keep herself healthy

http://www.amymyersmd.com/about/my-story/– The last link belongs to a website by Dr Amy Myers, a doctor of functional medicine suffering from Hashimoto’s ( a chronic and painful condition of the thyroid gland with no known cure) who has brought her severe thyroid condition under control after changing her diet/nutrition and life through meditation, yoga, supplements amongst others.

(Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.)

Source: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/

The Eczema Diet

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

In my post https://eczema-anindianperspective.com/2014/09/23/products-and-resources-which-help-to-manage-eczema/, I had very briefly mentioned that I was planning to start my daughter on a diet for eczema based on the book “The Eczema Diet” by the Australian nutritionist, Ms Karen Fischer. Her daughter had severe eczema as well when she was a 2-year-old and with changes in her diet, Karen managed to control the eczema successfully. She has since written this book based on her own experience with her daughter and the feedback over the years from her patients who have successfully brought their eczema under control using this diet.

This diet is practical and comprehensive with information on products and backed by research; it has menus and recipes for babies, children and adults. It also has non diet information like skin care products and general recommendations for eczema. The objective of this diet is to temporarily take out all the eczema unfriendly foods from the diet and add all foods which are highly nutritious and eczema safe.

There are 2 stages to this diet- Stage 1 and Stage 2 .

Stage 1 is primarily to heal the gut by avoiding foods with any kind of artificial chemicals and limiting naturally occurring eczema unfriendly chemicals (like MSG or salicylates) ; allergens (eggs, wheat or dairy products); anti nutrients (phytic acid, sugar, processed foods) and acid forming and other foods which increase itchiness (oranges, corn, tomato, dairy, grapes, dried fruits). This diet thus helps restore the acid alkaline balance in the body.

Stage 2 is an extension of the first stage where the food groups are gradually expanded by adding back different food groups in moderation ( no processed foods, artificial colourings, preservatives etc) depending on the improvement in the skin condition. The diet also has recommendations on supplements like vitamins, probiotic, glycine, flaxseed (Omega 3) amongst others which are very important in helping the body cope with eczema since the child might not be consuming adequate quantities of the same from food.

I started this diet for my daughter after going through it thoroughly and arranging for most of the eczema safe ingredients as there are quite a few changes in ingredients that we usually use at home. Infact, it took me almost a month to assimilate all the information, answer the different questionnaires and make notes and list down the essential foods and recipes as a part of my preparation before starting this diet.  It’s been about 2 months since I have started this diet for my daughter.

Since it is pretty restrictive in the first stage, I took my time to prepare my daughter mentally for what was to come in the following months by telling her about the diet. I also made her read excerpts from the book about other children who have benefited from this diet and have seen their eczema either disappear almost completely or finally come under control. Only when I was sure that she was ready for this change and that I had prepared adequately for this diet did I finally start the diet for her.

The recipes and menu

recipes

Over the past couple of months I have tried out various recipes from this book as well as developed and modified some recipes from this book using eczema safe ingredients. This is to ensure that Aiyana not only followed this diet completely with no exceptions but also had a wide variety of options to keep her from feeling deprived of all the store-bought and other foods that we are all so used to having nowadays. The good part about doing all this apart from the health benefits for my daughter is that my entire family now has much less processed foods, negligible amount of junk foods, healthier organic and fresh foods, homemade preparations of bakery and other  foods with no sugar and preservatives.

This has not been easy especially since I have had to cut out sugar, dairy, wheat, eggs and all processed foods, all spices ( apart from garlic and salt) out of her diet and give her a  very limited variety of fruits and vegetables. These last couple of months I have extremely been busy with this diet trying out the book’s recipes and new recipes almost on a daily basis since I have had to modify some of them to suit her needs and our Indian palette. This has been made more difficult since the recipes in the book are for meant to suit an European palette while we are used to our Indian spices and foods. What has helped me is my past experience with gluten-free cooking for my daughter in 2012 ( I have covered my experience in the post- “Eczema and diet” ) and my determination to ensure that I find a way to manage my daughter’s health in a more natural way in the long run.

The book can now be purchased both as a paperback and kindle version online at amazon.in.

When there’s a will there is a way

 inspire-31What encourages me is that Aiyana’s skin condition has improved in the last couple of months. Here I should also add that we had to start her new immunosuppressive medication around the same time as the diet and that the new medicine also takes 3 to 4 weeks to show results. But with my experience of giving her the third immunosuppressive medication (Cyclsosporine, Azathioprine, Methotrexate) I can say with conviction that the only medicine which has truly worked for her and made her skin completely smooth and normal all over has been oral steroid in high doses. The other medications have either just about helped keep her eczema under control (Cyclosporine) or brought about bone marrow suppression (Azathioprine); I have covered the effects of Azathioprine and our traumatic experience in my earlier post “…the tough get going (Part 2)“.

Hence, I am really happy to see that after starting her on this diet her face is totally clear of any rashes and has finally got back that healthy glow that had disappeared under the effect of all the strong medicines being given to her. I am willing to continue the hard work required to carry on with this diet and keep her motivated to follow the same for the next few months at least. I will keep you posted on further developments about my daughter’s skin condition in relation to this diet in my future posts.

 A heart full of gratitude

thank you

As the year comes to an end, I stop to count my blessings for all the good things in my life and my heart is filled with gratitude for all those doctors who have been with us in my family’s difficult journey in the past few years. In this post I would like to thank the amazing set of doctors behind Aiyana in her fight against eczema. I have briefly mentioned them in my earlier posts as well but have never mentioned their names which I do now with their consent.

 

 

Dr Shashi Merchant is Aiyana’s pediatrician from Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, and has known her since birth and held her as a newborn baby. She has been a pillar of strength and is unwavering in her support and care for my daughter. She gave us hope when we needed it the most in the darkest of moments when Aiyana was fighting for her life in the hospital last year. We are all lucky to have had her on our side in this journey.

Dr Amrita Talwar is Aiyana’s main dermatologist for the past 4 to 5 years now and has done much more and beyond than required as her role as a doctor. Without her help and guidance about the myriad aspects of dealing with eczema (including the essential but non medical ones) life would have been significantly more difficult for us. I have her to thank for encouraging me to write about our experience and starting this blog and for pushing me and helping me to start the Eczema Support Group.

Dr Manish Shah is a leading senior pediatric dermatologist and is the dermatologist whom we consult regarding her immunosuppressive medications and narrow band UVB treatment. He gives us advice when required and gives us much-needed guidance about giving these strong medications as well as dealing with and minimising the harsh side effects. We are very grateful to have him as Aiyana’s consultant dermatologist.

Dr Mahesh Balsekar is another well-known pediatrician in South Mumbai with Breach Candy Hospital. He is the one who diagnosed and admitted Aiyana to the hospital in time last year (Dr Merchant was on holiday at that time) which ultimately saved her life. Dr Balsekar thus gave her and the doctors at Breach Candy Hospital a chance of fighting her life threatening infection. My heart swells with gratitude for Dr Balsekar for keeping our family intact and saving my daughter’s life.

We are also grateful to the entire pediatric division of Breach Candy Hospital, haemotolgists Dr Antia and Dr Agarwal and the entire support staff at the hospital for playing a very important role in our daughter’s stay at the hospital last year.

A new year, a new beginning

new year

And so another year ends and a new one is about to begin soon. May the new year be filled with joy, laughter and good health. But may you also find the strength to overcome whatever obstacles lie in your path and remember to enjoy every precious moment with your friends and family.

From my family to yours

A Happy 2015! 

 

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.

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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