Many parents are tired of the cycle of eczema flares, topical steroid creams, decrease in symptoms, then right back into another flare-up, and worry about how topical steroid use might be affecting their children in the long run. Ending the cycle of eczema flares requires taking a look at what may be causing the rash to break out in the first place, in addition to offering relief for symptoms in the moment. Fortunately, naturopathic medicine can offer a great deal of help for children dealing with this itchy, painful condition.
1. Identify food allergies
There are many ways to identify a food allergy: observation, an elimination diet, or food allergy testing. A qualified practitioner with experience in childhood food allergies can help you determine what foods to eliminate and order and interpret labs.
2. Heal a leaky gut
3. Add in a high-quality probiotic
4. An anti - inflammatory diet
5. Avoid over washing
6. Offer topical relief
- Oatmeal bath: Oatmeal is naturally soothing and anti-itch. To create an oatmeal bath, place ground oatmeal in a clean sock or cheese cloth and place under running water as you fill a bath and let your child soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Apple cider vinegar: This can be applied to a cotton ball and gently dab over the affected areas for mild itch relief.
- Witch hazel: this herb has been used topically for centuries due to it’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Look for a brand that is alcohol-free, as alcohol may dry or damage the skin.
Anti-Itch Healing Salve*
This recipe is soothing, anti bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itch. It’s great for eczema, sunburn, cuts and scrapes, diaper rash, and poison oak and ivy. For high-quality herbs, check out Mountain Rose Herbs.
- 1 oz dried calendula flowers
- 2 tbsp dried comfrey
- 2 tbsp dried plantago leaf (plantago, aka plantain, is an herb that grows as a weed in lawns and grassy areas all over North America)
- 8 oz jojoba, almond, or olive oil
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp beeswax chips
Put the calendula flowers, comfrey, and plantain in a 12 oz jar. Add the oil. Cover and let sit for 3-6 weeks, turning or shaking the jar once per day. Using a cheese cloth and a funnel, strain the plant matter out of the oil. The oil will be a bright golden green. Put the oil in a double boiler, or in a jar in a water bath (you can throw away the plant material that you just strained out). Add the beeswax and warm it up just until the beeswax melts - any hotter and you may destroy some of the medicinal properties! Test the consistency of your salve by dipping the back of a spoon in the mix and letting it cool. If it’s too runny, add more beeswax till it’s the consistency that you want. When you’ve gotten it to the right consistency, pour into a couple of 1/2 or 1/4 pint mason jars. This has quite a long shelf life, so long as you keep it in a cool and somewhat dark place, such as a cabinet, it should stay good for months.
*This recipe is for topical use only