I remember standing bleary-eyed in the kitchen at 2am, giving my then three year old a dose of Benadryl to help her sleep. She couldn’t stop scratching her skin, her little nails leaving angry red marks in their wake.
I hated always using Benadryl and steroid cream just to keep her comfortable. Off to the internet I went (this was before the advent of Scratch or Sniff), scouring for information on how to keep eczema at bay.
Where was her eczema? Well, all over. Thankfully changing her diet (we discovered that eczema can often be a symptom of allergies) helped, but she still was itchy in the inside of her arms, the back of her legs, across her stomach, her lower back, and her underwear areas.
We went around the block, but her eczema (well, all my girls’ eczema) has vastly improved with these steps:
1) Ditching the fabric softeners and the fragrant detergents. A nice combo? all® free clear laundry + a run through the dryer without dryer sheets. (Seriously, you won’t miss them.) I’ve made the switch for everything — the grown-up clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals — and no one misses the scent. Fresh clothes smell great all on their own. ;)
2) Slowly switching to organic clothing. Conventional cotton uses more insecticides than any other crops, but organic cotton is expensive. My suggestion is to start slowly. I switched to organic underwear and saw a difference IMMEDIATELY. Like within 24 hours. Then I bought some organic pajamas (a nice next step, since kids are in them for 10 to 12 hours at a time), and snagged organic tees and tanks when I found them on sale.
3) Creating a solid bath time routine. Especially after a day of playing / sweating in the amazing weather, I hose my kids down in the tub to wash away all of the itch-inducing sweat, and slather them with lotion the second I pull them out of the tub.
These days, we utilize meds a lot less, which makes me feel really good. The switches are pretty painless — a different bottle of detergent, a different kind of pajamas — and the relief of knowing my kids are comfortable is worth a lot, too. :)