Alternatives to steroids

After my previous post on steroids for eczema, I had a few well-meaning friends who cautioned me about using steroids. It will definitely be be best to stay away from steroids, having read so many horror real-life stories online. But sometimes, after slapping on days of Calendula remedy and other alternatives, all you want is a little sign from your body to say that it is healing. I am very very careful when applying steroids (for myself, and more so for my son). I use just a teeny weeny bit, and that little bit makes a huge difference in sending signals to body for it to heal. Sometimes, after applying it for a day or two, I will switch back to the natural remedies, and my skin will continue with its healing. One thing I must clarify is, most of our eczema outbreaks are rashes-like, nothing very serious, dry or broken. (Thank God.) Hence, what works for us, may not work for you. I guess it really depends on individuals.

Although I do not stay away from steroids, I am still constantly searching and reading up for natural remedies that could help little man and I to be free from eczema. These are a few natural remedies we are currently using. They are said to have helped many eczema sufferers heal.

1. Lacto GG

Lacto GG was first recommended to me by a pediatrician. Little man has sensitive skin and constipation then. Lacto GG is said to be able to help these symptoms. In addition, it can build the body’s immunity. I vividly remember the pd telling me that her fellow colleague took this when she was pregnant to help prevent such symptoms in her child. I remembered making a mental note to take those for my second pregnancy (not happening soon).

According to some articles I have read, something is lacking in the guts of babies and children who suffer from eczema. It has been found that by supplementing the body with this strand of probiotic, Lactobacillus GG, sufferers can recover from eczema conditions over a short time.

This Lacto GG is not cheap at all. A box of 30 capsules costs about $67++ depending on where you buy them from. But since it was so highly recommended, I decided to put the both of us on it long-term. Like what Hubby always say, if it’s a problem money can solve, then it is not a big problem. Money can still be earned. Nothing is more important than good health.

2. Four Cow Farm Calendula Remedy / Baby Lotion

I started out using California Baby Calendula at first. It was a bottle gifted to me by a dear 歊槐 whose children also suffer from eczema. It has a nice smell and works for me for a while. But one day, while researching on it, I found that California Baby has changed some of its ingredients that are not so good for the sensitive skin. You can read more about it here.

Hence, I stopped using it and searched for other alternatives. FCF Calendula is one of the alternatives I have found and have been using. I like it that they have an online store here in Singapore and provide free delivery above a certain amount which is not hard to reach. I am also using their Baby Lotion for moisturising, alternating with my cheaper Nivea Whitening Lotion. But I am going to ditch Nivea products once I finished the 2 bottles I stocked up, because I just realised recently that they have added Dimethicone for both their lotion and deodorant. You can read more about that ingredient from the link I have provided. Currently, I am trying to stay away from silicone, SLS and SLE from our hair and skin care products, which are really not easy. Even little man’s Kodomo gentle cleanser contain a large amount of SLS 🙁   Anyway, maybe another post on that next time.

3. Angel Baby Earth Mama Bottom Balm

Having heard so much about this cream, I went on iHerb to buy it for little man to use. I like it and it works for little man so far for mild rashes. Although it is a Bottom Balm, I rarely use it on his bottom. Instead it has become a reliable rash/insect bite cream.

4. Oat baths

Oat baths works very well for little man in relieving his itch and moisturising and healing his damaged skin. What I do is wrapping our usual breakfast oats (about 2 tablespoons) in a small handkerchief, and soak the handkerchief in a small container of water. The water will eventually present a milky texture which I will pat onto little man’s skin after his bath routine. There is no need to wash away the milky substance. I just dry his body after that. This milky texture will help to retain the moisture around his eczema, helping it to heal better. And for some reason, it also helps to calm down the itchy skin. As I use this for myself as well, I can really feel the relief it gives me.

If you are ok with the mess it makes, you can actually create a milky bath in the baby bathtub for your child to soak in. But it is too messy for me, hence I came up with this mess-free idea. Works as well.

5. Rooibos Tea

I have also read a lot about how rooibos tea can help to heal eczema as it is high in antioxidants. Many recommended the Annique Rooibos Tea, which aren’t easily available. Hence, I just make do with the Twinning Rooibos Tea bought from iHerb. My take is, it is not expensive, so even if it doesn’t really help with the eczema, I just take it as a relaxing tea. Little man drinks that too. Actually little man has been drinking chamomile tea on days he is easily irritable as well, but that on another post perhaps.

6. Physiogel cleanser / Physiogel creams / Cetaphil Restoradum

Little man and I do not bathe with Physiogel cleanser on a regular basis as it is rather expensive to do so. But we always stock up on Physiogel whenever there is offer so that we can use it for periods when our eczema occur. One thing about eczema is, you do not want anymore harsh chemicals on those raw skin. So for those periods, we will use the mild cleanser and load on plenty of Physiogel or Cetaphil creams, whichever is available. Like what my dermetologist said, it’s all about moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.

I think there are more eczema sufferers out there than we thought we know. I myself have learnt a lot from what other sufferers have shared. I hope this post have helped you in some ways too.

PS: For those who are thinking of trying essential oil on eczema, I would say be careful. I have tried Lavender essential oil on my eczema, and I think it kind of make it spread. Essential oils, though natural, are potent stuff. They are like two-edged swords. Use them the right way, they help you tremendously. Use them the wrong way, they cause you more pain. Just remember to be very careful, especially if you are thinking of using them on your young ones.

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