5 Natural Eczema Remedies for Your Kids
Eczema is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children to see me at CentreSpringMD. It’s actually a topic that is near and dear to my heart because both of my kids had eczema.
My son’s eczema was easily manageable with good moisturizing, but my daughter’s was pretty severe. The conventional recommendations from her pediatrician and my colleagues were to use topical steroids on her, but I just couldn’t fathom following that advice (even though it’s the advice I had given so many patients myself!). Her eczema involved practically her entire body, and I knew steroids were not a solution that could treat the root cause. Navigating how to manage something so simple as my baby’s eczema helped steer me towards Integrative Medicine and a more holistic approach to pediatric care in general. I’m happy to say that my “baby” is now 5 years old and is happily no longer dealing with the “itchies,” as we used to call her eczema.
Here are five natural remedies for your child’s eczema.
1. Diet. For most of my patients, dietary triggers tend to be the most common root cause of their eczema. They may either have multiple food allergies and/or sensitivities – signifying a leaky gut, or they could just have 1-2 food triggers that cause their eczema to flare. The most common culprits are gluten and dairy, so I will often encourage parents to help their children avoid gluten and dairy for a couple of weeks. If there is improvement, once skin is back to normal I’ll have them reintroduce one food or the other and watch for a flare. For my daughter, removing gluten was the ticket.
If after 2-3 weeks of avoiding gluten and dairy there is absolutely no improvement, you can try avoiding other commonly allergenic foods like eggs and peanuts/tree nuts. If none of those eliminations work, then getting tested for IgE allergies as well as IgG sensitivities might be next steps. We offer both kinds of tests at CentreSpringMD and often use them to guide dietary changes for children with eczema.
2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Keeping the skin as moisturized as possible is the most important thing you can do for your child’s eczema. Most parents only moisturize their child’s skin 1-2 times per day. By increasing that to 5-6 times per day, the skin can improve significantly. After trying almost every moisturizer and eczema cream on the market for my daughter with no improvement, I ended up making my own moisturizer with a recipe like this:
- 1 part coconut oil
- 1 part avocado oil
- 1-2 parts shea butter (depending on the thickness you desire).
Blend them together in a high speed blender, or melt on the stove and whisk with an immersion blender. Allow to cool in the fridge or room temperature in a glass jar.
One word of caution: while I love essential oils for so many other things, I do find that they can be irritating to skin that’s inflamed with eczema. I had to throw out several batches of my homemade eczema cream because I had added oils to them, so just be careful when considering adding essential oils to your child’s irritated skin.
3. Gut support. Eczema is an external sign that there is internal inflammation. Whether your child suffers from leaky gut, food allergies, dysbiosis, or yeast overgrowth, taking care of her gut can lead to long-term success in eradicating her eczema. I like using a high quality probiotic like Orthobiotic (link to product) because it contains a great blend of probiotic cultures and includes Saccharomyces boullardi – a “good” yeast that helps remove the “bad” yeast from the gut.
Glutamine (link to glutagenics and to glutashield) is another great supplement for gut support. It is an amino acid that provides essential fuel to the cells lining the gut, and helps improve the tight junctions between those cells (to help heal a leaky gut).
4. Gamma Linolenic Acid. Gamma Linolenic Acid or GLA (link to product) is an essential fatty acid that can come from Borage Seed Oil or Evening Primrose Oil. Supplementation with GLA has been shown to improve skin integrity in patients with dry skin and eczema.
5. Topical B12. Several studies have found that applying Vitamin B12 topically can help improve eczema symptoms. At CentreSpringMD, we can prescribe vitamin B12 in combination with evening primrose oil (GLA) as a topical cream to help decrease itching and redness in patients with eczema.
Having suffered through many “itchy” nights with my own children, I can truly empathize with every parent whose child has eczema. At CentreSpringMD, we pride ourselves in working hard to get to the root cause of eczema while providing holistic treatments and support to help children feel better as quickly as possible!
Want to dive deeper?
Once you get to the bottom of your child’s eczema, why not explore their whole health at CentreSpringMD? With a unique diagnostic process, we guide you to your best self by connecting the dots of your health and history to shape a unique treatment plan because no two people are the same. We lead you in the implementation and monitor the results to optimize the plan according to your body’s needs.
So what will you find as a patient at our office?
- Longer appointments with your provider
- Advanced technology and integrative lab testing
- Conventional and holistic treatment options
- Personalized treatment plans
- Direct access to your provider
- A complete menu of traditional and holistic health and spa services
As you can see, at CentreSpringMD, we are committed to a new model of medicine with true patient centered, collaborative care – a safe place for your child to get the care they deserve.