Reviews

Eczema – what really helps?

Sienna suffers quite badly at times from eczema as does her big sister Milly. Both of them started with it at quite a young age, unbelievably Milly was only around a month old when it first started on her face while Sienna was around a year old when it appeared on her arms. For both of them it sometimes fades to just small patches but can suddenly flare up and leave them covered in it all over. Now Luna has started to show signs that she might possibly have the same sensitive skin as her sisters too, with the tell-tale dry patches appearing on her legs and back.

Eczema is very common and is often dismissed as a mild condition by those who have never had it but to a sufferer it can be seriously miserable. It has been so upsetting at times to see my girls crying with bleeding, raw skin where they have been unable to stop themselves from scratching, to go in to kiss them goodnight and see them restless and scratching in their sleep, to have to slather them in horrible, greasy cream every night, to see people staring at their skin and wondering what’s wrong. Yet still all I can do is help to ‘manage’ it, it’s a condition that never seems to go away fully.

Over the years I have found the best way to manage it is to keep skin moisturised, this really is key but with kids can be easier said than done at times and I have now resorted to putting cream on Sienna when she has fallen asleep (although she still tries to fight me off, poor thing).

We have tried so many things over the years, spent a fortune on lotions and potions and although some of them have helped nothing has seemed to be the magic cure I have hoped for. I have listed below some of the things we have tried, although there are probably loads of other things we have trialled as well, all with limited, if any, success:

  • Aqueous cream – this (along with steroid cream) was prescribed by the doctor for Milly when her eczema first began. In all honesty despite using it religiously it was only ever mildly helpful.
  • Oats in a sock in the bath – I think oats are probably really helpful but if I’m honest putting them in a bath has never had a huge effect.
  • Coconut oil – it is billed as the answer to everything these days, but it has only been mildly helpful with Sienna. One advantage to it though is that it is much lighter than a lot of the heavy, greasy creams that she hates so she does tend to tolerate it a little better.
  • Marigold cream (and all kinds of similar pricey natural balms with various ingredients all promising amazing results) – these have usually been ok as a moisturiser but little use beyond that.
  • Hydrocortisone cream (topical steroid cream) – I have been reluctant to use it but the truth is it does help a lot so when they are having a bad flare-up this is what we use, sparingly and for short periods.
  • Aveeno – a decent moisturiser.
  • Oilatum, E45 and several other creams, bath products and lotions for eczema widely available in supermarkets and chemists – all fine at not actually causing flare ups but not especially helpful in dealing with them.
  • Cetraben – a really good daily moisturiser, definitely one of the better ones we’ve tried and one I’d definitely recommend.
  • Avoiding certain things can also be helpful, this is by no means universal as it’s different for everyone of course but for both my girls washing powders such as Daz and Ariel (both of which admittedly I find the best at getting things white so would love to use them!) are definite irritants, as are practically all Johnson’s baby products (again I’d love to use them, I adore the smell!) The best alternative I have found is Child’s Farm which is what I prefer to use in the bath for the youngest three if I use products at all. Also for some people avoiding certain foods can help but I’ve never really found a link between food and eczema with my girls.
  • Child’s Farm moisturiser – another excellent moisturiser that does really help, another one I would highly recommend.
  • Lush Dream Cream – using this on Sienna saw dramatic results just 24 hours after first use. Her red and sore eczema patches faded to pink and after a couple of days the smaller patches disappeared and the creases of her arms showed no redness at all! Unfortunately it’s had only minor success with Milly’s flare ups and subsequent uses on Sienna’s flare ups have not been seen quite such dramatic results. However it’s still the one thing I would recommend the most, it really does leave skin soft and well moisturised without being too greasy and it definitely helps to calm the skin and leaves it more supple.

Obviously different things work for different people and unfortunately I still haven’t quite discovered a magical cure yet for my girls, but the hunt continues!

*Disclaimer* this is not a sponsored post in any way, just my own opinions of things we’ve tried.

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