How I Effectively Managed Eczema and Dry Skin Without Harsh Products

Facial EczemaRecently my daughter was diagnosed with facial eczema.  I hated to see her beautiful skin flaking and peeling so, of course, I made an appointment to see the dermatologist.  Anyone who’s made a dermatologist’s appointment before can attest that you can rarely get in to see one in less than 4 weeks if you’re lucky. 

Well, never being the sort of person to sit and wait for someone else to provide skin care advice, I started researching what we could be doing to help in the meantime.  I gathered from talking to a doctor friend and from my own research that she’d likely be prescribed a topical steroid to clear it up.  To my surprise, I also learned that while steroids are very effective in treating facial eczema, they also come with terrible side effects.  If used for too long or too heavily, they can cause thinning of the skin, acne, stretch marks, spider veins, pigmentation issues, plus a number of scary systemic problems.  I was not quite ready to sign my daughter up for this.

Back to the drawing board, I began researching more natural and simple treatments without resorting to heavy duty steroids.  Turns out, there was quite a lot of effective home treatments to get us going.

Not surprisingly, the number one thing is to moisturize heavily.  Unfortunately, my daughter’s skin was to the point that my moisturizers stung her quite badly.  This is where we went back to real basic facial skin care products – petroleum jelly.  A simple and effective moisturizer it worked beautifully without irritation (plus we got to sing REM’s “Shiny Happy People” while applying it!)  This goes on immediately following her bath or shower to really lock in the moisture.

If my daughter was experience any itching or had an especially bad patch, I apply a little over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream (a very mild steroid cream, but, still, I know what you’re thinking).  I’ll also apply a little triple antibiotic ointment to aid in the healing while avoiding the secondary infections that can come with the open wounds of facial eczema.  I put these on before the petroleum jelly.

Lastly, we work her system from the inside out.  She’ll take in probiotics through a chewable acidophilus combo pill from the health food store along with the occasional kefir smoothie.  This helps suppress the harmful bacteria causing her problems.   I also bumped up her intake of the essential fatty acid omega 3 by making sure she gets more in her diet and supplement with a kids’ chewable.  Omega 3 deficiency has been strongly linked to eczema and psoriasis.

So far, we have yet to make it to the dermatologist.  Our simpler approach to her facial eczema has made all the difference in the world.  For us, this is working great.  Of course, I encourage you to consult with a doctor about what skin care treatments will work best for you.  This is one clear example of how closely our health and beauty are linked.

Written by Sarah Ann of Conway, MI

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