top 5 products that have helped our severe eczema

April 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm 12 comments

My two year old son has had severe eczema since birth.  As I  continually find more and more things that cause his rashes and hives, I have also found things that help his skin the most.

  1. sheabutterNatural Shea butter from Vermont Soap Works. This comes in a 64 oz tub for only $35 which is much cheaper than buying 4 oz at a time at your local store for $20.  This shea butter is so creamy and there are never any crystallized lumps (like the brands I’ve gotten at the store.)  If you’ve never used shea butter, it’s very thick and you just scoop a little bit onto your finger then rub into your hands to melt it and then smooth it on your skin. It soaks into the skin and provides relief to anyone with dry, thirsty skin. This is pure shea butter with only a little rosemary added as a preservative.  Also available in a 2 oz tin for $9.99. Those with nut allergies may not be able to use this product.
  2. Pure soap from Cal Ben Soap Company. I’ve tried several different soaps including castille soap (all without sodium laureth sulfate, etc) and this is the one that seems to work the best–leaves the skin feeling clean and moisturized as opposed to feeling parched and itchy.  Cal Ben has several other  non-detergent products that we use and loqh100ccobtrve including their five star shampoo.
  3. Queen Helene 100% Cocoa butter in a stick.  This is available in most drug stores for less than $2 a stick.  Don’t confuse this product with brands that contain additional ingredients. I’ve never seen another 100% cocoa butter, but please tell me if you know of another one. This is a solid stick that is loose in the tube.  To use, just hold it in your hands until it starts to soften, then start rubbing the stick directly into the skin. I can’t tell you how many evenings, my son’s skin has been dry and hurting and as I rub this into his skin, he just relaxes and lets me do it because it really gives him relief.
  4. mabelwhite1Mabel’s Miracle liquid castille soap.  I’ve only been using this for 3 weeks but I’ve loved it since day one.  I’m using it for laundry soap as well as in the mop water for my wood floors throughout the house.  I have the unscented pearl (I chose this one simply because it is buy one, get one free.)  Even though it is unscented, it smells heavenly! I am sensitive to many chemical odors (natural scents too,) but its mild scent doesn’t cause us any type of reaction.   For laundry, I am using only 1 Tablespoon (much less than the recommendation) per large load plus 2 Tablespoons of a borax/ washing soda mixture that I keep in a jar. (equal parts of each so it would be 1 T of each if done separately.)  I started with the recommended 1/4 cup and then just cut back until I reached 1 T and it’s still effective at cleaning clothes.
  5. This last thing is not a product to use, but rather products to avoid.  I first read about detergents causing eczema at solve eczema.  We don’t use any lotions, “normal” soaps that contain SLS, or body washes  because of the drying, stinging ingredients they contain (even natural, herbal, supposed to be for eczema lotions.)  We don’t use any products with detergents in them. More about that in this post.

What products have you found most helpful in treating eczema?


Entry filed under: eczema, food allergies, Uncategorized.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. A.J. Lumsdaine  |  May 18, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Dear Guinever,
    I am the mom who put up the solveeczema site. I read your earlier entry in December — I have to say, it’s beautifully written and moving. I am so glad to hear your son is doing better. I think people really have no idea (myself included) of what eczema is like until they go through it. Would you be willing to let me post what you wrote on my web site? I recently started revising my site again after a long hiatus. I’d like to start posting some of the feedback.

    Hi A.J. Thanks for all the info you’ve put up on your site! Feel free to quote me, but please also include a link back to the original post. Thanks! Also, as an aside, his skin was improved for 3 months, but we’ve been struggling with it again (season allergies?????) throughout the Spring and Summer.

  • 2. Beat Eczema  |  May 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for this informative post . I think many people were looking a post like this one .

  • 3. Natural Eczema Cure  |  August 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Eczema is a skin allergy which can affect people of any age. But more commonly it is found in babies. Most commonly seen in infants than adults, eczema can be effectively treated using various natural techniques than going for medications that lead to further more side effects. View for more details.

  • 4. Heather  |  August 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Exactly which products do you avoid? Our family has been avoiding all SLS for almost a year now but our 10month old son still suffers from SEVERE eczema. The ONLY thing that I’ve found to make a positive difference (aside from harsh topical and oral steroids) is Melaeuca’s ReNew lotion, but we’ve only been using it for about 2 weeks so I don’t want to put that in writing as I sort of get the feeling my children ‘plateau’ or build a sort of ‘immunity’ to most products over time (sons dermatologist also warns of building a sensitivity to anything used frequently over long periods of time). I really hate the ingredient list of the ReNew produc, but am mostly disturbed by the ‘fragrance’ listed (which I usually find to be some form of SLS). The only other thing I had found to work on a consistent basis (for about 3 months) was a bleach bath (1/4 cup bleach to full bathtub of water).

    The reason for my email was because your blog got me to thinking that my Mrs. Meyers and BioKleen products might be ‘detergents’ as opposed to ‘soaps’ but I’m not exactly sure what the difference is. I favor Mrs. Meyers because it doesn’t feature any fruit derivatives (i.e. S Lauryl S) whereas the Unscented BioKleen Free & Clear Laundry Liquid features “coconut and grapeseed” and I believe (diagnosed by son’s Naturopath) my son to be ‘intolerant’ to fruit. Any more clarification would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL YOUR TIME AND ENERGY PUT INTO THE HEALTH OF SO MANY OTHER PEOPLES’ CHILDREN!

    • 5. guinever  |  August 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm

      Heather, I’ll try to answer your questions=) My son has a long list of foods that he is allergic to so I’m just trying to avoid all those products as well as all have my cleaning products (for clothes, dishes and skin) be coconut based rather than petroleum based. I’m also avoiding SLS and similar ingredients. I’m trying to keep my I personally don’t undestand the difference between detergents and soaps but it is a chemical difference and not always related to the ingredients–in other words you can have a “natural” product be detergent in composition and still have the same effects on skin as the SLS products. If you haven’t read through the solve eczema site that I mentioned in my post, it has a lot of helpful information. I’m still figuring all this out.

      I’ll also add that when we first stopped using “detergents,” we saw a wonderful improvement in my son’s skin for about 3 months. Then in the Spring it got a lot worse and we’ve been struggling with it all summer. As I write this, he is terribly itchy and has scratched himself raw in some patches. I just don’t know what to do right now.

  • 6. tears for soy and corn « at home with Guinever  |  August 26, 2009 at 12:27 am

    […] you liked this, you might like my other posts about dealing with my son’s allergies and eczema:  Top 5 products that have helped our severe eczema and adventures in homemade […]

  • 7. kappa  |  December 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    ive had eczema all my life im 42 and here is a vital list of foods that cause eczema,all dairy foods,citrus friuts and all foods from the nightshade family of vegetables,im 100% certain that by eliminating these foods youe eczema will stop and use coconut oil on skin for moisturisation

  • 8. Anita  |  January 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Our son had sever eczema from birth until nine months (we finally had a blood test done to rule out allergies and found out it was the cat and dog). His worst eczema was on his face, he had open sores between rounds of steroids (ah!) and antibiotics (ah!). We reached a point where we felt we had no choice because he kept getting infections. During that time I was looking for answers, anything, that could be causing his skin condition. The doctors (we saw a few different pediatricians) kept telling us that it wasn’t a reaction to the pets because a pet allergy results in weepy eyes, runny nose, sneezing…How absolutely frustrating to find out that it was them the entire time! I learned a lot about detergents during that time, especially thanks to, and have continued to avoid detergents. I write this to share my experience- I sympathize with how you are feeling Guinever! I remember one day at the dermatologist’s office our son’s entire face was raw and weeping and I cried to the Dr.- “what are we supposed to do?!” For those our there that haven’t sought a blood test to rule out allergies, please do! Our son had his blood test around 9 months and I WISH I would’ve know/ been told that they could take blood sooner. My heart goes out to all children and family of children suffering from sever eczema.

    • 9. Gingerina  |  October 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      In retrospect, was the allergy test accurate? I’ve read in different websites that they are not very effective in infants because of the immaturity of their immune system. Did you have to get rid of your dog and cat? I can’t imagine getting rid of mine 😦

  • 10. susan  |  May 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hi, do you have any update on your son’s condition? Have you tried going dairy free?

  • 11. christina  |  November 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Can you tell me what washer and dryer you are using? We noticed a significant difference between a front loader and an old top loader. The old top loader being worse. Just curious….

  • 12. Nancy Crouch  |  April 22, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    What are you using to wash dishes and to clean household surfaces?


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