My first ever brush with complementary medicine was because of my son’s eczema. I still so clearly remember the constant search for something, anything that would soothe the redness and constant irritation that he so obviously felt. It started when he was 3
months old and we battled it until he was about 18 months, when we were lucky enough to be referred to a homeopath by our GP, which very quickly cleared it up. Now, as a practising homeopath it is one of the most common complaints I see in my clinic and finding a good skin treatment that will help to control it and keep it moisturised is so important.
The word eczema comes from greek and means ‘to boil over’ and I think that is a good description of the intense feelings of itchiness that can be so utterly overwhelming. The causes of eczema are many and varied, and how it appears can be just as varied. Sometimes it’s red, dry and scaly. Sometimes it cracks and splits and weeps. Sometimes it’s hidden behind knees and ankles. Sometimes it’s embarrassingly obvious on faces and hands. Unfortunately, it tends to be only seen as a skin problem by conventional doctors, however it’s often linked to diet and digestive issues and stress. Anyone with a baby with eczema is familiar with how it flares up when baby is teething, unwell or even too tired (all areas of stress when you’re tiny). Whatever the root cause is, the skin needs support while it’s healing and that causes other issues.
As a complementary therapist and natural skin care manufacturer, I am not a fan of petroleum or paraffin based creams and emollients. Although they can make the skin feel moisturised when first applied, they tend to dry out the deeper layers of the skin and worsen the problem, because they form an impenetrable seal on the skin. They also trap heat in the skin, so if your eczema is aggravated by heat, then these will worsen the problem. Some of the chemicals contained in mineral oils are absorbed into the skin and may be hormone disruptors and carcinogenic.
They is now a huge range of natural moisturisers on the market that are suitable for soothing eczema. All of my balms are used by someone to help support their eczema, even my Organic Warming Balm! However the two I recommend are Organic Lavender & Chamomile and Organic Rose Balm. One of the biggest issues for eczema sufferers is that they will often find a product that works and over time it slowly stops working. This can be disheartening and frustrating (and expensive) but the simplest way to solve this problem is to rotate the moisturisers that work. For example, if you find that coconut oil, aloe vera gel and Niki’s Organic Lavender & Chamomile Balm have all worked at some point but stopped working, just go back to the first one you tried, use that until you find that it begins to not help as much, then put it to the back of your cupboard and try one of the other products, then when that starts to be less effective, put that to the back of your cupboard and then move on to the next product. Once that becomes less effective, you should be able to go back to the first product that you tried again and just rotate your moisturisers.