What to do about eczema?

This blog is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. For more info about my book Homemade Kids click here

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I’ve no idea how to resolve eczema – that hideous fiery burning that makes the sufferer scratch and claw at their dry, scaley skin until it bleeds. I’ve met many people who think they do, but if there was a one cure, I really think people would have cottoned on to it by now. If this is a big issue for you do have a look at the National Eczema Society’s website, there is also a helpline, 0800 089 1122.

And of course if you do have something you think works, then use it!

When my youngest was a baby her eczema was terrible (I won’t post a pic, it will scare you). Changing her nappy allowed her to scratch at the sore places; bathing her allowed her to spear herself while changing her outfits was not really possible unless someone else was holding her down. Otherwise she used her fingernails (always kept short) to lacerate her limbs (despite nearly always being clad in socks or gloves on her hands.

On the plus side her pincer grip was ace.

Autumn – when the lovely warm days suddenly end with a cold snap are high risk for eczema sufferers. The moment their bodies have to adapt to the dry hot of a centrally heated house, and then back again to the cold damp of outside, eczema seems to surge.

In preparation to ease Nell into the autumn less painfully, I’ve just been clearing up my underwear drawer.

That’s not as odd as it sounds. I’ve been looking for unwanted or laddered tights, stockings, pop socks (easy I never wear any of these things, or haven’t since the 1980s) in order to make oat balls that help moisturise skin if you share a bath with them.

I bought a kilo of organic oats from supermarket (on special offer, so cost about 90p) which was able to make the topping for one apple crumble, yum; plus 15 oat balls. Look at the slide show for a simple demo on how to make them.

Or in words – take a cup of organic oats and knot into a segment of unwanted (clean) pantyhose. Knot the other end.

Store in a dry place and then throw an oat ball into the bath when you run the water. First person gets the best bath – so that’s Nell’s treat in our house. But if you are sharing the bath water it’s still a nice smooth feeling that’s kind to skin even for the fourth one in.

Let me know if you have any tips on how to deal with eczema, or any questions. My own eczema went while I lived in Solomon Islands (a two year sojourn). Recently I took Nell there for two months and she’s come back with blemish free skin – the first time in her short life. Moving to a humid tropical country is rather an extreme over-reaction, and I doubt the risk of malaria really balances the skin benefits! Never mind the obvious doubts one might have like how to pay for it, and what sort of work will I do…

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2 Comments on “What to do about eczema?”

  1. Thanks for this, I’ll definately be trying them with my son, his ezcema seems to flair up as the weather gets colder and nothing seems to shift it. Oatmeal balls could be a great idea. 🙂

    • homemadekids Says:

      Good luck and enjoy making the oat balls! They only work for one bathtime (admittedly prolonged) so you need to either chuck the contents afterwards, or if you have the energy – and if you have young children with eczema that may not be possible – you could compost the oat mix and even rewash the tights and then reuse…. Hope it goes well, or at any rate doesn’t make your son’s skin any worse. Nicola

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