Eczema can be debilitating and both children and adults, but if you have a child with eczema, it’s terribly hard to to see them itching and uncomfortable. Topical creams typically do little to provide lasting relief. Here are three strategies to help a child with eczema that address the root cause:
- Remove dairy from their diet – I have seen dairy products be closely correlated with eczema. A trial of one month off dairy would be a good idea to gauge response. That means no cow’s milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cottage cheese etc. I would even avoid goat milk too for this first month. If you see an improvement in the eczema, you could try adding goat milk back in and see if it provokes any worsening. I would have to add here the importance of looking at other food sensitivities too, including gluten, but I would start with dairy and see how that went first.
- Give probiotics – skin issues are not “external” issues, they’re “internal” issues manifesting outwardly. In other words, there is something out of balance inside, whether that be related to the gut, the liver etc. Typically with eczema there are imbalances in gut flora too, hence a probiotic is a good idea. I’ve been writing a lot about the importance of probiotics for children, and also about the importance of the microbiome in controlling inflammation within the body. Both of those articles are relevant here.
- Apply an essential oil blend topically. I would use lavender, which is soothing and healing for the skin, and melaleuca, which is cleansing and purifying, and great for a variety of skin concerns. I would dilute those two oils in a base of fractionated coconut oil and apply to affected areas. You could also add some frankincense too as it supports healthy skin.
Eczema is an allergic/ inflammatory condition so if we can (1) remove allergens in the diet; and (2) heal the gut and promote healthy gut flora, we can do a lot to help it. Topical steroid creams and the like don’t get to the root cause, and while they may provide temporary relief, they don’t give any lasting benefit. They can also make the skin thinner over time which is not good.
It might take some time and effort to figure out what foods may be contributing to eczema, but it will be worth it for the degree of relief and healing it can bring. 90% of cases of eczema I have seen have been resolved through identifying food sensitivities and healing the gut.