Chances are you know someone with Eczema or you have it yourself. If it’s so common, why don’t we have a cure? Why is it that so many of us go to the doctor and get prescriptions for steroid creams that only partially work. The solution to eczema is to address the root cause. Trust me when I say this is not an easy feat, especially for small children. I wish there was a one size fits all cure that would work for everyone so we could all stop suffering. Unfortunately that is not the case because each person has a unique set of circumstances.
I wish that I had these resources a few years ago when my daughter was little. We tried everything to get rid of her severe eczema at the time. I share below the things I’ve learned from summits such as the Healthy Gut Happy Child Summit 2018. Our personal experiences with childhood eczema and tips are also included.
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Finding the Triggers
We need to start paying attention to what we eat and what we feed our kids. The food that we eat impacts our health.
- Eczema, constipation, ear infections, allergies, and moods can all be related to diet.¹
- Do you eat the Standard American Diet? A white diet of breads, potatoes, crackers, and pasta is hardly healthy.
- Our bodies need nutrient dense plant based foods to support a healthy gut and immune system.
- Non-organic foods are contaminated with the herbicide roundup/glyphosate. Recent court cases found that glyphosate causes cancer and ordered Monsanto-Bayer to pay more than $2 billion in damages.
- Diet is one of the top pieces of the puzzle to the eczema solution.
- How to Uncomplicate Healthy Food and Chronic Disease
What’s Making Our Children Sick?: How Industrial Food Is Causing an Epidemic of Chronic Illness, and What Parents (and Doctors) Can Do About It.
Cure Your Child with Food: The Hidden Connection Between Nutrition and Childhood Ailments.
The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in your food
For many there are external factors that can trigger eczema. In most cases it’s easy to start eliminating these possible triggers.
Drinking enough water is important for health.
Use EWG to find the right water filter for your needs.
Use EWG to check your local water quality.
Bottled Water vs Tap Water. Why Neither is a Good Choice
It’s important to filter your shower/bath water. While in the shower you inhale the steam from the shower which contains chlorine.
Your skin is your largest organ. Bath Ball Faucet Filters are great for the kids baths.
One way to get your kids to drink more water is to buy them a special water bottle. Our favorite non-toxic water bottles are Klean Kanteen.
Consider the fact that we breathe more air than we drink water. Many studies show that indoor air is more toxic than the air outside.
- Maintain your air duct filters and change the filters regularly.
- Open the windows daily (yes even in the winter – it only takes a few minutes)
- If you have any chronic health issues consider getting your house checked for mold (even if you think you don’t have any).
- Toxic cleaning chemicals aren’t necessary.
- You can clean your entire house with 5 ingredients
- Baking Soda
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Essential Oils (Antibacterial properties make them great for cleaning).
- Castile Soap
- Think about the fact that most commercial cleaning products come with big warning labels with the words caution or danger.
- This may come as a shock but every single bottle of chemicals off gases even if you’ve never opened it.² Do an experiment – find every single bottle of chemical cleaner in your house and remove it from your house. I feel like it made a difference.
Skin Care Products
The skin is our largest organ. It doesn’t make sense to put harmful chemicals on our skin that will be absorbed into our body.
Take a look at the ingredients in your soap, body wash, shampoo, perfume etc. If you don’t like what you see or can’t recognize the ingredients, look for some safer alternatives.
Cancer Causing Chemicals in Shampoo? Here’s How to Ditch Them
The Ugly Truth About Baby Shampoo
Think Dirty App
If your child has terrible eczema I highly recommend a wet wrap suit. It was so amazing to finally get some relief when NOTHING else worked.
We all wash our clothes. The problem is that the chemicals and fragrances remain even after the washing is done. These fragrances stick around next to your skin 24/7.
Our Journey to Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent
EMF’s (Electromagnetic Fields)
- Radiation from cell phones, wifi, and bluetooth can impact our health. I recommend learning more from The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs: How to Fix Our Stupid Use of Technology
- France has banned wifi from public schools.
- Quick TIPS
- Consider switching to a wired vs a wireless house. If that isn’t an option then set your wifi router on a timer and turn it off at night.
- Put your kids devices in “airplane” mode.
- Don’t let your kids play with your cell phone.
- Always use speaker phone and preferably keep the phone at least a foot away from you head.
The most common heavy metals include
Children start life with a higher body burden than ever before. The mother may have mercury fillings or lead stored in her bones. A pregnant woman passes these to her children. The heavy metals can affect the delicate balance of the microbiome. ³
Fish are a common source of mercury.⁴ Suggestions
- Eat less fish
- When you eat fish the five best fish options are SMASH
- Avoid farmed salmon. Atlantic salmon is fished out of existence so it is always farmed.
- Avoid tuna and tilapia
Side note on aluminum and vaccines according to Dr Tom O’Bryan⁵
- Aluminum is used in vaccines as an adjuvant to irritate the immune system into responding to the virus.
- There no evidence that the amount of aluminum in 1 vaccine can cause harm.
- Aluminum can persist at the injection site for 7 years and children receive 22 mandatory vaccines today.
- Aluminum accumulates in the body and can contribute to autism and Alzheimer’s
- Be aware when cooking with aluminum foil that it LEACHES into food.
The Importance of a Healthy Gut
The cutting edge of medicine right now is gut health and the microbiome. The microbiome consists of the trillions of micro organisms that live in our digestive system. The state of our health depends on the bacteria living inside our gut. ⁶
The types of bacteria in our guts can determine
- Brain Chemistry
- Production of Vitamins
- The set point for Inflammation
There are a few things to be aware of in regards to gut health.
Inflammation is a defense mechanism of the body. In other words it is a response to damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens. Inflammation begins the healing process. Inflammation happens when you get physically hurt, but it also occurs when your body is trying to get rid of pathogens or toxins. These toxins can contribute to eczema flareups as the body is busy trying to fight off the cause of the inflammation.
A study done in the Journal of American Medical Association included 800,000 kids given an acid blocker or antibiotics in the first 6 months of life. Half of the kids got allergies.
Dr Tom O’Bryon compares antibiotics to an atomic bomb hitting the gut. Most of the bacteria both good and bad are wiped out. This gives the bad bacteria a chance to overgrow the good when given the chance. It only takes one round of antibiotics to wipe out up to 90% of our gut bacteria. ⁷
There are natural alternatives to antibiotics. In some situations antibiotics are necessary. In this case you will have to work hard to repopulate and balance the bacteria in your gut for optimum health.
Our gut bacteria impact our anxiety, depression and stress. Amazingly our stress levels can actually change our gut bacteria for better or worse.⁸ This means that by taking steps to improve our stress levels, we can improve our gut health.
This is why it’s important to address stress in addition to all the other possible factors.
One of the consequences of high stress is a lack of digestion and detoxification. When in fight or flight mode our digestive system stops so the bodies efforts can focus on the danger. It doesn’t have to be physical danger, mental stress can still trigger the same response in the body. Our detoxification system is also not the highest priority when stressed. ⁹
As a parent is important for us to address our own stress. When we are stressed our kids feel the negative effects.
Resources to help kids reduce stress:
Breath for Kids Itunes App
Books for Kids by Dawn Huebner
Healing the Gut
Working digestion is a necessity. Proper digestion allows us to get the nutrients our bodies need to function. Digestive enzymes might be beneficial to the healing process.
We know dietary fiber is important. The reason is that fiber fuels our gut bacteria. Without fuel the bacteria in our gut can’t function optimally. Additionally if we get enough fiber, it will help our mood since the gut bacteria play a role in balancing neurochemistry.¹⁰ When we have enough good bacteria we have less inflammation.
Remove any foods that can cause inflammation in the gut. Some foods that can cause inflammation ( this varies for each individual)
- Refined Sugar
- Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives
- Food sensitivities are often caused by dysbiosis in the gut. As the gut heals or changes these often go away.¹¹
- Aim for a varied diet. The more variety you eat, the more variety of gut bacteria you will feed.
- Eating a more whole foods based diet will help both physical and emotional problems
- Don’t forget that proper hydration is also important.
- Shift to water and away from juice and sweetened beverages
- Super Simple Beginners Guide to Clean Eating
Does your body have enough of the correct nutrients to function at peak level?
All nutrients are important. Some of the most important ones include Vitamin D, K, A + healthy fats to absorb the nutrients. Consider supplement if necessary while trying to heal and change the diet.
Everyone should be eating nutrient dense food. Nothing that comes in a factory will suffice, aim to eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
From experience what helped us most was a high quality vitamin D supplement along with calcium.
For picky eaters some experts recommend zinc to help foods become more appetizing
I’m not a fan of spending a lot of money on supplements. It’s sometimes hard to see a benefit. Instead get as many nutrients as possible from food and follow any doctor recommendations
Fermented foods are great for repopulating your good gut bacteria.
However eating a ton of fermented foods shouldn’t be your first step. The reason is that some people are highly sensitive to histamines causing their eczema to worsen.¹²
Before trying to repopulate the good bacteria, the first step should be to heal the gut lining.
There is a lot of debate about probiotics. If you can tolerate fermented foods then I recommend trying that first. Not only is it cheaper, generations of people in every culture has been doing it successfully.
- Sauerkraut – Germany/Europe
- Miso – Japan/Korea
- Tempeh – Indonesia
- Natto – Japan
It’s important to help aid the body in getting out any toxins stuck in the body. One way is to make sure that kids are getting enough movement and exercise during the day.
Detox baths are another good option.
It’s very important to have a bowel movement daily. The longer it sits in the body the more likely toxins are reabsorbed into the body.
Poor sleep can be an important piece of the puzzle to eczema. Healing and repair happens when we sleep.
Be sure that kids bedrooms are cool, dark and do not have distracting technology like tablets, ipads and tv’s.
DAILY moment is important. Movement is needed for digestion. If we become sluggish, our digestion system also becomes sluggish.
Our pediatrician recommended that the kids don’t sit still for more than an hour at a time.
Kids absorb our stress. Work on reducing your own stress. Then love and hug your kids. Play with them and tell them you love them.
Essential Oils can help us find balance in our bodies. There are many different ways to use Essential Oils, including diffusing into the air, diluting in carrier oil and rubbing on the body, or in a detox bath. Be sure to follow directions and dilute properly for small kids.
There are numerous factors that can contribute to eczema in kids. As a starting point we can take a hard look at possible triggers including food, water, air, cleaning products, daily skin care products and EMF exposure. Figure out if any of these contribute to the root cause of your child’s eczema.
A little more complex is the emerging science of gut health. To get our gut back into healthy balance we first need to understand some of the things that can cause an imbalance. Inflammation is one of the most prevalent problems today. Conventional medicine is convenient and saves lives, but they have real consequences. Consider alternative options before relying on conventional medicines. Another piece of the puzzle is stress. A constant state of stress does not allow our bodies to function normally.
Healing the gut can take a lot of investigation and trial and error. In the end we will be rewarded with a healthy immune system. Once in balance the body can heal itself.
Any shift you can make has a positive impact. Instead of quitting before you start, take a few small steps in any area you feel most relevant. Or look for a functional medicine doctor who will help you look at the whole picture and not just address symptoms. I would love to hear from you! If you found any of the information in this blog post helpful please leave a comment..
Healthy Gut Happy Child Summit 2018
- Cure Your Child with Food: The Hidden Connection Between Nutrition and Childhood Ailments.
- 50 Dangers Lurking In Your Home with Caroline Blazovsky and Ashley James
- Christine Schaffner – Healthy Gut Happy Child Summit 2018
- Empowerment from Cleaning up Environmental Toxins – Lara Adler (Home Transformation Summit 2018)
- Find the Best Medical Care to Reduce Toxins – Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN (Home Transformation Summit 2018)
- Secret Ingredients Movie
- The Gut Solution Series
- Dr Chris Shade – Healthy Gut Happy Child Summit 2018
- Jodi Sternoff Cohen, NTP – Healthy Gut Happy Child Summit 2018
- David Perlmutter, MD – Breakthroughs You Need To Know For A Healthy Brain (Food revolution summit 2019)
- Stephanie Davis – Healthy Gut Happy Child Summit 2018
- 7 Sneaky Sources Making Your Flare Worse