Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our Battle with Eczema

Today was a fairly quiet day - no new baby calves. Jessie had girl scouts tonight, so Tyler had us all to himself, for a couple hours at least. I did find time to start a batch of laundry soap though.

Jessie has horrible eczema - so bad that some winters, her little legs would be nothing but raw, oozing skin. We tried our family doctor, we tried 2 dermatologists, and every natural health food store around. One dermatologist gave us a prescription for a cream that he had never seen fail. $298 a tube later, it didn't work (and to top it all off, we see on the News that this particular cream has a 1 in 75 chance of causing a form of skin cancer with prolonged use - it went to the trash in a hurry).

In looking online, I discovered homemade bar soap and laundry soap. Todd teases me all the time - living in the 21st century and making soap like your pioneer ancestors. Well, the pioneers must've been on to something. I make the homemade bar soap from here (I use the All Vegetable Blend - No Palm Oil recipe and don't add any coloring or fragrances) and I tell you what, within 2 baths/showers, her eczema is entirely gone. My bars aren't pretty, by any means, but they work. And one batch lasts a little over a year since she is the only one to use it.

The laundry soap I use is here . I have no idea if it is cost effective, but again, when used in combination with the bar soap, there are days I will pay any price to keep her eczema away. And just using it on the kids' laundry, 1 batch will last about 6 weeks, give or take.

Every now and then, I think about trying the soap with coloring or fragrance added, but. . .if the poor girl cannot use Dreft or Tide Free and Clear, do I really want to chance it? You would not believe the parents who tell me - oh she just needs to toughen up - she'll deal with it. I always want to tell them you deal with her when her legs itch so bad she has blood running down them - then tell me I'm crazy for making soap for her.

And while her eczema is certainly not life threatening, to her, it's very painful and annoying. So I will probably be making soap into my old age (or at least until she is old enough to make it herself.

I did go to Joann's and get more fabric for my red white and blue quilt:

As well as some fat quarters to make Jessie pillowcases for her bed:

But that is the extent of my sewing for the day!!



Granny Lyn said...

now, how did you know I needed those recipes??? Three of my grandchildren have eczema, they get it from my mom, so I hope you don't mind but I sent my DDIL to your site so she could read all about it, we, too have had to buy the creams, and poor Jakey's legs are the worse!!! they aren't open, but bumpy and itchy, and scaley.
thanks for sharing that,

Christina said...

GO Kris! I am really inspired by your fierce mama nature and your creative approach to a frustrating health problem. I swear in women's health about a third of the problems I see can be attributed to people's skin hating whatever they put on it. So good for you for listening to what your daughter's body was saying and being willing to solve it.

sugarcreekfarm said...

My husband had the same experience. Within a week of using homemade soap his eczema was gone. So far my homemade soap is homemade by someone else :) I've got the tallow and the lard in the freezer, just haven't gotten up the guts to try and make soap.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Kris! I admire your determination and instinct as a mom. As you know, my children have severe allergies and I can completely relate to your experiences with other people not understanding your childs issues. My children are developing itchy, dry, bumpy skin on their upper arms that we are keeping our eyes on as well. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Granny Lyn said...


I have been trying to find a new way to thank you, but I can't, so, THANK YOU so much for the Excellence Award, you are a gem! and my e-mail is on my blog in the about me screen.
thanks so much,

5 Chicks and a Farmer said...

That is so wonderful Kris! I'm glad that you have found something that finally works.

My nephew has battled with eczema his entire life so far. He also has severe food allergies. My sister in law left you some info under the comments section on my detergent post. I just wanted to pass that along to you.

I'm with you on all of this. Keeping it simple is always best for our families. I use to be a product junkie always searching for the best and latest home products and beauty products. Not anymore! I like to keep things simple nowadays.

I love reading your blog and checking in with your family.


Para said...

our kids are suffering from eczema. Thank you for the great info. Would you mind sending me the recipes for the bath and laundry soaps that you have been using? Thanks a million.

Unknown said...

Hi Kris,

I just found your blog while google for homemade soap recipe for my daughter and hubby as both are eczema sufferer.

I sawe your blog and quite interested on your homemade soap recipe. Would you mind to share with me please?

By the way, is it very hard to make homemade soap? I am a first timer.

Hope to hear from you soon. You may contact me at audreysllim@gmail.com

Thanks in advance

Jesmyn Hibbard said...

Can you make a tutorial on how you make the soap. My daughter has eczema really bad and I am just starting my battle with it to help her. I am looking for anything that will keep it at bay.

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