I've discovered, at long last, that my little Ike, my sweet little toddler, has most likely got eczema. I'm not an expert on skin conditions- I need a dermatologist to give an official diagnosis, and don't have any personal experience with eczema. (To be completely honest, until I was in high school, I always thought "eczema" was just someone grossly mispronouncing asthma. Embarrassing, I know.)
I was kicking myself a bit for not having noticed it earlier. If my son is 19 months old now, why am I only realizing now that he has a recurring skin condition? Was I just being a completely oblivious mom?
After much thought and research about how to heal eczema, I've learned that many of the tips on how to naturally deal with eczema are things that we already do- use skin products that are as chemical and fragrance free as possible, stay away from artificial ingredients in food, don't bathe kids too frequently, cloth diaper, have healthy animal fats, etc... are things that we anyhow already do, both for frugality reasons and for general health and environmental reasons.
For this reason, his eczema has been pretty tame, enough to occasionally flare up as a diaper rash, but not being bad enough that I actually noticed that the rash was more than the typical diaper irritation.
I'm going to take my son to an allergist to see if we can possibly diagnose him with any allergies that could might be the cause of the eczema, but I'm not betting on it. We eat enough strange foods that probably won't be tested for by an allergist that I'm not pinning my hopes on an allergist being able to pinpoint what is causing the flare ups.
Right now possible treatments are on my mind.
We already use hypo-allergenic homemade soaps, but I'm going to try to make a super-fatted soap so that it'll be more moisturizing for my son's skin.
I've heard that moisturizing lotions can help a lot; I plan on rubbing my son down as frequently as possible with coconut oil (and hoping he doesn't have an allergy to coconuts!).
I want to stay away from prescription creams and steroids because I don't think they are safe for regular usage, and unless my son really seemed to be suffering tremendously that would be my absolute last resort.
I want to see if plantain, callendula, and chamomile, all of which grow in my area, can help with the skin issue like I've read they can.
I've been reading about the GAPS diet (book on the topic) which has been beneficial for many medical issues, including people with eczema, but the diet is largely high in animal protein and very low in carbohydrates, especially the frugal ones we usually use in our family, so I don't know if I'm willing to go that extreme yet, because it goes against my frugal essence to do that until we've exhausted all other avenues.
However, I do want to start including even more probiotics into his diet than we are already, making sure we have even more fermented veggies, kombucha, and kefir, to help restore proper flora to his gut in the event that an imbalance is causing this problem.
Do any of you have experience with eczema? How have you naturally and frugally dealt with the issue? What worked best? What didn't work at all, even though you thought it would? Any advice would be appreciated!