39 answers

Eczema and Chemicals

Hi all,
I have a 4.5 month old son with eczema and have been reading all the great suggestions regarding dietary changes and what soaps/creams to use. What I'm wondering is if anyone has made changes in the diapers they used (due to the perfumes and dyes) as well as the the way you clean the sink or tub that the baby bathes in.

Also, I've been using Arm and Hammer free and clear detergent but I'm wondering if anyone has a brand they like better. And lastly, for those who have discontinued fabric softener, how have you prevented static cling?

I look forward to reading what has worked (or not) for you. Thanks.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

WOW! Thanks to all of you who shared your experiences with me. In my haste to post my question, I neglected to let you know what I had been doing. Our pediatrician told me to stop using soap (I had switched from Johnson & Johnson to Baby Aveeno) with the exception for washing his hair. She also told me to discontinue the dryer sheets because they're made with formaldehyde (I had been line drying the baby's clothes and using the "free" dryer sheets for everything else). As for diapers, I had switched from Luvs to Pampers swaddlers to see if they would leak less and noticed immediate irritation. I just purchased 7th Gen. today, so we'll see how it goes. Aquaphor has done a great job at healing the dry/cracked skin and I've been using Eucerin twice a day as well.
I'll definitely look into house cleaning with more natural products and give the aluminum ball a try in the dryer. Thanks again everyone!

Featured Answers

I have always used Dreft - it is a little pricey, but seems to work well with my daughter who has/had eczema. They also have the dryer sheets. Hope that helps.

Instead of discontinuing fabric softener I switched to a perfume free / dye free dryer sheet and I think it has made a difference. Target sells one and so does bounce.

My 4.5 month old son also has eczema, but fairly mild. We did have to change diapers from Pampers to Huggies, which has made a huge difference. We use ALL free and clear detergent because Dreft has fragrance. Bounce free and clear dryer sheets, you can cut them into smaller sheets if you find some sensitivity. Just a small piece will help with static cling.

We like Aquafore and Cetaphil lotions, but a friend of mine swears by Aveeno and Arbonne. Also hydrocortisone cream is amazing!! It seems to clear up any flare ups so quickly!

Also, Butt Paste seems to clear up diaper area redness super quickly. Good luck.

More Answers

Hi E.,
You sure got a lot of great suggestions! I hope something helps your situation, it is not fun to see your baby uncomfortable and not know how to help. I also have a son with eczema, he is 14 months old. I have a 4 1/2 year old with sensitive skin too. We use all of Melaleuca's products in our household. I noticed someone already mentioned the company and a few of the products. I would contact that person (Kim F) and enroll as a customer as soon as possible. You won't believe the difference in your babies skin and it is not toxic chemicals or harsh medicated creams that solve the problem. This company believes in total wellness and is definitely worth looking into if not just for your son's eczema but to get the toxins out of your house.
Good luck to you and your family.
Take care,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E., I think these suggestions will help you. First, potassium hydroxide is the chemical name for lye which can cause eczema with repeated skin contact. It is an ingredient in Cascade liquid dishwash, Olay hydrating skin care (if you use it and then hold your baby with his skin touching your skin, Pantene hair spray & hair care products (the spray goes into the air for all to breathe in & it often lands on your skin), Murphy's oil soap, Lysol spray cleaner (again this sprays it into the air to land anywhere and to be breathed in by all), etc. My point is that very harmful chemicals are in many of our common cleaning and laundry products, and these toxic chemicals are responsible for many respiratory problems and allergy-related issues in babies and children, and they are often the last thing that the pediatrician will think of. Hydrochloric acid causes severe damage to skin & eyes, causes throat irritation even when exposed briefly & at low levels & can be fatal if swallowed - it is also linked to reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and must NEVER be inhaled. This chemical is in Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and Lime-a-way toilet bowl cleaner, as well as in Febreze laundry odor eliminator!!! You are NEVER supposed to inhale hydrochloric acid. I have just discovered all this and want to stand on rooftops and scream it to everybody -but especially to young Moms with little ones. Go to this government watchdog web site www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/ingredients.htm and put in any and all of the cleaning products you are currently using to see what is in them. You will not find a single product made by Shaklee on the "bad" list of ingredients, because all of Shaklee cleaning products are non-toxic and/or safe with no harmful chemicals. Tide ultra liquid contains sodium hydroxide as does Cascade rinse formula, Comet, Shout, Electrosol gel, Tilex, Soft Scrub, 409, and on and on. Most of Chlorox products contain horrible chemicals. Windex, Fantastic, Simple Green cleaner, Glass Plus, 409 all contain Butyl cellosolve is linked to reproductive harm and exposure for 15 minutes while cleaning the shower could cause you to inhale 3 times the acute exposure limit!! My point is that you should consider switching your cleaning & laundry products immediately to non-toxic ones - either Shaklee or another brand that you are positive contain no toxic chemicals. You have probably guessed that I happen to be a Shaklee distributor, but since I have discovered all of this info, I am on a mission to educate all Moms about this very scary situation -- our government knows these chemicals are in these products and still allows them to be sold on the shelves of every store while most of the public is totally unaware of the dangers. I will be happy to speak with you any time - contact me at ###-###-#### or ____@____.com You may also visit my website www.emilytaft.com On the menu to your left, just click into "Home Care" and browse through the cleaners. Our laundry detergent is wonderful and even takes out infants' yellow poop - I know this first hand as I took care of our 6-week-old granddaughter recently who is being breast fed, and she had one of those "explosions" that shoots up their back and permeates the carseat, changing table cover, etc. I pre-spotted everything with our Shaklee liquid detergent and threw them in the wash - everything came out spotless!! My daughter-in-law was shocked as she uses Dreft and cannot get out the stains with it, so she is switching now. Also, Shaklee is the first company to come up with a non-toxic fabric softener sheet, and it is awesome for static cling!! E. Taft I hope to hear from you asap.

1 mom found this helpful

Instead of discontinuing fabric softener I switched to a perfume free / dye free dryer sheet and I think it has made a difference. Target sells one and so does bounce.

Hi E.,
I have a 5 year old son who has had eczema ever since he was 3 months old. I have been using Cetaphil moisturising cream on him after his bath everyday - initially twice a day or more. I use Dove moisturising soap on him - that is what the dermatologist asked me to use. Also, I use Dreft liquid for his clothes - I find it washes the clothes pretty good. I had not made any changes to his diapers but I used perfume/scent free wipes.
We consulted a dermatologist who also prescribed a medicated ointment which I have been using regularly to keep the eczema under control.
As my son started growing older, he developed certain food allergies also. I don't mean to scare you, but children with eczema generally tend to develop food allergies also. You might want to talk to your pediatrician about that(we hadn't known about this and we found out about his food allergies the hard way - having to rush to the ER after every episode).
I would highly recommend using Cetaphil Moisturising Cream - that helped my son a lot. Hope this helps. Good luck.

I know scores of kids who have gotten over eczema, often extremely severe cases, by using Reliv's nutritional product for kids! I was on the phone with one woman just last month - fabulous results for just this problem. It replaces all the multivitamins you would otherwise use, it cleanses and detoxifies the body and stabilizes all the dietary issues that may be causing or contributing to this. It's completely safe even as a prenatal. I know many women who used it this way and gave it to their infants. One friend even had a child with over 50 food allergies - all cleared up after a very short time on Reliv. It's 95-99% absorbed so it's much more economical that most supplements which are only absorbed 30% or even 50-60%! YOu can't buy it in stores, only through distributors, or directly from the company (reliv.com). If you want to talk to some of these moms, Reliv has a great network - a lot like Mamasource! Share stories, etc. Let me know - it's a lot easier than worrying about creams and detergents and everything else! GOod luck!

My son (2.6 yrs) also gets a bad reaction to new clothes and various soaps. I use the Arm and Hammer Free and Clear as well. I also use hydrocortisone cream for bad flare ups and Aquaphor for all over the body. Be sure to wash any new clothes he gets but be careful with drying them. They might shrink in the dryer. Downy makes a free and clear fabric softener that I use on his clothes. I didn't do anything different with the tub, but I put the Aquaphor on him after bathing and give him a tub after going swimming. I also use the Aveeno soaps in the bath tub.

Hi E.,
I'm sorry to hear about your challanges with eczema. I have struggled with it my entire life and both my sons have it.
I react to anything with petroleum in it, so have had to find some creative solutions. I love the idea about putting aluminum foil in the dryer! Gonna try that one. I use free&clear detergents, either Earth&Sun or 7th Gen. 7th Gen can get pretty expensive. For cleaning products, I love Method. They work great and are very cost effective, with a focus on highly reactive respirory and skin problems. I don't even need to wear gloves!
I have used everything as far as skin lotions go. The usual suspects didn't last long. If I can smell the product at all, it's gone. Even the super pure stuff from the vegan healthfood store gives me problems. For light moisture I use Heather Loraine Cosmetics of California, Jojoba oil. Their motto is: If you wouldn't put it in your body, don't put it on your body. No additives, no nothing. I buy the certified organic if I can afford it. Jojoba is great for craddle cap and really dry patches. Rub it in, let it sit. The dry skin cells with slough off. It is very messy and you'll need to add vinegar to your wash to get it out of your clothes. This winter, in a desperate act to keep my skin from bleeding I started using Crisco on my feet, then my legs and my hands. It is wonderful! My skin hasn't been this soft in ages. I've use avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, all until my body started reacting to them or rejecting them. For my boys, when they get real bad, I use A.D.E. cream.
We also avoid cows milk. It can take up to 3 weeks to clear it from your system so it's typically a hard one to identify in elimination diets. It can also take ten days from exposure to see any reaction.
Good Luck. Eczema is difficult to trackle. Find what works for you. And keep reading labels.

Hi E.,

I read your question and was left wondering if you found a lotion or baby wash that is fragrance and chemical free that is working for your son? I have FREE samples of our ABC (Arbonne Baby Care) line that I can mail out to you. Arbonne International is a botanically based product company that does not use artificial chemicals/fragrances/dyes... we also do not use animal by-product that can irritate the skin. Our baby line does not have any nuts added to it. The sample will include baby wash, lotion, sunscreen, oil, and diaper rash cream. Please let me know if you are interested in trying this for your son. Good luck finding out the other information you are looking for.


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