We've got issues.
We've got a nut allergy. And a rash which started as little red patches on my son's arms, but has turned into a horrific, two-year long nightmare.
It's eczema, and it's severe. And it makes me cry every day.
And you could go crazy trying to eradicate any and every thing that could possibly be causing it. Should we rip out the carpet? Are the bed sheets organic cotton? Is it the detergent? Could it be the dye they used on the sheets? Maybe it's the pillows, or the grass? It seems worse after some meals-- is it the milk? or the fruit? or broccoli? Could it be artificial food colors, or possibly natural food colors (or "colours" for my Aussie friends)? Seriously, I don't want to bore you, but this kind of useless banter could go on and on for days-- or longer.
And dermatologists are crap. Of course, if you are a dermatologist reading this and are offended, please feel free to tell me what you suggest to treat eczema. And should your advice relieve my child's eczema I will retract this statement, and publicly, profusely apologize to all dermatologists whose feelings I may have hurt.
Back to dermatologists being crap, dermatologists seem to think it's okay to slather a young child in steroid ointments and call it a day... even if it means the condition comes back two weeks later with a vengeance. And if you even mention fish oil or, god forbid, anything natural to them, they'll look at you and vehemently insist there is no proof that any of these things help. I am generalizing, but I have seen several and they appear to be clones of one another. And considering that my wonderful sister is a pediatric acupuncturist and Dr. of Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, I have an amazing advocate in my corner.
Anyway, in my search for a cure for eczema, I've recently learned about acidity and alkalinity in the body, and the not so easy balancing act required to "get alkaline". We've even purchased this contraption which, if I'm understanding this correctly, electrocutes your water with magnets and sparkles, then divides molecules and something else, and ultimately dispenses magic water that is high in alkaline, or conversely, water high in acidity. And if you read up on this magic Kangen water, you will quickly find out that the different levels of alkaline or acidity can be used to do things you never imagined you can do with water... like sterilize things (not people) and wash fruit. Well you can wash fruit with regular water too, but not half as well :).
And so now in our house we are drinking the Kangen water kool-aid. A water so perfect, and delicious, and molecularly amazing, that we just cannot get enough.
This water is like crack.
And my children have even mastered using the countertop (that's "benchtop" for my Aussies) Levelux Kangen water machine, and can choose their own level of Kangen water, so they can make their own kiddie-water-crack.
The other thing we've done recently (in addition to the numerous supplements, and coconut oil slatherings, and kinesiology appointments), is that we're taking baths in Epsom Salt.
Epsom salt, like witch hazel (which I've used for about 20 years as my face cleanser), is old, tried, and true blue. So what does Epsom salt do? The answer is more like-- what does Epsom salt NOT do???
Epsom salt is actually Magnesium Sulfate, which according to my close friend, Google, numerous studies show that magnesium deficiency is the root of all evil, and is potentially a factor in many, many childhood epidemics-- including autism, ADHD, asthma, and last but not least, eczema. In fact, the benefits of Epsom salt don't stop there... magnesium helps the neurological system function mo bettah. It alleviates arthritis, can help Alzheimer's patients, and improves circulation. Seriously, the list goes on and on and on.
Apparently, magnesium is difficult for our bodies to absorb when taken in supplement form, but interestingly enough, it is easily and best absorbed through our skin. So needless to say, we are bathing in it, a cup of Epsom salt and a spoon of coconut oil and a lot of lukewarm water-- it's like a party in a tub.
So this is where we're at, drinking Kangen alkaline water to neutralize acidity inside, and bathing in Epsom salt to extract toxins and do other things to "fix" us.
Bottom line is, we are going to close this eczema chapter. No seriously, we are. I fully support the notion that eczema needs to be treated "from the inside out", and that, my friends, is exactly what we're going to do.
As I massage lotions and ointments into the red splotches, I tell my baby again, and it's something we talk about often-- everyone's got something. And we are lucky that our "something" is what it is. Our conversation then often turns to whether or not we'd want to trade our problems, for someone else's, and some of the issues other children and/ or adults may face. And even at this young age he understands, and I reassure him-- this may be hard, but it's only for now. We are totally going to kick eczema's ass... very, very soon. For real.
** Update January 2012 ** Our eczema is 100% gone. In saying that I should note we don't even allow the word to be uttered in our house. Cerave Cream is an absolute godsend. Please try this cream on your children or yourselves or anyone who is suffering. Yes it will sting for about 1 minute if your skin is irritated, but after a few days there will be no stinging because your skin will be in repair mode!