Soon after our first little guy was born, we discovered that he had eczema. According to Nationaleczema.org, this is really common with babies, with at least 10% of infants in the US having some type of eczema.
Our pediatrician recommended that we try a hydrocortisone cream, and if this didn’t work, to apply a steroid cream to the affected area. Now this was right in the middle of my crunchiest stage, when our baby was 100% cloth-diapered and breastmilk-fed and our home had that slight vinegar scent that so many crunchy homes have. So of course I nodded and tried to act like a normal person who wasn’t going to start researching natural eczema cures as soon as I got out of there. And then I did some research.
I couldn’t find anything 100% natural that worked to completely clear things up. I tried a few different things that were recommended online – shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, olive oil, coconut oil, some combination of these things. While I think these are all great moisturizers and may help prevent eczema outbreaks, once the skin was irritated enough none of these were working.
So I did some more research and found two things that worked.
1. This Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream, which you can find here on Amazon
It rates a 2 on EWG.org (Environmental Working Group), which puts it in the “low hazard” range. I used to refuse to use anything higher than a 1 (it’s a scale of 1-10, 10 being “high-hazard”), but in this case, I thought using this cream was better than using steroids and hydrocortisone on a tiny baby.
It’s very lightweight so I didn’t have high hopes for it, but it works. I have since repurchased it a number of times. It’s good for large areas of skin, and does a great job of preventing eczema if you are diligent about using it.
Now when you’re working with a really tricky patch of eczema, I found that using diaper rash ointment was the best thing.
2. We use Badger Balm Baby Zinc Oxide Diaper Cream for diaper rash, but it also works great on small, persistent patches of eczema. It clears it up really quickly, and is the only thing that has worked for us without fail on really stubborn eczema.
We get it on Amazon here
*My husband also had contact dermatitis recently – an allergic reaction to a face cream – and diaper cream was the only thing that offered him any relief from the itching.
We’ve also used The Honest Company diaper cream (on Amazon here), and I imagine most diaper rash creams will work for this purpose, these are just two of the “greener” brands that we like to use.
When our kids struggle with eczema, we always make sure to use plenty of all-natural moisturizer when we’re not using the diaper rash cream or the Mustela. We use either a natural nut or seed butter like shea or mango, or a moisturizing oil, like jojoba or olive. You know. Keeping things just crunchy enough to irritate a few people.