Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eczema and Coconut Oil -

Both of my boys have eczema in the fall and winter.  Although Casey's is associated with his food allergies, he also just plain-old has eczema.  His is really itchy, and his legs in the colder months are frequently covered in scabs and bloody patches.  Evan doesn't have food allergies, but he also has had eczema in the fall and winter.  Not only are his legs covered in rough patches, but there are also a few patches on his back and arms.  They're not itchy, luckily, though.

If this is the same story that you have at your house, I don't have to tell you the vast number of creams, lotions and concoctions that we have tried over the years.  Sometimes in a misguided attempt to be "natural" we've even made matters worse (as a baby we used shea butter and almond oil on our undiagnosed nut-allergic son!).  Everyone has something to suggest -- friends, neighbors, doctors -- to make things better.

Add me to the list!  We recently turned to an old buddy, coconut oil, as suggested by my good friend, Julie. She is a lover of all things coconut oil, and she has turned me into a convert. 

We have been rubbing generous amounts of coconut oil into my sons' skin, and we have seen a vast improvement!  Their skin is softer and less scabby.  Because it's kind of greasy, we apply it at night before bed.  They go to sleep smelling slightly tropical, but all fragrance is gone in the morning. 

I don't know if this will help you if you're struggling with eczema, but it might be worth a try.  (Obviously, this is not an option if you have a coconut allergy.)  At least for us, spring is coming, and that will also bring some relief!

Happy Cooking!

My new book,  Ancient Grains: A Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Millet, Oats, Spelt, Farro, Sorghum & Teff (Superfoods for Life)is available now! Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

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  1. I have been experimenting with coconut oil as well. I don't have eczema, just really dry skin and have been using it for a few weeks now, with great success.

    My three year old does have eczema, not related to her food allergies, and I am just starting her on the regimen as well. Luckily hers isn't itchy.. just rough patches. Here's to hoping it continues to work!

  2. Jacqui,

    I'm with you! We have thought that things were working in the past, and then they stopped, but I think this coconut oil is the best we've tried. I've got my fingers crossed for you guys, too!

  3. Kim, I can't wait to tell a friend about this. Not sure her skin condition is eczema, but her skin gets "angry" when she has emotional stress.

  4. I have a friend with a severe skin problem. Can't wait to tell her about this!

  5. I wish coconut oil helped at our house. It doesn't seal the moisture in enough for us. I know it helps a lot of people so thanks for sharing at allergy free wednesday. I hope you'll come back today and share some more of your stuff.

  6. Nancy,
    I understand! We have tried every conceivable concoction for our kids' skin, so I hope that you come up with the right answer for your family.

  7. Interesting. I don't have eczema, but I'm looking for natural skin lotions. I have some allergy that I haven't been able to figure out. this may help. thanks!

  8. Good luck in your search, Debi!

  9. Interesting. My husband has psoriasis and I wonder if it could help that too. any particular kind of coconut oil you'd recommend for trying on skin? I imagine that it doesn't need to be the virgin organic kind I use for cooking?

  10. Hi Cara,
    I don't know if it would work for psoriasis, but I'd be interested to hear what you think. We've been using the organic virgin coconut oil from Trader Joe's, but that's really because it's easy for me to get, since I live two blocks from one!

  11. one thing that has helped me is Honey I Washed the Kids soap at Lush Cosmetics.

  12. For people who said the coconut oil doesn't seal in the moisture try this method. Liquify the coconut oil (I use a double boiler), and then take a roll of gauze and dip it in the oil until saturated. Squeeze out excess oil and then wrap the leg, arm etc with the gauze. You can then use saran wrap over it to help protect clothing and sheets. This method has worked much better for my eczema. I found this method in the book Coconut Cures.