The grand eczema experiment of 2012

27 August 2012

Our girl has eczema. Severe eczema. This is nothing new, but it comes and goes in waves, in accordance with the weather or the location or the food touching her sweet pink face. I've got it too, but I could live with it - the itchiness, the pain, the oh-so-attractive red bumps - if it weren't for my little twin, staring back at me, scratching every part of her tender body.


As a newborn, this was her forehead, eventually spreading to the rest of her face and body...


At this point, we began a fun twice-daily regimen of bathing her, covering her with lotion, hydrocortisone, and aquaphor. She became quite slippery and had a glow about her:

aquafor face

For most of her five years, variations on this treatment sufficed. And we began to discover things she was sensitive to: peanuts, strawberries, fragrances, soaps, animals, dust, etc, etc, etc... We treated her like any allergen-contaminated specimen, adjusted her diet, made our own laundry detergent, and bought every fragrance-free dermatologist-recommended body wash imaginable. Some years, there were many more good months than bad. But this year we've had several bad months. Patches on her neck, shoulders and legs became so scaly and infected, nothing we did to her or for her seemed to help. I rang the doctor three times in a week, desperate for answers. And this is what she told me to do.

Wrap her in saran wrap.

So twice a day, we lather her up in the good stuff (TAC in Aquaphor), wrap her legs and arms in damp towels, cover the towels in saran wrap, and wait. I've heard similar variations on this experiment - damp clothes, wrapping overnight - and one week later we are seeing her infection die down a bit (thanks also to some strong antibiotics).


She is a trooper, this girl. On our first bout of wrapping, she sighed as I pulled and tightened, saying, "I just want to be normal." But as I put the finishing touches on her saran wrapped arms, she looked up at me with those big, brown, hopeful for normalcy eyes, and said, "I. AM. A. RO. BOT... I can't wait to show Dad!"


It seems that eczema is more common than I knew - nearly every parent friend of mine has an eczema child. What do you do for yours? Any advice on soaps, detergents, foods? 


  1. my brother had eczema as a small child and baby and he used to bathe in hydrocortizone cream in the bath, it was like big white floating globs and then have cream slathered on him. He is now 24 and has grown out of it. I hope that happens for you

  2. aww! so glad she's finding some relief.

    we had great luck with magnesium bath soaks. overnight improvement. raw milk and a hazelwood necklace seemed to help, too, and i've heard that coconut oil can be good. (we used jojoba, i believe, and emu, which soothed but didn't heal.)