Holistic Treatment for Babies with Eczema

Discover natural solutions to preventing and healing infants with eczema.

  • There are many possible irritants involved with eczema, diet being one of them. Paying close attention to your baby’s environment is key to narrowing down what lifestyle factor is interfering in his or her health.
    Photo by Unsplash/@rainierridao
  • “The Holistic Baby Guide” by Randal Neustaedter, OMD, provides natural methods for the health of infants so that their new immune systems can be free of harmful medications and chemical products.
    Cover by Amy Shoup

The Holistic Baby Guide (New Harbinger Publications, 2010), by Randal Neustaedter, OMD, considers the sensitive care of infants and provides methods of holistic treatment for common health complications such as colds, digestive issues, and allergies. Neustaedter is a doctor of Chinese medicine and licensed acupuncturist with over thirty years of experience. The following excerpt outlines resolutions for eczema.

Treatment of Eczema

There are many things you can do to soothe your baby’s eczema and help him overcome it once and for all.

Avoid Triggers

The first step in treating eczema is the avoidance of triggers, both allergens and potential irritants. Anything irritating that comes in contact with your baby’s skin could aggravate eczema. Be careful about laundry detergents. Even biodegradable products can be irritating to your baby’s delicate skin. There are several options. Use a laundry soap that is made from fats treated with an alkali rather than using detergents, which usually have synthetic and harsher ingredients. Try to avoid commercial products with perfumes, which are petrochemicals. An excellent choice is Cal Ben laundry soap. Another great choice is to use soap nuts. These are actual seeds from a tree that grows in Asia. Add a few in a small cotton bag to your laundry load, and they will clean your clothes without the use of any harsh chemicals. An Internet search should lead you to a supplier of soap nuts. Use cotton clothing next to your baby’s skin. Synthetic fabrics can be irritating.

If your baby has eczema, then foods that go through your breast milk can trigger reactions. Avoid dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, and corn for starters. Then, after a period of a month, you can reintroduce them one at a time for several days and observe if they cause skin reactions.

Babies who are formula fed cannot avoid dairy, and soy formula is not an appropriate substitute for milk. You can try a hypoallergenic formula such as Nutramigen, Alimentum, or Pregestimil, all of which use predigested cow’s-milk protein. These formulas are not the best choice because they are highly processed and sweetened with corn syrup, and they contain soy oil and other vegetable oils along with the more beneficial oils from coconut and palm. They will need to be supplemented with adequate levels of fish oil to supply omega-3 fatty acids. They will, however, prevent allergic reactions to cow’s-milk protein.

Be Selective with External Applications

Treating the surface of the body is not an effective plan for eczema because the problem is an internal immune-system issue. Putting things on the skin may be soothing, but it will not address the underlying problems that have caused the skin eruptions. Internal treatment with a holistic approach can be very effective in the management of eczema, but relying on external applications to the skin will ultimately be frustrating. Usually, eczema will eventually go away, often to be replaced by a deeper, more serious allergic disease (such as asthma), especially if the skin eruptions are suppressed with steroid drugs.

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