Friday, April 15, 2011

Allergies Galore!!!

Spring has sprung here in Ohio!!  Although we are happy to see the snow go away and the flowers and trees begin to bud and bloom, for our family it also means allergy season.  Growing up I never really thought much about allergies.  Especially food allergies.  So imagine my surprise when both of my kids were born with not only environmental allergies but food allergies.  My first son developed eczema when he was 2 days old.  He never had the soft baby skin that everyone expects.  I remember sitting and crying that my baby's skin felt like sandpaper.  We dealt with countless break outs, staff infections, and just regular skin infections where he would bite chunks out of his hand to relieve the itching.  For the first 3 years of his life we tried every lotion and presciption we could for his eczema. I used to sit up at nights scanning the Internet trying to find a solution while I cried my eyes out at my son's condition.  I felt terrible for him and did not know how to help him.   He was allergy tested and found to be allergic to grass, tree pollen, ragweed, indoor and outdoor mold, dust mites, peanuts, tree nuts, cats, and dogs.  We found out that he was allergic to deer as well when we went to a deer ranch that you could feed and pet the deer.  His face blew up like a balloon and was bright red and itchy.  So basically any animal he gets near he itches from and he is allergic to nature. 

When he was 3 years old God brought a wonderful older lady into my life.  She introduced me to aromatherapy and taught me to make my own salve to use on his skin.  I started making my own salve and his eczema started getting better.  Of course there is no cure for eczema and he still has small flare ups when he has allergy triggers, but nothing like he did his first 3 years.  He also has not had a staff infection since I started making it 7 years ago!!

I took what she taught me and went to the library and got every book I could find on aromatherapy.  I looked up all kinds of things and combined recipes until I got one that worked for him.  I also found recipes for sunscreen, insect repellent, and other lotions that I tweaked to fit my needs.  Basically people who have eczema have very sensitive skin.  And most hypoallergenic products aren't truly hypoallergenic.  They add dyes and fragrances to them.  And for someone who has very sensitive skin those dyes and fragrances will break them out.  Then that rash turns into eczema.  I found out the hard way my son was allergic to sunscreen.  I have basically stopped using anything boughten on his skin.  If it goes on his skin, I make it.  That way I know what is in it.  There are a lot of great organic and natural products out there, but a lot of them my son can not use because he is allergic to one of the ingredients. 

Sweet Almond Oil is used in a lot of natural products.  It is a great oil to use because it is very nourishing for your skin.  But when your son is allergic to almonds, he can't use that oil.  That is when it is better to just make it yourself.  Then you know what is in the product and if it was made in a facility that also manufactures peanuts, tree nuts, milk etc...   Ha Ha!!

So any way allergy season is on us.  We will be switching from heating to air conditioning by the end of next month.  I also switch from a heavier petroleum jelly based lotion to a lighter bees wax based lotion for my son for the spring and summer months.   And now that spring is here I need to check my stash and see what I need to replenish.  The spring and summer months bring on many bottles of sunscreen, insect repellent, after sun spray, and bees wax salve.  I also load up on oatmeal milk bath.  My son soaks in this at night after he has been out in nature.  He may be allergic to everything, but he is a boy who loves God's creation and all the animals in it.  So we just deal with the allergies as they come up and let him enjoy all of God's creation.  The milk bath helps soothe his skin, takes away the itch, and also softens the skin.  Once he gets out of the tub we follow with a quick layer of mom's special home made eczema lotion.

Here is the recipe for the Oatmeal Milk Bath.  I used to buy the Aveno bath but he needed to use it all the time and it got costly.  I like my version better.

Oatmeal Milk Bath

2 cups powdered milk
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)

Put the above ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.  You may add essential oils to scent.  Use a few drops at a time and continue to process until you get the desired scent. Use 1/3 of  a cup in a bath.  I like to really swish around the water and get most of it dissolved before he jumps in and soaks for half an hour!!


Mary said...

I knew you could do it. Looks great!! Now get you etsy account started and get that link on your blog.
Love ya,

Pam said...

My Lisa has to get on here so you can share stories. Her Millie had eczema from Day 1 also. You could share a lot of stories together. Good site. Keep it up!