Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cure Atopic Dermatitis Naturally

This blog is to share how we dealt with Atopic Dermatitis and as to what worked for our little boy. 

The last weeks of last year had us dealing with a very difficult and challenging situation. We had absolutely no knowledge nor awareness of Atopic Dermatitis (AD), otherwise commonly known as Eczema, which is what the doctors diagnosed our little one with. In his case, basically, rashes with very dry skin brought on by an allergy to dust mites and compounded by the winter. This was a child who hardly got the sniffles in his first three years. We share this with you all because apparently 20% of the world population are afflicted with Eczema, especially in developed nations. What was 3% in the 1950s, is today 23% and growing - rather alarming - so decided to share our experience with it.

It all started over winter when we noticed a slight rash on the back of his neck, which was initially dismissed as something he reacted to - maybe a label on his clothing? So looked for any offending tags and snipped them out. But that was not the cause. He fell severely ill and very quickly, with the rash now invading his body. None of the doctor's medications helped, just made it worse. That started our journey into this world of AD.

What did NOT work with him - steroids! He reacted very negatively to steroids. He was unusual in the sense, his body did not accept the steroid application - it actually made it worse. It was the best thing that happened because we had blindly trusted the medical team and had applied the cream which consisted of cortisone. It was only when it did not work, we had in our desperation turned to the internet to seek answers. That is when we became aware of the side effects of steroids on little ones. Yes, they all say that cortisone has no side effects when used in the short term. But the issue here is that AD is NOT a short term health issue, especially when one uses products like cortisone, which does not cure it but only subdues it. A common theme across most who shared their stories on the internet, steroids only gave them temporary relief as it subdues the immune system; but it always inevitably came back with more viciousness. So starts a vicious cycle of more steroids, ultimately it stops working altogether. Now they also had the side effects to deal with. The desperation of the parents as we read on, made us feel defeated. 

Then started looking up nature cures. Again, most shared that they had some success, though not a cure. But we felt that the nature road was the best road to go down, as neither steroids nor nature seemed to have a cure - but nature came without side effects! Our sorrows were over the quality of life our child would have growing up. These children are desperately sleep deprived and go through some immensely unpleasant times. We desperately wanted to avoid that for our little one. So started experimenting and got it right the first time. And for that, we feel blessed.

In the forthcoming articles, will go into greater detail into each of the nature cures mentioned below and why we chose them.

Steps we took:

1. Mixed turmeric powder with water and applied the paste all over his body, as his case was severe - the itch went away with immediate effect. The first three days was only Turmeric - NO oils - turmeric dries it out, though it simultaneously but instantly took away the itch and kept it that way - in our boy's case, he slept through the nights! 50% of the fight was won with that. 

2. Only after the rashes has dried out, started with the oils.

The next step - the rest 50% of the fight was to lubricate the really dry skin - started with bio virgin coconut oil. Did it every hour or so, even through the nights. If he started to itch, applied turmeric and waited a few hours, then continued the coconut oil application. Then after about a week, moved to applying warm castor oil, which we found was absolutely amazing for dry skin. Always ensured the oils were of the highest quality - cold pressed and organic. 

(Post his complete recovery, we switched to avocado oil for the everyday application.)

3. In the last step, did a Castor oil detox pack over the right side of his tummy for an hour each night, just before sleep time - this was for a whole week. We felt that detox is something that had to be done. And it worked like a charm. All the swollen lymph nodes disappeared! 

Now the entire family has got a castor oil detox pack done! Think we will repeat it every six months.

Some of the other things we did:

Greatly reduced the number of baths over the weeks that he completely recovered. Bathed him only once in the first week for about ten minutes in turmeric water. Once his skin rashes had dried out, added rice starch to his bathing water - i.e the second week onwards. As soon as we take him out, we immediately seal him off with oil. It really works with him! He loves it & is so relaxed after the bath! 

After a lot of research, we included as part of his/our regular food -  in fact the entire family follows it, as it is basically for excellent overall health : 2ml of fermented cod liver oil everyday, which has been reduced to 1ml after his recovery; a half teaspoon of Manuka honey, which was also reduced to quarter teaspoon after his recovery; a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil in a glass of turmeric milk in the evenings. Also give him bone broth, fresh wheat grass juice twice a week, probiotics like yogurt etc. to strengthen his gut. Since it was inflammation, his food consisted of a variety of anti-inflammatory foods. Foods that accelerate inflammation was drastically reduced/eliminated. Also, he now drinks a liter of mineral water everyday. During his illness, we concentrated on his liquid intake rather than hard food - ensured 1.5 liters by way of water, juices & milk in a day to flush out all the toxins, bacteria from his body. Even after his recovery, we ensure that he takes about a liter of liquids in a day. This year Christmas, the treats will be very limited in our home, as refined sugar is known to be a major contributor. Skin is only an indicator of what is going on within - after all, all illness commences in the gut. When that is rectified and strengthened, one is healthy.

AND today everything in our refrigerator, kitchen, home is bio/ organic. Also no chemical cleaners, all of which has been replaced with natural cleaners like tea tree oil, neem oil, vinegar, baking soda etc.. Also there is NO plastic in the kitchen - nothing that we store, drink and eat out of!

The first layer of garment that make direct contact with the skin for my little one is made of derma silk, including his night jumpsuit. It truly helps with this condition.

Once his allergy results were in and we discovered that he was extremely sensitive to dust mites, went about in a war footing to address dust mites. 

All of the above worked in our son's case and he was slowly on his way back to his baby skin within some weeks from a severe state, this is after 2 weeks of horrifying results with steroid applications, which in fact escalated it awfully. Our gut says that our boy will not suffer from it again. It is now three months and he looks healthier - in fact we all are! And it was proven by his dermatologist saying that they have never seen skin recover as quickly as my boy. 

Nature does have a cure after all!