Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eczema

I’ve had eczema on my legs for over two years.  If you don’t know what it is, this is a rash like skin irritation which is very itchy and painful.  I’ve tried steroid cream from the doctor and lots of over-the-counter stuff to try to get rid of this. 

The steroid cream made my normally not very hairy legs exceedingly hairy but did give me some minor relief.  Aveeno Eczema cream helped with some of it but didn’t really give me good relief from the symptoms.

Vicki and I have been making homemade soaps and hygiene products because she struggles with the chemicals in a lot of products.  We started with shampoo.  When she shifted to the new homemade shampoo, she went from having a constantly sore head to no red or itchiness.  The only side effect she had was her hair was curlier. 

Next we tried hand soap.  I’ve not been able to use hand soap for nearly two decades because most soaps make my hands break out in itchy hives.  The soap we made though doesn’t irritate and I can use with no side effects. 

We tried lotion to help my legs.  This was a bit more complicated to make but for me it was worth it.  The lotion comes out more like a salve.  It isn’t sticky but is slightly oily.  One thing I hate about lotion is the sticky feeling left on my skin when I apply it.  This doesn’t feel that way.  I’ve been applying the new lotion about once a day.  My one leg has gone from red and constantly itchy to very little red (mostly around the sores from scratching) and the itching has decreased significantly.  My other leg – which was worse – is coming along. 

I think this will help in the long run.  I do want to look into adding turmeric to my lotion as that is supposed to be really good for eczema.  Vicki and I will keep experimenting and see how this all works out. 

Below are the recipes and web sites for shampoo and lotion that Vicki found:


Shampoo
Basic:
For normal hair, or as a base to add your own scents, use
            1/4 cup distilled water
            1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
            1/2 teaspoon jojoba, grapeseed, or other light vegetable oil

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use.

This mixture isn't as thick as commercial shampoos - you'll need to just tilt the bottle over your head. I am really impressed with how much lather I get from it though!


Organic Homemade Lotion Basic Ingredients:
            1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
            1/4 cup coconut oil
            1/4 cup beeswax
            Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
            Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter
            Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference

How to Make Lotion:
1.      Combine ingredients in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives or other foods.
2.      Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
3.      Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
4.      As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (8 ounce) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
5.      Use as you would regular lotion. This has a longer shelf life than some homemade lotion recipes since all ingredients are already shelf stable and not water is added. Use within 6 months for best moisturizing benefits.

Note: A litte goes a long way! This lotion is incredibly nourishing and is also great for diaper rash on baby, for eczema and for preventing stretch marks!

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