July 20, 2009

Summer Skin Healed

After 8 full days of treating my youngest son's very dry eczema damaged summer skin, I quickly learned yesterday what the culprit is. It's the chemicals in the pool water. After 5 minutes in the water the dry patches showed. I knew the peeling and itching would not be far away. Well, it's summer and I'm not spending mine indoors.
What I have seen in a week of diligent skin healing is amazing. One has to keep in mind that this treatment process worked well for my son based on his skin and body. However, I would certainly recommend it to any parent who has a child with the horrible itchy and dry patches. I had never thought that skin could be too dry to even absorb moisturizer, but it feels as though that's where the base of our problems started.
In short- my youngest son's skin was so dry and the top layer of skin so damaged that it couldn't absorb moisturizer. I even went back to leaving his skin wet after a bath and putting the avocado oil with either Lavender or Purification on him. They weren't working as well as they had previously so I had no choice but to try something else. Exfoliation seemed like the next logical step and of course because this is baby skin, I didn't want anything too abrasive. Orange Blossom facial wash was perfect and gentle and lucky for me I only needed a little bit and he still has a small body. I have come to use this as his soap after a day at the pool.
Frankincense played a role in healing the damaged skin and I think making the new skin stronger right from the start. Using it for 5-7 days is plenty based on how damaged the skin is. I am sure that as summer continues, I will need to go back to it, but for now we're doing really well with the Orange Blossom facial wash and the moisturizer. His skin is like butter and the problem areas are maintaining themselves.

Here is the plan of action I'd recommend to anyone willing to try it:
  • Each day wash with the Orange Blossom facial wash. (An amount the size of a dime is all you need on a washcloth). I found it easier to do this in a shower as a lot of the wash came off in the tub while trying to scrub those little legs.
  • After the bath immediately use equal parts avocado oil with Frankincense on the affected area. Repeat for each affected area.
  • When skin is dry and oil absorbed, moisturize as usual. Continue to moisturize as needed during the day.
  • In the next 12 hour increments for the next 2-3 days (depending on how bad the skin is) apply just the diluted Frankincense.
Essentially you are giving the oil treatment twice a day and exfoliating only once a day. I'd even do the exfoliation every other day so as not to potentially aggravate the skin as it's healing.
Continue for a week and be patient. These things take diligence and time.

*these statement are not meant to treat or diagnose any medical problem or condition. They are based on my own experiences.

Summer Skin Days 3-6

Day 3-
I did not exfoliate today and in fact skipped the bath all together. I slathered the Frankincense with avocado oil on his legs generously. On the rest of his body I went with just lotion. Time to wait and see what the morning would bring.

Day 4-
His skin was dry this morning. I started with lotion and went right to Frankincense on his legs at breakfast. The booster seat is the perfect place to do this as his squirmy little body is trying to escape me! By the end of the day, his skin was still soft. Finally- he really seems to be holding the moisturizer. We had our exfoliation and oil session bedtime and optimistically hoped for the best in the morning.

Day 5-
Today I can see the most significant difference in his skin! The flakes are mostly gone and the tones in his skin are evening out. He's holding on to the moisture in his skin and his legs are definitely on the way to recovery. I'll stay away from the water again today and give him two "frankincense treatments" with moisturizer. In a moment of reminding myself to be patient, I remembered that even prescription antibiotics take 7-10 days to fully cure an illness.

Day 6-
His skin looks like normal-non-eczema skin! The tone is even, it's not dry or itchy. I used alittle Frankincense on his back and arms last night before bed and today he looks great. It wasn't as bad in those spots so one treatment seemed to work fine.

July 13, 2009

Summer Skin- Day 2

Day 2. I used the Orange Blossom facial wash again yesterday during the bath and I think it's the perfect non-soap remedy for my youngest son's skin. He's holding the moisture from both the lotion and the avocado oil I'm using with either Purification or Frankincense. The Frankincense really seems to be repairing his worst parts- by his ankles. I have focused my Frankincense experiment on his legs (specifically his shins) so I can watch and compare to the rest of his body.
As I have learned with other uses of the YL Essential oils- the body needs a couple of days to absorb and heal. More to come as I continue in my Eczema quest but I'm feeling very confident about this. And as far as I'm concerned it sure beats the prescription steroid option from the dermatologist.

July 11, 2009

Summer Skin

I love seeing my kids' tanned little bodies in the summer. Even with sunscreen SPF50 they still tan beautifully without burning. However, the sun, sunscreen, and chlorine in the pool water takes a toll on my youngest son's skin and makes it even drier. The result was that his skin was not absorbing the Lavender oil and just kept getting drier and drier. It was drier and flakier than it ever was even at it's worst in the winter.
I've recently been using the Orange Blossom facial wash (which I just love!) and it's so soft and soothing that I thought it would be a good exfoliator for my son without irritating his skin. So last night after washing the chlorine off his body with Ivory soap, I used the Orange Blossom facial wash all over his body. I only needed a very small amount (about the size of a dime) on a washcloth and it worked great. No irritation to his skin and 80% of the flakes were gone. I used Purification oil with his moisturizer before bed and hoped for the best.
This morning, his skin was the best it's been in a week or more. It retained the moisture from the lotion and oil the night before and he was not itchy at all. I added some Frankincense directly on his worst area (his legs) and will continue to do that for the next few days to see how it works. Frankincense is known today for skin healing properties* and I feel as though I'm beyond maintenance for the next week or so until his skin gets better. I'll be using the Orange Blossom facial wash each day too to continue removing the flakes.

*disclaimer: this statement is not approved or supported by the FDA, only be research from the people at Young Living.

July 5, 2009

Getting Off the Inhaler

In my constant quest to combat asthma without using steroid based drugs that make the pharmaceuticals more money and keep my child dependent, I believe I am onto something great that's working for my son.
During our most recent visit to the pulmonologist she told me that the body makes its own steroids at 4am and 4pm. The doctor said to give my son his inhaler at a time of day that is not 4am or 4pm because otherwise his body will become dependent on the drugs rather than making its own steroids.
So I had to ask myself- why was I doing this? I had been using Oregano to build up lung function and Thieves for overall wellness. Recently as we were going through the early weaning process of two puffs a day to one my son said his breathing "didn't feel so well." Determined to not use the inhaler (unless absolutely necessary) I tried a combination of Raven and Balsam Fir diluted with avocado oil. I applied the combination to my son's chest and upper back. Within a couple of minutes I asked him how he felt and he said "good" with a big smile. Since then I've been giving him this oil combination once a day and continuing with the Oregano at bed time. I've also stopped the inhaler all together. He's blowing higher on his peak flow meter than he did when on his inhaler.
What an awesome moment to find something that works well and will make him stronger and healthier rather than dependent on a drug.*

*Disclaimer: None of this is approved or supported by the FDA- only my own experiences and the smile on my son's face.

July 4, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

The mosquitoes are here- at least in the northeastern part of the US where we live. In the past I have usually used the chemical/commercial bug sprays and while doing so squeezing my eyes shut and holding my breath so as not to inhale a nasty tasting mixture of God knows what. On others recommendations I also tried Avon's Skin So Soft, but alas was bitten anyway.
This year I'm trying Purification in a spray bottle with some water. You don't need more than a few drops of oil for a 4oz spray bottle filled about 80% with water. I'll be honest- as a result of my SSS experience, I was skeptical but still willing to try. Especially with kids (the youngest only 18 months) I'd rather stay away from the chemicals all together.
Excellent news! It works! After a month of rain and the summer heat finally showing up- the mosquitoes arrived too. I sprayed myself, my kids, my friends kids and their parents with the spray while watching our town Fireworks. We all did great and there were no bites. I will say though that as with anything natural sometimes we needed two sprays, but to me that was still better than the chemical alternative.
If you want, you can also combine a couple of other oils in your spray bottle as the newscaster/testers of NBC25 in Michigan did or you can go with just Purification. It's one of my favorite oils and it works!

The One Who Really Can't Get Sick

In my house, we all agree that the one who absolutely, totally, and completely cannot get sick is me. If mom gets sick- things get really dicey. After a whirlwind month of June and moving up ceremonies, field days, end of school, half days and our first family vacation in almost a year it all caught up with me in the last days of the month.
I started with a sore throat. Mild at first but then fiery. No fever or other issues to speak of except being tired and at times unable to speak- a blessing for some I suppose. :) In an effort to completely avoid any of this getting any worse, I immediately doused myself in Thieves. Under the tongue and in the form of lozenges several times a day. I also massaged Raven on my throat and the back of my neck (the pain was extending to my ears) before bed and in the morning. The combination of these essential oils helped tremendously and in a day's time (along with some good solid rest) I was (and am) back to my normal self. Which is good because I hate being sick.