June 14, 2010

Strange Allergies

I went to the dentist the other day and while I was due for my 6 month cleaning, it was still a bit of an experiment. I had to switch away from commercial toothpastes a few years ago. At some point in my late 20s, I started to develop this (hold on, it's pretty gross) film on the inside of my mouth after brushing my teeth. I first noticed it with Colgate toothpaste, and then Crest. It was gross. I switched to Tom's of Maine and the film problem was gone. Recently though I've been using the Dentarome toothpaste, but since it has no fluoride in it, I wasn't sure what kind of report I'd get back. Good news- my teeth were beautiful, shiny, and cavity free!
I reviewed my mouth history at my appointment and learned that the allergy is to Sodium Laurel Sulfate. So I looked it up and SLS is in many commercial products like soaps, lotions, shampoos and yes, toothpaste. It doesn't seem like a common allergy, but I know my sister has it too. We can't be the only two people with this condition. I was talking to someone today who is allergic to lidocaine and its derivatives. Clearly, anything is possible.
All of these thoughts led to a question. If I'm allergic to SLS, could it be that one of my children (and others) are also allergic to it, but it shows on the skin instead of in the mouth? Could this be the cause of Eczema when I know it's not caused by food? I don't know for sure, but at our next allergist appointment, I'm going to ask. In the meantime, the reasoning behind removing all commercial skincare use when one has a chronic condition like Eczema is making more sense. Who knows what will irritate our skin and beyond? What goes on our body goes in our body and we have to be careful about what that is. I can say that using the Lavender Bath and Shower gel has my son's sandpaper skin soft again. The Rosewood shampoo has helped his dry scalp (a problem that started as cradle cap as a baby and has never seemed to fully go away). I tried to see if SLS is an ingredient in laundry detergent but there are no specific ingredients listed on any of the 7 different kinds of detergents I looked up.
So, while I feel I now have more questions than answers I do feel like I'm following logic. The same logic that says if you only treat the symptoms of an ailment or condition and not the condition itself, you are only addressing half the situation. This was my approach to dealing with my son's asthma and has proven to work well for us. by strengthening his respiratory function rather than just having an inhaler do it for him, we are in a good place. No inhaler and no need to see the pulmonologist for another year. What a blessing and what a lesson.

**This information is for educational purposes and is in no way intended to treat or diagnose any condition. As usual, this is just what worked for us.

June 12, 2010

Some Funky Bumps

So there were these funky bumps on my son's elbows. I truly figured that once he outgrew his eczema, my skin concerns for my son were over. As it turns out, we just had a bit of a hiatus. Always one to go for the "glass half full" approach, I saw an opportunity. A few years ago, I would have rushed off to the dermatologist to find out what was on the elbows. This time, I didn't do that. I took out the Tea Tree oil (what YL calls Melaleuca Alternifolia) and applied it directly to the the bumps on the elbows (which looked like a cross between molluscum and a wart.)  Within days, the bumps were cleared up. There was no blistering, no discomfort, no pain, nothing. When I checked the elbows after a couple of days they were all clear!
I have a friend who tried Tea Tree for molluscum on two of her children. It worked for one, not the other. So, just another example of how different oils work for different people for different conditions. For us, this one worked and worked quite well!

* These statements are not approved by the FDA and are not meant to treat or cure any disease.