In anticipation of remodeling our basement, and to motivate us to do so, my husband and I moved our bedroom downstairs into our unfinished basement. We painted the brick, put down a rug remnant, and plopped our bed right there. With twinkle lights, sheets for walls, and a space heater for some semblance of warm, we settled right in. (Although this might sound romantic, it’s not-still planning on renovation).
And every night, we can hear each and every footfall from upstairs, as our “bedroom” is underneath Sophia and Lilly’s rooms.
When I say footfall, like it’s some sort of fairy light ninja dance move, it’s not. One night I asked Sophia via text if she was done herding the cattle. I mean, her tiny frame can pack a punch through her feet. Well it turns out she was getting up and down due to the extreme irritation going on with her skin. Up for lotion, down to bed, up to wash said lotion off, because it was burning…up for lavender…down with the space heater directly pointed at her legs…she was trying everything. She was really suffering from excema. This is not new to us, but the severity of this episode was new.
If you read Part 1 of Itchy Scratchy, you know that she has had asthma since she was two, and is also using a natural protocol that for the most part keeps her asthma in check. In short, it’s basically drinking more water, taking way more fish oils than seems normal, and also taking colloidal minerals daily. There are also essential oils that seem to really help with the symptoms, Breathe and Melaleuca. But this winter, this protocol did not prevent excema.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s description of excema, when skin is healthy, it will retain moisture, which helps to guard from bacteria.“Excema is related to a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants, and allergens. The primary risk factor for atopic dermatitis, or excema, is having a personal or family history of excema, allergies, hay fever, or asthma.”
My poor kid. She has history of all of these things. Hello? Where do I line up to slap our ancestors? May I request new genetic grandparents? Weeping may begin….
In an article by Everyday Health, people who have excema as an infant, are more likely to develop food allergies/intolerances later in life. Conversely, people with food intolerances and allergies often have symptoms on their skin, namely excema. Given my food issues, Sophia’s Grandma having Celiac, and her overall sensitivity to allergies, we decided to do an elimination diet to see if it would make a difference.
Sophia decided to give up gluten and dairy. She chose those because when she would eat those foods normally, she never felt stellar afterwards. More specifically, she would complain of a stomach ache, and a tight chest. Dairy is just not a friend to someone with asthma, it triggers flem in the throat, and like clockwork, will cause her asthma to act up. Also because those are two big triggers for me. Like mother, sorry daughter!
We also began researching the best topical options to relieve the itching, and this took us a while. I’d been recommending lavender, and although that is soothing, it was not taking the edge off. (Hence the night-time stomping)
After some research in my essential oils bible, The Essential Life, by Total Wellness Publishing, I decided to make a roller ball with these three key ingredients:
- Roman Chamomile: used to support dry and irritated skin, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
- Lavender: Antihistimine, analgesic, relaxing and soothing
- Frankincense: anti-inflammatory, restorative, skin regeneration
I put 10 drops of each into a 10 ml roller ball, and filled it half way up with almond oil. I didn’t discover this combo until about 11/2 weeks into her elimination diet, and I would officially classify her discomfort as pretty much CRAZY-PANTS by this time. The first time she put on the oil, I could see her face relax, the relief washing over her. Needless to say, that tiny roller ball lasted three days. She said she would sit up several times per night, roll it on, and be able to rest and sleep. We also bought a product called Derma-Ced. While this was also soothing, Sophia prefers the roller ball remedy.
Why am I sharing all this? Well, I know for certain that if I had taken Sophia to a doctor during this excema episode, she would have been prescribed antibiotics and steroids. Sophia would have continued to eat gluten and dairy, bringing allergens into her system, and we would have been fighting it by killing her gut bacteria. Do you see the issue? I firmly believe in the gut-health connection. I firmly believe in good bacteria and paying REAL attention to how foods impact our entire body. Although this path felt longer, and maybe more difficult, I have learned so much about Sophia, and what she needs. The relief is at my finger tips, and for that, I am grateful!
Two weeks after Sophia eliminated gluten and dairy religiously, she began to see a difference in her asthma and excema. I’m not trying to preach that every issue known to man can be solved by giving up gluten, I’m really not. I am saying that you should pay close attention to triggers.
Does your nose run after eating certain foods?
Does your stomach feel like lead for an hour after eating bread or pasta?
Do you have to evacuate your house due to your stinky gas?
How often do you have diarrhea?
Do you always feel like your food sits heavy, and takes forever to digest?
Do you have excema? Or other skin issues?
Are you exhausted?
While I hope that none of these resonate with you, if they do, examine the gut-body connection!
P.S.If you are interested in buying a rollerball, comment with your email address, and I will contact you! We are also going to be experimenting with making a cream version.
Links where I found some of my information: