Monday, January 29, 2018

The Magical Bath Routine

When you become a parent, the one thing ALL parents constantly talk about is sleep. How many naps does your baby take? How long is his/her naps? Does she/he sleep through the night? How frequently do they wake up? Any parent knows that, SLEEPING LIKE A BABY does not occur over night. However, that phrase does happen hopefully once the baby is sleep trained and sleeping through the night.

Well, R is my third baby and all of those "normal" sleeping questions did no apply to us. R slept when she could but she was exhausted because she woke up every single night screaming because of her eczema. After the 4 month mark of waking up about 4-5 times every night, I was at my wits end. I also had 2 other children that I needed to take care of, and I thought my body was shutting down. Me and my baby needed sleep and eczema was preventing us from doing that.

Anyways, when I found oil of oregano, I took a different approach for baths. In the eczema community, bathing in hot water is a BIG no no. It is known to dry up your skin more and irritate the skin. Well, I beg to differ. In many Asian countries, doing a half-body bath is very popular for blood circulation, getting rid of toxins, and to clear up your skin. 

Despite all the websites that told me not to do a hot bath, I decided to try my method. My theory for doing the half body bath was this: I could moisturize my baby's skin by making her sweat and put on oil of oregano while her pores were open from a hot bath. Also, I thought that having her body sweat out the toxins ( since babies don't sweat much ) could help her get rid of the eczema.

I decided to try out my hot half bath theory/hypothesis and see the results. Here's what I did for 1 week every single night. The result? I never saw any eczema on her body again.
  1. Go into the tub with R with running warm water to get her used to the warm water temp.
  2. Once she was used to the warm water temp, I made the water temp hotter, enough for both of us to sweat. 
  3. I stop the water once it covered her belly button. We were only doing a half bath, and we did not need her entire body in the water.
  4. I put in dead sea salt for my baths.
  5. We played inside the hot water for 15 minutes with toys to distract her from being hot. She didn't seem too bothered by it.
  6. After 15 minutes, I did not wrap her up in a towel. I carried her to the bed dripping wet and massaged oil of oregano mix for 5 minutes.
  7. Then, I put on the puriya cream and massaged her again for another 5 minutes.
  8. I got a tight onesie that covered her body and soaked it in hot water to make it warm.
  9. I put this onesie on immediately after I was done massaging the puriya cream onto her and had her wear it for 1 hour.
  10. I put a warm fleece onesie over her so that she wouldn't be too cold. 
  11. After 1 hour, I took off all the onesies, and put on oil of oregano mix massaging it in for 5 minutes, and then puriya cream for 5 minutes.
  12. Put on a nice dry organic cotton onesie, breastfeed, and go to bed.
Even the first night we did this, R didn't wake up as frequently to scratch. Also, because of the long bath- she was very tired. Her body felt hydrated and she was much happier. If I had time, I probably would have done this twice a day- but it was hard for me to find time during the day.

This was her body picture before the bath ritual:

Her back was terrible. She was so itchy. You can't see very well, but her arms, legs, and front area was very bumpy and itchy too. 

R's back and front 3 months later. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of her body immediately after she got better. But, I can tell you that it was this clear almost 2 weeks after I started her bath ritual.

The solution: Oil of Oregano & Puriya Cream Regiment

Before I begin to explain my regiment, I am going to put out a disclaimer here. I am NOT a doctor, I am NOT gaining anything from posting the regiment I used for my baby. I cannot guarantee that this will work for you/your child. However, the reason I decided to take my time to write this blog is because a couple of months ago, I posted my baby's before and after picture ( after the regiment ) on a mommy's group through facebook, and I received an overwhelming amount of inquiries about what I did. I realized, there are so many babies and mothers out there suffering from eczema like us, and I really felt their frustration/pain. Unless you've been a mom with a baby/person dealing with eczema, you won't realize how bewildering it is to be living in this day and age with no REAL solution for eczema.

With that said, here is the formula I used on baby R's face and body
  • 1 TINY ( I will explain why I emphasize the tiny later ) drop of oregano oil
  • 5 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Puriya Cream to moisturize her face & body

Here's my most frequent questions from people:
  1. How many times a day do you put on the oil of oregano? I put it on constantly every single day until the eczema subsided. I also massaged it into her skin for 5 minutes rather than just put it on and leave it.
  2. Why is my baby's skin is getting more irritated by the oil of oregano? Most likely, you put in too much oil of oregano. Oregano oil is potent. It is VERY strong. Please use a tiny amount. It does the job. It goes a long way. If it looks red and irritated, dilute it more with olive oil. Please be patient with this process. Many people freak out and give up when they see that the baby screams/seems irritated. Trust me, my daughter did too. If you just dilute it and keep putting it on, you will see their skin get better in a day.
  3. How long do you use this? R's eczema would clear up but would come back again. I put it on every time her eczema came back. I did not use it when she didn't have any eczema. When her eczema finally disappeared, I stopped using it.
  4. Can I use this with the topical steroid I am using? Honestly, I don't know but I did not use any steroids when I used this. I needed to know if oregano oil worked. I would recommend not using any topical steroids at this time.
  5. Did you change your diet? No. I did not change my diet or eliminate any foods ( dairy, gluten, etc). I kept everything the same as before. This was also to see if the product worked without changing anything else.
  6. Were you purely breastfeeding? Yes. She was purely breastfed and never ate any formula.
  7. Can I use coconut oil instead of olive oil? Yes, but I found that olive oil worked better. 
  8. Why isn't the oil of oregano moisturizing the skin? The oil of oregano will not make the skin moisturized. That's why I used the puriya cream afterwards to moisturize the skin. 
  9. What is puryia cream? I was looking for a good cream for eczema. I used everything that said "eczema" on it, but this cream worked wonders. I wanted to make sure I wasn't putting steroid cream on her while looking for a natural remedy. I found the cream through amazon reviews, and I am so grateful I found it. 
Since pictures are worth a thousand words, without further due, I will show you her healing process in 1 month.

 March 9, 2017 - Weeping Eczema. No remedy

Both cheeks are weeping, forehead crusty from the weeping eczema. 

   March 10, 2017. One day after using just oil of oregano regiment

Her cheeks started drying up from the weeping eczema, her forehead crust started disappearing. She was able to nap without waking up because her body didn't itch as much.

March 12, 2017

Forehead crust is almost all gone. Cheeks are not weeping.

March 13, 2017

Taking a bath. Everything getting much better. 

March 14, 2017

 5 days of using oil of oregano & 3 days of puriya cream. Skin has cleared up so much.

March 17, 2017

The day she slept like a baby (all through the night ), and her skin looked like a baby too. I cried. 

March 29, 2017

I won't lie. There were days the eczema came back just on her face. 
This was one of those days. Back to the regiment

April 4, 2017

I never had to worry again though. In a matter of a couple of days, 
her skin came back to normal with oil of oregano and puriya cream.

   April 9, 2017

One month later. Happy baby. Like I said, eczema would come and go- but she NEVER had it as severe as she did before. It also went away within days.

As you can see, R's eczema got better almost immediately. It was a miracle. God truly answered my prayers. I cried a lot because we had been suffering for 2 months with no solution. I was so tired because R never slept through the night because she was in pain and itchy. I felt so lost and finally, something worked! 

R had eczema severely on her face and on her body. For her body, I did another routine which made her eczema on her body disappear in 1 week forever. It was laborious, but SO worth it. I will share that on the next post! Stay tuned..

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oil of oregano: The natural remedy for eczema?

When I was in graduate school, I had to write a 80 page research monograph. The only time I could actually do my research was at night frequently resulting in an all nighter. For some reason, I was more focused at night.

Well, like they say, old habits die hard. My research for eczema sparked on the night I came back home from the allergist. I stayed up all night because I was determined to find a natural, homeopathic remedy that would be safe for my 4 month old daughter.

After much research on, I came across this blog that gave me a glimmer of hope. There's a cure? What is this natural cure that nobody knows about? Well, after reading the entire post- I was sold. Oil of Oregano. This was it. How come nobody knew about this? I was ready to roll up my sleeves and study the properties of oil of oregano. I looked at this website to see why oil of oregano may help my baby's eczema ( copy & pasted some facts from the website ). In a nutshell, here's what I found:
  • It was been used by the ancient Greeks for treating all kinds of illnesses, including colds, fever, skin and digestive problems.
  • Hundreds of laboratory tests and experiments have confirmed the antimicrobial properties of oregano oil.
  • It can effectively stop the growth of all types of pathogen such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. Many scientists have found that it can kill candida, a fungus that is believed to worsen the condition of eczema.
  • The germ killing ability of this oil lies in its powerful chemical compounds. Oregano oil contains flavonoids, phytochemicals and phenols that can kill all types of harmful microbes. 
  • Carvacrol and thymol are the two main active agents.
This seemed promising. If ancient Greeks used it, then it must be good right? Well, I had nothing to lose at this point. I woke up the next morning and went to our local natural vitamin store. There were so many different options but the store owner told me this specific brand sold good quality essential oils. I took his advice and bought this one that is also sold on amazon.

Now that I found a natural remedy, I was determined to find how I could use oil of oregano effectively to get rid of my daughter's eczema. It was time to get it under control and bring back my daughter's skin to "baby butt skin."

Friday, January 26, 2018

Doctor, give me a remedy not a bandaid

A year ago, I celebrated my baby girl's 100th day. Koreans celebrate a baby's 100th day because it means mom and baby survived ( literally back in the day ) and things should be getting easier with a more regular sleeping and feeding schedule.

 R's 100th day celebration at home

Well, the celebration of my R's 100th day was the beginning of the hardest days and nights of my life. R started developing little rashes on her cheeks here and there. I read that kids sometimes get pimples and it would go away. Praying that these rashes were pimples not eczema, I just let it be for a couple weeks. Unfortunately, they were not pimples. Eczema entered our world.

The moment I realized we couldn't put bandaids on her face ( I used some medicated bandaids called duoderm which is normally amazing for any cuts or bug bites ), I went to the doctor. And as any doctor would prescribe, we got hydrocortisone. 

I normally trust doctors and believe in their expertise. After all, they didn't go through med school, residency, and fellowship for nothing. They should have the best remedy or solution for any ailment/disease.

However, I will say that this time, my doctor's solution failed. In fact, it wasn't a solution. It was a temporary bandaid. My R's skin was getting worse and the eczema that started on her cheeks started spreading like a disease all over her body.

I went back to my pediatrician after lathering hydrocortisone for a few weeks. She looked at R and prescribed a stronger dose of hydrocortisone. Great. Stronger drugs on a 3.5 month old. Since I didn't have any better solution, I went ahead and lathered it all over R. The result? It looked like it was getting better at first, until it got worse.

I went to church and a mom approached me. She told me her son had eczema as a baby and he was better now. She said that even though it was hard, she completely stopped using hydrocortisone because it didn't help and she was concerned about the long term effects. Eventually, her son's skin got better. I was already feeling terrible for putting on so much steroids on my 4 month old, I decided to do what I thought was best for her health and skin too. 

I stopped using hydrocortisone. 2 days later, this is what my daughter's skin looked like:

R's weeping eczema on one cheek

I was heart broken. Both cheeks were wet. Her skin was raw. Her forehead was crusty. I looked it up and lo and behold, she was one of those google images that terrify you when you look up eczema. She had weeping eczema. Literally, R and I were weeping too. She was in so much pain.

I ran back to the pediatrician who sent me straight to an allergist this time. The allergist sent me home telling me that they can't do any tests because her skin was so irritated so they wouldn't be able to tell what she's allergic to. The doctor's instructions were to do the following: Put on stronger hydrocortisone, put R in a bleach bath every day, put her on antibiotics for 14 days, and for me to cut out dairy, gluten, and other triggers that may be causing eczema.

I was in disbelief. Maybe I've become a hippy living in the bay area too long, but WTH- BLEACH bath my baby? Stronger steroids? Antibiotics for 14 days? I've never been on antibiotics longer than 7 days. O.M.G. Her steroid withdrawal was the cause of her weeping eczema in the first place and I have to go back to steroids?  My next question to the doctor was what made me determined to find an alternate solution for my baby. "So, if we do all of this- will this cure my baby's eczema?" Doctor replied, "No. It'll be a temporary solution so we can do a skin allergy test. There's no real cure for eczema."

I was done. Screw it. Screw modern medicine. I was determined to study eczema and find a safe and solution. I didn't want my baby to be lathered with so many chemicals.

This was the beginning of my journey that would help my daughter and many other babies suffering from eczema.