Talk to Me About Eczema & Ear Infections-UPDATED

I probably should make two separate posts, but I am lazy.

First, the eczema question:
I am pretty sure a couple of you have wee ones with eczema, and I'm pretty sure that you've recommended some lotions etc. A search turned up nothing, so if any of you can remind me what products you like, I'd appreciate it! In addition to the eczema patches, Z has inherited my ridiculously dry, sensitive skin, and she's currently a mess.

Next, ear infections:
Z got sick the day she went to daycare 8 weeks ago and literally hasn't had a single truly well day since (until then, she'd had exactly one teeny sniffle). Most recently is the Ear Infection From Hell. We just finished our 2nd round of antibiotics in 5 weeks, and it's clearly still hanging on; she doesn't really seem even a little better (up till 1 am screaming her head off last night, poor thing). I've never in my life had an ear infection (I was a strep-throat-all-the-time kid) and neither has my husband, so we're both clueless. I know several of you have dealt with chronic ear infections, so I'm just wondering if you have any ideas/suggestions/support. I get the sense that ear infections can be persistent and a giant PITA to deal with. I hate the thought too of having her on all these meds constantly (antibiotics, Motrin...).

I am TERRIFIED that my kid has suddenly turned into one of those always-sick children. She's otherwise in pretty good spirits, just clearly having some pain
Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)
Daycares are notorious germ factories. Have you thought about private daycare? Fewer germs that way.

There's an historical reason why public schools start at age 5 or 6 in our country. It's not because kids can't learn before that. It's because the immune system isn't mature enough to ward off most germs until around age 5, so to have more kids live in the old days before antibiotics, schools didn't start til age 6 or first grade (kindergarten came later).

My kids didn't have a lot of ear infections, or illnesses in general, because I mostly kept them out of daycare. Having worked in pediatric nursing for a number of years, though, I saw tons of them. Chronic use of antibiotics seems to be the answer for many, that and ear tubes if the infections persist. Personally, I think a lot of ear infections are viral in origin (bacterial secondary infections can occur though) and are the result of multiple common cold viruses. Keeping kids from getting sick in the first place seems to help ward off ear infections. You could try just building the immune system through diet...lots of Vitamin-C-rich foods daily. I wouldn't give ecchinacea to a child...it can be liver toxic if used long-term. Sorry to say, I think the only way to really keep kids from getting sick and having ear infections, is to keep them away from other sick kids as much as possible. If you can't do that, then multiple doctor visits and multiple courses of antibiotics are probably in your future.
Excema - This is an ongoing battle in my house. First, what are you using to wash her? If you say J&J baby wash, trash it! That stuff is so bad for baby skin. Many parents find success with dove soap but we had to use California Baby Sensitive bath wash. Anything else breaks X out. We smooth California Baby Calendula cream over all of his bad spots. This usually does the trick but recently, he was so bad that he was bleeding so we used 1% hydrocortisone cream on him for two days. That cleared him up a lot.

The only products that touch his skin (including sunscreen) are either CB or Weleda. I have had better success with CB but like Weleda as well. We only bathe twice a week. I would love to bathe him more but right now his skin can't handle it. Immediately after bath, we slather him with his calendula cream while he is still damp.

Ear infections - We have recurrent ear infections in my home. Xander will be seeing a specialist in two weeks to determine if he has any hearing loss and how best to proceed.

Marielle is queen with this if you are into natural remedies. The best thing that she recommended to me was garlic mullein oil. I swear this stuff is magical because it calms Xander almost instantly. We also use Hylands ear infection tablets. I believe they help but we only just started using them. For his last ear infections, I also gave him a lot of tylenol and motrin but that was partly to bring down his 105 fever.

I wouldn't worry too much about the daycare connection. I have been pretty hard on myself about that but many of the moms here say that they have had the same problems with their stay at home babies.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
I wouldn't worry too much about the daycare connection. I have been pretty hard on myself about that but many of the moms here say that they have had the same problems with their stay at home babies.

The fact remains...people get sick from germs. They catch the germs from other people. Kids are more susceptable to illness and are sick more often...they just are. The more exposure kids have with other sick kids, the sicker they are going to be. A daycare center with 100 kids in it is going to have a larger variety of germs than a homecare situation where there are maybe 3-5 kids. So, while kids are really young (up til around age 2), I don't personally think they should be in daycare centers if one can possibly avoid it.
I wouldn't worry too much about the daycare connection. I have been pretty hard on myself about that but many of the moms here say that they have had the same problems with their stay at home babies.

The fact remains...people get sick from germs. They catch the germs from other people. Kids are more susceptable to illness and are sick more often...they just are. The more exposure kids have with other sick kids, the sicker they are going to be. A daycare center with 100 kids in it is going to have a larger variety of germs than a homecare situation where there are maybe 3-5 kids. So, while kids are really young (up til around age 2), I don't personally think they should be in daycare centers if one can possibly avoid it.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
The fact remains that if a mother has to work it's pretty crappy to pile additional guilt on regarding her situation.





Sweetpickles, Xander goes to a babysitter with only a few other children. It's pretty darn ideal for us. I do feel that he is exposed to less germs there but is not living in a bubble. Is a smaller child care situation accessible for you?


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
The fact remains that if a mother has to work it's pretty crappy to pile additional guilt on regarding her situation.


Sweetpickles, Xander goes to a babysitter with only a few other children. It's pretty darn ideal for us. I do feel that he is exposed to less germs there but is not living in a bubble. Is a smaller child care situation accessible for you?

I'm not piling crap on anyone...just stating facts, and I offered the same suggestion you just did. Many new parents don't realize the illness risks of daycare centers until after they've got a sick kid.
Thanks for the response DarkAngel--I was pretty sure you were battling both these issues.

Excema - This is an ongoing battle in my house. First, what are you using to wash her? If you say J&J baby wash, trash it! That stuff is so bad for baby skin. Many parents find success with dove soap but we had to use California Baby Sensitive bath wash. Anything else breaks X out.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
We actually just started using the California Baby Sensitive wash stuff, which seem to have helped some. But winters are so dry here that she's still having skin issues.

We smooth California Baby Calendula cream over all of his bad spots. This usually does the trick but recently, he was so bad that he was bleeding so we used 1% hydrocortisone cream on him for two days. That cleared him up a lot. .
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I *thought* that was the cream you (and J'adore, I believe) liked, and I almost bought some in Whole Foods. I'll definitely have to try it. Dumb question: how lingering is the scent on the calendula cream? I am willing to try anything, but dang, I do not like the scent of that stuff! Do you use it on just the bad spots, or as a lotion in general? Are there any particular Weleda products you've liked? We have some hydrocortisone around too, so I'll give that a try if it gets any worse. I'm hoping now that spring (and humidity) is approaching, this will sort itself out.

Ear infections - We have recurrent ear infections in my home. Xander will be seeing a specialist in two weeks to determine if he has any hearing loss and how best to proceed.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Do they ever go away completely? This one seems like once she got it, it's just not able to clear up all the way, and it keeps flaring up. How long had Xander been suffering from them was it before they referred you to a specialist? I remember you posting a while back about ear tubes and all that, but admittedly, I wasn't paying good attention since that was before Zora got the initial ear infection!

Marielle is queen with this if you are into natural remedies. The best thing that she recommended to me was garlic mullein oil. I swear this stuff is magical because it calms Xander almost instantly. We also use Hylands ear infection tablets. I believe they help but we only just started using them.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Marielle rocks! She has given me some great ideas for general immune boosters, but I'll definitely look into the garlic mullein oil as well. I didn't realize Hylands made ear infection tablets, so I'll give those a try.

For his last ear infections, I also gave him a lot of tylenol and motrin but that was partly to bring down his 105 fever.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Poor guy. It's interesting that you say that. My pediatrician (who I like fine otherwise) is unconvinced that ear infections cause fevers, necessarily. Zora's had one off and on (up past 105 at one point too) this whole time, so I am glad to hear that you've also had the same experience.

I wouldn't worry too much about the daycare connection. I have been pretty hard on myself about that but many of the moms here say that they have had the same problems with their stay at home babies.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I actually don't feel bad about the daycare in the least, even though I'm sure that exposure is the source. She's only there 1 1/2 days a week, it's an outstanding facility, and she freaking loves to go there. LOVES. It's way more fun than hanging around the house while Daddy writes his dissertation! I have a student who's a SAHM and she tells me her kids get sick constantly. I'm just a little surprised about how lingering this all is. It's like she doesn't get over one thing before she's sick with something new. I have a great immune system and almost never get sick (once they took out my stupid tonsils), so this is just weird.

Thanks again!

I'll respond to the other posts separately, because this is long enough!
Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)
Xander has not hung on to his ear infections. At least I don't think so. I have a nagging feeling that the recurrences might be the same infection that isn't clearing up. I think the most recent one was 6 or 7 since July. Our doctor wasn't too concerned about the ear infections until this January. Until then, he thought that it was likely just a complication from prematurity that he would outgrow. After back to back infections in January and February, he thought it best that we get in to see a specialist.

I can't believe your doctor doesn't think fevers go along with ear infections. X has had one with each of his. That's the symptom that gets us into the doctor's office becuase he doesn't tug on his ears or anything.

The smell of the calendula cream isn't lingering at all. Weleda also has a Calendula cream that has no smell but it doesn't seem to have as good of an effect on his skin. I just slather it all over while concentrating extra hard on his problem spots.

I really hope Zora gets to feeling better. It's so awful when the babies are sick.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
Sweetpickles, Xander goes to a babysitter with only a few other children. It's pretty darn ideal for us. I do feel that he is exposed to less germs there but is not living in a bubble. Is a smaller child care situation accessible for you?
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Financially, not really. Unless maybe someone more knowledgeable than me knows a caregiver in Pittsburgh who is right near my house, is trustworthy, experienced, and licensed, and is willing to work for the $5.50/hr. we currently pay. If so, I welcome the reference.

I wasn't even going to address the first response, but:
RCW: I am plenty aware, even as inexperienced a parent as I am, of the germy nature of daycare centers. I hardly believe "many" new parents could be oblivious to this. Do I want to send my kid to a place where she's inevitably going to be exposed to bazillions of such germs and risk getting sick repeatedly? Would I prefer to have another realistic choice? Duh. I have said repeatedly here that I would stay home in a MINUTE if I could. But I can't. Not all of us have that option available. It is what it is. I asked for constructive feedback on 2 specific questions/issues related to my own, currently unchangeable circumstances, neither of which your post really addressed.
Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)
Xander has not hung on to his ear infections. At least I don't think so. I have a nagging feeling that the recurrences might be the same infection that isn't clearing up.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Maybe I'm just paranoid, but this is the way I was with strep as a kid. My tonsils always had a low-grade infection that never went away, would just flare up 6+ times a year. We're on the second round of antibiotics because the original infection just never went away with the first one. Even after 4 or 5 days on the second one, at the recheck, she still didn't seem like she was recovering like she maybe should have. We're heading into the ped today for a recheck (we finished the antibiotic on Monday). We're seeing a different doc because of the short notice, so it will be good to get another opinion. I just hope she can actually get well enough for it to clear up.

I can't believe your doctor doesn't think fevers go along with ear infections. X has had one with each of his. That's the symptom that gets us into the doctor's office becuase he doesn't tug on his ears or anything.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
He claims there's no solid research to support it. Me, I'm not buying it one bit. Z tugs on her ears, but she definitely has had a lingering fever.

The smell of the calendula cream isn't lingering at all. Weleda also has a Calendula cream that has no smell but it doesn't seem to have as good of an effect on his skin. I just slather it all over while concentrating extra hard on his problem spots.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Good to know! I'll head over to Whole Foods after our doctor's appointment.

I really hope Zora gets to feeling better. It's so awful when the babies are sick.
Originally Posted by DarkAngel
Thanks so much. Seeing my kid, any kid really, in pain is just awful. Especially when there's little that helps. I hope your appointment with the specialist goes well. Keep us updated!
Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)
owen did the excema thing a lot when he was younger, but i still have to watch it now. i actually use maisty traits (sp?) shampoo as his body wash. sometimes we just rinse really well. with him the sulfates would make it act up something fierce! i also have baths down to 2 days a week. that helps a lot too. oh, and i only condition wash his head. he's got my horridly dry skin, so the less i use washing stuff, the better.
for ear infections, owen hasn't had any yet. (i just jinxed myself didn't i). i think a lot of it has to do with how their ears are wired. i had them ALL the time when i was little. i didn't do daycare either. just the way my head drained (or didn't) compared to my siblings. they didn't really do tubes when i was little, so we just got through them. some warm towels held on the ear helps the tube open up and drain. eventualy, they grow out of it. i stopped having them all of a sudden. every kid is different.

as for everything else? you do what you gotta do. no worries.
3A Once again on the quest for BSL healthy curly hair....
California Baby rules! Ben had little patches of eczema when he was little and the calendula cream helped, was also great on the cradle cap, which he had on his eyebrows. I like the smell, not too strong, like lavender that you want to eat. I love the whole line of products.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
While I have no advice for the ear infections and daycare issues (we haven't dealt with them...YET) I can tell you what has worked for Evan and his mild eczema and sensitive skin.

I use a product called Dermamed on his red patches - inside his knees and elbows. On the rest of his body I use a very basic cream - Glaxal Base - and I mix it with some Glycerine and Rosewater. I'm not sure where you can buy Dermamed - I got it from a friend. You can buy Glycerine and Rosewater in the first aid section at the pharmacy.

We also live in a very dry climate and the winters are especially bad for people with eczema and dry skin.
Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

Whole yogurt and sour cream (both with the live cultures) are very good home remedies for battling dry skin/eczema. I put Karan in the tub and slather him with yogurt and let him play around for as long as he's willing and then wash him off with water. Much less outbreaks since we've started doing this.

We wash him with lukewarm water and use Dove soap. We use Glaxal Base as our cream, but I'm pretty sure that's not available in the US.

We've got a Rx for 2.5% hydrocortizone but I use it sparingly.
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
shikai's borage lotion keeps our kids' eczema at bay. they both suffer terrible itchy, weepy outbreaks. and the onset of winter with our dry house brought out a bad episode for both of them. their legs, sides, and outer arms.

this lotion is a dream and has restored their skin tone, softened their skin, and keeps the itchies away.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
shikai's borage lotion keeps our kids' eczema at bay. they both suffer terrible itchy, weepy outbreaks. and the onset of winter with our dry house brought out a bad episode for both of them. their legs, sides, and outer arms.

this lotion is a dream and has restored their skin tone, softened their skin, and keeps the itchies away.
Originally Posted by rainshower
This was the one we've most recently tried. And it doesn't seem to be doing anything useful. I'll probably just use it up myself.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
Hair type: Completely confused: mostly 3a, some 3b parts, and even 2 in places; very fine and thin.
Products: Elucence clarifying & MBC; CK, F/X Curl Booster Fixative Gel (when I can find it)
oddly enough we had an eczema outbreak with Ryan recently. Ian never had those issues and neither did I or my husband but my sister battled it as a kid.

My ped told me to give him Urtica (homeopathic little pills) for the itching (she's a traditionally trained ped but also uses homeopathic/natural remedies). He was scratching and irritating the heck out of them. She also mentioned an emollient cream and then petroleum jelly at night. I tried the Borage lotion too and at night would add a layer of UnPetroleum jelly which has coconut oil. My hubby would forget the borage lotion and we soon realized that the unpetroleum stuff was doing the trick on its own.

Also as far as preventing them you want to lube the kid from the inside out. Flax seed oil or Cod Liver oil (I prefer the nordic naturals, no heavy metals, no fishy taste and both kids drink it straight, including me). Ryan hadn't been taking it but as soon as I started him on it (he gets half a teaspoon) his irritation on his legs is almost gone and the patches on his trunk have dissappeared completely). The cod liver oil is also a great immune enhancer in general and a mood leveler for adults (I take two teaspoons a day, I give Ian one teaspoon).

I just placed an order from Mountain Rose Herbals for two things I want under my belt at all times. One is a healthy kid wellness tea. It's mild, yummy and a great one-cup-a-day in the evening immune booster as well as calming tea. The other is a cold & flu syrup concoction from the herbal kid book. Chock full of herbs to fight the illness and move the congestion out as well as boost the immune system. I've done the infusions before but the syrup will allow me to cater to the picky drinker in the house (my husband LOL!) as you only need a teaspoon or two and it's sweetened with honey, plus the syrup keeps for 2 months in the fridge and you have it ready whenever it's needed.

madscientist that cutlure trick sounds fabulous. Definitely something to keep in mind.
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
try this also, then.

reduce the number of baths they get a week. this also made a great difference in the quality of our kids' skin.

over-cleansing can promote dry skin, which aggravates eczema.

instead of nightly baths/showers, opt for baths every other night, while at the same time, alternating the use of soap with every other bath that they take. plain warm water and a soft bath cloth are quite effective in getting kids clean.

soap, no matter how moisturizing, rids skin of natural oils, which is what dry skin needs to keep it supple. so use soap on them in moderation.

we simply do wash-ups at the sink on no-bath nights, washing the hot spots, applying lotion to their skin, and tucking them in bed.

i don't know if you've considered this, but try to observe if anything they are eating could be triggering their rash outbreaks, like certain fruits, or starches, or dairy.

i've recently discovered that chocolate triggers my eczema. within a few hours of eating it, the patch on my leg begins to itch. i had to experiment several times to make sure it wasn't a coincidence. it happened like clockwork too many times. so as hard as it is, i have to stay away from it or pay the price of itchy, cracked skin.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
I wasn't even going to address the first response, but:
RCW: I am plenty aware, even as inexperienced a parent as I am, of the germy nature of daycare centers. I hardly believe "many" new parents could be oblivious to this. Do I want to send my kid to a place where she's inevitably going to be exposed to bazillions of such germs and risk getting sick repeatedly? Would I prefer to have another realistic choice? Duh. I have said repeatedly here that I would stay home in a MINUTE if I could. But I can't. Not all of us have that option available. It is what it is. I asked for constructive feedback on 2 specific questions/issues related to my own, currently unchangeable circumstances, neither of which your post really addressed.

I did address it...the best way to avoid ear infections is to avoid the common cold which ear infections generally follow, and the best way to avoid colds is to avoid germs, and for little kids, that means avoiding large groups of sick children. If it can't be avoided, then the usual next steps seem to be doctor visits, antibiotics and ear tubes.
I wasn't even going to address the first response, but:
RCW: I am plenty aware, even as inexperienced a parent as I am, of the germy nature of daycare centers. I hardly believe "many" new parents could be oblivious to this. Do I want to send my kid to a place where she's inevitably going to be exposed to bazillions of such germs and risk getting sick repeatedly? Would I prefer to have another realistic choice? Duh. I have said repeatedly here that I would stay home in a MINUTE if I could. But I can't. Not all of us have that option available. It is what it is. I asked for constructive feedback on 2 specific questions/issues related to my own, currently unchangeable circumstances, neither of which your post really addressed.

I did address it...the best way to avoid ear infections is to avoid the common cold which ear infections generally follow, and the best way to avoid colds is to avoid germs, and for little kids, that means avoiding large groups of sick children. If it can't be avoided, then the usual next steps seem to be doctor visits, antibiotics and ear tubes.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves



Actually there can be a solution between both extremes you've posted in natural medicine as well as nontraditional therapies which I think is what SP was asking about.

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com