Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The skin diaries

I’ve talked about my skin before. It’s kind of annoying. As a kid I was prone to eczema and as an adult it’s still quite sensitive. I have to be careful about the products I use and try to eat healthily to maintain balance.  

Unfortunately it looks like I’ve passed my kind-of-annoying skin on to my darling boy. Yep, Oliver landed Paul’s baby blues and my manky skin!



As a baby, Ollie would get little red blotchy patches around his creasy bits and particularly on his neck. As he got older small rashes appeared on the backs of his arms and legs. They would go away and come back again with a vengeance.

We tried various tactics – no bubbles in the bath, no perfumed products, organic washing powder, various creams and lotions and potions. We also talked to the Doctor about possible allergies and tried limiting certain food groups in turn. Nothing worked. It would calm down and flare up consistently with no obvious cause.

Then it moved to his face. For months we battled with a persistent red rash around his lips and chin. Until enough was enough.

As a firm believer in natural therapies, I took Ollie to see an amazing naturopath who developed a dietary and supplement program. Seriously, Tabitha was amazing. Within a matter of days his skin had cleared up. And that gorgeous milky baby skin was back. Hurrah!

Today we still have the odd flare-up, but we have rules that we stick to. As a mother I know first hand how frustrating it can be trying to deal with sensitive skin issues, so I wanted to share my learnings with you today. I’m not suggesting this is the magic cure for all skin ailments, but they might be good food for thought. I hope they are. So...

: We steer clear of strawberries, citrus and sadly (for Ollie), mango.

: We limit food colourings and additives as much as possible – I’m strict with this 90% of the time, but also believe food should be enjoyed so if Oliver eats bright red and blue birthday cake at a party, we’ll deal with the consequences later.

: We increase iron rich foods in his diet and limit fruit intake (no, it’s not all good for you) to three serves per day, including dried fruits. 

: We've switched as many of Oliver's dairy products over to a2 varieties, which are missing a particular protein (beta-casein) that most of us find hard to digest. In general I also try to limit dairy where possible - although Ollie is a total cheese fiend!*


: The naturopath recommended using Weleda nappy cream as a barrier cream on dry / red patches of skin.

: I also use Lucas Paw Paw ointment and a small amount of Burt’s Bees Baby Bee** shampoo and body wash.

: But I don’t allow bubble baths, so Oliver isn’t sat in the product for too long.

: If we see a flare-up emerging we go straight back to using his daily supplements – a pro-biotic, fish oil and vitamin D drops. All of these we buy direct from the naturopath to ensure the ‘actives’ are high and of good quality.

And that’s pretty much it. 

There is one area we’re still struggling with - cradle cap. Having never had it as a baby, Oliver is now suffering and all I want to do is pick at his head like a mama Gorilla. So I ask you dear readers - if anyone has any tips, please share.

We’re still learning what does and doesn’t work for our little man. I’m hoping that, like me, his skin becomes less sensitive with age. Until then, I think we’ve got his back.

Do you have a sensitive soul in your household? I’d love to hear your tips if so. 

* I forgot to mention the point about dairy in the original post, so have updated now for a more accurate overview.
** disclaimer - Burt's Bees is a client of the agency I work for, however I personally choose to use their products on my children, hence the above recommendation.

8 comments:

  1. SLathering warm olive oil on their heads and letting it soak ii, massaging it and then washing away with a gentle shampoo is the best thing we have found. Both my boys have battled it and I left it and left it thinking it would go away but it didn't until I did the above a few times.

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  2. I second the olive oil suggestion. It worked quite well on all three of my boys. Good luck!

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  3. After bath, I just lathered the hair in olive oil and give it a good massaging. Place a towel over where his head will lye on the bed and let him sleep all oily. Then in the morning give it a nice comb through (the finer the better....this loosens all the manky stuff) then pop him in he bath or shower and wash normally. Works a treat every time :)
    My number 2 is allergic to soap, so this has made me look into bathing, washing clothes, washing hands etc (you'd be amazed at how much actually contains soap!) but slowly we're getting there :)

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  4. Anna, Lucie has the same cradle cap. I don't want to rub it too much in case her hair falls out! Sam had it too and it just naturally disappeared as his hair got thicker. I'm hoping the same happens with Lucie's! X

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  5. I've heard great things about moo goo products for eczema and also for healing cradle cap. I'd also consider switching to a pawpaw ointment that doesn't contain petroleum as lucas' does.

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  6. We use Olive oil too. I like to do it about 10 mins before the evening bath so it doesn't end up everywhere. After letting it soak for a few minutes I then use a soft brush and work away at the scalp. When it's all been liftd out we pop him in the bath to wash the olive oil out of his hair. Works a treat.

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  7. Oh I can help you with the cradle cap! My little Felix had the most severe case of cradle cap, right up until he was about 9 months old. Then by chance I was telling a friend about it one day and how upset it made me because it really did look yucky. She put me onto Head & Shoulders shampoo, just the one for normal or sensitive hair (found in any supermarket or pharmacy). A small amount, the size of a 5 cent piece is enough. Massage it in to the affected area, leave for a minute and within days it vanishes. I swear by it now, because I was starting to think that nothing would ever work for Felix. I had tried oils and baby shampoos etc... nothing worked. See how you go with it. I really hope it works for you and Ollie, as cradle cap is a menace xo

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  8. We too have to manage sensitive skin and food sensitivities...I've just switched from Lucas Paw Paw cream to a certified organic product called Suvana Paw Paw and Honey Certified Organic Lip Balm - no petroleum jelly and only around $8...you can get it at most chemists and health food shops :-)

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