The mysterious rash – did we get rid of the eczema? (part 2)

♦ Read here: ‘The mysterious rash – did we get rid of the eczema? (part 1)‘ ♦

First I started to apply virgin coconut oil 4-5 times per day all over ‘Timan’s body as a moisturizer. Over the time of about 2-3 weeks his skin improved tremendously. Everywhere on his body except on the eczema area behind his knees the skin went back to normal, was smooth and felt soft like a peach.

We also gave aloe vera gel from my plant a try, but didn’t see any improvement at all. I didn’t even have the feeling it really worked as a moisturizer. And ‘Timan’ complained it was stinging and burning his inflamed skin patches.

In the meantime the northeast monsoon had just started with its rain and the tap water was very chlorinated again, even I could feel the change. It’s not only chlorine, the water is treated with, I think the company treating the water is also adding something else to make it less harsh to the skin. Maybe this is what is causing the rash. This time around only ‘Timan’s legs were involved, from the buttocks to the rim of the shorts (note: unless we go out, he’s running around with undies and shorts only, I ditched the shirt after his armpits got better and stopped itching).

The Christmas parcel from Europe arrived and with the present for ‘Timan’ there were also some remedies for the little guy I was looking for. My parents included among other things tea tree oil and Urticalcin, a homeopathic remedy to treat a calcium deficiency. I never considered calcium could be the problem, but I believe this idea is on the right track.

Dry coarse skin, dermatitis, hyperpigmentation and eczema can be a symptom of Hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency) according to the Cleveland Clinic.

‘Timan’ has never been a milk-lover after weaning from breastfeeding with 22 month, he was nipping on his soy-milk about as often as he was drinking cows-milk before. And eczema can be a sign of calcium deficiency. But as with all homeopathic remedies, the symptoms got worse at the beginning before they started to improve.

The chemicals in the water and therefore in the clothes combined with starting to take the homeopathic calcium tablets made the eczema on his legs flare up even more.

To give ‘Timan’ a break from itching and myself a pause from preventing the scratching I applied Hydrocortisone again and it reasonably cleared within 4 days. Never before it had cleared in such a short time.

I have also started to use a wet compress on his legs 3x per day for 30 minutes each time. This was a huge success for the area behind his knees. It went very smooth and the inflammation could be kept at bay.

Right after the wet compress I gently apply some drops of the tea tree oil, to my surprise it does not sting or burn at all when I am using it undiluted. It probably depends on the stage of the inflammation or the concentration of the oil itself.

Additionally, whenever the weather is reasonably good, we are going to the beach for a swim. Of course ‘Timan’ loves this more than anything.

But I believe to really put an end to ‘Timan’s eczema on his legs we would have to move to another house that does not get the water from the ‘Public Utilities Corporation’ and but ‘untreated’ water from a creek in the mountains. And all our laundry would be free of chemicals. Yep, those houses do exist here in Paradise, we just have to find one. Let’s keep fingers crossed that we will anytime soon.

To put all together, these are the things that work for us to keep ‘Timan’s skin eczema free:

  • using untreated water from the mountains for cooking, shower, bath, etc.
  • chewable multivitamins and minerals that are free of most common childhood allergens
  • dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, chicken-free, tomato-free, scombridae-free (fish-free) diet with many fruits and vegetables, preferably raw
  • Urticalcin – homeopathic tablets to treat a calcium deficiency (even though they contain lactose -> room for thoughts about the dairy-free diet?)
  • drinking a lot of water
  • antihistamine
  • wet compress on his legs
  • tea tree oil on his legs
  • virgin coconut oil as moisturizer all over the body as often as needed (sometimes 4-5 times per day)
  • using a nail file to keep his finger nails as short as possible

And if he would have a flare up in the future I can’t control with natural remedies

  • Hydrocortisone

But this is how his eczema area looks right now, after almost three weeks with Urticalcin, without the use of steroids.

I just hope the itching will finally stop and ‘Timan’ gets off the antihistamines. Slowly I will also reintroduce dairy products (in moderation) and eggs, but will definitely wait with corn products, chicken, tomatoes and fish of the family ‘scombridae’ (tuna, marlin, swordfish, mackerel, bonito and such). Red Snapper is much tastier anyway. 🙂

Yeah, 2012 will be a better year for my son and therefore for all of us. And with proper skin care, applying lots of moisturizer and an appropriate diet we’re going to be able to keep the tots skin eczema free and silky soft.

What worked for you or your little one to treat dermatitis? Are you using steroids or natural remedies? Did you use homeopathic remedies for eczema?

p.s.: Using virgin coconut oil does not only keep the dry skin soft and smooth, it also evens out scars, i.g. from the tots appendix operations.


Posted on January 9, 2012, in 'Timan', Eczema and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Hello!!
    I have this exact same rash and Gluten appears to be a trigger. I can see the rash really grow within 12 hours of eating Gluten. And the more of it I eat, the worse the rash gets.

  2. Hey I’m almost a teenager now and I have this problem too, accept it’s only on my body not my face or feet. It does itch a lot but I just sleep with the blankets off me and it doesn’t itch as much I also have a box fan blowing on me when I sleep so the cool air stops it from itching. My back also has these little bumps and when I lay on my back it itches even more if you identify what this is please let me know.

  3. I had exactly same kinds of rashes after trip to a Caribbean resort. I thought it was caused by the excessive exposure to the sun and sun screen application. Too much irritation to my skin might triggered allergic reaction.

    So, I haven’t visited a dermatologist yet hoping the rashes disappeared naturally.
    Smaller rashes on my face have disappeared, yet, the rashes on my legs are so itchy. The more I scratch them, the more itching sensations I feel.

    Debating whether I should apply moisture/some sort of oils on my legs or not at all but just let them heal naturally.

    • Louella Tutauha

      Hi my name is Louella. My daughter had a similar, but worse rash on her legs also and we were told it was extreme eczema. About a year and a half ago, we were given a sample of some Renew Cream that had melaleuca tea tree oil in it. Within 24 hours we saw remarked healing taking place and within 2 weeks it was gone. 🙂

  4. My daughter has this exact same rash on her legs. However, we live in a home with all natural water from a well, and it is still so bad. We’re looking for answers still…

  5. Hi i have the exact same problem and i have been diagnosed since i was a child with atopic ecxema but recently i have done the patch test and it tested positive to nickle allergy.

    I have been suffering for 25 years with this it could be the water, but what i want to ask u is why did u stop the fish, chicken, tomatoes and corn?

  6. My Daughter has the same rash I thought it had come from the beach. It was her first time and never had this rash before. She also has Asthma. Thank you for all your information. Hope he is feeling better.

  7. People with atopic dermatitis often have asthma or seasonal allergies. There is often a family history of allergies such as asthma, hay fever, or eczema. People with atopic dermatitis often test positive to allergy skin tests.However, atopic dermatitis is not caused by allergies. .

    Remember to view our very own blog

  8. Thanks so much for your website, I’ve scoured the web looking for a picture of my daughters rash that is all over her body and haven’t seen it until your site! This rash is all over her body, especially worse on the back of her neck and the skin back there is darkened. She’s almost 3 now and she has TONS of food allergies, at least 25 and I haven’t been able to find a multivitamin to this day that she can tolerate! She can’t do the coconut, bc of an allergy. But I’m going to buy a little and try it out, I’m really desparate for a solution. We’re just down to aloe vera gel, eucerine, and vaseline on her skin but they aren’t working. I’m going to try the tea tree oil since I know that relieves the itch. I’d love to try the coconut, perhaps I’ll test it on a small patch of skin. We’ve been to countless doctors, dermatologists, allergists, trying to help her get rid of the allergies. I’ve been looking into the GAPS nutritional program. I bought the two books (the yellow one and the smaller black one), scoured their website and looked at testimonials, I’m really interested in it and we are going to be starting that shortly. I’ll keep you updated on how that works and also work in your solutions as well. Thanks!

  9. I’m also having a strange itchy rash all over my body , I also started taking blood pressure medicine about a month ago. with side effects of rash. I told the doctor that i have been doing aqua therapy once a week for the last 2 weeks. I’ve never had a problem before with chlorinated water but now i’m wondering if the medication has lowered my immune system and it’s effecting me now. Stay strong with your little guy, there is nothing worse than the feeling of being helpless and nothing working fast enough. I have a 13 year old that went though having hives, at 2 and 3 years of age and we still don’t know what caused it, she is fine now. we stay away from red dye 40 , Thank for sharing your story and i will try the coconut oil if i can find it. and the multivitamins ,

  10. Hi,
    I was just wondering if you tried a gluten free diet with your son. I didn’t see that on the list of your diet restrictions.

    My daughter has similar symptoms as your son, but on a smaller scale.

    Thank you.

    • Sorry for the delayed answer, but I was cut off the net for a couple of weeks.
      We never went gluten free, but I know now if my son stays off dairy, eggs, corn, fish, chicken, tomatoes and grapes, and the products made from them or the foods cooked together with them, he’s fine and doesn’t need anything else other than coconut oil as a moisturizer. And we are still using the untreated water from the mountains. With other words, the school holidays are scratch free times. 🙂

      Luckily my sons eczema doesn’t flare on it’s own, or is stress related, it’s a food allergy. If that’s the case with your daughter, you kneed to find the triggers, it’s like looking for the needle in the haystack, but eventually you’ll find them. You’ll find many useful tips for an evaluation diet on the net. Good luck.

  11. I’m so glad you wrote all of this. I haven’t been to a doctor just because I think they’ll give me some cream and send me on my way. I’m 35 and have been very healthy all my life. Just last year I got a new house and it had a forrest of a back yard. One day I was cutting many willow trees and loading them on a flat trailor. That night I broke into a full body rash. I thought I got eaten by chiggars or had a heat rash, or bed bugs. The rash lasted a month. The rest of the summer the rash came back about once a month until winter came. The rash would only be behind my knees. It was super itchy and sensitive. If I itch it spread like wildfire all over my body. If I didn’t itch, it didn’t look so bad and just stayed behind my knees. The whole winter I had no issues. Now that summer is here again, I have my first behind the knee breakout. I’ve gone my whole life with no rashes and now this. I’m curious if your son gets better in the winter?
    You now got me looking at our water, calcium intake. Thank you for sharing all of this!!!!

    • I’m sorry to hear about your rash, I hope you’ll get it under control. As you describe it, it sounds like a seasonal allergy to me, it doesn’t have to affect the respiratory system, a rash is possible too. Since you can’t get all the pollen out of the air, antihistamines might be the a solution, apart from staying indoors with the windows closed.

  12. coconut oil is amazing!! We use that all the time with our son’s eczema. I’d never thought to put tea tree oil directly on it. Good to know there’s no stinging for the most part. Might have to try that. Foods rich in probiotics like kombucha or kefir work as well! The live organisms in there eat up the eczema…it’s amazing! 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting and pls apologize my late answer. With the tea tree oil we never had stinging problems. However I don’t know if this works for everyone. I would love to use Probiotics, but we can’t buy them here. Downside of the paradise. 😉

  13. Hi very interesting story, What did you use for wet compress? Did you wet the cloth with water? Thanks.

    • My son is lying down and I simply put wet wash-clothes (not dripping, just squeezed a little) on the back of his legs. He’s playing with cars, or looking at a book while I replace the wash-clothes every 10min for about half an hour. We use plain, not treated water, with nothing else inside. This might be worth a try though, I probably would use some drops of tea-tree oil. Oh, one more thing: It’s actually cooling down the area quite good, you can feel the difference. But this only works when I put the van on. If there isn’t a slight airflow, the leg with the possible inflammation doesn’t cool.

  14. We’ve been using coconut oil for 1 week and it’s working some, so I will continue. However, we are traveling to visit my family in a tropical location for 45 days and I was wondering if the oil won’t cause his skin to burn? I thought I’d ask you since your little one seems to be out a lot in the sun.
    I was applying the oil 1 a day, max 2 but after I read your blog I bumped it to 4 times a day so it seems he spends all day covered in oil so that’s why I’m concerned about sun exposure as our oil takes a while to be absorbed and we will be exposed to the sun A LOT.

    • I’m using Virgin Coconut Oil, right now 1x in the morning, before he goes to preschool, 1x before he goes to bed and 1x before I go to bed. The oil absorbs rather fast, in a couple of minutes or even less. Because we are living in the tropics the VCO is always liquid when I apply it, it only gets solid if I would put it in the fridge. So it’s easy to apply the right amount.
      When we go to the beach, I always use sunscreen for ‘Timan’ and he’s using a swim-shirt when he plays in the water, out of the water I try to keep him in the shade. I apply the sunscreen about 1/2 hr after the VCO. When he’s in preschool or just around the house we don’t use sunscreen. It’s much too hot in the sun anyway, so he’s hardly ever in the sun for a long time.
      I don’t know about the skin color of your little one, but just VCO offers no sun protection at all. If he’s not used to sun, it’s better to dress him in loose cotton clothes and use sunscreen or keep him in the shade.
      Oh, one more thing. Try to prevent your kid from sweating as much as possible. Especially if he’s running around a lot, he’ll sweat, the sweat will burn and itch. I found that the prolonged use of VCO helped with this too. He’ll still start to sweat, but it doesn’t seem to burn and itch anymore.
      Enjoy your time in the tropics and good luck. 🙂

  15. Wow. Getting a child to stop itching and stay that still is a miracle, but to also find something that works? That’s wonderful. (And it’s a relief to know that there really are needles in skin haystacks!)

  16. Rach DonutsMama

    Wow. Skin issues with the little ones can be tough. We had the same problem with Donut’s super dry skin. It was so dry that it was getting scaly and I had tried every lotion. Her doctor also suggested hydrocortisone ointment too but I didn’t want to use it. I finally found a solution by using a lotion bar–it only contains coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter. Really worked amazingly well for us. I ordered it online, but I know you can make it yourself too.

    • I read about the lotion bar, but never ordered it because we’re on the other side of the world. 😦
      I’m glad it worked for Donut. Something natural is always better. Finding the remedy that works for you is the key.

  17. Wow, what a great improvement. My oldest struggles with it too and I’m anxious to try some of your remedies.

    • I’m over the moon that the tots skin finally improved without the steroids. There are so many reasons why the body can break out in a rash. Some remedies work for one person, but don’t for someone else, it’s a matter of trying. I hope you find something that works for your girl.

  18. That? Is unbelievable.
    It just proves that you don’t always need all those harsh medications.
    You’re a really great mom for doing all of that to help him. Really. You never gave up and are still fighting for him.

    • Every case of eczema is unique. The more I read online about it, the more I realized I had to look for the reason, why ‘Timan’ was having it. To me it seemed so unlikely that it was atopic. Using steroids is the easy way, but not the healthiest one in the tots case. Looks like I found the needle in the haystack.

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