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'Natural' emollient for eczema and nut allergy advice please

(57 Posts)
Bilbomum Mon 17-Aug-09 10:14:24

DS (nearly 3) has always had pretty bad ezcema and itching problems and also has multiple food allergies including nuts.

I'm losing faith in the standard treatment he's had for the last 3 years and I'm starting to worry about the amount of petrochemicals he has been absorbing through his normal eczema treatment (Epaderm/Hydromol twice daily). Final straw came on Friday when I picked up his new emollient prescribed by the hospital consultant and found it contained peanut oil!

I was thinking of shea butter but obviously I think that's a nut. The only other thing I've found that looks like it's worth trying is apricot kernel oil. Presumably it doesn't count as a nut does it?? Has anyone ever tried it?

All advice gratefully received...

tatt Tue 18-Aug-09 06:58:26

is one of the allergies milk? If not switching from cows milk to goats milk may help.

Have you tried acqueous cream which is very cheap - large tubs behind the counter in Boots - and recommended for

or calendula cream (check other ingredients) ogle%20Base-_---_-Nelsons%20Calendula%20cream%20%2050g if you like natural

Can he have fish as omega 3 oils are important for skin? If not flaxseed or algae supplements are alternatives.

audreyraines Tue 18-Aug-09 07:09:16

hi, the best thing i've found is the chickweed and calendula cream from earthbound organics. it was recommended to me by a homeopath.
it's quite expensive though, i used it for flare ups and hte rest of the time made my own cream from

neals yard baseline moisturiser +
avocado oil

it's a wonderful combo and really hydrating. you could also use jojoba oil which is more hydrating but also more expensive, or a good organic olive oil (not as good as avocado i think, but cheaper).

also using dead sea salts in the bath is helpful.

Bilbomum Wed 19-Aug-09 10:54:41

Tatt, yes he's got a big cows milk protein allergy. We've cut out the Grade 3 and 4 allergies following RAST tests and reactions, however he showed Grade 1 and 2 positives for all sorts of things. I've not cut them out as he seems to be tolerating them but we can't get to the bottom of the constant itching and eczema.

He has Omega 3 fish oil and probiotics, I've also been advised to give flaxseed oil so I'm going to alternate that with the fish oil.

Acqueous cream makings him sting but I think calendula definitely seems worth a try from what everyone's said.

Audrey, thanks for that advice. Neals Yard is just up the road from my office so I'm going to investigate at lunchtime.

CMOTdibbler Wed 19-Aug-09 11:03:20

Have you tried wet wrapping ? My mum has minging eczema, and has done for 65 years, and the only way she can control it is by having long, warm baths with an aromatherapy bath oil she has made up (sunflower, avocado, rose, chamomile and lavender), then getting out, plastering herself with really plan acqueous cream, them wet bandage, then dry bandage and leaving them on overnight. I've heard that a good alternative to the bandages is clingfilm, but have never tried that.

For itching, she grows her own Aloe Vera plants and squeezes the gel out of the leaves directly onto the itch and it works wonders. They are easy to grow and reproduce so cost virtually nothing.

She also gets relief from menthol in acqueous which was prescribed to her by a lovely german dermatologist when she was having a major flare

Webme1 Wed 19-Aug-09 11:12:14

I use Epaderm, which I get from the doctor. This is ok for the day and great after a bath (and can be added to the bath), but I find it particularly effective at night when covered and allows the cream to really soften the skin.
The Epaderm label says:
No colourings, fragrances, additives or preservatives.
Low sensitisation - suitable for all ages, including babies.

I hope one of these replies helps and I wish you luck.

puffylovett Wed 19-Aug-09 11:48:52

Epaderm is petroleum / parrafin based though, which I think is what Bilbo is trying to avoid.

Bilbo if he has other intolerances too, the combination of them all will put stress on his immune system and consequently the eczema will be worse. I would try cutting all out for a week or two (I know I know, its potentially a nightmare - DS and I did a full elimination diet together and it was bloody hard work) and then reintroducing one of the milder intolerance foods at a time, leaving 3 days to see if you get a defined reaction. That should tell you if that particular food is causing an issue and then you can eliminate it. Then try rechallenging him regularly once his skin is stable.

Also what fish oil are you using ? I find the supermarket bought versions are generally a waste of money, because they are just not strong enough in EPA. EPA is the active anti inflammatory ingredient in the fish oil.

OmicronPersei8 Wed 19-Aug-09 11:55:56

I have a friend who swears by jojoba oil. No idea if that's any use to you or not.

abra1d Wed 19-Aug-09 12:24:34

Dead Sea salts in a bath. You can get them in bigger Boots branches or online. My son gets relief.

Also Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream--like a vaseline but somehow better.

Webme1 Wed 19-Aug-09 12:39:27

I add a drop of Olive Oil in the bath and I find that this helps to greatly reduce the dry-itchy tightening feeling normally felt after a bath. In addition, when cream is added (immediately after the bath) it feels more effective than when Olive Oil is not used.

alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 23:49:21

emulsiying ointment, beware as lots of emollients contain nuts,peanut oil ,arachis oil, almond oil ( thats in cerumol ear drops too)

nappyaddict Thu 10-Sep-09 00:11:02

calendula cream
bottom butter
hemp cream
aloe vera cream
aloe vera body butter
emu oil
jojoba oil
sunflower oil
coconut oil
shea butter
witch hazel, aloe vera gel, tea tree oil, lavender oil, chamomile oil for itching
allergenics stuff from holland and barrett

Friend's DD gets something called Cetroben and Oilatum prescribed from GP that has worked miracles.

noodlesoup Thu 10-Sep-09 00:25:22

Apricots are related to almonds so you might need to avoid that too.

alypaly Thu 10-Sep-09 11:51:10

emulsifying ointment,are all good.

Winnie1999 Fri 02-Oct-09 14:59:55

Hi Bilbomum,

Shea nut butter is actually from a seed, and I use it with my nut-allergic children. I was worried, but it was in the one sunblock that worked well for them, and our allergist gave us the go-ahead. The University of Nebraska released a study recently indicating the shea butter should not be a problem for people with nut allergies.

I don't know much about apricot kernal oil, but I think it actually might be a problem for some people with nut allergies ...

Matou Thu 04-Feb-10 19:11:50

Hi everyone,
I finally got round to joining Mumsnet. My DS is nearly 11 months old. When we started solids he developed sold (in hindsight) mild eczema on his belly and ankles. It then moved to behind the knees and in the elbow creases. And now it's gone - fingers crossed. We tried Diprobase, but I found it difficult to put it on without rubbing. Eventually Aveeno seemed to do the trick, although sometimes I find it very gritty.
Anyway, in the process of trying to resolve this anxiety-inducing problem, I found this thread very useful so thank you. smile
I thought I would share the result of my internet search for different creams. Beware, it is quite long!

Non-proprietary emollient preparations:
Aqueous Cream, Emulsifying Ointment, Hydrous Ointment, Liquid and White Soft Paraffin Ointment, White Soft Paraffin, Yellow Soft Paraffin

Proprietary emollient preparations:
Aveeno®, Cetraben®, Decubal Clinic®, Dermamist®, Diprobase®, Doublebase®, Drapolene®, E45®, Emollin®, Epaderm®, Hydromol®, Kamillosan®, Linol Gamma®, Lipobase®, Neutrogena Dermatological Care®, Oilatum®, QV®, Ultrabase®, Unguentum M®, Zerobase®

dexeryl (French)
Dermol cream

shea butter, Baby Shea from Maples Street Organics,
apricot kernel oil
lush dream cream/ wash
Weleda Skin Rescue cream
Waitrose baby Bottom Butter.
Pure Potions Skin Salvation.
Green Baby non pet jelly. or baby salve
Napiers infant starflower skin cream
Vogels Neem Cream
Green People body moisturiser
Simple Derma Intensive Relief Lotion
SK Cream only availble online from
calendula cream (check other ingredients) ogle%20Base-----Nelsons%20Calendula%20cream%20%2050g
chickweed and calendula cream from earthbound organics.
neals yard baseline moisturiser + avocado oil Neal's Yard Remedies Baby Bath (£6.25), Organic Baby Barrier (from £6.75), Organic Baby Soap (£4), Organic Baby Powder (£4), Baby Massage Oil (£5.75).
dead sea salts
flaxseed oil, freshly ground flax seeds (in coffee grinder)
jojoba oil
Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream
calendula cream
hemp cream
aloe vera cream
aloe vera body butter
emu oil
sunflower oil
coconut oil
witch hazel, aloe vera gel, tea tree oil, lavender oil, chamomile oil for itching
allergenics stuff from holland and barrett
essential oils direct,

Vegan alternatives to Beeswax:
Carnauba Wax
Candellila Wax
Olive Wax .uk/creams.htm
bourage oil (starflower) Me-Organics-Sleepy-Head-Body-Cream-150ml_641663/
http://www.purebaby x
Graphites cream
Botanicals Therapeutic range
Witch Doctor gel
Evening primrose oil
angel baby bottom balm
http://w /script/home.html t-of-eczema-psoriasis-p-177.html k/list.asp?deptid=10328 ef-from-skin-problems.htm
http://www.paiskincare.c om/organic_moisturizers.htm
http: //
essential care
Natural Organic Edible Cosmetics Available at:
Perfect PotionAvailable at:
Mother Earth Problem Skin Cream for Infantile/Babies/Baby Eczema
Aubrey's Natural Baby Body Lotion
Liz Earle
benet's balm
marigold eczema cream
Allergenics cream (poss prescription)
polytar shampoo
hypoallergenic cardiospermum gel
Evening primrose oil cream Gammaderm Cream
Aloe vera Lotion, £2.99 for 200ml,
Vitamin E cream
Earth Mama Angel Baby
bath that had a cheesecloth bag filled with organics oats, 1 drop lavender essential oil, and 1/4 tsp jojoba oil (also from
Epsom salts
Alba’s Un-petroleum Jelly
Mama Rose’s Naturals
Apricot Oil by Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Skin Creme

blueberry leaves lotion
zinc lotion
EczEasy organic balm
nervine and relaxant herbs, such as chamomile, linden flowers, oats and skullcap added to a bath or skin ointment can be beneficial.
For itching or pain relief, herbal washes, creams, oils and salves can be helpful in decreasing inflammation and promoting healing of the skin. Chickweed, chamomile, calendula, yarrow, comfrey, plantain leaf and lavender flowers are valuable for these functions.
tea (infusion) of Heartsease/Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor), allow it to cool, and use it as a scalp rinse, that should ease the eczema on the head (try it at bathtime
Aloe Vera Propolis Cream
Neem Cream bioforce
Hemp Seed Balm on my face from here
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Typical dosage: up to two 400- to 500-milligram capsules three times per day; or 20 to 30 drops of tincture three times per day; or up to 3 cups of tea per day) simmer 2 teaspoons of dried root in 3 cups of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes). Because licorice is intensely sweet, you might want to include other herbs in your tea.
To use licorice externally, make a tea by simmering 2 tablespoons of ground dried root in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain, cool and apply to eczema patches with a clean washcloth. Or you can look for natural skin products that contain licorice or glycyrrhetic acid, one of licorice’s active ingredients. Caution: Do not take internally for more than six weeks. Do not use if you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure, heart or liver disease, diabetes, or severe kidney disease.
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Taken internally, this root decreases inflammation. Herbalists consider it a traditional remedy for many kinds of skin disorders, including eczema. Rich in minerals, burdock also contains inulin, which stimulates an immune pathway to destroy the skin bacteria that can worsen eczema. Typical dosage: 1 to 4 cups of tea per day (simmer 2 teaspoons of dried root in 3 cups of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes); or two 400- to 500-milligram capsules three times per day; or 10 to 25 drops of tincture three times per day. To use externally, simmer 1 tablespoons of dried root in 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, cool, and apply with a clean cloth.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Like burdock, this common plant contains inulin, which improves the body’s ability to dispose of unwanted bacteria. Dandelion also stimulates digestion and liver function. And it’s chock full of vitamins and minerals, many of which help maintain healthy skin. You can eat the young, fresh leaves raw in salads or steamed as a vegetable. Typical dosage: 1 to 4 cups of tea per day (simmer 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried root in 2 cups of hot water for 15 minutes); or two 400- to 500-milligram capsules three times per day.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
This versatile herb can be used externally and internally to help heal wounds and reduce skin inflammation. Typical dosage: 1 cup of tea per day (steep 1 teaspoon of dried herb in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes); or up to eight 400- to 500-milligram capsules per day; or 20 to 40 drops of tincture twice per day. For external use, cool the tea above and apply it to eczema patches using a clean cloth. You can also find gotu kola as an ingredients in herbal creams.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida)
This American wildflower contains substances that fight infection, decrease inflammation, and stimulate the formation and repair of connective tissue. A German study found that a salve made from the juice of the above-ground parts of E. purpurea was effective in treating several types of inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema. In addition to using echinacea salves, you can apply an echinacea tea as a cool compress. Simmer 1 tablespoon of dried, minced root in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain, cool, and apply to inflamed skin with a clean cloth.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
This traditionally revered herb contains allantion, an ingredients in many skin lotions. Allantoin soothes the skin and speeds healing by promoting the growth of skin cells. To use, apply comfrey as either a salve or a compress. Simmer 2 teaspoon of dried root in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, strain, and cool; use a clean cloth to sponge on the solution. Caution: Do not apply to broken or abraded skin. If you’re pregnant or nursing, avoid applying comfrey or comfrey products to large areas of skin.
Coleus (Coleus foskohlii)
This Indian variety of coleus should not be confused with the common houseplant. The medicinal coleus can reduce the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals by increasing levels of a substance called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) within cells. So far, studies have focused on its use for asthma, but researchers are currently looking at new eczema drugs that also work to prevent the breakdown of cAMP. If drug companies are willing to bet research funds on cAMP’s role in eczema, then herbs that affect cAMP may be worth a try for your eczema. Michael T. Murray, N.D., author of The Healing Power of Herbs, recommends that people with eczema take 50 milligrams of an extract standardized to contain 18 percent of the active ingredient forskolin two or three times per day.
Oregon Graperoot (Berberis aquifolium)and Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
These herbs have a place in the treatment of eczema foe two reasons. First, they promote good digestion and liver function, thereby helping the body get rid of minor toxins that may promote inflammation. Second, the berberine that both herbs contain is a potent antimicrobial substances. It fights bad bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus that can complicate eczema. Typical dosage: up to six 500-or 600-milligram capsules per day in divided doses; or 10 to 20 drops of tincture three times per day. To use externally, simmer 2 teaspoons of dried root of either herb in 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes, strain, cool, and use as a wash. Caution: Do not take either herb internally during pregnancy.
Oats (Avena sativa)
This familiar breakfast grain soothes and moistens skin. There are three great ways to use oats for eczema. Method 1: Boil 2 to 3 quarts of water, toss in 2 handfuls of oatmeal, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain into a bathtub of water, or cool the solution and apply to your skin with a clean cloth. Method 2: Put 1 to 2 handfuls of oatmeal in an athletic sock or tie into a piece of muslin. Drop the oat sock in the bath as the hot water is running. You can then use the oat bundle as a sponge on itchy areas. Method 3: Buy a commercial colloidal oatmeal mix such as Aveeno. These products are designed to be poured directly into the bathtub. The one method to avoid is pouring whole oats directly into the bath. This creates a giant cleaning project and isn’t good for your plumbing.
Avocado (Persea americana)
Avocado is good to eat because it contains vitamins A, D, and E. The same vitamin make avocado good for the skin. To help reduce the itching, dryness, and inflammation, apply the mashed fruit directly to patches of eczema, or (if green’s not your color) apply the oil.

1. Apply an unscented lotion that contains menthol over the affected areas. This will help to relieve itching.
3. Make a mixture of nutmeg with water and apply it over the affected area.
4. Boil neem leaves in mustard oil for nearly ten minutes. Once the oil cools down, just strain the leaves and apply the oil regularly over the affected area.
5. Finger millet extract are proved to be beneficial in treating chronic eczema.
6. Apply freshly prepared ghee to dry patches of eczema, which helps to relieve itches.
9. Camomile is another remedy that helps to soothe the skin condition.
Helios Urtical Urens Cream

kate logan calendula borage balm
Bria Organics
rich luxurious hemp cream at Innocent Oils
Willow Trading they stock a number of natural baby ranges including Essential Care baby lotion has a lovely organic oats and chamomile blend
Bottom Balm cream from Nature's Child
goat's milk cream on the internet called KIDDIE KIND

sun cream
Lavera suncream

bamboo towel

protopic (tacrolimus monohydrate)

avsbavs Fri 24-Feb-12 21:01:43

I definitely advise trying Aveeno. It has been a God send for me. You can get it on prescription as it gets pretty expensive.

I have some eczema tips as well, after 17 years of suffering from eczema, I went on a programme recommended by a friend of a friend. the idea behind it is to break the scratching habit as well as healing the skin using lotions and steroids if necessary. The positive point is that steriods are explained how to be used properly, so over use does not cause negative side effects. I stopped using them all together seven days into the programme, after 17 years of completely relying on them. So, the basics is that everytime you scratch, you log it, on a counter, or just tally on a scrap piece of paper. the aim is not to count scratches, but the process of logging them makes the action a conscious one, rather than a habit that becomes second nature. after two weeks of this, begin to think about not scratching. hold your hands gently balled by your sides for thirty seconds when you feel an itch. then if the urge is still there (which is rare) gently press the area with your nail. after three or four weeks scratching noticeably decreases. if this is coupled with regular moisturising then eczema should improve. if you want the name of the programme's book please email me on

i am also happy to answer any questions


malakadoush Fri 24-Feb-12 21:07:17

Oats in a pair of old tights in bath water. Chicke weed isn't an Emollient but will stop itching.m

eragon Fri 24-Feb-12 23:21:17

for goodness sake BE careful. 'natural products' contain natual things, so putting on stuff that creates pollen on skin might sensitise the body to tree pollen /hay fever etc. so if you have environmental allergies, be careful.

my son has all the enviromental allergies, and so rubbing stuff which may have cross reactive pollen proteins in broken skin, doenst sound like a recipe for fun.....

lots of prescription eczema stuff has nut /stone oils, all of which should be avoided, so do read the label on the stuff yr GP gives you. I have been caught out this way.
From my experience the ezcema creams in health food shops have a high rate of nut oils in, so again read the label very carefully.

another reason to read the label and understand it, is that lots of so called 'natural ' ezcema creams may have stuff like aloe vera in, but the ingredient list has the same stuff as the petrol chem you might be trying to avoid.
Aqueous cream is only fit for soap, and is not really meant these days to be used as a moisteriser on its own. GP's still hand it out, but ezcema society recommed that its used as a soap. I wouldnt try wet wrapping without medical advice, as it can cause infections if not carried out, and kids with ezcema have a high chance of getting skin infections.

NATURAL does not mean good/ safe or anything else imo. i find it all quite alarming when we are allergic to normal natural stuff!

swampster Fri 24-Feb-12 23:28:33

My eldest had mild eczema as a toddler. Emollients, bath stuff, special eczema creams helped briefly then seemed to make it worse. It was pretty persistent till I remembered my own eczema / prickly heat / general skin issues are made worse by mineral oils, vaseline, petroleum-based products. I cut them out and also things with sodium laurel/laureth sulphate in them (so almost all sops and creams! Though I'm not sure that made any difference) and used vegetable oil in the bath and Lansinoh on really dry bits... it cleared up straight away and hasn't really recurred. He uses any old soap and moisturiser now and it hasn't come back but he does have very dry skin.

The other thing I have found AMAZING is Neal's Yard stellaria cream - it is fabulous on all sorts of itches. It is chickweed, I think, audreyraines suggested chickweed too.

I'm pretty sure my eczema is triggered by mineral oils and / or perfumes. And when I get hayfever it can flare up so antihistamines can make a difference.

MistyB Sat 25-Feb-12 10:39:34

DS2 had severe eczema and food intolerences as well as allergies as an infant (intolerences and eczema have improved). We excluded all intolerant foods and used suppliments to build up hus immune system and gut lining. We also investigated which creams were causing a problem. It included any petrochemical and nut and seed oils (weleda have lots of seed oils which were a problem for us). Earth friendly baby lotion and lush were best for us but we found a way of 'checking' which ones were likely to be OK for DS as it is very individual. PM me if you would like me to give you more details.

mumat39 Sun 26-Feb-12 00:16:28

We used to use Aveeno and it was by far the best cream for DD and left her skin feeling moisturised for a good few hours. But DD started to react to it so we use cetraben now.

Has anyone tried these ? Saw them in a leaflet that came through the door and just wondered if they work?


mumat39 Sun 26-Feb-12 00:16:59

Sorry here's the link :

MelBanks Fri 28-Sep-12 12:24:39

Try Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, its great for hair, skin, cooking, baking, frying etc. It is award winning as so my neighbour told me and it tastes wonderful. When you apply it on your skin, it doesn't give that greasy look. It straight aways absorbs into your skin, naturally healing you.

eragon Fri 28-Sep-12 17:24:04

I would remove all the food that has had a positive test result, as skin may clear up as a result.

I would investigate environmental allergies, obviously, most common cause of ezcema is dust mite.

I would NOT give any form of milk that comes from an udder. IgE milk allergy means no milk. some intolerent people cant have any form of milk either.

sadly those with milk allergy often have hard to control ezcema and its more likely to be life long.

what is your ezcema routine?
I agree with wet wraps as an idea.

test patch on a clear bit of skin with new creams.

at one point my son skin couldnt tolerate olive oil, due to his poorly controlled environmental allergies and recent food reaction, which of course results in flare up of ezcema.

good luck. be careful.

ladylabya Fri 28-Sep-12 17:26:38

Aveeno for us and the Aveeno body wash all on prescription so free for dd.

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