A DAD’S BATTLE AGAINST ECZEMA
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Eczema, known as Atopic Dermatitis, is a very common skin condition among newborn babies. First time dad, Andrew Davies, is determined to help his baby girl Carey feel better. He has few tips to share.
When my baby girl was scratching her body and crying non-stop all day, I noticed something was not right. At four months old, Carey was diagnosed with eczema. In Carey’s case, it was a skin irritant related allergy. Doctors prescribed hydrocortisone cream, which temporarily alleviated Carey’s eczema. Unfortunately, she would be crying again just a couple hours after applying the cream. I soon realized this was not a definite cure. I knew there had to be something more I could do.
Like all parents I was anxious and frustrated. I began doing research, and the more I read, the more I become aware of hundreds of items that could be causing a reaction such as that in my baby girl. To fight against eczema for my daughter, I knew I had to do better.
According to doctors, skin irritants were the major cause of Carey’s skin condition. So my plan was simple and easy: To eliminate all enemies, in this case, meant irritants of any kind.
Finding the Cause
The thing with the most direct contact to baby skin is clothing. Clothing is on their skin 24 hours a day. It is commonly known that baby skin is extremely delicate and sensitive. But you probably do not know that according to the World Health Organization in London, that 65% of whatever is put on babies’ skin, is absorbed into their blood system.
I found out that the majority of baby clothing is made of mostly cotton, but polluted severely with incredible amounts of pesticides, toxins and “Agent Orange.” These are the main reasons that cause skin irritation and trigger eczema. Without removing all those harmful elements, I knew that nothing prescribed by the specialists would work.
The causes were now identified, so my game plan was to remove all clothing that contained pesticide and “Agent orange.” The solution was to go organic.
Eczema tends to be triggered by skin contact irritants. Therefore, the softer and more comfortable the fabric I put on my baby, the possibility for the eczema to flare up would decrease. So, I thought about my own wardrobe- what is the most comfortable piece of clothing I’ve ever owned? My “Gieves & Hawkes” work shirt! I’ve had it for more than 10 years. It is the softest, most comfortable, and lightest to wear shirt, and it is made of 100% Pima Cotton. Ok, great! Let me get a pair of scissors and cut out a baby romper from my Gieves and Hawkes shirt. Just kidding, my clothes making techniques from Home-economics class during school days weren't that terrific.
I purchased several famous label rompers that are made of Organic Cotton, and a selected few names that are made of 100% Organic Pima Cotton. As soon as I got home, I put them to the ultimate test to find out how irritation-free they were.
Since Carey is allergic to traditional cotton baby rompers, they all ended up in the bin. When I first put the organic cotton rompers on Carey, the results were 30% better than conventional cotton, according to my 10 day experiment: 3 out of 10 days, she was sleeping better and obviously feeding well. The remaining 7 days were as terrible as usual. We later found out that even though rompers are made of organic cotton, the organic cotton itself can vary drastically in quality and fiber length. Most organic cotton is made of shorter fibers, which can be prickly and poke your skin, which unfortunately triggers skin irritations.
Secondly, we experimented with an Organic Pima Cotton romper from Peru, which is a longer fiber breed. It is shockingly soft with a gentle feel to the skin. After another 10 day experiment, I was blown away with the results. Her disposition improved and she could finally get quality sleep. The 10 day experiment extended to forever. Until this day, 20 months later, she still wears organic pima cotton clothing.
You Have to Speak For Your Baby!
Babies can’t speak for themselves. Sometimes I wish they could, so they could tell me which brand feels the best and is the most comfortable to wear. So before they can do that, it is our job to speak for our babies. We must make sure the garments we put on their backs are pleasant, breathable, soft, light and smooth. Just like the way we would choose for our own garments.
Though Organic Pima cotton rompers are a few pounds pricier than average grade ones, it is a rather smart trade and here is why. At the end of the day, it's not how little you save today but how much you could save in the long run. You could purchase the low-priced garments made in Asia and end up taking your baby to the dermatologist for the following 20 months or more. Let's say the consultation fee is £60 per visit per month, that is £1,200 of consultation fees alone. Not to mention the transportation from home to the specialist, precious time spent, and the medication costs.
To save £1,200 in the long run v.s. £20 in the short term, what would you choose?