Monday, October 14, 2013

So... What's Worked?

I thought I'd give an update on the things that we think have helped Rapunzel's eczema get better.  We've tried so many things over the last year +, so it's hard to know for sure what has helped and what hasn't.  But here are the things that we're pretty confident about.

Daily Soaks & Moisturizing
When Rapunzel wakes up every morning, she moisturizes her skin before getting dressed.  Every night, she either soaks in the bath, or takes a shower.  Then she moisturizes her skin immediately after.

When her skin was still really bad, she was using Vaniply Ointment.  Now that it's healed and healthy, she is using Vanicream.  The Vaniply Ointment is greasy and messy, but it's all she could use for a long time because anything else burned her skin.  As soon as we were able to switch to Vanicream, we did.  It's still thick and great at moisturizing, but not as greasy and doesn't ruin her clothes and sheets!

Bleach Bath 3 Times a Week
Rapunzel soaks in a bleach bath (1/2 c. of bleach in a tub full of warm water) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night.  This has helped tremendously in keeping staph infections at bay.

Cotton Clothing
We still avoid polyester at all costs, and try to stick to cotton for all of her clothing.  It's been a little bit of challenge to find certain articles in cotton (coats, gymnastics leotard, etc.), but it's doable and we feel like it's made a big difference.

It has been almost a full year since Rapunzel started her Immunotherapy (allergy shots).  I do believe that they have finally helped.  They told us it would take 6 mos to a year to see improvement.  The first 6 mos, she was worse than she'd ever been.  But now, I feel like they have truly helped.  However, I still don't know if I would advocate their use in helping with eczema, considering how bad it got before it got better.  I feel like if we'd had the information we have now about how to properly care for her skin consistently, we may have been able to avoid those really bad months.  But, maybe not.  Who knows.

Other things we've tried that didn't necessarily help with eczema but did help with other things:

We started giving Rapunzel a Magnesium supplement to help her sleep at night, thus to help her scratch less.  This has helped her tremendously.  Even now, she's not nearly as itchy as she had been, she still takes this every night to help her sleep.  And bonus, it has also helped with some GI issues she'd been having.

Removing Foods
Even though her eczema didn't clear up as a result of removing foods from her diet, her overall health and general well-being has greatly increased because of it.  We are still on the journey to find out what she's truly allergic to, and what she is just sensitive to.  But eliminating all of those foods (corn, soy, nuts, pea, orange) from her diet has definitely made a noticeable positive impact on her life.

But I have to say that the biggest thing that I believe has helped Rapunzel is PRAYER.  We've prayed for our girl diligently, and we have been blessed with many friends and family that have prayed for her.  We believe that our Heavenly Father is the Great Physician and that He is the One behind her healing!

"O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You have healed me."  Psalm 30:2

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