Rashes are a very strange thing. They can appear and disappear rather quickly, or they can spread. They can be liquid-filled lesions, or they can be dry and chaffing. They can itch, or they can have no feeling at all. They can be caused by food allergies, heat, humidity, harsh chemicals, fragrances, bacteria, viruses, insects, you name it! I figure that over the couse of my 28-year lifespan, I have probably had a few of them. The strange thing is though, I cannot remember a single one. I never bought any cream or lotion, never looked it up online, never stressed about it. However, as soon as Liam got a few red bumps on his back, I instantly became a rash dectective. I read and reread all of the books in the house containing rash info. I went to a dozen websites looking for clues. I narrowed down my options, experimented with a few solutions, and after a grueling seven days, finally came up with a remedy. If there was a certification of some sort, I would pass with flying colors.
So after ruling out the really bad ones (measels, chickenpox, mumps), I narrowed it down to three: prickly heat, allergies, or eczema. Since the rash didn’t seem to heal quickly, I very quickly ruled out prickly heat. So then I was left with allergies and eczema. I googled “images” of each and was somewhat deterred by the seriousness of all of the pictures that I saw. The pictures online looked really scary, and I soon realized that his rash was nowhere near as serious as many. However, the rash did seem to be spreading so I was still equally concerned.
Before I could pinpoint what exactly the rash was, I figured I needed to do what I could to at least not let it get any worse. It was a very dry rash, so I knew it needed moisture. (Some rashes are “wetter” and actually need to be dried out). I had been putting Earth’s Best Calendula Cream on it when it first started and that didn’t seem to help. Since the aloe plant is a great moisturizer, I figured I would give that a try. In Florida, I could have run out back and cut off a leaf…not so easy in the Pacific Northwest. So I ran to the healh food store in search of some 100% aloe. Surprisingly, most of the aloe they carried ranged in the 85-99% range. You may think that 99% is probably good enough, but when I looked at the host of ingredients that made up that 1%, there was no way I was putting that on my baby. I finally found an acceptable 100% aloe at a local drug store. In fear that it may be allergies, I also started watching what I was eating.
A few days went by of religiously applying aloe, one oatmeal bath, and still no results. The one good thing though, was that the rash did not seem to be getting any worse. I also noticed that it did not seem to change or worsen when I ate highly allergenic foods (eggs, wheat, etc). One thing about allergies is that most of the time, the reaction will be worse right after eating the particular food they are allergic to (makes sense, huh?) I started ruling out allergies and focusing specifically on baby eczema. While it definitely wasn’t a severe case (no oozing lesions), his skin was patchy, dry, and red. One pattern I began to notice was that the rash seemed to get worse at night. When he woke up in the morning, it looked like it was getting better, but by the end of the day in the bath, it looked bad all over again. Hmmm… I figured I would go back to the calendula cream, but this time, I would use a different brand. I picked up some Weleda (great company!) Baby Calendula Cream and planned to use it right after his bath. I did a little more research that afternoon, and read that hot water actually aggravates eczema. Bingo!! That totally explained why it was worse in the bath.
That night I bathed him in tepid water, applied the Weleda cream and almost immediately saw the results. The next morning he woke up and the rash had diminished substantially. By the third night, the rash was completely gone. Great SUccess!!!
I feel like I got through my first ’bout of medical issues pretty successfully. I kept him out of the doctor’s office and away from unecessary over the counter/ prescribed medicaions. Now if I can just get through the teething!!