Eczema has been part of our lives ever since our first born was only a few months old. He was born in the spring, so as the days grew hotter and hotter I thought he was having heat rashes from riding in the car and being too hot in his car seat. I started putting a big cold pack that came with one of my casserole dishes behind the infant pad in his car seat which made for a nice cool ride. But he still had a rash! It was mostly on his back, but would sometimes come up on his belly and chest, too. So finally I asked the doctor about it. He said my son had eczema and that he might out grow it. His eczema would flare up in the heat of summer and during the dry winter days. It would itch and burn and it looked aweful! The ointment our doc prescribed was a steroid cream with lots of warning labels about using a very tiny amount and washing your hands after applying it. I was not too sure about putting in on my infant son, but I hated to see him suffer, too, and the cream really did work to soothe the flare up. None of the oatmeal baths or over the counter creams did any good.
>>Fast forward 8 years>> to the birth of my third child. Much to our sorrow, she, too, began to have flare ups of eczema. Hers were mostly on her feet and ankles. Sometimes the patches of eczema were so inflamed they would keep her awake. The areas were always dry and scaley even when there was no flare up. So we began to use the ointment on her also.
I would very much prefer a natural remedy to a chemical treatment, but I had no idea how to help my eczema sufferers. I tried taking them off of gluten for a few weeks to see if that might have been the problem. It wasn't. They have always taken a mulit-vitamin and they drink lots of water, but still the eczema flared on.
Recently I happened across a sweet bit of info on the web. I read that adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet can cure eczema and dry skin! I was excited to give it a try. My children take a liquid multi and I began mixing in a teaspoon of lemon flavored cod liver oil with their daily vitamin dose. Two out of three LOVE to take their dose and the third is just picky. After a few weeks I noticed their skin was looking much better AND so far we have had no flare ups! :-)
P.S. I have been taking a teaspoon everyday, too, and my dry skin is gone!