Is Childhood Eczema The New Normal?

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Why does my child have eczema and what to do about it by

Eczema is a childhood condition that is on the rise today. This condition can range from mild to severe. Often flaring up and causing uncomfortable burning, pain, itching and overall grumpiness…eczema is no fun for kids or parents.

Conventional Medicine says NO CURE for Eczema.

When you take your itchy, whiney baby or child to the doctor hoping for a solution the answer may disappoint you. Conventional medicine does not currently offer a cure for eczema. Instead, the condition is thought of as a common childhood ailment and to manage symptoms a topical steroid cream is usually prescribed.

Eczema is NOT a Skin Condition.

Steroid creams may suppress symptoms for a short time however they do not address the root cause of eczema and eventually the eczema will flare again. Putting steroid cream on eczema is like putting a lid on a boiling pot of water. Eventually the pot will boil over and the eczema will flare because the true cause of eczema originates from inflammation within the body. Eczema is a systemic problem, not a skin condition so finding the root of the problem is imperative for healing to occur. Not only are steroid creams not a cure, but they also pose their own risks to children if used long-term including thinning of skin and hormone disruption.

Why Your Child Has Eczema.

Why does your child have eczema? It would be pretty bold of me to tell you there is ONE reason why your child has eczema. Usually there isn’t only one trigger for eczema but instead it is a combination of factors causing the inflammation. Studies done on individuals with eczema have found these individuals share some commonalities you may want to explore with your child.

IMBALANCED GUT FLORA: The root of eczema most likely originates in the gut (like most health conditions). Children with eczema often have low levels of beneficial bacteria and suffer from digestive distress in childhood such as diarrhea and constipation. Often kids with eczema suffer from undiagnosed candida overgrowth.

LEAKY GUT and FOOD ALLERGIES/SENSITIVITIES: Because of an imbalanced gut flora, leaky gut syndrome can develop. This is a condition where the gut becomes more permeable than usual and allows large proteins of food to pass through the intestinal wall triggering and confusing the immune system. Dairy, wheat, eggs, sugar, food coloring and tomatoes are all common triggers for eczema but there can also be other food triggers specific to your child.

SENSITIVITY TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS: Children with eczema often have environmental allergies to dust, pollen, molds and dander. Additionally these children may be reacting to contaminants in personal care products and cleaning products.

What You Can Do to Heal Eczema and Calm Inflammation.

Eliminate Problem Foods and Heal Gut: Not only is it important to discover problem foods in your child’s diet, but it is also important to heal and soothe the gut lining. A protocol such as GAPS (or modified GAPS) is often beneficial for a child with eczema. At the very least an elimination diet should be implemented to find trigger foods. I have seen immediate relief for kids with eczema when problem foods are removed.  Additionally you should also work to heal the gut lining so your child does not continue to form new food allergies and/or sensitivities.

Eliminate Environmental Triggers: Green and clean your space to eliminate as many environmental triggers as possible by installing HEPA air filters and using non-toxic cleaning products and personal care products.

Supplement with Probiotics and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Two supplements found helpful in the treatment of eczema: bifidobacteria infantis found in probiotic supplments such as (affiliate) Genestra HMF Natogen — 0.2 oz
and omega-3 fatty acids.

Stress Reduction: Stress can serve as a trigger for eczema flare ups so work to implement stress reduction practices into your child’s life. Mindfulness meditation is a wonderful coping mechanism to teach your child.

Do you have a child with eczema? What holistic remedies have you found helpful?

Childhood Eczema Causes and Holistic Remedies by Kula Mama

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MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: Nothing in this blog is intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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  1. Vicky says

    My teenage son’s eczema only flares up this time of the year I think it is weather related too. The gut being out of balance makes sense, but then why does he only show symptoms this time every year. He has used creams and even antibiotics. The only thing that really seemed to with was the antibiotics. It even cleared up any acne he had.

    • says

      Hi Vicky, thanks for your comment. Usually when someone has internal inflammation from the gut–the body works really hard to suppress the inflammation from allergens both internally and externally (dust, food, weather, chemicals from personal care products, etc.) until finally it reaches its “tipping point” and starts to show symptoms like rashes, allergic reactions, autoimmune, etc. I don’t know your son’s case personally obviously but I would guess cold weather serves as his “tipping point” trigger. The weather doesn’t cause eczema, it’s just the final straw. The inflammation is always there, but when cold weather rolls around his body can no longer keep things under control and eczema flares. Wishing you continued healing! Thanks for writing.

  2. Maureen says

    My daughter suffers from severe psoriasis It’s symmetrical What’s on one side it’s on the other She had u. V lighting treatment, which cleared it all. But ten months later it’s retuned Do you believe you could get same results by cutting out dairy too. According to her doctor it’s not diet.

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear about your daughter Maureen. Most doctors don’t have any nutrition training, so take nutrition advise cautiously from them. While I don’t know your daughter’s case specifically, I have seen radical change with diet modification and eczema. An example: I have a close friend who’s son had head-to-toe eczema–terribly uncomfortable for him–she went to the “best” doctors in LA and was told that diet had no impact on his eczema. She then went to a naturopathic doctor who tested her son for food sensitivities. After receiving the results and removing dairy–her son’s eczema disappeared in a few weeks. He had suffered for YEARS and doctors said, nope, not diet. So again, I’m always a believer in the power of nutrition and if you have the means to see an ND I would encourage you to! For your daughter it might not be dairy–it could be another food or foods (it would be best to get an IgE and IgG panel done for her to see what foods might be a problem or if testing is too expensive do an elimination diet…I have articles on this website about how to do that).

  3. Sarah says


    I think my 15 mo old needs GAPS for his eczema and digestion issues and I’m so sad about his condition. I’ve actually been trying to find information about what happens to a baby’s gut flora when weaning takes place and I’m really coming up short. Does anyone know?

    At 12 months, my son self-weaned nearly overnight (I nursed my first boy to 20 mo. so this was a shock to me!). He’d had cheese and yogurt before then but no cow’s milk. He was healthy, a ravenous eater, and had very regular poops. While he had a bout of eczema at 2-3 months old, it cleared when I removed wheat and nuts from my diet. And he doesn’t eat wheat or nuts now.

    Back to the newly weaned 12 mo old. About 1-2 weeks post-wean, the eczema starts to come back. It VERY slowly spread over his entire back – raised, itchy patches, deeply uncomfortable. It’s now also starting down the legs and arms. ALSO at the same time, his poop turned to the consistency of newborn blowouts. We’re talking 2+ months of this now. It’s AWFUL. As well, he’s been on and off fighting one cold or another, and even wheezing to the point of being given steroid inhalers via nebulizer – which I know are horrible and completely goes against my desire to heal naturally.

    All of these issues arose within days of weaning – all clearly pointing to a stressed immune system which as we know resides almost entirely in the gut.

    About 4 weeks ago we removed all dairy. The eczema’s cleared a bit but not entirely, and the poop remains the same. I fear his gut bacteria was completely altered as a result of no longer receiving the beneficial bacteria from the b-milk. I’ve tried probiotics, and he consumes lots of probiotic-rich foods (he would eat sauerkraut and kefir water all day if I let him!) and nourishing bone broth. But none of it seems to be making a difference. He’s also been on high vitamin cod liver oil for many months.

    I feel like we’re practically on GAPS already! It’s so stressful to see your baby in pain. I welcome any thoughts and support I can get, especially as to what in the world happened to his gut when he stopped b-feading. THANK YOU!

    • says

      Hi Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear about your son in pain. It sounds like you are on the right track with him, looking at how you can reduce inflammation in the gut. It takes a long time for inflammation to build up, so give your dietary changes some time to work (months, not days). Perhaps working with an ND to get some testing done? He may be eating other foods he is sensitive to that are complicating his condition. Also there might be some environmental triggers too, so greening your living space as much as possible could help. Sending you big hugs and know you are doing the right thing for your child. Keep searching and questioning. I always tell myself that with health, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

      • sarah says

        Thanks! We are on day 2 of GAPS and he’s already detoxing. It’s hard though! Our house is so green too – we are so conscious of environmental toxins. We even add DE/clay to the kids’ baths to pull out the chemicals from the bath water. Hoping for quick healing.

  4. Kate says

    I 100% believe this. My 5-year old had chromic constipation and excema. After multiple trips to the pediatrician and a visit to the GI clinic at our Children’s Hospital (only to be told to keep him on Miralax), I took him to a naturopath. She immediately tested him for food intolerances. He tested intolerant to gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, almonds, and peanuts. We removed these from his diet and his skin and constipation improved immediately. After 4 months of working to heal his gut , we have been able to reintroduce some of these foods successfully. I believe in Western medicine (and am married to an MD), but if you aren’t getting a solution to chronic health problems, it might be beneficial to try a different approach. It was definitely the answer for my son!

  5. Rob says

    I have excel a all my like. When I had it at it’s worse I found an allergist that tested me for food and environmental allergy. While do have both the food allergies were the biggest trigger. The worst food allergy being to corn which is in almost everything. If you or your child have not been tested for food allergy I highly recommend it. When I was first test my excema was so bad them had to test my blood for the allergy.

  6. Lisa says


    Thank you for this information about eczema. My daughter has had eczema since she was about 7 months old and it never goes away though it does clear up a bit for short periods of time (she is 21 months now). She does have food allergies to gluten, dairy and rice. We were able to figure out the gluten and dairy while I was breast feeding as she was colicky and through process of elimination we figured it out. The eczema start around the time we started her on rice cereal. She does not get rice or rice flour in her diet but her eczema still doesn’t clear up. She is going for an allergy test in March so we will see if there is something else that may be causing the eczema. The dermatologist has said that it’s just a skin condition but I don’t want to have to keep using prescription cream, so I would like to figure out what else I can do.

    • says

      Hi Lisa, Sounds like you are on the right track with your daughter! Eczema is definitely not just a skin disorder…it’s an internal problem. Keep up the good work for your daughter, and if possible see a naturopath for a more holistic approach to health care! thanks so much for reading.

  7. Hazel says

    I 100% agree that the gut balance is the root cause. My daughter started a new probiotic and within DAYS her eczema cleared from scabby and maddening to healing up beautifully. We are planning to start her on the GAPS diet. I noticed the back of her tongue is absolutely coated in a white film, indicating candida flare, so I am also using Grapefruit Seed Extract and Oil of Oregano, along with the probiotics and sugar-free diet.

  8. Jessika says

    After months of rashes and eczema and testing (blood allergy test as he was an infant, also formula switch to soy) my cousin (who is allergic to SLS) suggested we switch to ECOS detergent. The change was miraculous! He’s now three and in pre-school, and we are struggling with winter eczema and rashes from coming in contact with his teacher’s clothing. Our doctor gave us steroid cream but wants us to reserve it for only the worst flare ups. Tonight I started to do reading on natural remedies and found your post. We only bathe him 1-2 times per week right now (with SLS free soaps of course) and tonight I popped a vitamin E capsule and rubbed it on his worst rashes. Lotion really burns him right now and he cries, so I am looking for safe and natural remedies. I will definitely be trying coconut oil that was mentioned many places I have researched. Thanks for the info!

  9. Adriana says

    At 18 months my son got his first flare up of eczema all over his back and it quickly spread to his chest and abdomen and a small patch on his right elbow. My son was born via unplanned csection. He has a strict organic diet filled with lots of healthy fats, healthy meat, raw milk, lots of fruits and veggies and he was breast fed for 10.5 months.Etc. I have given probiotics since he was about 4 months old, vitamin D3/k2 and started giving him fermented cod liver oil about 2 months before the flare. I couldn’t understand his this could be happening to my child when I felt That nutritionally, I was doing everything right. I have his eczema under control now with coconut oil and melaleuca oil but I still don’t know what foods if any could have been the trigger. He still gets small flares here and there but they clear up right away and he doesn’t show any discomfort. I’m still at a loss and wonder if this is just due to him being a csection baby

  10. Katie says

    I’ve found that on top of changing my sons diet we needed to use coconut oil as well as pure lavender essential oil. When his flare up was really bad I also used frankincense oil and melaleuca. Essential oils played a huge role for us as well!

  11. Peggy says

    My almost 8 month old son has been fighting Eczema for the past 3 months now. Doc prescribed steriods cream & it helped temporary. I tried all kinds of cream & oil but it still keeps flaring up. We got him tested for allergies & he is highly allergic to Peanuts & Eggs, Mild allergic to milk & wheat. We have just got him to soy based formula. I am going to try your homemade eczema cream and also your broth but since it is made of chicken carcass & he is allergic to eggs, do you think he is able to take it?

  12. Whitnie Parish says

    Thanks so much for all the information you are sharing! My 7 year old and my 2 year old suffer from mild- moderate eczema (my 7 year old’s is worse), and I’m working on a plan to get rid of it! Could plain greek yogurt be eaten for the probiotics? Or is the supplement best?

    • says

      Depends on if your children can tolerate dairy or not? I always vote for raw dairy products over conventional. Goat’s milk is often tolerated better than cow’s milk. Hope that helps!

  13. Joni says

    Both my kids have eczema and I’ve tried so many medications, creams, lotions, baths, etc. Nothing helps. The eczema comes and goes as it likes; no correlation with what I do/try. Their skin always feels so dry, rough, and bumpy–so sad for little babies/toddlers when they should have soft supple skin! I tried the Citrus Clear Skin Repair Moisturizer – This works for my kids!! (I understand every individual with eczema has varying degrees and types, so different treatments/lotions works differently on everyone–but Citrus Clear may be the one that helps your skin/child’s skin!)

    For the first time in their lives, their skin feels “normal”–actually soft! With this Citrus Clear Repair Moisturizer, their skin feels as close to normal as I think it possibly can. Even Eucerin cream and Vasoline doesn’t make their skin feel this normal.

  14. Mike says

    Thank you very much for your site and information. It’s very helpful. My daughter – 5 – has eczema since she was 6 month old. We tried many different thing including Chinese herbs but it did not help.. It was getting worst in the last couple of months since she started Kindergarten. Test result: she is extremely allergy to dog and cat. She also has allergy to milk, peanut and tomatoes. We switched regular milk to organic milk. I think it did not help much. We tried soy milk but she did not like it. Can we use almond milk?
    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Mike, Thanks so much for the comment. If your daughter has a milk allergy then switching to organic milk won’t solve the problem, she should be off all dairy completely (cheese, yogurt, etc.). Almond milk “might” be ok but test it since she has a sensitivity to peanuts. She might also tolerate coconut milk. With both coconut and almond milk you want to make sure you either make it yourself or buy a brand that does not contain carrageenan or other artificial ingredients….reading labels is important because since she has a leaky gut she may react to lots of things. Doing an elimination diet and gut healing protocol would help lower her overall inflammation and that would very likely help her eczema. The book I recommend on this site: The Eczema Cure would be very helpful for you! Wishing you all the best…

  15. Cecilia Skender Ives says

    I have a 4 month old baby, she has now started patches of eczema on her legs and lower back and patches on her eye lids. which has gotten worse over the last 3 months. I am half feeding formula and still doing breastfeeding, with 3 other children I don’t have enough milk to breastfeed exclusively. Would the formula be causing her the eczema? Could I give her coconut oil in her milk and/or fish oil/krill oil in her milk to help her with her omega 3’s and 6’s. As well as some inner health probiotics. How do I know if she has a leaky gut? I also have skin condition mainly psoriasis on my face.

  16. says

    My little would get eczema flares on her face when she would eat some foods. Notably, gluten and rice. She hardly ever gets any gluten these days, but she does eat rice now and then. I don’t know if it’s the kefir she’s been drinking or what, but she hasn’t had a flare in quite a while.

    We did find that using Waxelene on her face calmed the flares down too.

    I’m glad I was able to figure out what was causing it because it was making her so miserable, poor love.


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