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Thursday, January 24

Coconut Oil, Milk, & Honey

Our dear little Doodle Bug has allergies.  Our tiny apartment has diabolically dry air in the winter.  Put those two things together and you get... ECZEMA!  If you don't know what exactly eczema is, it almost looks like hives or chickenpox when it first comes on... little red bumps and swollen areas on the skin.  If they go too far they can get itchy and flaky.  It's not a disease, its sensitive skin's response to dry air.

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Quick tutorial... moist, flexible skin cells are buddies.  They touch on all sides and create a barrier much like a brick wall would.  Allergens and irritants can't get past.  Dry skin cells aren't as flexible or cozy and can't stay as well connected... imagine someone chipping the mortar from between those bricks.  These gaps allow for allergens and irritants to bypass the barrier and cause trouble.

Of course, this can become a pretty severe ailment for some, but for most, mild flair ups can be caught and dispelled early on.  The answer for most eczema sufferers is keeping your skin in good condition and putting up an extra barrier in dry weather.  Lotion/body oil, light exfoliating, staying hydrated, eating heart-healthy fats, and engaging in non-drying bathing practices are all answers. 

This week Doodle Bug's skin has been having a little flair up.  Those culprit red patches reared their ugly heads across his torso and legs, so we sprung into action.  His favorite treatment is a milk & honey bath followed by a rub-down with hand-warmed coconut oil.

To do this, we don't buy a mix or an expensive soap... we literally just dump 2-4 cups of whole milk and about a 1/4 cup of real honey into a tub of warm (not hot) water.

Doodle Bug soaks in this for a time with a special, extra fluffy wash cloth.  After getting out of the tub and gently drying off, he will bring me the tub of coconut oil.  I warm some between my hands and cover him from head to toe in the stuff.  He will pull on a soft shirt and some cotton sleeping pants and snuggle into bed to let his body become as relaxed as his skin is.  These are also important times to keep a fresh glass of water on his night stand and make sure his humidifier is cranked up. 

Now, your little ones don't have to suffer from eczema to get a spa treatment like this from mom or dad.  Winter air is dry and red cheeks and itchy skin can attack any child so if you find yourself with a few extra minutes at bath time tonight, go ahead and pamper your little one!

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