For the first few months of my son’s life, he was a typical baby. He would cry, eat, sleep, and repeat. He completed our family, and brought all of us unsurmountable joy. Then I noticed red patchy spots on his elbows, and behind his knees. I took him from doctor to doctor, trying to determine what it was. Most of them agreed that it was “probably” a type of eczema, but nothing we did provided any relief. We tried every over-the-counter, prescription, or homemade ointment available, and his eczema only seemed to get worse. Eventually it covered most of his body, and he could not sleep. At one point we had a doctor claim that he didn’t have eczema, he had an infected bug bite. This particular doctor wanted to perform surgery on my then two-year-old. At that point I reached out to a specialist at the University of North Carolina Hospitals and we got a solid confirmation, he suffered from severe eczema. Our story had a happy ending, and though severe, it was easily treatable. We still have occasional recurrent flare ups, but overall, he has beautiful skin.
Our story is not uncommon. The National Eczema Association estimates that as many as 31.6 million people in the United States suffer from some type of eczema. Even with the prevalence of eczema, doctors don’t always know the best way to treat it. This is due to the difficulty in determining the root cause of any one particular case. For many, the only option is treating the symptoms to provide relief. Jennifer Roberge, founder of The Eczema Company, experienced this with her son. After years of seeing different doctors, trying different medications, and every other product on the market, Jennifer has become an expert on which products effectively treat the discomfort of Eczema. In 2011 she launched her online company (theeczemacompany.com), and has since expanded to offering her own line of products on their website. In addition to their website, she also has a blog (itchylittleworld.com) that provides a lot of insight into the different types of eczema, what causes it, how to heal the body from within, as well as various trials that they have done. She offers up a wealth of information that relieves those that are suffering, or parenting a child that is suffering, from having to reinvent the wheel. Jennifer has already done it for you.
On her website she offers a large variety of treatment options. First, she offers up a large selection of oils, balms, moisturizers, soaps, shampoos, and other topical products. These are intended to provide relief for various types of eczema, and you can browse based on the type of skin condition. Additionally, they have a section for clothing. There you can find gloves, wraps, hats, and full body clothing to facilitate wet (or dry) wrapping. Wet wrapping is good for the skin, and it expedites the healing process. It was a system that we used for my son as well, but we didn’t know about these specially made garments that were designed for that purpose.
Part of The Eczema Company’s mission is dedicated to sourcing products that are organic, fair trade, GMO free, with sustainable ingredients. They also do not allow their products to have alcohol of any kind. As a mother of a child that suffers from eczema, I have seen my child scream in pain from a product that was supposed to soothe his red, itchy skin. Many moisturizers that are sold in traditional stores contain alcohol, and are actually counter-productive to most eczema treatment plans. Another part of their mission is to also encourage families to find the root cause of their child’s eczema, so that they can then focus on healing from within. There are a number of articles on their blog, as well as a book section in the online store that provides valuable information.
As a mother of a child with eczema, I was ashamed to drop him off at preschool. People would stare at my child, as I was painfully aware of their silent judgment. I worried that others would think that we were unclean, or neglecting our baby. I now know that it is not uncommon for parents to feel that way, nor is it uncommon for sufferers to be embarrassed by their condition. Eczema can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Jennifer’s blog, as well as The Eczema Company, provides an invaluable service to the community of parents looking for relief. She comes across as a friend, as well as a teacher. Her blog helps parents feel like they aren’t alone in their search for answers. Jennifer provides hope that there is relief.