When my oldest daughter was born, I learned very quickly that she had sensitive skin. I LOVED the baby lotions, baby shampoos, ALL the things that made my sweet baby smell clean and fresh. But I quickly realized that none of those things agreed with my baby's skin. I threw all of them out and started over with the non fragranced "organic" stuff I could find on the store shelves.
And so it continued....
Despite the change of products, my daughter continued to struggle with what the doctors said was eczema. Several pediatrician visits resulted in a referral to a dermatologist who recommended several different kinds of creams. None of them totally got rid of the problem. Then back to the pediatrician, for another referral, this one to the allergy specialist, who did traditional allergy testing. She revealed allergies to several kinds of environmental allergens, so they placed my daughter on a cocktail of allergy meds and lotions and creams.
Again, the problem never fully disappeared. I'd be very vigilant for several days with applying steroid creams and lotion to her itchy skin, the red patches would go away, and then I'd relax. And they'd come back. Finally, after a couple years of this and when my daughter reached 6, the doctor suggested patch testing.
Patch Testing to the rescue!
Patch testing is a process of testing the skin for allergies to chemical compounds that are common ingredients in the products we come in contact with every day. This whole process really opened my eyes to the things that are in practically everything we use. My daughter was tested for almost 80 synthetic ingredients, and she came back allergic to about 6 of them. Among these were propelyne glycol, formaldehyde, black rubber mix, and blue and orange textile dyes. The doctor came in after the testing, handed me a stack of paper, and I started to panic. These ingredients were in EVERYTHING and THEY HAD MORE THAN ONE NAME. I was so overwhelmed-how was I ever going to eliminate them from my home?
The second chapter begins-
For advice on what to do next, check out the next post in this series, where I go in to depth a bit more about how I cleaned our home up in the wake of this testing. My number one piece of advice to you would be: don't panic. If you or someone you love is facing patch testing, the answers to some very frustrating questions are on the horizon. There ARE good products available without the junk that causes issues. And if you are a person or a momma with a child who has skin issues that just don't seem to clear up, ask for patch testing. You'll be surprised what might come up!
If you have questions or want to connect, I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below or fill out my contact form.