20 November 2015

5 Questions with Jennifer Roberge of The Eczema Company (+ A Manuka Honey Skin Cream Giveaway!)

I'm regularly asked about natural treatments for eczema and dermatitis, and while I always do my best to help, it's not something I have much personal experience dealing with.  November is Eczema Awareness Month in Canada, so I thought it was the perfect time to bring in an expert.  Jennifer Roberge is the owner of The Eczema Company, an online store providing natural eczema treatments for kids and adults, and is also the writer of It's An Itchy Little World, a blog dedicated to integrative methods of treating eczema, allergies, and asthma.  

Jennifer is great at looking at eczema - and all the challenges it brings - from multiple different angles.  Most recently, in collaboration with food allergy singer/songwriter Kyle Dine, she created The Eczema Song, hoping to bring fun relief to kids and parents coping with the daily stresses of eczema.  Check out the song below and keep reading for a Q & A with Jennifer.  I asked her to answer a few questions about herself and the company, and to offer some tips for anyone currently struggling with eczema.



Can you tell us a little about yourself and how The Eczema Company came to be?
Sure! My son, Tristan, had severe eczema that peaked when he was three years old. Up until that point (he’d had eczema from birth), we’d unwillingly tried topical steroids out of sheer desperation, but they just weren’t the answer for Tristan. Around his third birthday we discovered, through a series of elimination diets, that multiple foods seemed to be triggering his flare ups. Once we removed these, his skin improved by 95% within days! It was incredible. Getting there was far from easy. We spent a lot of time and money researching natural eczema treatments to try. Ultimately, we found what worked for us and wanted to help other families going through the same struggles with eczema.

Photo Credit: http://www.viviandoan.com
How do you select what products to carry in the store?
Most of the time I try them out on both my children, as well as myself. My daughter and I have mild eczema from time to time and Tristan still flares occasionally. We also look for feedback on products that work well from our customers. We’re always open to trying new products if they have a good track record with eczema!

For someone just beginning to deal with eczema, where would you suggest they start?
I’d definitely suggest looking into dietary triggers. This can be either true food allergies or more commonly food sensitivities, which are harder to test for. The best way to know if a food is irritating the skin is to eliminate it from the diet for a few weeks to one month. In small children, it’s best to do this under the care of a health practitioner. Common foods that trigger eczema are: dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, peanuts and tree nuts. These are a good place to start when thinking about an elimination diet, but really, any food can trigger eczema. And it’s not always just food. Laundry products are very irritating. I’d recommend moving away from ALL detergents – natural or not. Try soap nuts or a mineral ball like SmartKlean Laundry Ball as a good alternative. Probiotics and fish oils are excellent supplements to consider adding to the diet as well. These can help to rebalance the gut flora, where an imbalance has recently been linked to eczema and many other health conditions.


How about advice for a frustrated someone who feels like they’ve tried it all?
Eczema is hard! There is nothing easy about it. You have every right to feel frustrated by it, but know that you are not alone. There are amazing support groups you can reach out to with National Eczema Association in the US and Eczema Society in Canada. Having a good support network is essential and so is keeping a journal to track your progress, setbacks, feelings, etc. Not only will it keep you organized, but it helps with stress too! Just know that healing takes time, it will not happen overnight, so be gentle with yourself and take care of your body from the inside out.
  
Out of everything you’ve used, is there one product or tip you and your family can’t live without?
One, no….but three, yes! ScratchMeNotmittens saved us in the early days when Tristan couldn’t sleep well because he would scratch himself through the night. He couldn’t pull off these mittens, so his skin could begin to repair itself over night. Love these!

Wet Wrapping helped us during the most hopeless time. It’s amazing how soaking and sealing the skin for a few hours, a few times a day, can really help restore moisture to the skin like nothing else would. While this wasn’t a long term solution, it provided Tristan’s skin the break it desperately needed during the worst of times. Read about how to wet wrap the skin HERE.

Manuka Honey Skin Cream is our family’s favorite skin cream, which is why I recommended it to you, Caitie. It has a really unique texture – in between a balm and a cream – that is so lovely and moisturizing. The Manuka honey and oil make it very healing, so it’s great for eczema, dry or chapped skin, wounds and more.

Thanks Jennifer for taking the time to answer my questions!
  

Jennifer will also be giving away a Manuka Honey Skin Cream to one lucky North American (US/Canada) reader!  I reviewed the cream last year and can wholeheartedly vouch for how great it is, not only for eczema, but for any kind of skin sensitivity or irritation.  

Follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget to enter:


11 comments:

  1. I would use this cream to help my sensitive skin that I deal with .....I have such sensitivities and I am unable to use the majority of creams out there because they are so harsh and full of toxic irritants.... sounds very and soothing


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  2. I would use this cream to help my sensitive skin that I deal with .....I have such sensitivities and I am unable to use the majority of creams out there because they are so harsh and full of toxic irritants.... sounds very and soothing


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  3. This has always been one of my favorite skin cream to help cope with my eczema especially during winters. I always love to have one at home and pre-order extras when I'm close to finishing one.

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  4. I am currently pregnant and this has made my skin so, so dry! I would definitely use this cream to help relieve some of that itchy dryness. I also have psoriasis on my elbows and would love to see how helpful this cream can be to help with that.

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  5. I would use it on my very dry, sensitive skin. Cold weather always wreaks havoc on my skin.

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  6. I would use it for my son who has eczema. Nothing we have tried seems to work.

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  7. I'd use it for my eczema! It always flares up come winter :( I'd really love to find a natural solution, but everything I have tried never works as well as the hydrocortizone. Maybe this will do the trick!

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  8. I'd use it for the eczema that always flares up in the winter on my face.

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  9. I'd use it for the eczema that always flares up in the winter on my face.

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  10. Seems like a great product, would use for my all-over sensitive skin

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  11. This seems like such a great product! Plus I love manuka honey since it does wonders for the skin. I always do a routine weekly manuka face mask.

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