Questions about Eczema?

What is eczema? Eczema is a chronically reoccurring inflammatory skin disease. You are usually predisposed to it genetically. It appears as dry, itchy, scratchy, scaly areas of  skin. I get it yearly and it appears as a small, red, scaly spot on my arm. Other adults can get it on their hands, legs, arms,  and neck areas. These are the most common areas. But it can occur anywhere. Babies tend to get it on their face, elbows and knees. It appears in older children on the back of the knees, inside the elbows, on the sides of the neck, and on the wrists, ankles and hands. Remember, just because it says this is where it normally occurs, it can occur anywhere.

 

If I get it once will it come back? Just because you have it once doesn’t necessarily mean it will reoccur. In most cases though it will flare up and then go in remission and can flare up again. Many children who have it will go into remission but continue to have dry, sensitive skin as an adult. This is certainly true of my personal experience with eczema.

 

Is it contagious? No, it is not contagious. It is something that is inherited. Not something that will rub off on your child’s friend.

 

What are the signs of eczema? Characteristics of eczema are: scratchy, scaly, red patches of skin. It can sometimes get to the point of weeping or bleeding and crusting over. But it is usually caught before then.

 

How do I treat it? If you catch it early simply moisturizing is a great way to go. Our eczema oil is a great way to get your eczema treated quickly. Another natural way to treat your eczema is through nutrient dense foods. By simply improving your diet and eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be a great way to try to stave off another outbreak or improve the outbreak you are having. Nutritional medicine can be a very effective way to treat many disorders.

 

How can I avoid another eczema outbreak?

1. Make sure you stay away from the triggers (pollen, mold, allergens,  animal dander etc).  2.Wear loose clothing and try to reduce incidents when you will be heavily sweating or overheated (if possible). 3. Reduce your stress. 4. Try to stay away from scratch fabrics against your skin. 5. Moisturize regularly (our Eczema oil is one way!)

Remember you never know who to trust when you are asking questions on the internet.  Always consult with your doctor if you think that you or your child might have eczema.

What is the one product I can begin using that will help me switch to a greener skin care regime?

If I had to choose one product to switch to it would be the alcohol free witch hazel. Witch hazel has so many healing properties. What is witch hazel used to treat? It is used to treat acne, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, bug bites, poison ivy, as a deodorant and so much more. The Native Americans have used this going back centuries. Hundreds of years of using something so pure and chemical free can not be wrong! Be careful of getting your witch hazel from the local drug store. It has alcohol in it and would not be good to use in tinctures and teas for internal healing. If you are going to buy one make sure it is alcohol free so you can use it in many different ways. So, how do I use it?

For acne, consistent use is the best treatment. Clean and tone the face with the witch hazel twice a day. Once in the morning and once before bed.This will decrease oil production and tighten and tone the pores. The one you use for the evening has soothing chamomile and lavender in it to calm and soothe you. To use it on hemorrhoids, apply the witch hazel to a cotton ball and rub the affected area. This will prevent the itchiness that comes with hemorrhoids and it prevents bleeding. For varicose veins or spider veins simply dip your cotton ball in witch hazel and rub the affected area. It is very cooling to the area. Studies have been done that show the witch hazel can help to strengthen blood vessels. Due to its natural healing properties it is especially helpful on bug bites. Not only does it heal it also will make the itchiness recede. It is a great treatment for poison ivy. As someone who is very allergic to poison ivy I’m so glad to know that there is a natural remedy for me to go to. Witch Hazel reduces the swelling and the inflammation caused by the skins reaction to the poison ivy.

There are other uses for witch hazel that we will get into in another blogpost. One for tinctures and teas that do some internal healing. Look for it and how to turn witch hazel into a deodorant coming soon. Don’t forget to checkout www.homesteadcompany.com for all your natural cleaning needs.

It’s Double Coupon Day!! Hurry over to our Facebook Fan Page!

Once a month we do a double coupon day, but there is only five available! Hurry over to our Facebook fan page and enter. It’s easy to do, the instructions to enter are on the wall. Even if you don’t get to double the coupon, this week we are giving away a free Baby Wipe Companion with every $20 order. If you don’t do diapers, we will credit your order with the dollar equivalent when you use the coupon code. It’s all on our Facebook page. And, for another chance at a discount, all you have to do is click the “like” button and we will send you a 15% off coupon. Keep up with all our promotions and newsletter updates from our facebook page without filling up your inbox! Head on over: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Homestead-Company-Natural-Skin-Care/116248458893

Witch Hazel, a natural acne treatment and much more!

Witch Hazel, Hammemilis Virginiana, is a shrub found in the northern hemisphere.  Although many have heard of it, many do not know what a useful product it can be.  Many also know that it is great for first aid, and as an astringent.  What many don’t know is that it is natural, but the cheaper versions are actually more harmful than they are beneficial.  If you have used witch hazel and have not been satisfied, you have probably not tried one that is alcohol free.  The most natural form of witch hazel is an alcohol free Witch Hazel, by The Homestead Company, that is preserved with .15% Benzoic Acid, which is a food grade preservative derived from raspberries.

One of the most needed functions of Witch Hazel today, is for the treatment of acne.  It seems that it’s not only teenagers that are in need, but many into their adult years.  Witch Hazel can be used to cleanse, and control the bacterial growth, and also tighten the pores of the skin and aid in constricting the skin pores to control infections that lead to acne.  It also inhibits the sebaceous glands to control oil production, reducing the look of oily skin.

Using witch hazel on skin affected with acne is known to be effective through constant use and consistency.  It is important to clean the skin daily to maintain the environment needed for clear skin.  Other acne treatments can do more harm than good, so make sure that you are focusing on minimal ingredients that won’t dry your skin, or cause irritation.

Some of the other common and needed uses for witch hazel are: psoriasis, eczema, ingrown nails, blistered skin, insect bites and can be used as a compress for varicose veins, and hemorrhoids.

So, what does Witch Hazel have in it that can do all of this?  Studies have shown that it contains tannins, gallic acid, proacthocyanins, flavonoids, essential oil, choline, saponins, and bitters.  These are all medically proven therapies against various skin conditions, including acne, sores, bruises, and swelling.

Every household has at least one or more reasons to use witch hazel on a daily basis.  Why spend money on products that are made for only one thing, when you have a completely natural alternative that works even better?

Please feel free to ask questions!    We love hearing feedback!

Get more nutrients for your $$$

I have found, as a mom, it’s a challenge to get not only vegetables into my kids, but the ones with the most nutrition. One fact many don’t know is that corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain. Also, potatoes, sweet peas, sweet potatoes and carrots, are not the best vegetables to eat in large quantities, as they have high starch content, or high glycemic. This means that once your body takes it in, it quickly turns it into sugar. The ideal is to eat low glycemic vegetables so that you are getting the most nutrients and the least sugar. Another way to ensure you are getting the most from your fruits and vegetables, is to eat what is in season, which means it is the most recently harvested. If you aren’t able to buy what is in season, than it’s best to buy frozen. Frozen are harvested and quickly frozen which maintains the vitamin content, as oxygen and light are one of the most damaging factors to produce.
Another challenge is how to work vegetables into the meal plan. First of all, creating a weekly menu is very important, and makes it so much easier to make healthy meals. I always prepare my list with a weekly menu so that I don’t forget something when it is time to cook. This will save time and, in the long run, money as you reduce the amount of trips to the store. Every meal should have some vegetables included. Of course, breakfast is a challenge. I have worked spinach into the eggs, and made quiche with broccoli and cheese. I keep carrots, celery, cucumber, and sometimes, tomatoes, available throughout the day for the kids to snack on before lunch. I also serve them with lunch, and/or a salad. For dinner, the ideas are endless, and this month I will be posting different ideas from my own home, for how to hide and feed vegetables.
Here is a list of fruits and vegetables available in June:
Apricots

Beets

Blueberries

Cherries

Corn

Green beans

Kiwi

Peaches

Peas

Nectarines

Strawberries

Watermelon

Yellow squash

What’s so great about Witch Hazel?

I am sure you have heard of witch hazel before, maybe even have it in your cabinet. Maybe you use if for the occasional skinned knee, or as a skin toner. Many know a few uses for witch hazel, but probably don’t know just how amazing witch hazel is for the skin.

Witch hazel was discovered many centuries ago by the Native Americans, it was valued for its amazing medicinal properties and was used not only for outside skin ailments, but was also taken as a tea for internal applications. For this they used the leaves and bark to boil and make a tea. A distillate is made for external uses, and is made by steaming the bark and leaves and collecting that steam, which is by definition a water. Because it is a water, it must be preserved, and this is done three ways; with grain alcohol, parabens, or benzoic acid. The most natural way to preserve is with the benzoic acid, a mild food grade preservative. The majority of witch hazel products on commercially available are preserved with alcohol. Alcohol can be drying to the skin, so I recommend a gentle version of witch hazel when using it on the skin.

So, what are some of the great things you can do with an alcohol-free witch hazel? One of the most common uses, is a skin toner. This is great for removing makeup, dirt and oils. Controls oil production, tightens and tones pores. It is great for sensitive or oily skin and because it is hypoallergenic there are no side effects, and reactions are very uncommon. Another use is for the relief of hemorrhoids, helps to cool and reduce inflammation. Varicose veins, common as we age and during pregnancy. Just soak a cloth in witch hazel and apply with legs up, do the same with bruises and sprains to reduce swelling. It helps to relieve the pain and inflammation. It is great for drying up poison ivy, oak and sumac, and relieves the itching. Insect bites, acne, diaper rash, preventing infection in cracked feet, sunburn relief (cools and soothes), reduces under eye bags, soothes teething pain if you rub on gums, aftershave, homemade mouthwashes and skin abrasions, minor wounds and cuts.

This may surprise you that there are so many things that witch hazel can do. What makes this so effective is the tannins found in the bark of the witch hazel tree. Many skin care products have witch hazel as an ingredient and you get a minor amount of benefit from the actual witch hazel. There is no need in diluting the effectiveness, so look for a pure distillate to maximize your money out of pocket on useless filler ingredients. With this long list of uses, you should never be without a bottle in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit.

Common Conditions for Newborns

Being a new parent can be challenging and fearful at times. New parents have to learn the different types of cries their newborns will make, and what needs they need to meet. Is your baby tired, hungry, in pain, sick, or do they need a diaper change? It is common for newborns to develop conditions within the first four to six after bringing them home from the hospital. There are common conditions your newborn may have such as jaundice or colic. Here are some of the common conditions your newborns may have within the first few months after they are born.

A lot of babies have a higher inner core temperature than their parents have. You may think that your baby has a fever when they do not have one. However, it is common for newborns to have some type of infection that will also make them have a fever. If your baby feels warmer than usual, you should check their temperature. If the thermometer reads more than 100.4 degrees, then they have a fever and may be sick. Newborns can have infections passed from the mother at birth, and can get fevers easily at birth if the birthing room is too hot. They can also get colds easily and might have a runny or stuffed up nose.

Diaper rash is also very common for newborns and older babies. Their skin is so sensitive that rashes come very easily to their skin. Wearing diapers for long periods of time is a common trigger for a diaper rash. As a new parent, you also have to find a brand of diapers that does not irritate your baby’s skin. You may have to try different brands and materials used for diapers. If your baby gets diaper rash often you may need to use cloth or chlorine free diapers. Some baby wipes can also cause irritation, and an organic diaper wipe companion can help clear the rash. It is important to use an organic diaper ointment with every changing as well to help prevent a diaper rash.

Skin conditions such as cradle cap, jaundice, thrush, and eczema are very common for newborn babies. Eczema is a dry skin condition that can cause blistering, itchy skin, inflammation, and a reddening of the skin. It is very common for young children and babies. Cradle cap is similar to eczema and it causes the skin on the scalp to become very dry. Both of these skin conditions can be treated with organic eczema oil. Thrush is caused from yeast infections which are commonly caused from moist diapers. Thrush occurs in the mouth and appears with white spots and patches on the tongue and inside the mouth. If your newborn has yellow skin they most likely have jaundice. Your baby needs more sunlight to clear up the yellow tinting of the skin.

If your new baby has any of these common conditions, there is no need to over react or become too scared. If you are treating any of the skin problems, always use organic products. They are safer and more effective for healing. They do not contain any synthetic ingredients that can cause further problems. If your baby is sick or has a fever do not ignore their symptoms. Treat the fever or cold properly to ensure their health. If you are worried the illness is severe or does not heal within 24 hours, contact your doctor.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit http://www.homesteadcompany.com/.

How to Plan a Perfect Baby Shower

Having a baby is a time to celebrate and prepare to welcome a new life into the world. The most appropriate way to celebrate before the birth of a newborn is to have a baby shower. It is a time for mothers, daughters, and friends to come together and share stories of raising children and excitement for a newborn. You may think that baby showers all the same. You can make your shower unique and full of fun and excitement. Here are some tips for planning a perfect baby shower.

The first step in planning is talking with the mom to be and devise a guest list with friends and family. The guest list can include men and children so do not be afraid to make this only for women. Traditionally a guest list for a shower only includes women but, it is becoming more acceptable to invite the daddy to be and his friends. You can plan the shower to include things for men and women to participate in during the shower.

After you have comprised the list, you can then make a budget. You can spend as little or as much as you would like to plan a perfect baby shower. Things you should budget for are: invitations, location rentals, chair and table rentals, food, dessert, decorations, games, and prizes. You can still have a perfect celebration on a budget without breaking the bank. You can cut costs where you need to by having the shower at someone’s home or by cooking the food yourselves.

Before you send out your invites, you should pick a theme for the shower. Themed showers add a more personal touch to the celebration. Your theme can coincide with how you are decorating your newborn’s room, or choose a theme that represents the parents to be. The invitations, decorations, food, games, and cake should go along with the theme. Some fun theme ideas are: western, English tea party, glamour, black and white, or any other unique idea you can come up with. When you are ready to send out your invitations, design the invitation to match your theme so your guests will know what to expect.

On the day of the celebration, you can decorate with theme appropriate decorations. You can decorate with balloons, banners, posters, streamers, props, or anything festive. The table and cake can also serve as decorative pieces and should coincide with the theme you have chosen. People love to eat at parties, so you can make or cater with a specific type of food as well. For a western theme you could serve barbeque and for an English tea party you could serve scones and finger sandwiches for example.

You do not have to play games at your shower if you do not want to. Games can be fun and a way to get conversation started between friends and family. You can think of other games to play besides trying to guess which baby food is what flavor. You can come up with other creative ideas. At one baby shower I went to, the host melted different types of chocolate in diapers and we had to guess which chocolate bar was used. It was gross but fun. The prize was a gift basket filled with all sorts of different chocolate.

Have fun at your baby shower and make it unique. You do not have to have a traditional boring luncheon with pastel colored plates and napkins. Make your shower fun and personal.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit http://www.homesteadcompany.com/.

Diaper Bag Necessities for your Baby

When you are getting ready to leave your house for a day out, you probably only need to grab your purse or wallet and a sweater or light jacket to be on your way. However, when you have a newborn baby or small child leaving the house is not as easy. A day out or even a short trip to the grocery store requires a little planning and a lot of preparation. It can be helpful to have a diaper bag packed and ready to go at all times to make things a little easier on you when you have to go out. Pack the bag with all the necessities you may need at night, and refill what you have used during the day.

First and most important is to have a diaper bag that fits your needs as the parent. You want a bag that has enough space for your babies’ necessitates, but you also want a bag that is easy to carry. It is also important to have a bag where you can pull items out with ease because there are times in the car when you are desperate for a bottle or a toy to give your baby. Some parents prefer to use a backpack, and others prefer a stylish bag that resembles a purse. Be sure that the bag you choose is big enough for all the items your baby needs.

Babies eat a lot of small meals throughout the day. If your baby is still bottle feeding, you know that you go through a lot of bottles. It is important to have bottles, formula, and water in your diaper bag. If your baby does not drink formula, you may want to have some formula packets in the bag for emergencies. You can also find soy or rice milk in small containers for lunches that you can keep in the bag. Have some bottled baby food in there if your baby is eating solid food. Depending on the age of your baby will depend on what food or snacks you keep in the bag.

Besides the diaper bag being the most important essential, the most necessary item to have in the bag are diapers and diaper changing items. You never know when your baby will need to be changed, and as parents we know that babies can go through ten or more diapers a day. In addition to diapers, you will need wipes, diaper ointment, baby wipe companion, and disposable changing pads. A great tip when you are out is to also have plastic bags in case you are changing a diaper in your car and there is not a trashcan nearby. In case there is a mess or accident, a change of clothes is also very helpful.

You never know when your baby will get cranky or tired. Having comfort items in the diaper bag is another necessity. You can pack a few small stuffed animals or toys that your baby likes to snuggle or play with. Soft blankets are another great comfort item. Depending on the age of your child, you may need to pack pacifiers or teething rings as well. If your child gets a scratch or cut, you should have band aids or some type of first aid materials to comfort their wounds.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit http://www.homesteadcompany.com/.

Eczema on Feet

Eczema is a skin condition that causes your skin to become very dry, irritated, and inflamed. It is very uncomfortable and can cause annoyance in your life. The dry skin condition can appear anywhere on your body, and there are different types of eczema. One place where it can occur often and be hard to manage is on your feet. There are many reasons that it appears on your feet such as being on your feet all day at work or wearing shoes made from material that may trigger a flare up. Here is some information about causes, symptoms, treatment, and shoe solutions for eczema on feet.

There are different factors that can cause a flare up on your feet. The most common cause is from the shoes you wear. A lot of shoes are made with dyes, different materials, and closed toe. It can be hard for your feet to breathe when you are wearing closed toe shoes all day or while you are working out for example. Leather shoes and sneaks are triggers for foot eczema. If there is not a lot of moisture in the air that can also dry out your feet which can make them dry and crack. The winter is a common season for flare ups to occur on the feet.

How can you tell the difference between dry feet or eczema? There are characteristic symptoms of feet eczema that will help you determine if you have the condition. Your skin will become very dry and itchy. It is usually very red and may have puss filled bumps on it. Your feet can become swollen or inflamed. It will often appear on the soles of your feet. If the skin is not cracked it may look somewhat glazed over.

Treating eczema on your feet can be difficult because you have to wear shoes throughout the day. When a flare up occurs it is best to keep your feet moisturized with eczema oil and lotions. The lotion should be chemical free and not heavily scented. You can also rotate your shoes because it is not good to wear the same pair every day. If you are wearing closed toe shoes wear cotton socks because your feet will be able to breathe in the material. It is also helpful to find shoes that are breathable. If the symptoms of your flare up go away, keep treating the area to prevent future flare ups.

When possible, wear open toe shoes or something that your feet can breathe in. When you do have to wear closed toe ones, wear cotton socks with them. Leather shoes are triggers for eczema, so weather other materials. A lot of shoes are made from leather so buy a few pairs to rotate throughout the week. Sandals are great because your feet will not rub against the material and cause irritation.

About the Author: Melanie Nader is the founder of the Homestead Company which makes premium quality natural skin care products including eczema oil and diaper ointment made with the finest 100% natural ingredients. For more information, visit http://www.homesteadcompany.com/.

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