Q. My daughters both suffer from eczema. It’s just heartbreaking. My older daughter had it on her hands starting when she was one. It was so bad that her skin started to bleed and crack, and her nails were brittle and cracked also. My youngest daughter has it behind her knees, behind her ears, in the bend of her arms and the inside of her thighs.
My great-grandmother, who is 101 and raised nine children, told me to mix olive oil in plain lotion. So I got scent-free baby lotion and mixed in extra-virgin olive oil. We applied it three times daily: after the morning bath, in the middle of the day and at bedtime.
It was amazing. After just two weeks the eczema was gone. It’s been nine months on this routine and they are still doing well.
A. Grandmothers and great-grandmothers are such a wonderful resource for common sense advice. Clearly, the olive oil is working well as a moisturizer for your girls.
Another grandmother wrote us about a different approach to eczema:
“My granddaughter has had eczema forever. She tried everything for relief but still suffered. I sent her your article and a box of oolong tea bags. She just wrote me from college that the eczema is gone and her skin is normal after four weeks of drinking oolong tea!”
Japanese researchers reported on the benefits of oolong tea for eczema many years ago.