Chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are among the most debilitating of all health issues. In addition to severe dryness, itching, and pain, eczema, psoriasis and similar conditions can have a direct impact on the quality of life, causing low self-esteem and/or depression. And to make matters worse, these illnesses are notoriously expensive to treat.
A Pricey Promise for Eczema Relief
In 2017, the FDA approved a new, injectable treatment for moderate to severe eczema called Dupixent. The drug contains an antibody that binds with a protein to stem the immune system’s inflammatory response that triggers the redness, itching, and irritation that is associated with eczema.
Dupixent is a marked difference from traditional eczema treatments that typically involve frequent topical applications of creams and medications and, based on the results of the study, the injectible approach seems to be more effective for some.
CBS News reported that one study participant, Ashley Blua, credits Dupixent with helping her to “live a normal life again.” Before the medication, Blua had to numb her skin with ice packs at night to reduce itching, yet she still suffered from sleep deprivation. She even kept an outfit change in her car in case the bleeding from her rashes seeped through her clothes.
It wasn’t long before the effects of Dupixent began to kick in. Blua’s symptoms improved several months after beginning the study; two years later she still has just a few lingering patches of eczema and no itching.
It’s not just eczema sufferers who have claimed seeing results from the drug either. Dr. Elaine Siegfried, a professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, reports that Dupixent seems to work well without the risk of serious side effects. She also told The New York Times that she would likely enroll some of her patients in pediatric studies. “[Dupixent] is groundbreaking,” she said. The most common reported side effects of using this drug include injection site reactions, eye and eyelid inflammation, including redness, swelling, and itching, and cold sores in your mouth or on your lips.
Groundbreaking, perhaps. Very expensive? Definitely. Dupixent is estimated to cost $37,000 on a yearly basis, a price that is definitely prohibitive for many individuals and families dealing with the devastating effects of eczema. That said, it’s still cheaper than Humira and Enbrel, two drugs that are often used to treat psoriasis and that carry a price tag of around $50,000.
It should be noted that insured patients are seldom required to foot the total costs of their medications themselves, but those costs are still transferred to employers and redistributed to other patients via higher premiums. And that’s to say nothing of the uninsured, who would likely have to forgo the potentially life-changing treatment simply because of its price.
The Easy, Inexpensive Way to Improve Chronic Skin Issues
We know the struggles that eczema sufferers face well because our son, Chance, was diagnosed with the condition when he was younger. Tackling his skin condition head-on was an uphill battle at times, but we slowly learned how to maneuver through the maze of steroid creams and prescription ointments to find something that actually brought him relief.
First, we worked on his digestive issues, as gut dysbiosis is a suspected trigger for eczema, but saw little improvement. Next, we began giving him warm baths before bed and later added handfuls of oatmeal to them, but any relief was only short-lived. Soon enough — after he went outside to play with his brothers, for example — the itching would return. Sometimes Chance would scratch his skin so badly that it would bleed.
Dupixent wasn’t an option when we were confronted with Chance’s eczema, but even if it was, we can’t say that we would have tried it. We were desperate to find a solution but we also believe in the body’s ability to heal itself and wanted to find a natural, long-lasting source of relief. Pharmaceutical fixes often require ongoing use and we didn’t want Chance to be forced to apply steroids, creams, and ointments for the rest of his life. We also learned that many of these creams and lotions contained ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol which actually dried out and irritated his skin further.
As we continued thinking about the factors that could have been contributing to Chance’s eczema, we realized that the skin is the body’s largest organ and what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it. It didn’t take long to realize that the soaps and lotions Chance was using were actually harming his skin, not helping it. Ultimately, Bend Soap Company was born.
"... The skin is the body’s largest organ and what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it.
Through our relentless search to find something that helped our son's skin, we discovered that goat milk is full of vitamins, minerals and other compounds, including lactic acid, that can nourish the skin and heal the itching and redness caused by eczema. We used it to make our goat milk soap, and after seeing how quickly it began to soothe Chance’s skin (and everyone else’s in the family!) we used the soaps to create an early iteration of our milk bath. Finally, we developed our goat milk lotion to seal in moisture and nutrients after bathing.
Specifically, we followed this protocol, dubbed Mama Marilee’s Eczema Program:
Step 1: Ditch the Toxic Products
First, we got rid of ALL of the toxic soaps, lotions, shampoos, body washes, and bubble baths that we were using. They were filled with chemicals like parabens and fragrances that were causing major eczema flare-ups for Chance.
We encourage you to do your research and educate yourself on the ingredients that are being used to make the products you and your family rely on. You can check out a list of ingredients we’ve opted to avoid and ditch from our home here.
Step 2: Clean Up with Clean Ingredients
We gave Chance a daily milk bath using one to two handfuls of our Oatmeal & Honey Milk Bath dissolved in hot water. If you have eczema, it's often recommended that you avoid frequent baths as the water tends to dry out the already sensitive skin. But in the case of our milk baths, we noticed that the more Chance soaked, the better his skin was. So, every day, sometimes twice a day (if he said he was still itching), Chance took a milk bath. His eczema was practically GONE after one week. 🙌
One of the main reasons that our milk bath product has been so beneficial to soothing Chance’s sensitive skin is that all of our milk bath scents are made with a base of just four main all-natural ingredients — fresh goat milk, saponified coconut oil, olive oil, and sustainably sourced red palm oil — and contains ZERO ingredients that are known to dry out, irritate, or disrupt the skin. We recommend that those with sensitive skin stick with our Oatmeal & Honey Milk Bath and Unscented Milk Bath as these two options are free of any essential oils (an ingredient that, for some, can dry out the skin) but any of the scents listed in our Best for Eczema Collection are great options to start out with.
Step 3: Moisturize & Hydrate
Once the symptoms of eczema had totally disappeared, we reduced Chance’s daily milk baths down to once every few days, just to help prevent his skin from drying out. And now that we make our own all-natural goat milk lotion, he can slather himself up with it after every bath. One of our favorite things about our goat milk lotion is that it’s non-greasy and takes only a few seconds to soak into your skin. It also contains zero alcohol or chemical preservatives which means that it won’t sting when you apply it to your skin.
Back to You
Dealing with eczema, psoriasis, and other sensitive skin-related issues is never easy, but spending tens of thousands of dollars for treatment doesn’t have to add to the stress. By using skincare products made with nutrient-rich goat milk, like our goat milk soap, milk bath, or goat milk lotion, you can begin to soothe your skin naturally — without expensive drugs.
If you have eczema or sensitive skin, what Bend Soap Company products have you found to be most beneficial? Share your thoughts and inspire others in the comments below. Or, head over directly to our Best for Eczema Collection to browse our top-selling products formulated with eczema in mind.