Within weeks of being born (during a harsh Canadian winter), my son’s skin was dry and damaged. My newborn never had newborn skin. I can distinctly recall a patch of skin on his left arm that had grown thicker than the skin on his other arm. After achieving no success running through all the different baby skin care products we could find, we visited the doctor.
Severe eczema was the diagnosis.
We were given prescriptions for one cream for bad flare-ups, and one daily cream for the face and one daily cream for the rest of the body. We were told to stick to five minute baths with lukewarm water, and to apply all creams within three minutes of getting out of the tub. Bath-time was becoming a nightmare.
Eventually, once I caught my breath, I started to research different ways to help heal my son’s skin. We tried lots of things. Oats. Honey. Various oils. In all of this research, I kept reading about calendula (Calendula officinalis).
Calendula is a cheerful, bright flower, gentle enough to use on baby skin. Properties of this plant include it’s anti-inflammatory and wound healing benefits. We sourced some seeds and started to grow the plant indoors in early Spring, and later transferred the seedlings to the garden in late Spring.
The plants were very hardy and began blooming in May and are still blooming mid-October. I harvested multiple rounds of cheery flower heads this growing season for the purpose of being used on my son’s (now toddler) skin. Growing calendula was exciting and fruitful, and has provided ample ingredients for healing dry, damaged skin.
We haven’t used an eczema cream in weeks. Stay tuned!