Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Bits of Advice I Have Left to Give: Mermaid Soap

Before I had kids I had the very common problem of knowing all there was to know about raising children.  

Once I had two, when they were still both very small, but big enough to be easier than they were when they were tiny, I knew even more and had enough advice to fill this blog with posts every day of the week.  

Now we have five and I have very few set in stone parenting opinions that haven't been smashed to bits by one child or another.  There are things that have worked better than others, but across the board success is rare even when talking about things that seem like they should be simple like sleeping and eating.

But there are still two areas where I find myself giving out advice, usually after being asked, and I thought I'd share those here.  

The first is simple.  There are many, many products on the market for eczema.  Some are very expensive.  We've had a number of kids with allergies, and often the allergies start with eczema, which means we've tried just about every product out there.  We slathered him with coconut oil.  We bought the expensive Aveeno baths and lotions.  And for Patch none of them worked until the day his allergist gave me advice.  

Patch was basically born allergic to dairy.  By one month it was
very clear that something wasn't right, but even while we were still in the hospital
the problems with his skin had begun.

To be honest I thought that the man was crazy.  He said to remove the allergens, which made sense.  But then he said to make up a mixture that was one part Crisco and one part Vaseline.  Around here we call it Mermaid Soap.  He told me to slather it on Patch twice a day (at the time he was a six month old covered in painful eczema) and that it was the best thing he had to offer.  When things were really bad he said to put cortisone under it.  

I followed his instructions and became a believer in the simple, cheap mixture.  And since then I've used it on all of our kids when their skin is dry.  

I imagine, if you didn't have really dry skin, it might be oily.  When you do have eczema your skin basically absorbs it very quickly and that isn't a problem.  

When we returned to his allergist for the first follow up appointment he marveled at Patch's flawless skin.  "You used the mixture?"  He said, surprise evident in his tone.  "No one ever uses it!"  I said that indeed we had because what was the point of going to a doctor and getting his advice with a problem we couldn't solve on our own, if we weren't going to listen to what he said.  

And from then on our eczema problem was solved:

The second question is a bit more in depth and deserves it's own post.  

Because the answers to "How do you know?" And "Where did you start?" when talking about developmental delays are slightly more in depth and I don't want them to be buried in the second half of a post.  


  1. LOL, I think almost every parent has been through the phases you have, I know I did. My kids are now 18 and 20. So many times I have thought how I was so ready to judge parents in the past but sometimes you know... kids are their own person and parents do the best they can. I have one kid who is neurotypical and one now diagnosed on the spectrum, and that holds true for both of them.

  2. I really love the first couple of paragraphs. I watched you evolve just as I did. Our kids had different issues (and mine are mow 24-31 and I'm still learning in the mothering category as of the last 2 weeks!) but I love that you have shared your evolving journey and growth as a mother. Thanks! Auntie M

  3. What do you use for diaper rashes, Cam?

    1. I've used Boudreaux's Butt Paste a lot. There was one time when that didn't work and I thought it was a yeast rash but the niastin prescription wasn't working, and so I added cortisone and "mermaid soap" and that did the trick!

  4. I use Vaseline on eczema and olive oil on diaper rash -I read somewhere that the olive oil allows the skin to breathe through the protective, healing barrier it provides. TB


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