I was born in 1965. At the age of four months after using a particularly well-known brand of baby shampoo I was covered in eczema the next day. I am now 53 and have suffered from eczema and asthma all my life. I had regular visits to the dermatological clinic of which the usual treatment for eczema was prescribed. I was prescribed emollients for the bath, moisturizers for my dry cracked skin along with a very strong steroid cream. There wasn't much information about eczema or the damage that the steroids have on the skin. So I had very strong steroid creams plastered on my day and night including my face. The skin on my face is thin due to this. The Eczema improved slightly as I got older but my skin was always very dry and flaky.

In 1993 I had my first child Jade after three months she developed eczema. This was my worst nightmare. The endless scratching and sleepless nights began. Jade's eczema was in all the creases wrists, elbows, behind the knees and ankles. She was treated by the doctor with just the same treatment as I had 53 years ago, apart from the new antibiotic creams she was given for when the skin was infected.

She also had oral antibiotics when the skin was really bad. I felt very unhappy with this treatment and was determined from this point to find an alternative remedy. This proved to be expensive and time consuming with lots of emotional problems to follow. Jade was treated by an herbalist who suggested that I change her diet as well, which I did and after six months the skin was no better and Jade was very low. It became obvious that she was lacking in vitamins and minerals even though I supplemented her diet with over the counter vitamins and minerals and evening primrose.

I then turned to a Chinese herbalist as I had seen a programme on television about how successful they had been in the treatment of eczema. Again I had to deal with the fact that there were no visible signs of improvement and the treatment of liquid herbs which I had to boil on the cooker was so disgusting to Jade she began to retch and get really distressed every time she took them. I had again to accept defeat and stop this treatment.

Kyan was born in 1996 and again by three months was showing signs of eczema. I took both Jade and Kyan to a homeopath. I saw no improvement after six months and the treatment was too expensive to continue with.

In 1998 I had a pediatric nurse coming in to help put on wet wraps which basically means a bath then covered with a moisturizer as thick as you can get it. Then you had to cut lengths of bandage for arms and legs. You placed one on which had been soaked in water and then a dry one over the top and tied both to a bodice. A very messy and time-consuming job as they had to be changed every 24 hours. This was done for roughly six weeks. The skin was slightly better but as soon as the bandages came off the itch cycle began again. Back to square one.

In 2002 I was introduced to a company selling non-toxic personal care products. Products containing no sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) a known skin irritant and highly toxic. Beware as this is in most of your tubes of toothpaste, shampoos, and bubble baths and may I add one of the main moisturizers prescribed by your G.P for eczema. I believe there is a link here to a lot of childhood and adult eczemas.

For me, this company has supplied me and the children with an exceptional form of and minerals in liquid form absorbed by the body 97% as opposed to your normal high street brands, which may be 5 to 15%. I also take antioxidants and use their shampoo, liquid bath and shower gel and toothpaste. I was told I must give it three months it actually took 4 to 5 months before I saw any results.

My skin is the best it's been for years. I've seen my first winter with no sore cracked hands and it's getting better all the time, as is my asthma. Jade has at last grown out of hers aged nine with the help of the vitamins and minerals. Kyan's eczema began to improve after one month of the vitamins and minerals and continues to improve. His skin is nearly clear and also he was a very hyperactive little boy and is now a much calmer, happier child.

Peter Farnsworth at peter@havemorefromlife.co.uk

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