I decided to treat at home for a week and if no improvement was seen then a visit to the dermatologist may be required. A few online moms recommended using a dual layer of lotion and petroleum jelly. Sounded like a good idea so I've been buttering her up with Aveeno Eczema Lotion and non-petroleum jelly twice a day. It's been a month now and we finally have considerable visible improvement in the condition of her skin.
Vaseline was a cure-all when I was growing up and there's no documentation of it being hazardous. However, it is still based on petro-hydrocarbons and I really would prefer something more natural for my babies. So I looked into natural alternatives to Vaseline and came up with a short list that looked like this:
- Live Clean non-petroleum jelly: Made in Canada and available in Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart Canada. US folks can buy this online at Walgreens. This is first on the list because it's the one I bought and it worked well. I especially love the consistency because it isn't as sticky as vaseline. Main ingredient is castor oil. Retails for $7
- Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum jelly: Available in the "green" section of the cosmetic aisles. I used to have a tube of this it was okay but in the Texas heat, it stayed liquid and I would have preferred a solid jelly. Main ingredients are castor oil, coconut oil and beeswax. Retails for $4-6
- Waxelene Petroleum Jelly Alternative: Available in Whole Foods and Amazon online, the main ingredient in this is beeswax and soy bean oil. Sells for $7. Never tried this
Practically all the natural petroleum jelly alternatives have made up of castor oil and/or beeswax as the main ingredient. This means that it's easy to make at home and customize with other oils for the scent and texture desired. A quick google search on "home made natural petroleum jelly" turns up some good links for tutorials
The Environmental Working Group's cosmetic database is a good resource for checking the safety rating of personal care products being used at home.