Category Archives allergies

Exederm ultra sensitive skin care (review/giveaway)

In our house, we have always been very careful about the products that we use on our skin. Since I have extremely sensitive skin, we are constantly on the lookout for products that contain no fragrance. The truth is, these types of products are quite hard to locate most of the time. Even if something says fragrance free, I have often found fragrance listed as one of the ingredients on the back of the bottle.

When the boys were born, we knew it was possible that they would have sensitive skin like me. NHL was diagnosed with eczema when he was about four. My little guy had patches on his body early on. Then just a few months back, I went to the dermatologist and found out that a funny looking spot on my leg was severe eczema (looks a little different on adults). I was told to ditch my Dial soap and use items that were more moisturizing when bathing and to follow up with a moisturizer after.

At about the same time, I was asked by Family Review Network to review some baby skin products by Exederm. This seemed like a great opportunity to try something that could help my family and our eczema.

Exederm Products

Information about Exederm:

Exederm has a simple philisophy which is to use the mildest ingredients in their products. By doing this, they proudly state the following about their products:

  • No Fragrance
  • No Color or Dyes
  • No Parabens
  • No Lanolin
  • No Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
  • No Propylene Glycol
  • No Formaldehyde
  • No Phthalates
  • No Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB)

About Exederm from their company:

We’ve worked with a team of experts to create a range specifically designed for eczema and dermatitis sufferers.

Too many personal care products contain ingredients that may irritate sensitive skin, especially for those with eczema or dermatitis – allergic reactions and rash are common.

Most everyday skincare products are actually designed for the average person – even some of those products laveled as ‘Sensitive’ or ‘Mild” or ‘Hypoallergenic’.

Many ‘natural’ or herbal products can be just as bad too!

ECZEMA & DERMATITIS SUFFERERS ARE NOT AVERAGE – and average skincare is just NOT good enough.

Exerderm offers an intelligent and common sense approach. We believe people with sensistive skin need to avoid irritants – why take risks?

The National Eczema Association honored exederm with 12 ‘Seal of Acceptance’ awards in acknowledgement of our products’ ultra sensitive formulations.

Exederm offers a variety of products for people with sensitive skin that may include eczema and dermatitis.

To help heal flare ups, there is Exederm Flare Control:

  • Helps heal eczema flare-ups
  • Fast soothing relief of itchy, red skin
  • Maximum strength without a prescription
  • America’s only paraben-free hydrocortisone cream

For hydration of sensitive skin, there is Exederm Intensive Moisture cream, body lotion and body oil:

  • Deeply moisturize dry or flaking skin
  • Soothes red, cracked or itchy skin
  • Ultra sensitive and non-irritating
  • Award winning formulations

To help avoid irritating triggers, Exederm Body Wash shampoo and conditioner

  • Ultra sensitive, non-irritating formulations
  • Rich, soap-free and non-drying wash
  • Low foam shampoo or healthy hair & scalp
  • SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) free

Our thoughts:

We received a complimentary package of Exederm baby care line products to do this review. Here are a few photos of the items and them in use:

Exederm Trials

By the time the products arrived, my eczema flare up was under control, but keeping it that way is critical. My 2 year old son has a few patches on his body right now thanks to the dry winter. We decided to test the products on him one night in the bath tub. First, we used the body wash. We noticed that it did not have any smell. Wahoo – truly fragrance free like it promised! Hubby was able to lather it up a little on my homemade knit cotton washcloths. Unlike some of the body washes/soaps that we have used in the past, this one did not bother JSL. He kept playing with his toys and splashing like nothing was going on.

Then it was time to test out the shampoo. JSL still has cradle cap, so we need to really scrub his scalp to work at the scales. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. Hubby was quickly able to use a very small amount in his thick hair and work it around nicely. Check out how you can see it in his hair and not wonder if you have any in (photo above).

The little guy is not a fan of moisturizing, so I tried those on my skin after a shower. I really liked the Intensive moisturizer. It was really thick and worked nicely on my overly dry hands. Although it was thick, it still soaked into my hands quickly and did not leave me feeling slippery. My goal is to try to use the baby lotion on JSL. He really is dry in the winter and recently I have seen some small patches of eczema cropping up on him. I also tried the hydrocortizone cream on an itchy spot and unlike others it did not burn. It quickly soothed the area and was not bothering me anymore.

We will definitely be purchasing more of Exederm for our family since it works well and most importantly helps to protect our very sensitive skin.


Thanks to Exederm, one lucky reader will be able select one item of their choice from the Baby Care Line. .

Rules for Giveaway:

  • MAIN RULE – Head over to the Exoderm website and answer the following question:  What item would you select to try if you win the giveaway?
  • 1 Bonus Entry –  Who would this product be for? Does this person has sensitive skin, eczema or dermatitis?
  • 1 Bonus Entry – Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. Be sure to include @TheAngelForever and Exederm Giveaway in the Tweet.  Please leave a direct link to your Tweet in a separate comment for each daily entry. Example Tweet (feel free to use):  Do you or your children have sensitive skin? Review/Giveaway of Exederm from @TheAngelForever
  • 1 Bonus Entry – Subscribe to my RSS feed (or let me know if you already are) in a separate comment.
  • 1 Bonus Entry – Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway posts from the month of January/February. Be sure to leave a comment here to let me know which one. This Bonus entry may be done only twice per person.
  • 3 Bonus Entries – Add my blog button to your website and leave a link with the location. Be sure to give yourself 3 comments for credit.
  • 5 Bonus Entries – Write a post on your blog linking to my blog about the Exederm giveaway. Be sure to leave 5 comments about this to get credit for all of your extra entries

To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section. Contest starts today, January 31st, and ends at 10:59 EST on February 14, 2010. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. 


Disclosure:  I received the package baby care skin/body products complimentary of  Exederm to facilitate this review as part of The Family Review Network. No other compensations was given. The opinions expressed in the review are my own feelings about the product that our family tried. 


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Diagnosis: Adult Eczema

There are days that I wonder exactly how old I am. Some days I feel young, while there are other days that I feel ancient. On a recent "emergency" trip to the dermatologist, it made me question just how old I really am.

Rewind to June when family was in town for my mother’s big birthday party. During the day, before the party, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, JSL and I went to the cemetary. We went to see Papa S’s grave and check on things. We decided not to move the cars and walked over to where my Nana and Papa are, along with other members of her family. It was not a particularly long walk, but the terrain was rough and overgrown in areas. By the time we were done, I was itching my legs. With sensitive skin, I did not think too much of it.

A few weeks later, I noticed I had a little rash on my leg and it itched horribly. I used some cream on it and it got a little better. This happened over and over again during the summer months. When my electric shaver died, it really made my leg a mess in that area. Sensitive skin and real razor blades do not mix. Thank goodness I finally replaced my electric shaver the other day.

In July, I went to the dermatologist for a skin check. Being so fair skinned, it was time after over a decade without one. I showed him my leg and he said it was not ring worm (my fear from years of teaching), but was eczema. I was told to use some OTC items to help and call if it was not better.

School started, H1N1 ate up another 2 months and then it was December and my leg was a mess. I was up at night because it was so itchy and nothing helped. It was getting more inflamed and bothersome. With a little nudge from my sister-in-law, I made an appointment to see the dermatologist. I was shocked when I was told they had a cancellation with the PA for that afternoon. Thanks to NHL going to Chess Club, I was able to take the time.

The PA was really sweet. Of course, she wanted to know why I ignored the problem for so long. Then she looked at JSL running around the room and figured it out.

A quiet moment while waiting

I told her time just flew by, things happened and finally I had enough. She told me I had horrible eczema in that area. Something at the cemetary may have bothered the area initially. Shaving allowed it to continue and lack of proper moisture made it itch. Scratching only made it worse. I was handed a prescription and told that if things were not significantly better to call back in two weeks.

As I went to the car, I laughed. Here I was just 33 years old and getting treated for eczema. Oy! Now I guess we know where the boys have gotten it from. Of course, theirs never got as out of control as mine did. Tis the story of a Mama’s life.

Tomorrow, I have to head out to get moisturizer for my arms and legs since the winter is zapping everything out of my already dry skin. So if anyone has any suggestions for good fragrance free body lotion, please let me know.



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Physical, allergy testing and dentist…oh my!

This week has been pretty busy. Originally, I thought NHL was going to the allergist on Tuesday. Monday they called and told me the visit was Wednesday. I was not happy since I know I put it on my calendar immediately. My main concern was we already had NHL’s 6 year old physical exam at our family doctor Wednesday afternoon. I knew we could swing both of them, but it would be "interesting" to say the least.

Monday I also called the pediatric dentist. I told them that this tooth was not budging and the new one was really coming in behind it. In adddition to this I reminded them that hubby only lost one tooth on his own. Every other tooth was pulled by the dentist, so perhaps NHL was going to have some troubles. They offered me a Tuesday appointment, which I did not take since I thought we were going to the allergist. The only other option was Thursday. I took it with the hopes that we could get his tooth out by that point.

Tuesday night JL and NHL sat down on the couch and really worked on the tooth. Here they are getting ready and going for some wiggles with gauze to assist the grip: 

Getting ready to wiggle  Attempt with gauze to assist

After this, I thought we were really close. Check it out. In this photo you can see the new tooth in back and that tiny speck in front is the front edge of the baby tooth that will not let go.

Barely hanging on, but will not budge more

Shortly after this photo was taken I opted to do a video of this hopeful milestone. While filming, JL felt a pop and suddenly the tooth was bleeding. This really freaked NHL out. No matter what we tried, NHL refused to let us back into his mouth. We called it a night and got both of the boys into bed. JSL was getting quite concerned about his big brother. Check out the serious face.

What should I do?

Wednesday NHL went to the doctor for his physical. When we arrived we found out that they were already giving flu shots. This sent NHL over the edge, but he and I both had them. Everything else went well during his appointment. The doctor’s only concern was that one of his eyes is not moving along with the other. Since NHL has low muscle tone it may be related to this. When we got into the car after everything I called and made an appointment with the specialist for the end of September. Hopefully it is nothing, but we will have to wait and see (no pun intended).

Less than an hour after this we went to the allergists office. JL met us there because I was afraid NHL would put up a huge fight. We talked with the doctor for a while about how things have been great this summer – no medications needed. We talked over a plan of action for back to school and onto the rest of the year. Then it was time for allergy testing. While we waited for JL to show up at the right doctor’s office NHL colored. Then it was time to check things out. He was a pretty good sport and was glad it was done on his back so he could continue to color.

Before allergy testing    During the allergy testing

Much to our surprise nothing came up positive on the test. The doctor can not explain why it did a few years ago and nothing now. So we left with our game plan that was used last year. Our goal is to control the items that bother him and prevent an asthmatic reaction that usually comes during the school year.

Last night JL tried to work on NHL’s tooth again. After much crying and wiggling the tooth just did not want to move in the one spot. JL said that it was just the way his teeth used to hold on. NHL was very upset about not getting it out on his own and going to the dentist. We explained that it was not his fault and we are lucky to have the dentist that may be able to help.

On a last ditch effort we had corn on the cob to try to see what it could do. NHL refused to eat it. No worries though, JSL devoured his piece and then here is a video of him with NHL’s cob.


So today we head to the dentist to have her check NHL’s tooth. We shall see how it goes. I will mention to her that the position of the tooth is really altering his speech and that concerns me (our family doctor even noted it until I explained the tooth troubles).


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New medicine taking skills

Dear NHL,

Things have been so busy that I have never stopped to really tell you how proud I am of you. A little over a week ago we shocked you with some news. We were going to have you try and swallow allergy medicine. When we upped your dose of the liquid medicine it was just too much for us to give you now. You were not too happy with this, but we convinved you that it was a good milestone. The first time was not a good experiene and involved a little yelling on my end. After this Daddy took over and was your coach. I think when he told you that he was not able to swallow a pill until just before we got married was huge inspiration to you. Now you are able to say that you learned to swallow a pill at five years old WAY before your Daddy and maybe even before me! The photos were captured a day or two after you started. 

Learning to swallow a pill 

1. Getting ready to take allergy pill, 2. Not happening this time, 3. Some more water, 4. All gone!

Now you usually get the allergy pill down on the first or second try. Go NHL GO!





Dear Kid Saturdays at Cutest Kid Ever

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Oy, it has soy

Did you know that almost all foods contain soy? It seems to be a very popular filler that many of us are unaware of in the foods we eat. Of course, as a mostly vegetarian house (kosher meat is too expensive) we eat a lot of veggie burgers, "burger" crumbles, veggie dogs, tofu and the like. I was well aware that these were mostly made of soy products. You are probably wondering why I am suddenly noticing all of the soy in our daily lives. The answer is a little complicated.

Varieties of soybeans

Over the last 3-4 weeks I have been quite sick. For days I would end up on the couch with the boys doubled over in pain. Then to add insult to my injury, I was sick to my stomach and running to the bathroom. At first I thought it may be from all of the new vitamins that I added to my diet. I was taking them with food, but they are still harsh. I stopped taking them for 3-4 days and nothing stopped. The abdominal pain intensified to the point where I could no longer ignore it. I made an appointment to see my doctor to try to get some answers. One other odd symptom – I was horribly itchy. I was literally clawing my arms and legs because they itched so badly.

I went in wondering if it had anything to do with my endometriosis, might be IBS or something else. In the back of my mind I also wondered about my gallbladder. My doctor immediately suspected my gallbladder was to blame. She sent me home with a TON of items to do and scheduled me for a gallbladder ultrasound. She mentioned that if that was clear another test would be ordered soon after that.

Last Thursday night I went for the ultrasound. The technician hinted that she saw nothing wrong when I wondered why it was taking so long (got a little nervous). On Friday evening I was miserable. I have a high pain tolerance, but that night I was in agony. I was crying hysterically and almost called my parents to watch the boys so I could go to the ER. As I told JL, the pain was worse than when I had no epidural and was getting pitocin during labor. Seriously!

Suddenly, in the middle of my agony it dawned on me. The last major attack was on a night that we had Morning Star riblets as part of our dinner, the time before that when we had  fake burger meat balls. Friday night we happened to have veggie dogs. Hmmm. . . . . all of them are mainly compromised of SOY! Could this be the problem when it had never been for all of these years?

I told JL my theory and we made a conscious effort to avoid foods with soy in it. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I ate nothing that had a major amount of soy, took my vitamins, workout out with Leslie Sansone DVDs and felt pretty good. Yesterday my doctor’s office called to tell me that the ultrasound results were perfect and to schedule me for another test. I asked the nurse to give the new information to my doctor. They called back and agreed that it very well could be a soy allergy/intolerance. I spent part of the afternoon yesterday reading up on soy. How do soy allergies present in adults? Why  are soy allergies becoming more prevalent in adults? And the big question of the day, what items have soy hidden in them?

I was floored to learn that most vitamins – including almost all of mine have soy listed as an ingredient. All of our breads, cereal, Fiber One bars, and even the sprinkles in our house list soy. The nice thing is since it is a common allergan, companies must clearly list if the item contains even traces of soy.

Yummy treat that I used to love

Tuesday I am heading to an allergist. I have not been to one since I was in elementary school. Clearly something has changed in my bod with the newly found anaphylactic response to walnuts and now this suspected soy allergy. IF I do have a soy allergy I really do not know how I can completely avoid it in my life, but at this point I will take it one day at a time.

Do you have a soy allergy or know someone that does? I would love any advice or information from anyone that can provide it.


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