It has been suggested by one of my son's doctors that I am remiss in not sharing the hygiene methods I use for Billy Ray either in my book or on this site. I have not done that because not all children need the extensive care that Billy Ray requires to avoid bacterial and other skin infections. Not all children would co-operate with them.
Billy Ray has had difficulty with itching and scratching since he was a toddler. The pediatrician did not feel she could do allergy tests during the summer and in the winter months Billy Ray had so many ear infections and colds tests couldn't be done. We have explored laundry detergents and other products but nothing made a difference.
As he matured Billy Ray began developing a lot of body hair. Soon thereafter he began getting folliculitis (infection in the hair follicles). They can pop up quickly and be quite severe. The doctor explained that men with lots of body hair can get these regularly and not even notice. Their bodies take care of it. In the case of some complex children who experience immune system issues they can be quite serious.
It seemed Billy Ray was constantly on antibiotics and very sick from these infections. In an attempt to combat the problem without so many antibiotics we developed a skin care regime that has been praised by his doctors.
The lesions come up so suddenly that it seemed important to be more aware of his skin everyday. We started giving him a pretty intensive massage following his tub bath every morning. I lay a big bath towel out on this bed for him to lay on.
I learned from the doctor that his scratching was also making the infections on his skin worse because of we all have so many germs on our skin including staph. I determined to minimize the itching in as natural means as possible. By giving him the massage daily new lesions are spotted immediately and we keep his skin softer, reducing the itching.
That having been said I want to share about some products I have discovered in my attempt to adapt for Billy Ray. I have no stock in the companies listed here but have found them helpful to us.
The pediatrician had recommended the Aveno oatmeal baths, etc. Billy Ray would not get into the tub with those products in the water because they made the water cloudy. I started using the Aveno lotions which I wasn't comfortable using all over his body. Eventually I discovered Aveno made baby lotions which I considered safer to use even in delicate areas.
In the course of buying the Aveno baby products (made by Johnson & Johnson) I found a new product Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil Gel. I had used baby oil for the itching when he was a baby but found that it didn't stay on long enough to work. I thought it was worth trying to see if would stay on longer than the original formulas.
I put the gel on in the morning when I am assisting Billy Ray with his hygiene and I can still feel it present during bedtime hygiene. I have found that it helps with the itching and scartching by keeping his skin soft .
I have found the product helpful to Billy Ray in other ways as well. I have given Billy Ray backrubs for years to relax him at bedtime since sleep is a constant problem. I can't tell you why by the baby oil gel de-escalates him at night more than other lotions I have used for backrubs have but it does. His toe nails were especially dry and cracking. I started putting heavy layers of baby oil gel on each nail and all over his foot twice a day then putting cotton socks on him. His nails are now soft and no more cracks or fungus problems.
This is a relatively new product and apparently very popular. I have been having some difficulty keeping an adequate supply. However, I spoke with Johnson and Johnson (www.johnsonsbaby.com) 1-866-565-2229 and they were able to find by my zip that Safeway Stores (see note on Safeway in Community Resources) carry them. The website link has some online resources as well.