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VMV moms

Featured, Skin

Hypoallergenic Is Our Family's NormalFeatured

By Anna

“I have been using VMV since I was 12. I have atopic dermatitis and my allergies aren’t just my problem: my children inherited my atopic dermatitis and skin asthma.
Everyone in the family uses VMV. Even our pets! They’re not allergic but we are — bathing them in Superwash Hair & Body Shampoo (which we all use) and coating them in Know-It-Oil (we share with them also 🙂 means cuddling doesn’t lead to a rash.
From sunscreen to shampoo, conditioner, and more, we just live hypoallergenically. Because of it, we aren’t hindered from enjoying life fully. We’re outdoorsy and love to travel…we just make sure we take everything we need with us. My kids grew up in it; it’s our normal. Even my 7-year-old knows to pack his Boo-Boo Balm for flare-ups!
 
Anna Anastacio is Chief Officer for Business Development at VMV Hypoallergenics. Follow her on Instagram to learn more about cosmetic industry updates and being a hypoallergenic mom in an allergic family!

Featured, Skin

My Baby Has EczemaFeatured

“My baby has atopic dermatitis and a friend of mine recommended that I use your products…

He’s 15-months old and was diagnosed by a dermatologist with atopic dermatitis when he was 6-months old. This was confirmed by an allergist who said to give him cetirizine antihistamine daily before bedtime. He has been taking cetirizine for about a year. He gets red patches in the folds of his arms and legs, white patches, prickly heat-like dots, rough elbows and dry skin, mostly on his upper arms, neck, nape and when bad, on the torso, too. He scratches all the time, especially with flare-ups. The triggers we have identified are carrots, sun, sweat, anything with a strong smell, oatmeal soap/lotion, change in climate, dust, stuffed toys, dairy. (Topical corticosteroid lotion) helps flare-ups subside in 2-3 days. I bathe him twice-a-day. In the morning, I use (soap) on his head, face and body, then (cleanser) all over body and rinse, followed by (bath oil) and (lotion). In the evening, I use the soap on his head, then (cleansing cream) all over, which I leave for a few minutes for absorption, and rinse. I follow this with the oil and lotion.”

We asked a few dermatologists and VMV Hypoallergenics CEO to weigh in…

Laura (VMV CEO): That is a lot of product, especially for a baby 🙂 I’d suggest a 7-Day Skin Fast first. Then Coo & Clean or Clark Wash for bathing, Oil’s Well virgin coconut oil (VCO) and, if needed, Armada Baby as a barrier cream. Also, Fawn & Launder for laundry, and avoid clothing with bright colors, elastics/spandex/rubbers, garters, any scratchy material. Just pure white or natural cotton for a while.
Dr. A. Ortega: I would advise against bathing baby 2x-a-day. Once is enough then just wash axillae, genital area and feet at night. If there are flare-ups, virgin coconut oil can double as body wash and moisturizer. I agree with Laura in using Clark Wash for body and Fawn & Launder for laundry.
Dr. B. Ong: My 21-month old daughter also has atopic dermatitis and our daily routine for her since she was 7-months old is:

  1. Know-It-Oil (VCO) all over the body before and after bathing, and bathe only once a day;
  2. Mommycoddling Lotion all over body after bath, before nap time, and before bedtime;
  3. Boo-Boo Balm on the backs of the knees, antecubital and ankles, and diaper area at least three times a day;
  4. Before bedtime: VCO first all over then Mommycoddling Lotion on top, then Boo-Boo Balm on areas of flare before she finally puts on her pajamas.

This routine saves her from topical steroids. I suggest this mom see her allergist again and ask about the cetirizine that baby has been taking for almost a year. I fear that may be too long a period for a baby of 15 months. The standard antihistamine duration for kids, even for mine, was at most, two months.
Dr. A. Ortega: Yes, a 15-month old baby taking cetirizine for too long is an important point to consider.
Dr. S: I fully agree with a change in detergent, using instead a very mild unscented one. No elasticized materials. Use white, cotton clothing including underwear. Even the beddings and pillowcases should be cotton with no bright colors, just plain white as much as possible.
These suggestions should not be considered medical advice. Follow your dermatologist’s directions.

Family Blog, Skin

How To Ouchlessly Apply Boo-Boo Balm On A Very Painful WoundFeatured

My weakness isn’t seeing the blood and gore of injuries; it’s watching people in pain, particularly my young children. Boo-Boo Balm is ouchless as it is, but putting pressure on a throbbing wound can be agony. With my mom (VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist), we’ve perfected a pretty awesome ouchless first-aid technique. Follow those steps first (ice the wound and clean it with virgin coconut oil), then follow with this, my technique for painlessly applying The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm itself.

STEP 1: Goop It Up.

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The trick to painless application is: touch balm, not wound. Get more balm than you need. It’s important to get a big, generous mound.

STEP 2: Press Beside (Not On) The Wound.

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Position the sub so that most of the balm is on top of the wound directly but do not press down with the swab. Move the swab slightly to the side of the tender area, rotating slightly if needed to make sure Boo-Boo Balm stays on top of the wound, and gently press down (so you’re pressing down next to the owie, not on it). The mound of balm should be on the wound, but the swab should be on the skin beside the wound.

STEP 3: Roll Swab Away, Leaving Behind The Mound Boo-Boo Balm.

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Still pressing gently beside the wound, slowly start turning the swab away from the wound so that swab comes off clean, leaving behind a big goop of Boo-Boo Balm on top of the wound.

STEP 4: Push Balm, Not Wound.

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If you need to adjust some of the balm or to cover more areas: there will be enough of a mound so that you only need to touch the balm. The wound should feel no pressure as you push the balm around.

Cover with a bandage, and done!


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Laura is the CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister and husband (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about learning, literature, art, health, science, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness and goodness.

Family Blog, Skin

Try This Technique For Pain-Free First Aid!Featured

By Laura

“SLAM! 🙁 8yo’s finger got into a fight with a cabinet door and lost.”
So went the caption of that photograph above when I posted it on Instagram. I took the photo after the ice packs had already reduced the pain significantly (my top, why-did-no-one-tell-me-about-this-when-I-was-a-kid tip below) because I wanted to know if my mom (dermatologist) thought I should to take my daughter to the emergency room. I wouldn’t have shared the photo except that I couldn’t believe how quickly we got the pain down and how well the wound healed in such a short amount of time. That, I thought, was worth sharing with other pain-averse parents!
Truth: “No matter how old your children are, when they hurt, you hurt.” Seeing my girl in that much pain tore. me. up. And that was just a finger! I shudder to think of the wounded predator I’d be after her first broken heart or a hard tackle on the soccer field (her father has threatened to ban me from games).
I believe part of my job as a mom is to stay calm and think rationally in such instances, which brings me to the ultimate point of this post: ouchless first aid. It is far, far easier to calmly treat a wound when your child isn’t violently suffering the treatment itself. It was my mother’s knowledge of microbes and skin and my insistence that pain be damned that led to the creation of The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm. My mom wanted it to be a non-allergenic (some top antibacterial ointments are allergens) but powerful antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antiviral salve for various boo-boos (from cuts and scrapes to minor burns, sores and eczematous flare-ups). I wanted it — unlike the pink or rust-colored demonic concoctions of my youth — ouchless. Taking the ouchless objective further, we put our heads together (this is a 2-generation mom tip!) and came to this awesome technique for pain-free first aid.

1) Ice pack on owie (numbs pain super quick).

So many people forget the power of ice. It NUMBS PAIN. Use it freely, not just on sore joints or sports injuries!

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With my daughter here, the finger was so painful we did an ice compress “sandwich.” We lay her finger on its back (the unharmed part) on top of a large ice pack, and rested a small, light ice pack on top of the painful side. There was some pain for sure but it was incredible how quickly the ice brought down the inflammation and numbed the hurt.
TIP: Ice is great for mouth owies. My 5yo son was playing with some large straws and banged them straight back into the roof of his mouth. Laceration, major pain, and in an area that’s not easy to get to. We gave him a popsicle to suck on (we make ours with coconut water or coconut milk) and then had him gargle with virgin coconut oil (more on that magic later). Within a few minutes, the pain was forgotten and eating was fine with softer foods. Within a few hours, he was swallowing normal food without a care in the world. When my kids were younger, we used ice on all scrapes and cuts before any other treatment. My theory is: whenever possible, reduce the pain first. It makes kids calmer and makes further treatment faster and less awful for everybody.
 

2) Clean wound by drizzling virgin coconut oil.

Don’t think of a vigorous cleaning just yet — with virgin coconut oil‘s antimicrobial properties, you’ve bought yourself time before the dreaded washing.

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Here, the pain was reduced so much that I could already drop our virgin coconut oil onto the wound within just a few minutes of icing. No rubbing, just drops of oil to cover the entire wound. We iced some more after that, and drizzled more oil after a few more minutes. Virgin coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties and can actually be used alone to clean a wound — why it’s so helpful in mouth injuries like my son’s above, or for canker sores and sore throats. In this case, I wanted to clean the wound immediately to stop opportunistic bugs as quickly as possible…without subjecting the still-tender wound to the painful trauma of water and soap.
 

3) Occlusion dressing with Boo-Boo Balm.

See my technique for ouchlesss Boo-Boo Balm application.

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When the wound is numb enough, it’s time for moist wound healing. After applying Boo-Boo Balm, bandage the wound with a regular band-aid. For some injuries in areas of lots of movement or friction (like feet), I’ll add gauze and a non-stick tape around the hand or foot to keep the bandage on and closed for a good, long time. I love No-Hurt Wraps because they stay on well and my kids are allergic to tape adhesive.
Covering the wound (occlusion dressing) is important because it prevents the entry of air. This keeps the wound moist, allowing for the freer movement of cells and more rapid regeneration of tissue to fill up the wound (quicker healing but also much less scarring). Within a few hours (see photo below — the tissue was already regenerating to fill up the bottom of the wound) or overnight, the wound should be much less tender and healing nicely.
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Before going to bed or early in the morning, it should be well enough to wash more thoroughly with water and a gentle cleanser. I prefer Clark Wash because it’s a light liquid, not a hard soap which can be painful to rub over the wound and is more irritating. If the wound is still too tender, clean again with just virgin coconut oil, and redress with Boo-Boo Balm and a new bandage. Wait another few hours and it should be healed enough to wash normally. Redress the wound regularly — Clark Wash and water > virgin coconut oil > Boo-Boo Balm > bandage — until healed.