Using goats milk products as an eczema treatment for babies was not something I considered as a new parent - and I even grew up on a goat farm, milking goats and drinking goats milk!
It just never crossed my mind, until our eczema baby was allergy tested and showed up as having a possible milk intolerance explaining our months and months of frustration and why our baby would throw his bottle across the room!
Often a milk protein allergy will mean an allergy to either cow or goats milk, so we still didn't consider goats milk. Instead trying special allergy and soy milk formulas before eventually finding and trying a goats milk one. When we did though, the difference was amazing and almost instant - we finally had a baby who would actually want to drink a bottle and from there on his eczema started to improve significantly.
Of course, every eczema baby is bound to have a different trigger, and ours was definitely linked to milk protein, causing digestive troubles that then caused the eczema, but I wanted to write this post about goats milk products for eczema in case it helps anyone else through their baby's eczema journey.
Why is goats milk sometimes better for eczema babies?
Goats milk contains different fats, proteins and minerals to cow milk. The combination of these can make it easier to digest. One of the reasons for this is that goats milk does not contain agglutinin which is present in cow milk and makes the fat globules stick together, making it harder to digest than goats milk.
Goats milk is reported to contain more of the essential fatty linoleic and arachnodonic acids, in addition to a higher proportion of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier and faster to digest. Goats milk is also high in vitamin A, B6 and B12 and contains niacin, potassium and very high levels of selenium (an antioxidant).
So, the faster digestibility of goats milk allows more good bacteria and enzymes to be released and the body is able to better utilise the nutrients from the milk without it causing discomfort, stomach aches or other allergy-type symptoms.
I know I was concerned that goats milk was somehow not as good nutritionally for my baby as cow or even soy milk was, but as you can see in the following charts the differences are minimal, with goats milk often containing slightly higher levels of vitamins and minerals.
Nutrient comparison between goat, cow and human milk:
The following chart shows the World's Healthiest Foods Rating for some selected nutrients contained in goats milk depending on the percentage it makes up of the suggested daily value for consumption of each nutrient:
After experiencing firsthand the benefits of goats milk formula to my baby's overall wellbeing (followed by normal pasteurised goats milk once he reached the age of 12 months and could safely be switched over), it then prompted me to consider other goats milk products like goats milk soap and moisturisers and their effectiveness in helping to manage baby eczema.
Why goats milk soap and goats milk moisturiser are great for eczema or other dry skin conditions?
The pH level of goats milk soap is similar to that of our skin, meaning it won't upset the delicate pH balance required and cause further irritation. Instead, the nutrients from the milk are absorbed by the skin which may then benefit from these and its antibacterial properties which have a calming effect on inflammation and itching.
There is also a lot of anecdotal evidence from eczema and dermatitis sufferers that suggests goats milk soap to be beneficial in helping to manage these skin conditions.
The same reasons that goats milk soap is so beneficial to dry skin conditions, also has sufferers raving out the successes they've seen when using this too!
Who as a parent of a child with eczema wouldn't love the idea of at least trying a natural and soothing goats milk product?
The only regret I have is not finding out about our eczema baby's milk intolerance earlier and then trying goats milk as a possible solution and I hope this post might help other people going through similar issues.