She is a compulsive hand washer. She is only 8 years old and her hands are red and raw. She has OCD and washes her hands to control her fears of touching dirty objects.
Her name is Emma. The past 2 years of masks, mandates and sanitizers have exacerbated Emma’s fears of contamination. Washing is her way of coping.
When Emma showed me her hands and arms, I showed her our homemade soaps and explained how they could help her.
“Good old soap and water work wonders, but the soap has to be a real soap, not a detergent.”
I suggested a little travel soap dish and encouraged her to carry her own soap to school in her back pack, explaining that most commercial soaps and sanitizers were full of alcohol and other additives that make sensitive skin dry and can cause itching and redness.
Emma agreed to let me try a little X cream on her hands. She LOVED the feel.
“We make this cream, Emma. It is a good cream and a healthy moisturizer. It will help soothe your skin.”
Emma’s parents were also grateful. They had tried everything and were at their wits' end.
We discussed how to make a nourishing bath and how to make a bubble bath that was not full of chemicals. Since we do not make our own liquid castile, I suggested to try Dr. Bronner’s. The bubbles may not be gigantic but they are perfect little bubbles that will NOT irritate or dry out the skin.
Emma and her dad came back to the shop a couple of weeks later. While not totally clear, she proudly displayed her hands and said how much better she felt.
“The cream does not sting me. I love my baths now. I love the soap. And the little bubbles in my bath? My daddy and I name them. They are my army of friends.
Smiles all around.