Microsoft Azure - News & Updates - July 2018

Microsoft Azure news, updates and announcements (200 entries) for July 2018:

Application Development:

31 - General availability: Linux on App Service Environment
30 - Announcing Linux on App Service Environment General Availability
27 - Top Stories from the Microsoft DevOps Community – 2018.07.27
26 - Orchestrating production-grade workloads with Azure Kubernetes Service
26 - Visual Studio App Center and GDPR
25 - Azure App Service now supports Java SE on Linux
25 - What’s new in VSTS Sprint 137 Update
25 - Kubernetes is Now Available In Docker Desktop Stable Channel
25 - Now available - New query features in Azure Search
25 - In preview - Azure App Service support for Java SE 8 on Linux now in preview
24 - Azure DevTest Labs: Configure mandatory artifacts for your lab
24 - Build richer applications with the new asynchronous Azure Storage SDK for Java
24 - Enabling administrators to revoke VSTS access tokens
23 - DevTest Labs - Configuring Mandatory Artifacts for your Lab
21 - Top Stories from the Microsoft DevOps Community – 2018.07.20
20 - Azure API Management release notes – July 20, 2018
20 - The History of Kubernetes & the Community Behind It
19 - DevOps for Data Science On The DevOps Lab Show
18 - Azure Container Instances now available in Australia East, East US 2, and Central US
18 - PHP minor version and Xdebug update for August 2018 in App Service
18 - Xamarin.Forms 3.1: Improving the Little Things
17 - Announcing the Azure Cloud Shell editor in collaboration with Visual Studio Code
16 - In preview - Azure Service Fabric introduces its fully managed option, Service Fabric Mesh
16 - Azure Service Fabric Mesh is now in public preview
16 - Azure Service Fabric Mesh tools now available for Visual Studio 2017
16 - Service Fabric 6.3 Release and Service Fabric Mesh Preview!
13 - Azure Functions Runtime x Preview—breaking change for HttpTrigger for Java
13 - Top Stories from the Microsoft DevOps Community – 2018.07.13
13 - General availability: Azure DevOps Projects
12 - PHP Minor Version + Xdebug Update for August 2018
12 - Azure DevOps Projects general availability
10 - General availability of user behavior analytics tools in Azure Application Insights
10 - General availability: Microsoft-hosted Linux and macOS agents in VSTS Sprint 137 Update
10 - WebSan Solutions Inc. works its marketing magic to generate leads—and a 2017 Microsoft IMPACT Award
09 - Universal Packages bring large, generic artifact management to VSTS
09 - Introducing Dev Spaces for AKS
06 - Top Stories from the Microsoft DevOps Community – 2018.07.06
05 - Azure API Management release notes – July 5, 2018
05 - If I am a VSTS Stakeholder, can I also be an Admin?
03 - Azure DevTest Labs: Auto-fill virtual machine name
03 - Azure DevTest Labs: Auto-fill virtual machine username and password
03 - What’s new in VSTS Sprint 136 Update
02 - Generally Available – Application Insights Integration
02 - Azure Event Hubs and Service Bus VNET Service Endpoints in public preview
02 - Azure Search – Announcing the general availability of synonyms
02 - Spoken Language Identification in Video Indexer

Data Platform & AI:

30 - Announcing public preview of Azure IoT Hub manual failover feature
30 - Responsibilities of a partner/system integrator in managing Azure Cosmos DB
26 - Avoid Big Data pitfalls with Azure HDInsight and these partner solutions
26 - Feeding IoT Device Telemetry Data to Kafka-based Applications
26 - Feeding IoT device telemetry data to Kafka-based applications
26 - How to enhance HDInsight security with service endpoints
25 - Accelerated and flexible restore points for Azure SQL Data Warehouse
25 - Now available - Azure Database for MySQL: 4-TB server storage now available
25 - Now available - Azure Database for PostgreSQL: 4-TB server storage now available
25 - In preview - Change feed support in Azure Cosmos DB
24 - Event Grid June updates: Dead lettering, retry policies, global availability, and more
23 - Accelerated and Flexible Restore Points with SQL Data Warehouse
23 - Build secure Oozie workflows in Azure HDInsight with Enterprise Security Package
23 - IoT: the catalyst for better risk management in insurance
23 - Public Preview of Multi-Geo for Power BI Premium
19 - Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 name change
18 - Getting started with IoT: how to connect, secure, and manage your “things”
17 - General availability: Configurable long-term backup retention for Azure SQL Database
17 - General availability: vCore-based purchasing model for SQL databases and elastic pools
17 - General availability: SQL Database auto-failover groups
16 - In preview - Azure SQL Database managed instance business-critical tier in preview
16 - Now available - Azure SQL Database supports auto-failover
16 - Now available - Long-term backup retention feature of Azure SQL Database now generally available
16 - Now available - New purchasing model for Azure SQL Database
16 - Public preview: Business Critical service tier in Azure SQL Database Managed Instance
16 - Public preview: Speech SDK 0.5.0 for Cognitive Services
16 - Spring Data Gremlin for Azure Cosmos DB Graph API
16 - Now available - SQL Data Warehouse now powered by instant data movement
12 - Announcing new options for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support
12 - Azure IoT Central available for partners to manage and extend customer solutions
12 - Azure sets new performance benchmarks with SQL Data Warehouse
12 - Latest updates to Azure Database for MySQL
12 - Latest updates to Azure Database for PostgreSQL
12 - Lightning fast query performance with Azure SQL Data Warehouse
11 - Kafka 1.0 on HDInsight lights up real time analytics scenarios
10 - Azure HDInsight now supports Apache Spark 2.3
09 - Public preview: Azure SQL Data Warehouse extension for SQL Operations Studio
09 - Power BI Embedded dashboards with Azure Stream Analytics
09 - Power BI Embedded dashboards with Azure Stream Analytics
05 - New documentation for Power BI Embedded REST APIs
05 - Apply themes to Power BI Embedded dashboards
05 - General availability: Slicers API for Power BI Embedded
03 - Increased reference data size in Azure Stream Analytics
03 - IP filtering for Event Hubs and Service Bus
03 - New Azure #CosmosDB Explorer now in public preview
03 - What’s new in Azure IoT Central
02 - Azure Databricks provides the best Apache Spark™-based analytics solution for data scientists and engineers
02 - Monitor Azure Data Factory pipelines using Operations Management Suite
02 - Securing the connection between Power BI and Azure SQL Database


31 - General availability: Start/Stop VMs during off-hours in Azure Automation
31 - OMS Linux Agent July 2018 release now available
31 - Azure Site Recovery Update Rollup 27
30 - Azure Monitor: Route AAD Activity Logs using diagnostic settings
26 - Azure AD Activity Logs in Azure Monitor Diagnostics now in public preview
25 - Name change: End of Dv2-series VMs promotion
24 - Run signed runbooks in Azure Automation
24 - Free course on the Log Analytics query language (KQL) now available
24 - Top feature requests added with Azure Blockchain Workbench 1.2.0
19 - Azure Content Delivery Network GUID migration and UoM change
19 - Score one for the IT Pro: Azure File Sync is now generally available!
18 - Azure Site Recovery Update Rollup 26: provider and agent updates
17 - Azure Monitor: Route AAD Activity Logs using diagnostic settings
17 - Blockchain as a tool for anti-fraud
16 - What’s new in Azure Monitor—container health
13 - Lenovo XClarity Integrator for Azure Log Analytics
12 - How Microsoft Azure Stack means transformation and opportunities for partners
03 - Network Performance Monitor is now generally available in UK South region
02 - Azure Backup hosts Ask Me Anything session


30 - A new way to manage roles and administrators in Azure AD
30 - Microsoft Intune adds support for Entrust Datacard and other third-party certification authorities
29 - Azure Security Center update July 22
25 - Security Center’s adaptive application controls are generally available
17 - Azure AD Managed Service Identity updates
16 - Azure Security Center is now integrated into the subscription experience
16 - Now available - Azure Security Center is now integrated into the subscription experience
16 - In preview - Azure Security Center Preview now available in Azure Government
06 - Azure Security Center update July 1


31 - Ansible 2.6: What’s new for Azure
31 - Azure management groups now in general availability
30 - Azure cloud business value for retail and consumer goods explained
30 - Azure.Source - Volume 42
30 - Experts tips on hardening security with Azure security
30 - How to upgrade your financial analysis capabilities with Azure
26 - Current use cases for machine learning in healthcare
26 - How to move your e-commerce infrastructure to Azure
26 - Kicking off fiscal FY19 inspired!
26 - Marketplace news from Inspire 2018
26 - Public preview: Metric alerts for logs
25 - Meet your 2018 Imagine Cup champions – smartARM of Canada!
25 - New recommendations in Azure Advisor
24 - All Analytics custom logs are now grouped under the schema “Custom Logs” category
24 - Announcing availability of Azure Managed Application in AzureGov
24 - How to Get Your Apps off Windows 2003 and Into the Cloud with Docker Enterprise
24 - Transport Canada: Innovating with AI
24 - TD Bank Group supports a culture of inclusion with assistive technologies
23 - Azure Marketplace new offers: June 16–30
23 - Azure.Source - Volume 41
19 - Adopting the word “organization”
19 - Microsoft Cloud drives record fourth quarter results
19 - Technology and Computing Being Part of Our Lives
19 - Powering our customers: the innovation story behind Microsoft’s earnings
18 - Azure Marketplace June container offers
18 - Dashboard Updates in Public Preview
18 - Protecting our users from the ESLint NPM package breach
18 - Foretell and prevent downtime with predictive maintenance
18 - Partnership: The Foundation of Microsoft Success
18 - Speech services July 2018 update
17 - Azure cost forecast API and other updates
17 - R3 on Azure: Launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1
17 - Intelligent Healthcare with Azure Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) technology
17 - Globally replicated data lakes with LiveData using WANdisco on Azure
17 - Driving Real World Impact Through Digital Transformation
17 - Workspace selection added to Analytics, in each of your query editor tabs
16 - In preview - Azure Firewall
16 - Azure.Source - Volume 40
16 - In preview - Azure Virtual WAN
16 - Supercharging the Git Commit Graph IV: Bloom Filters
16 - Improved App Distribution is Here: Redesigned Tester Experience, Distribution Statistics, and More
16 - Batch services and advanced routing services for Azure Maps
16 - Celebrating OSCON’s 20th anniversary
16 - Congratulations to our 2018 IMPACT Award Winners!
16 - New in Azure Maps: API, map control modules, imagery, and styling features
16 - Walmart establishes strategic partnership with Microsoft to further accelerate digital innovation in retail
15 - In preview - Announcing the public preview for Azure Data Box Disk
15 - Now available - Azure Maps unveils satellite imagery, batch services, and advanced geospatial functionality
13 - Enabling partner success at Microsoft Inspire 2018
13 - Helping Canadian Partners Innovate and Create Additional Business Opportunities
12 - Announcing Azure Expert MSPs
12 - Announcing new offers and capabilities that make Azure the best place for all your apps, data, and infrastructure
12 - Announcing public preview of Azure Virtual WAN and Azure Firewall
12 - Azure NetApp files now in public preview
12 - Consulting offers in Azure Marketplace arrive in Canada
12 - Public preview: Azure Data Box Disk
12 - Turning machine learning into competitive advantage – the success story that earned Sierra Systems a Microsoft IMPACT award
12 - New Azure innovation advances customer success for the cloud- and AI-powered future
12 - Welcome our newest family member - Data Box Disk
11 - Taking the Long View -The forward-thinking IT company and Canada Partner of the Year reflect on their 20-year journey to the top
10 - Azure.Source - Volume 39 now available
10 - Streaming analytics use cases with Spark on Azure
09 - Azure Marketplace new offers June 1–15
09 - Azure.Source - Volume 39
09 - Supercharging the Git Commit Graph III: Generations and Graph Algorithms
09 - How to process streams of data with Apache Kafka and Spark
06 - Moving from Hosted XML process to Inheritance process – Private Preview
05 - Lessons from big box retail
05 - Microsoft Azure launches tamper-proof Azure Immutable Blob Storage for financial services
03 - Find Your Azure Bot’s AppID and AppSecret
03 - From Code to Google Play: Release your Apps Automatically with Continuous Delivery
03 - Save time by leveraging auto-filled fields at virtual machine creation
02 - Agile SAP development with SAP Cloud Platform on Azure
02 - Azure.Source - Volume 38
02 - Supercharging the Git Commit Graph II: File Format
02 - New features for Azure dashboard tiles: resize and edit query
01 - Congratulations, Everyone! The 2018 Annual Award Cycle Kicks Off Today!

Did you miss the previous ones? Check them out!


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Furthermore, feel free to ask the associated Bot and check out the story how easily I built it with the Azure Bot Service!

What the Helm!?

While introducing Kubernetes on Azure or learning and playing with Kubernetes on Azure (with VSTS or with SQL), I did mention and I used an intuitive tool covering an area which is not built-in in Kubernetes: sharing, automating, reusing, repeating my Kubernetes deployments.
Helm addresses a common user need of deploying applications to Kubernetes by making their configurations reusable. Both the Helm and Kubernetes projects have grown substantially. As Kubernetes shifts its focus to its own core in order to better manage this growth, CNCF is a great home for Helm to continue making it easier for developers and operators to streamline Kubernetes deployments. 
In my workshop about a .NET Core and SQL app with Docker/Kubernetes/OpenShift, I started to hard code some value in Kubernetes manifest files to deploy the associated Kubernetes objects: image repository/name/tag, services ports, etc. It worked, but how I could reuse these files with different names, ports, image definitions, etc.? Then by trying to be more reusable, I put in there some token variables and leverage this VSTS task to replace the tokens by the actual values. It worked, but what about local deployments or without VSTS? Helm helps me here to be more portable and consistent. Furthermore, by following the best practice to have one file per Kubernetes object definition, how I could easily deploy, upgrade, remove, etc. all of these files to manage my Kubernetes apps and objects?
That's where Helm arrives and helps to improve my workshop in a more DevOps way.

I could describe and document here my technical journey about how I integrated Helm in my project, but I won't. Instead, I will share with you these awesome resources I followed to accomplish this:

Pretty interesting and powerful, isn't it?! ;)

Note: by playing with the Helm VSTS Task, I took the opportunity to fix an issue by submitting this PR ;)

Complementary and further resources:
  • CNCF to Host Helm - No longer a sub-project under Kubernetes, Helm has been graduated as an incubation-level hosted project on June 1, 2018.
  • Helm Charts - before creating your own, leverage the official existing ones!
  • Draft - if you are new with Docker/Kubernetes/Helm, Draft could generate and manage for you, your Dockerfile, Helm Charts and their deployments!
  • Azure DevOps project - if you are new with Azure/DevOps/VSTS/Docker/Kubernetes/Helm, Azure DevOps project will generate for you all your VSTS pipeline (CI/CD), the Docker file, the Azure resources, the Helm charts, etc. for sample .NET, NodeJS, Java, Python, HTML, PHP (and more to come) app! A good starting point! By the way, it's what I "retroengineered" for my own learning and needs with Helm.

Happy Helming! Happy Sailing!


Why I Believe: Evidence Fifty-Four: “Mighty Prayer”©

101 Reasons Why I Believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet.

Evidence Fifty-Four:
“Mighty Prayer”© 


This morning in my personal study time before Church I made what has to be one of the most remarkable spiritual discoveries in my almost seventy-five years of mortality. I am presently working on two projects.  First, I have been making a study of prayer. At the moment I am studying the prayers in the Old Testament.  Second, I am embarking upon what looks to be an intensive and long, perhaps three or more years long study of 3 Nephi. This morning the two projects converged.
As I worked on 3 Nephi 1:11-12, I decided to examine the idea of “mighty prayer” suggested by the statement in verse 12 that Nephi “cried mightily unto the Lord, all that day.” I brought up my trusty Bible search software WordCruncher and typed “mighty prayer” in the search line and hit enter. To my great surprise and shock, the phrase does not appear in the KJV of the Holy Bible! Really? If, I would have asked you how many times you thought the phrase “mighty prayer” existed in the Bible, my guess is that your response would be something like mine and that of my wife–“Oh, maybe a half dozen times.” But no.  It isn’t in there at all. Astonishing!

Almost nothing in the Bible: 

So I tried other phrases. “Pray mightily.” Nothing. “Prayed mightily.” Nothing.  “Cried mightily” is in Revelation 18:2, but not in reference to prayer. “Cry mightily unto the Lord.” Same result “Cry mightily unto God” shows up one time, in Jonah 3:8. This comes from the king of Nineveh when his people accepted Jonah’s warning, and the king said, “But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.” So the Bible is not without the concept, but it is hardly prominent. Many of the commentaries I checked for this verse said nothing about “cry mightily unto God.”  Most were concerned with the syntax of the verse and sought to make it clear that the king was not advocating that the beasts were crying mightily unto God. Thus, there is only one peaked reference in the Bible to this potent idea.
When I turned to the Internet I was confident that some preacher or minister or some other Bible believing soul would have given a sermon or written a blog about mighty prayer. But almost nothing here either! Moreover, anything I could find, did not use a Biblical passage as a text upon which to build the idea. Can you believe it? It is probably because the concept is not prominent in the Bible.Is it possible this is a new religious idea? I really doubt it.Surely in the 6,000 years plus history between Adam and 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published, someone somewhere has discussed “mighty prayer.” But if they have, there isn’t much indication of it on the Internet as of mid-July 2018.

Another side to the coin: 

There is, however, another side to this coin. The phrase “mighty prayer,” and similar phrases mentioned above, do appear in modern scripture. Surprisingly, most of them are in the Book of Mormon. Here is a breakdown. The phrase “mighty prayer” may be found six times in the Book of Mormon and twice in the Doctrine and Covenants.  It is in 2 Ne. 4:24; Enos. 1:4; Al. 6:6; 8:10; 3 Ne. 27:1; Moro. 2:2; D&C 5:24; and 29:2.  “Cried mightily” is found in Mos. 29:20 in reference to prayer; and 3 Ne. 1:11-12.  “Prayed mightily” is in Al. 2:28 and 46:13. “Cry mightily to God” is in Mosiah 21:14". Cry mightily to/ unto the Lord” is in Mosiah 9:17; 11:25; and Morm. 9:6 (see the variation here).

It is obvious that the Book of Mormon champions the idea of “mighty prayer” and those who engage in it. This is in stark contrast to the Holy Bible. It appears that the Lord wanted the concept of “mighty prayer” to be a significant element in the Restoration of the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

All of this, of course, leads to a rather obvious question. If the Book of Mormon is not a translation of an ancient sacred record; if it is a whole-cloth creation of Joseph Smith alone; if it comes from one whom many enemies characterize as a Satan-inspired religious knave, impostor and immoral megalomaniac, why does it contain the very specific, very righteous, and very important idea of “mighty prayer” which is only barely hinted at by a pagan king in the Bible? It is one more evidence to me of the divine nature of his call as a prophet/translator whom the Lord used as his instrument to begin the restoration of the fullness of the everlasting Gospel in the last days.

A follow-up question surfaces. Is it possible this is one of those “plain and precious” things that Nephi tells us was left out of the Bible?

Let’s think together again, soon.

Keeping Clear Skin in Winter....

Was reminded that I should post something on this blog. Am staying here with delicate, smooth, clear skin, seldom scratching and haven't needed to take a 1/4 of a hostile to histamine tablet for multi month. In summer my skin has a tendency to recuperate. Winter will gradually fix the great work of summer, with a little fix under the left eye that likes to raise its terrible head.

Amidst winter, the typical niggles will show up. The previous winter I attempted vit D3 suppliments with maybe some achievement, yet the skin inflammation still grabbed hold of my internal arms, the left half of my face, and my crotch. Before the finish of harvest time my skin had for the most part cleared and kept on clearing.

The contributing variables could be more regular nourishments as we keep on growing our own amid spring to pre-winter and have a wealth of tomatoes, crisp greens, courgettes, aubergines, beans and now butternut squash.

This winter the progressions are at present as takes after:

1. Lessened the warming (12-15 degs C) and put more layers on....probably implies visitors will abstain from remaining at my place. At first it was awkward, however the thermostatis of my body is kicking in to influence it to feel good. Obviously having a colder place implies showering is extraordinary. This is still in high temp water until the point that I take in the Wim Hof strategy and can scrub down!

2. Constrained myself to go out regular for no less than a hour in the sunshine. The skin cherishes light, the dermatitis appears to evade it. The eyes likewise adores light.

3. Rest increasingly - it's better in those occasions when I endured substantially more. Characteristic sunshine clearly enhances rest

4. Water more. Having languished over about 4 months with a urinary tract contamination (UTI), I was compelled to drink significantly more and have now kept up the drinking.

So will be back in Spring to report if have at long last possessed the capacity to keep the tingle under control and appreciated clear smooth skin all through the winter. It ought to be noted am utilizing any lotion other than the endorsed emollients. Have discovered the medicine stuff (like emulsifying treatment and diprobase) gives a shallow feeling of saturating and after say in regards to 15-30 minutes, the skin feels a gentle disturbance, when it was quiet before I had put the stuff on.

Presently utilize one of the shop brands, for example, St Ives, Jergen, cocoa spread, or nivea - anything that keeps my skin feeling quiet after I have put the "stuff" on. My skin tends to be on the dry side.

****Takes full breath to take the plunge****

To everybody perusing this blog out of the blue.

Make sure to have a go at something other than what's expected in light of the fact that the stuff the doc gives is just transitory. In the event that you need to truely recuperate and diminish the dreadful tingle, change the way you're living.

I unquestionably have and utilized this blog to ceaselessly address and report what have done to lessen the skin inflammation and am trusting this winter it remains away.

Have blocked remarks from society who inform me regarding their marvel creams. When you examine further, they have steroids in them. A lot of BS from organizations needing you to be dependent on their cream. It would be ideal if you leave and expectation

For a REAL fix - you ought to have the capacity to utilize any cream

The Tale of Two Rashes

Rash 1: 

Rest and frequently getting out in the light has been troublesome. Amid Nov I was on a venture, I got up sat on my PC, for lunch I went outside for around 20-30 mins and after that proceeded back on my PC until the early morning before compelling myself to bed. 

With everybody back in the house, the warming had been turned go down to 17 degs by the start of Dec (I had it down to 14 degs when I was independent from anyone else for multi month). 

By mid-Dec a little dry territory showed up on my let cheek. It consumed and spread to around my eye. I figured it may be some sort of contagious disease, so connected some against parasitic cream for about seven days. At first it enhanced the condition and afterward spread considerably more around the cheek and brow. Attempted longer sessions in the outside trusting it required infra-red. No genuine euphoria. Applying bunches of cream calmed it and here and there felt it was consuming the skin. As of late likewise took a fourth of a hostile to histamine our evenings consecutively as the cheek rash had turned out to be bothersome and I began to scratch the neck. 

In spite of the fact that the skin looked dry and red now and again, nothing was enhancing it until the point when I began doing some activity that influenced me to sweat! 

Sweat has improved the face skin feel and having completed 3 long stretches of perspiring, it is presently making strides! Need to constrain myself to do some more indoor turn sessions. 

Rash 2: 

Not long after the primary seven day stretch of the face rash, a little bothersome red specked rash showed up to my left side thigh. It was bothersome when I was hot and sweat-soaked!!! I figured I may have spread the face rash by one means or another to my thigh. So I connected the counter contagious cream there as well! Another fix on the left thigh showed up and now a fix has showed up on the correct hand side. 

Two days back when the sun was sparkling and the day felt sort of warm, I exposed my legs, going for a long 2.5 hour stroll in the recreation center. The tingling has facilitated and the fix has dried. Today has been another hour session and the rash patches feel like they are mending! 

In the meantime have been attempting to keep to a superior eating regimen amid winter. This has been hard now and again particularly with the Christmas time of celebrations. In any case back to biting through some flawless greens, expanding the protein and lessening the carbs. 

Expectation your tingles are for the most part under control.

Tips & Advice That Work For Baby Eczema

Baby Eczema Back PlaquesBaby Face Eczema

We received a lot of infant eczema advice from friends and family. When we told them about our son’s eczema almost everyone seemed to know someone who had a child with eczema and they all recommended different things. So we got a lot of advice and spent a lot of time doing trial-and-error to see if something would work. My advice to anyone else would be to not worry about testing all these different products and remedies just yet and try using a very greasy ointment like Vaniply all over your child once a day at bedtime, and add a medium-potency steroid ointment as needed and see if that takes care of it. Then you can go back and try other things if that doesn’t work. (Read the full story of how we found out about Vaniply here: Vaniply For Baby Eczema.) We would have saved a lot of time and money had we just done that in the first place. But if that’s not helping as well as you’d like, here are some other things that we felt definitely helped:
  • Control home humidity. Our drafty old house had very low humidity during the winter months. We used a large console humidifier that I was refilling daily to keep the humidity as high as possible in the upstairs part of the house over the winter months. Besides the noise of the console humidifier fan running all the time I was tediously filling bucket after bucket with water and chemical scale treatments every day to keep the tank topped off. Last year we finally installed a whole-house humidifier that attaches to our forced-air furnace and regulates the home humidity automatically. We know that effective air sealing would be a better option, but it’s just not feasible in our current home so we opted for the furnace-mounted humidifier. While a whole-house humidifier is more expensive to purchase and operate, the convenience is very much worth it to our family. I haven’t missed filling up the water buckets one bit. And our son’s skin has been much better this year. We don’t know for sure if that’s due to using the Vaniply all the time or him growing older and his skin changing, but having more humidity in the home seems to have a positive impact on his worst spots.
  • Apply creams or ointments immediately after bathtime. Another great tip was to apply Vaniply immediately after giving our son a bath, within a few minutes of drying him off or even while he was still a little damp. This really did seem to lock in moisture and help him recover from being washed. He was usually so happy to not be itchy he would go right to sleep afterwards (or maybe it was just the bath itself causing him to feel content). We also didn’t give him a bath all that often, maybe twice a week all winter. (We have been using a very gentle Cetaphil cleanser as his bathtime soap without his eczema acting up.)
  • Focus on the torso. Maybe this depends on what specific type of eczema your baby has, but our son’s worst areas were always on his torso. He would get scaly patches on his legs and arms but he only got the oozy, scabby plaques on his back and tummy. So we consistently slathered him up with ointments in that area of his body. Today we rarely apply Vaniply to his whole body, instead we only put it on his tummy, sides, shoulders and back.
  • Plastic wrap helps topical steroids work better. The pediatric dermatologist told us about this one. When a plaque spot is oozing badly and not responding to the steroid ointments, apply a square “bandage” of clear plastic wrap (like Cling Wrap or Saran Wrap) over it to keep the ointment in contact with skin. Similar to a band-aid or transparent wound dressing, this prevents the ointment from rubbing off on clothes and seals moisture in the area. We didn’t think this would actually work, but it did help clear up some stubborn plaques. Also we only used this at bedtime, without any tape or anything to hold the plastic wrap in place, and usually it was still in the right spot by morning. The ointment must help keep it in place.

And here are some things that we felt didn’t help:
  • Controlling/eliminating foods. In our case our son was breastfeeding for his first eczema flare-up and eventually switched to table foods over the course of several months. So my wife tried not eating certain foods and food groups to see if that would help, and later we were worried about a possible link between food allergies and eczema so we introduced table foods very cautiously. But all that trial-and-error with food didn’t have any effect on his eczema.
  •  Probiotics. We used an expensive probiotic called Florajen 4 Kids that has to be kept in the fridge because it has live cultures. We gave our son one capsule a day for over a month. It didn’t do any harm, but we couldn’t detect any change in his eczema from using it. It did seem to make his stools less soft and almost completely eliminated diaper blowouts for us. Not sure if that was a fluke but since using it he hardly ever has had loose stools.
  •  Antibiotics. When our son got a typical 6-month old ear infection the pediatrician prescribed amoxicillin and later cefdinir (a cephalosporin) antibiotics and told us to watch the eczema plaques closely to see if there was any change. He did say this was unlikely to have any effect but it could affect the bacteria on the skin. No change was observed.
  •  Antibiotic and antifungal topical creams. Neosporin ointment (bacitracin, neomycin and polymycin B) and Lorimin antifungal cream (clotrimazole) were suggested in case the plaques were caused by a fungal or bacterial infection of the skin. After a week of testing individually and then as a pair (we mixed them together in the palm of our hand) there was no change.
  •  Coconut, mineral and olive oils. These were mostly suggested anecdotally by friends and family, not a doctor, but it seemed plausible that they might have a positive effect on keeping our son’s skin moisturized. Although we didn’t do any long-term testing, we didn’t see any results from applying them to the scaly plaques a few times. Using the oils was far messier than using the creams and basically guaranteed a stain on our son’s clothing, so we didn’t pursue this very long.
  •  Colloidal oatmeal creams. We bought a big bottle of Aveeno Baby Eczema cream for home, another one for the diaper bag and more tubes for daycare and applied it generously at every diaper change. The Aveeno product soaked in quickly and smelled nice, but it didn’t really help our son’s eczema. Our pediatrician said the colloidal oatmeal was supposed to help sensitive skin, but I think there is probably so little of it in any of the Aveeno products that it has minimal effect compared with the other ingredients. By the next diaper change our son’s skin would feel just as dry. I’ll also mention that we ground up rolled oats in a blender to make oatmeal baths which did seem to have a soothing effect on the itching, but did not have any effect on the plaques. It was also a pretty big mess to wash out of the tub every time.

So there you have it, a few ideas that actually worked for us and some that definitely did not. Hopefully someone can learn from our experiences. If you are the parent of a child with eczema, I would advise you to simply start with one application of a heavy, greasy ointment product like Vaniply each day and go from there. For our infant son, we normally saw his pediatrician at his regular well-child check-ups so we usually changed his treatment plan regularly to see if something different would work or not. So don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician or provider and let them know you want to try something else, they might have access to new research (or different types of steroids) that can really help. And most importantly, don’t give up! Our son’s eczema is now well-controlled and he hasn’t had a flare-up in months. So there is hope that someday he will simply outgrow it.