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Mom turns home remedy into national business

Staff Photo: John Bohn — Anita Lynn Redd has invented a new line of all-natural lotions and balms. Reed created the line to assist her son who had severe eczema.

Staff Photo: John Bohn — Anita Lynn Redd has invented a new line of all-natural lotions and balms. Reed created the line to assist her son who had severe eczema.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn — Anita Lynn Redd holds samples of her new line of all-natural lotions and balms. Reed created the line to assist her son who had severe eczema.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Eczema — the chronic skin condition that can produce scaly, itchy skin and blisters — isn’t much fun for anyone. With kids, it can be an utter nightmare.

“We were dealing with bloody sheets and sleepless nights and trouble at school, issues like that for many, many years,” Lawrenceville mother Anita Redd said.

The steroids given to her son, now 14 years old, produced only minimal success, and eventually stopped working altogether.

A need to help her son, in this case, was the mother of invention.

One day in 2003, Redd began experimenting with olive oil, which she had read was a great skin conditioner. She “solidified” it with beeswax shavings, and slapped it on one of her husband’s roll-ons deodorant dispensers.

Voila — Anita’s Balm was born.

For years Kevin used his mom’s remedy to great success, and Redd dished it out to anyone she ran into that had problems like rosacea, psoriasis and alopecia.

“It worked on everything that I ever gave it to anybody for,” Redd said.

By late 2011, Redd decided it was time to incorporate and try selling Anita’s Balm, which now comes in several different forms, to the public. At her first conference, she sold more than 50 tubes of the simple, all-natural product by noon the first day.

The products — including the original balm and lip, hair and eye balms — are now available at more than 35 natural food stores and pharmacies nationwide.

“It’s just easy to apply, it’s very basic and it’s just got those two ingredients that are age-old centuries old,” Redd said. “The combination is just a knockout punch.”

The list of potential uses the Redd rattles off is long: “Any type of redness, dryness, scaling, sores, cracking, whether it’s a diseased condition, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, diaper rash, cradle head ...” and on and on.

Redd continues to work despite expecting another child at age 49 — and so does the rest of her family.

Her brother manufactures the products in northern California, her husband is working on designing a new package via autocad and a 3-D printer, and her 19-year-old son, an accounting student, is helping out with the business side of things.

Even when Redd’s first daughter arrives, she expects to be back on the grind quickly.

“I’m the main salesperson,” she said.

For more information, visit AnitasBalm.com.