Wow! Yes, it had the exact same affect on my baby. My youngest has been suffering for over 3 months now and just like you I read all the wonderful reviews about California Baby Calendula Cream. It is so expensive that I tried several other products first (Aquaphor, Cetaphil, Vitamin E Oil, Aveeno, Gentle Naturals, Petroleum Jelly, Goats Milk Lotion). When they didn't work I finally ordered some Calendula Cream and after the first application it caused his face to become even more inflamed. We gave it a couple of days and tried again but again it made things worse. I was so hoping that it would be the miracle cream that many others had reported but no such luck.
Did your DD's eczema start as cradle cap? Ours began as the regular cradle cap that all my kids have had. I treated it with olive oil but then one day it came back in full force. This time it was red, inflamed, itchy and it spread down his face. The pediatrician had us use lots of Petroleum Jelly covered with cotton hats to make it go away. That worked great except for the face. Thus began our quest in trying to make the red, weepy patches disappear from his face. However, any oil, lotion or natural moisturizer like the Calendula only make the cradle cap come back. Any emoilment like Aquaphor or Petroleum Jelly keep the condition from getting worse but don't cure it and after a couple days of use they cause it to become inflamed and weepy.
Finally after lots of agonizing we tried a 1% Hydrocortisone cream and his face cleared completely within 48 hours. The weepy patches were finally gone and for the first time in months you could see and feel clear, smooth skin. However, like we had been warned within four days some red patches started coming back. The patches started to weep again so our pediatrician prescribed an antibiotic cream. The cream made the patches drastically worse after only one application.
We have now been referred to an allergist. However, my husband is deeply against me going on an elimination diet. We are vegetarians so he concerned that I won't get enough nutrients and that it will turn out that food is not causing the eczema. There seems to be such conflicting reports on food allergies and eczema and so many stories of moms who go through diet changes with no success. However, the success stories make me feel so guilty for not trying the elimination diet that it is hard.
Has your DD had any reaction to polyester or rubber materials? We have found that polyester, rubber, plastics and sometimes latex seem to trigger his breakouts. At this point we still can't figure out what the cause is. Also is the eczema just on the face?
Right now his face is so bad and the only relief I can offer him is epsom salt baths. I can't wait until the weather warms up a little more and I can take him swimming in the ocean. One thing that actually worked well was to take him swimming in an indoor pool. The chlorine in the water had an amazingly positive impact. There is a lot of research out there right now about bleach baths so maybe that is why?
Sorry for the long response but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I have been agonizing over this for months and I read so many posts, articles and reviews with cures that don't work for us. If I find anything that works I will be sure to post to let you know.