New here just found this site today. We are battling food allergies and eczema with my 5 month old dd. It started with cradle cap and baby acne, the acne went away and was replaced with eczema and the cradle cap never cleared up and is still around. We did a scratch test and blood test and she tested positive to eggs, peanuts, and milk. She has eczema from head to toe including her face and diaper area. She is exclusively breastfed and I have eliminated eggs, peanuts, and milk from my diet for around 5 weeks now to the best of my ability and though the eczema got better it never went away completely and she still flares and is in the midst of a flare-up now. In addition to this we have also battled yeast, really bad spit-up although she was never technically diagnosed with reflux, mucousy bowel movements, and swollen lymph nodes. I ended up putting some steroids on her because her face was red, raw, and oozing. That cleared things up and I have been maintaining with a bathing/lotion regimen everyday and using hydrocortisone to control flares. What else can I do? Any other advice on what I should or should or not be doing from been there done that moms? Thanks so much!!
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Food allergies and eczema
First of all, bloodwork on a child under 2yo is not deemed reliable. It's a "this might be the problem, but you can't bank on it" situation.
But if there's a reaction to milk, you should really also cut out all the soy. Make sure that even traces of casein are out, but also remove the soy. Most kids that react to dairy also react to soy. The protein looks similar to the body. If you can remove it for 2 weeks, you may see a difference. Soy turns up on the strangest of places--including tuna packed in water (it was likely poached in a soybean broth--check the label!).
Hopefully that helps.
My son only has very mild eczema. If you aren't already, try bathing with just lukewarm water. Do baths make things better or worse, bc you could probably stretch it out a few days when they are so young. What lotion are you using? Also, consider replacing fabric softner with vinegar.
This sounds EXACTLY like my daughter at that age--her eczema was so bad her face looked burnt, her lymph nodes were always swollen, blood and mucus in her stools, et cetera. When you say that you're eliminating "to the best of your ability," does that mean you're getting some egg/dairy still? If so, I would suggest really strictly eliminated for 2-4 weeks and see if that takes care of it.
My daughter's symptoms started when she was just a few weeks old, but despite what were, in retrospect, pretty crystal clear allergy symptoms, our pediatrician insisted it wasn't allergy-related. So her eczema was pretty constant (sometimes suppressed with steroid cream) for her first couple of years, when we finally had her allergy tested (at ~16 months, she had an anaphylactic reaction to a cashew, so we were testing to figure out which nuts she was/wasn't allergic to, and when I mentioned her awful eczema, the allergist tested for egg and dairy as well). She wasn't eating much egg at that time--just what she was getting in various baked goods, et cetera--but when we totally cut it out for 2 weeks, her eczema went away entirely and never came back.
Good luck--I know how frustrating this is. For what it's worth, my girl is 5 now, and has outgrown her dairy and egg allergies. She's still very allergic to nuts (not peanuts, but tree nuts), and most likely won't outgrow that.
My son was the same way at that age. Well, actually it started at about 5 months and escalated to full severe eczema by 10 months. I kept changing my diet, and it just kept getting worse. It was very itchy, too. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out natural lotions and creams, but in the end it was all food allergies.
We didn't get relief until we had his blood tested for allergies. He is allergic to soy, dairy, peanut, tree nut, sesame, fish, egg, quinoa, coconut and flaxseed. At that time, he was very sensitive to many other foods too, so I went on a complete elimination diet and started using a Hydrocortisone cream. After a couple months of that, he was clear enough to be able to introduce new foods one at a time and see what was causing the symptoms.
Anyway, I sincerely hope that your situation doesn't get as far gone as mine did. I feel like his sensitivity was made worse by my delay in getting the allergies figured out. So you are on a good track by already realizing that it's food allergies.
I will say that it took a lot of time for his skin to heal once the allergens were removed from our diets. But once it did, there is no sign of the former bad patches, and the HC did not leave any damage to his skin.
As for looking for further triggers, keep in mind that reactions may be delayed by 1-2 days. That is how my son was.
Best of luck!
1) Actually, breastfeeding can still cause reactions because even though it is your milk, she could still be reacting to it. See what Mrs. Duggar did with her child. Her child was diagnosed with a Milk allergy and Mrs. Duggar had to stop breast feeding, which in turn led to a healthier baby. I do not know what formula exists for dairy and soy free though. I'm hoping to learn this information on this forum. :D (Duggar Family was a show on TLC).
If you keep Breastfeeding then:
2) What happens if you go Soy and Legume free?
Peanut is a Legume, so maybe there is a chance that she is reacting to all legumes in your milk.Soy is also a legume.
3) Last ditch effort: Is it possible to do an elimination diet where you eat Quinoa (gluten free, cereal family free), Cabbage family ( but no mustard), Organic grass fed Beef and Chicken? This list gives you vitamins and minerals that are needed, but eliminates the top 12 most common food allergies. Quinoa cooks like Rice. I've not found a Cereal free Quinoa pasta yet.
And, then add foods to this list, one at a time, if she stops having reactions.
Cabbage Family: Kale is a superfood and is vitamin packed. Spinach (Goosefoot family) is another superfood.
Top 12 allergies (14 due to differences between countries): Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Wheat, Fish, Shellfish, Sesame Seed, Safflower Seed, Sunflower Seed, Tree Nuts (includes Coconut), Peanuts, Mustard, Celery.
We had a very similar situation with my now 2.5 year old DD. She is allergic to dairy and eggs, and likely wheat (re-challenging that one soon) and we found that bathing her as infrequently as possible really helped. Getting wet actually dries the skin further and always caused a flare up. She would light up like a Christmas tree as soon as she got wet and it was even worse with soap (which we only use on her hair or if she is super dirty from the beach or something). We keep her lotion in a few locations around the house and slather her up as often as she lets us. That, and the limited bathing (always in lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes max) is what started the skin healing once we cut out all of the allergic foods.
Good luck...it is a harrowing journey, but so worth it once you get it all settled and your baby is well again.
Dd seemed to actually do well while I was doing the SPecifc carb diet, but it is so challenging to maintain that I gave up. However, I'm thinking of restarting in the near future and seeing how she does. You can google it or there are "leaky gut" forums you can check out.itmdid seem to help her. Might be worth a shot for you.good luck. I know how frustrating it can all be!!M
My son has had eczema since he was a baby as well. While breastfeeding, I managed my diet according to his symptoms, but there was little else I could do since, as other people have stated, allergy testing in children under the age of 2 is unreliable. I too recommend the top 12 be eliminated. Also, recently my son was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), or ezcema of the esophagus. This is similar to regular eczema as it is triggered by allergies and immune system issues, but is in the esophagus and stomach, and it leads to reflux, loose stools, compacted stools, stomach pain, vomitting and a few other symptoms. It took me years for a doctor to take me seriously when I told them his symptoms, and to not be told it was a phase or he would grow out of it. Keep on top of it, and when your LO hits about 2, get allergy testing done and if applicable, I recommend seeing a pediatric GI specialist to rule out any damage done by the allergies. My son is allergic to several very commonly used things, much like your dd. However, my son's allergies tested only moderate, but with his EE, those moderate/minor allergies manifest in major digestive symptoms. Taking away not only the foods he tested positive for as well as some others that I notice a reaction to has been really helpful in managing his external eczema and his EE. I have to also agree with a few PPs, that reactions can be delayed sometimes for a couple of days, especially digestive ones, so slowly integrate new foods when you've done enough time on an elimination diet. Its nerve racking and stressful, I know.
As far as managing the existing eczema, I use the Mustella Stelatopia line, which is made to help eczema and it seems to work for the most part. (It is expensive, so when we had most of his eczema managed through diet, we stopped using a lot of it.) They have a waterless cleansing wash that you put on a cotton ball and wipe over the baby to clean rather than bathing and that worked well for us. Also, I used a barrier cream (clear desitin) on areas that are exposed to moisture (like neck, face, diaper area) to help prevent an eczema flareup. This was really helpful when he was teething and drooling everywhere. As my son has gotten older (he's 4.5 now), some of his eczema has eased up either due to us managing triggers better or him outgrowing it, so there may be light at the end of the tunnel for you.
Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need a shoulder to cry on.
I too feel your pain. If you are committed to BFing, you need to completely eliminate all mil and dairy products, eggs, and nuts from your diet. I am allergic to the casein in milk and my mom could not eat ANYTHING with milk, cream, whey, etc etc in it without me flaring. I would also eliminate flax seed oil. If that does not wrk I would take out the soy as well. I would suggest spacing out the bathing, and try to make the baths as short as possible in lukewarm water with a non-drying soap (I use Aveeno). And moisturize multiple times a day. I use an oatmeal lotion when I am not broken out, and olive oil when I am, and I lather it on. In terms of discomfort, I am always itchier when I am hot, so make sure her skin can breath as much as possible. Good luck.
Oh, yes, I've certainly been there! In fact, I write about blog about this very thing - our family's battles with eczema (as well as food allergies and asthma). "It's an Itchy Little World"
Eczema is such a struggle. We finally figured out that food allergies were triggering most of my son's eczema. But, he tests negative in patch and blood work. Keep in mind not only can the tests provide false positives, but the less common false negatives. We found soap nuts were really gentle for washing laundry. Also started homeopathy and moisturizing with Calendulis Cream and Manuka Honey Skin Cream. They were the only creams that didn't burn him and he didn't develop an allergy to the ingredients.
Good luck on your journey! I hope you find your child's triggers.
- Food allergies and eczema
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