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Eczema and cold weather

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
What is it about cold weather that causes eczema to get worse? Is there anything that can be done to prevent that? How do you treat the pain of a flare up like that?

My 4yo ds was outside playing today. When he came in he said the patches of eczema on his face hurt. They were bright red and looked irritated. They are there all the time but normally are barely noticeable and he's never complained that they bothered him before.

(I know about food allergies and eczema. DS is not interested in trying an elimination diet.)
post #2 of 33
I think it's going from extreme of temp and being exposed to more dry heater air. Can you put something on it before he goes out or at night?
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMUM View Post
Can you put something on it before he goes out or at night?
What would I put on it?
post #4 of 33
We baste dd in sweet almond oil before bed, and put lanolin on any really nasty spots. I did a patch test on her shoulder with the almond oil first, btw, just to make sure it was okay.
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Almond oil, ok. A friend of mine suggested coconut oil, which I have. DS is so against taking anything or putting anything on his skin. He refused to let me even try the coconut oil, or anything else for that matter. However, that was before it started to bother him. Maybe he'll be more amenable now.
post #6 of 33
National Eczema Association recommend using a humidifier during winter months to counter dryness from especially from heating.

Also the site talks about avoiding potential irritants things like color, fragrance, parabens - they publish a whole list.

They recommend products like cetaphil and exederm. Remember to slap on lots of moisturizer

Here's the NEA link www.easeeczema.org
post #7 of 33
PS: You can add coconut oil to warm bath water - works great, melts in hot water then cool to the correct tempature with the cold water faucet. no rubbing in, but the tub can become slippy
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by caitmin View Post
National Eczema Association recommend using a humidifier during winter months to counter dryness from especially from heating.

Also the site talks about avoiding potential irritants things like color, fragrance, parabens - they publish a whole list.

They recommend products like cetaphil and exederm. Remember to slap on lots of moisturizer

Here's the NEA link www.easeeczema.org
Thanks. I was actually going to look into getting a humidifier. I have a vaporizer but I guess they aren't the same thing. We don't use anything with any color, fragrance or parabens or anything else. He doesn't use soap or shampoos or other detergents, only water to wash. I use special laundry detergent, too.

The moisturizer isn't irritating? When my skin gets really dry and irritated moisturizers sting and burn.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by caitmin View Post
PS: You can add coconut oil to warm bath water - works great, melts in hot water then cool to the correct tempature with the cold water faucet. no rubbing in, but the tub can become slippy
Cool! What a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. The eczema is only on his face, though, around his mouth, which he won't usually wash. However, it'll probably still feel good. I think I'll try that for myself, too.
post #10 of 33
I know it has petroleum, but bag balm is my go to thing, doesn't sting.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
(I know about food allergies and eczema. DS is not interested in trying an elimination diet.)
No offense or anything, but I'm not sure its a great idea to let a 4yo make those kind of health decisions for himself. You're the mama - that's your job. I'd be looking for the internal, root causes of the eczema as well as looking for topical relief.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybird View Post
No offense or anything, but I'm not sure its a great idea to let a 4yo make those kind of health decisions for himself. You're the mama - that's your job. I'd be looking for the internal, root causes of the eczema as well as looking for topical relief.
Thanks. No offense taken. But, we don't force or try to coerce our children to do anything they don't want to do regardless of their ages, especially when it comes to their own bodies.
post #13 of 33
Fair enough. I hear you there. It's worth keeping in mind though, that food allergies when not addressed can set the stage for other problems down the road. Namely asthma, environmental allergies/hayfever, gut damage and digestive troubles. I'm not sure if a 4yo is capable of making decisions based on the available information when they probably cannot fully comprehend all the factors involved.
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
He's already got environmental allergies/hay fever. I doubt anyone can comprehend fully all the factors involved (or not involved). I think a 4yo is just as capable as an adult of making decisions about his own body. If something doesn't feel good to him, I'll let him trust his own gut about it. I know it's a very different perspective and hard for a lot of people to wrap their brains around.
post #15 of 33
I wasn't criticizing your parenting. I'm all for consensual living. Some folks aren't aware of those connections to food allergies, that's all.

FWIW, before we figured out the triggers for dd's eczema, we used pure shea butter which worked pretty well to seal in moisture. No topical treatment ever helped very much, though.
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
I wasn't feeling criticized. I was just explaining myself a bit more. I had read that topical treatments don't help much. That's why I was wondering what I could do for a flare up like that.
post #17 of 33
Ok, in my family 5 out of 6 of us have exzema! And we live in Alaska where it gets down right cold! The cold will actually dry your skin out more than anything, that is why exzema is worse in the winter months. What we have to do is wash with only water, the water can not be real warm either and we can't take long baths or showers, then apply moisturizer constantly. The recomended one by the specialist said Cetiphil! If you have a Fred Meyer in your area they should have the Kroger brand of cetiphil for about half the price. We also try to limit our time outside durring the coldest months. For flare ups I mix the cetiphil with a little hydrocortizone cream in my hand before applying it. It stops the intens itching and pain.

Some of the other things that have caused flare ups on my kids are contact allergies (cetain stuffed toys, perfume...), long bubble baths, laundry detergents, sented anything (exept my candles, I've been able to keep those).

Other things to avoid- Lanoline!, and many moisturizers have alcohol in them, that is why they sting when applied to dry skin. Petrolium products can also be irritating.

I hope some of this helps.
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
That helps a lot. Thanks.
post #19 of 33
DD was just diagnosed with eczema. She has a prescription now, but we're doing Aveeno baths - really soothing! Also, a really emollient lotion (with each diaper change), humidifier and making sure she's covered up before venturing out. The cold does seem to exacerbate it for her.

Aveeno is the only thing I didn't see mentioned - and it really seems to have helped more than some other things we tried.

Good luck!
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybird View Post
No offense or anything, but I'm not sure its a great idea to let a 4yo make those kind of health decisions for himself. You're the mama - that's your job. I'd be looking for the internal, root causes of the eczema as well as looking for topical relief.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybird View Post
Fair enough. I hear you there. It's worth keeping in mind though, that food allergies when not addressed can set the stage for other problems down the road. Namely asthma, environmental allergies/hayfever, gut damage and digestive troubles. I'm not sure if a 4yo is capable of making decisions based on the available information when they probably cannot fully comprehend all the factors involved.
:

Seriously. I understand letting your child make decisions about their own body... but if there are underlying food allergies, they could be doing serious damage to his gut, without you or him knowing it. Does he enjoy living with his eczema and seasonal allergies? Has he been informed about the possible connection of what certain foods could be doing to his body? If you are choosing to let a 4yo harm his body, at least make sure that he is informed of the consequences. (And I'm not saying that he is in fact harming his body, but I think that's a possibility- and your job as a mom is to protect him, keep him safe even if he doesn't completely understand or agree with your decision. JMHO.)
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