ECZEMA 101 - all your best tips, etc. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-02-2010, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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dd (3) has always has tiny, tiny bits of what i think was eczema, but it never seemed to worsen or bother her. about two months ago, she had this intense "flare," and she had angry patches on both arms, wrists, shoulders, and belly. she'd never had anything even remotely like this. most of it faded somewhat, but one elbow crease is still awful, and it's bothering her so much. she's on the autism spectrum, and she rarely complains of pain or discomfort, so it's tough to get a good read on how much something bothers her. right now, though, she's been sleeping like a newborn, and i'm pretty sure it's her skin.

so, i know there are lots of thoughts on eczema, but where do i start??? i was always hesitant about the idea of meds, but i don't want her to suffer. my plan wouldn't be to do meds long term, but do you all think i should do them right now to make her comfortable, then embark on a plan. should i be using moisturizer, not bathing her, etc.? like i said, this has never been a problem before, so i'm really perplexed (and saddened) by all of this.

thanks for any help, advice, words of wisdom.
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#2 of 7 Old 06-03-2010, 12:11 AM
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What has worked best for DS and DD is to eliminate all allergenic foods, bathe daily (warm water) and follow with aquaphor (I tried more natural creams, oils, etc but this is the only one that worked for us). I have occasionally needed to resort to a steroid cream but rarely and generally only if their sleep is affected. Good luck - I hope your DD finds relief soon!

Mama to DS (4/07) homebirth.jpgand DD (3/09) waterbirth.jpg     15****20****25****30****35****40 *whistling.gif**45

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#3 of 7 Old 06-03-2010, 03:22 AM
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My son (also on the autism spectrum) was 2 when his system when haywire. The underlying causes were nutrient deficiencies (in particular, zinc & mag), and metals toxicity (for him, antimony from his PJs & mattress). Took a while for both problems to accumulate, it was so puzzling that things *suddenly* went wrong.

I'd suggest running a hair test, you can order them yourself from - the hair elements test, NOT the toxic hair test. It will tell you metals toxicity and levels for a lot of minerals (that's how we flagged the zinc & mag deficiencies). It's a great, non-invasive way to get information, and for our munchkins on the spectrum, I think they are particularly sensitive to both metals and mineral imbalances, so at the very least, I'd want to rule those out. It's not a totally straightforward test to interpret, but if you take a screenshot/scan of the results and post them here, there are several mamas who could help you interpret.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#4 of 7 Old 06-03-2010, 11:23 AM
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What works for us is to take out food triggers, use this calendula cream, and add in supplements.
Before I figured out the biggest trigger, we did use steroid cream a couple times, just long enough so it didn't look awful and painful (a couple days).

The calendula cream doesn't actually make the eczema any lighter, but it does seem to make his skin look healthier, if that makes any sense. I've not noticed any association with bathing, detergents, or anything like that. I notice a huge relation to what I eat, though.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)

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#5 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 06:57 PM
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Did you see this other mama's success story?

AP mama to two boys (5 , 3) fencing.gifand one sweet girl baby energy.gif
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#6 of 7 Old 06-14-2010, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for your thoughts, ladies . mamafish, i would love to do a hair test. as soon as funds allow, i will do it!!! right now, i am beyond poor (just got denied for ssi, etc), and i have to do the bare minimum. i have started using emu oil, and while it seems to make the skin softer, it doesn't take away the itch. and it started out as one or two patches, but now it's getting worse. i just don't understand - i don't know what is so different that it's causing her body to react this way .
please keep the suggestions coming.
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#7 of 7 Old 06-14-2010, 11:09 PM
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I have to say ds2's rashes started out in little bits and pieces that I ignored for the longest time as well. I was kinda waiting for him to outgrow it, but at some point everything just became exponentially worse and strangers were staring at us. It was really hard to find a cause when it kinda crept up like that, unlike ds1's dairy intolerance which was really clear to see from the start and hence to get a handle on.

The mums here gave me some good ideas on what allergens I was not yet eliminating and we've added corn/gluten/sesame/sunflower to our forbidden list. If you google Dermatitis Herpetiformis, you'll have a good idea what my kid's rashes look like. It is finally clearing up now, thank goodness.

He has also been tested positive for dustmite allergy and I've been wielding a vacuum cleaner like a weapon. It must be HEPA certified, fully sealed unit to be effective against dustmites.

Re medicated steriod cream - it did provide quick relief and a good night sleep for a while, and if you don't have to use it long-term, it can really help. But in our case, because the underlying cause was not removed, each subsequent flare-up was much worse due to thinning of skin and lowered skin immunity. His skin became really fragile, tore easily, wouldn't heal for weeks and was easily infected. It was a vicious cycle especially since even cleaning the broken areas was very traumatic for everyone.

Re secondary infections - if it's a prolonged rash, check for secondary infection which may be bacterial or fungal. Ds2 had patches of secondary fungal infection which made everything very bad at one point last year. The treatment for fungal infection is the opposite of eczema advice so that's one good thing to check on (keep skin dry, no creams, no bandage that can trap moisture and cause more breeding). One friend whose son had very bad eczemic looking skin despite going to many many doctors finally found relief when a dermatologist started targetting fungal infections instead of eczema and also told them to stay off all seafood, including fish and seaweed.

Our allergist separately also told us not to use antibiotic cream (which another dermatologist had given us previously) on ds2's rashes because it will develop resistance due to the long-term nature. Instead we now use antiseptic solution to clean the skin everyday.

Hope you find something useful in this.
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