Mommies of eczema babies, feel free to join my vent here - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know we have had some good discussions about treating eczema, and dd cheeks are under control with a new Rx called elidin which is not a steroid. When she has really bad flareups I use the steroid, but I do not like to. Right now it is her hands that are really bad, and since she is 7 mo, I really can't do much except try to treat while she is sleeping and put mitts on. But they are getting really cracked and open, and she rubs them on anything she is able to, which makes it worse. I have had to encourage a pacifier which I did not want to do, because sucking on her hands makes it worse.

She is not eating much solids, is only interested when we hand over the spoon and then when she gets the food on her hands they really get red and inflamed and she scratches them on the underside of the high chair tray, making it even worse. When I wipe them off, they feel hot and she's cranky for a while afterwards. Same when I let her have a biter biscuit, which is the only food she seems to enjoy. Thing is, I really want to let her get food all over herself, I don't mind the mess and I think it is good for her develpment to let her play with her food, but it makes her so miserable. I also notice that where food has been on her face, it turns red, and I tested this theory by rubbing some rice cereal with formula on her neck and that area broke out in hives. I also did the same with rice cereal and water, no hives.
I think these two are related. Anyway, I have also been thinking about the summer, we spend a lot of time at the beach and I worry that she won't be able to play in the sand and water like other kids. I am worried that this will affect her whole life, and I really don't want it to, but it makes me so sad to see her so uncomfortable. Anyway, I am so frustrated about this and so sad. I am going to try going dairy free again to see if that helps any, I did try before for a week and there was no change. ( I also felt like I was starving, but that's another story...) I called the library to get that book Is This Your Child from interlibrary loan, since I know allergists won't usually test babies so young.

Thank you if you have read this far, I really needed to vent and I know there are some others of you out there that might know what I am going through. Please feel free to add your vents here as well as what is working for you.

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#2 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 09:23 PM
 
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I think that I may have an extra copy of that book kicking around the house-- I'll check for you.
I also have another book, which has an article about clearing this up - I'll look for it too ( I have 5 floor to ceiling bookshelves - all overflowing, and sever boxes of books in the laundry room). I'll try to post the info tomorrow for you.
Mir
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#3 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 10:00 PM
 
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Have you taken her to a homeopath? They might be able to help. What about EFA's? Have you tried giving her those? Also I have heard that Grapefruit seed extract helps as well as borage or evening primerose oil. Here is a website of a lady that works with nurtional embalance in kids..maybe you can talk to her.

http://www.diannecraft.org

I am sorry this is so hard for you. We have it too but it doesn't bother either one of my kids.
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#4 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 10:08 PM
 
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Whew....momma. You need serious ((((((((((hugs))))))))))

You sound just like me when dd was 7 months old. Well, OK. 3 months-.....? It's been tapering off.....

I remember many panic attacks, thinking about Ana's future. It was affecting our marriage and everything.

The worst is when you take your sweet little baby out in public, and people come smiling up to about 4 feet away "Oh, look at the little baby!" and then flinch and look away....or all of the people with their ridiculous remedies that they heard about somewhere. (Like, "have you ever heard of emu oil?" Seriously, I got that one once.)

When my dd was about 16 months old, a woman in the grocery store told me that she and her dd had gone through the same thing, and it had just tapered off after she turned two, and they were having a normal life. I know I had it as a baby, and have gotten it one time that I can remember. My mom had it, and it was itchy, but it didn't keep her from being popular in High School. My grandma on my father's side got it all over her hands, until she stopped using bleached flour to bake with.

I eliminated almost everything from my diet right away. We spent lots of money on a classical homeopath. We've used herbs, baths, and also steroid creams. Some things helped a little, others a lot at what cost?.....We have only just gotten to a point where I can point to a few foods that she and I need to avoid, and she's basically fine, only a little spot or two (she did break out in hives the other day, but they went away again pretty quickly) I'm still in the scary time when I think she might just go and flare up all over over something unknown....but it's been the longest this time.


Thank you for your post. It echoed my nightmares. You are a strong mama, and your baby is very lucky to be with you. You will come through the dark times.

Love to you,

Rebecca

edited to add, sorry cobluegirl, we posted at the same time. That wasn't directed at anybody here giving advice, I'm just taking about people in the store or whatever coming up uninvited, like your baby's condition is so obvious that it must be a public project, you know? This is a place where people ask for advice and support.........
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#5 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 10:20 PM
 
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just a few words about beachgoing and eczema

kids respond differently to their life circumstances, I can only comment on the response of my son to his lifelong eczema (and asthma and multiple allergies and other medical problems)

it does make a difference to his life, there is no avoiding this, sometimes it gets him down - he's 11 - and sometimes it doesn't

he hates the beach in summer, has only recently begun to tolerate some sunscreens if not used too often, salt water really hurts on eczema patches and sand in swimming togs causes irritation that can lead to more eczema, windy conditions dry out his skin

loves beach in winter!

in theory, a mild dose of sun and a dip in seawater should be good for eczema but we have never found this workable - if the sun is mild enough then the water is too cold!

jtsmom I know all about where you are now and you can't help but feel desperate at times - how I would have loved this place to vent when my son was little!

hang in there, it's hardest when they're tiny, it really is so tough, and things do get better (imho) eventually
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#6 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, thank you all for your loving responses, I do feel a little better, although I'm sniffling a little bit.....

mirtodd, thank you, I would appriciate any info you can scrounge up.

hmmm coblue girl, I have taken EPO on occasion, but get laxy, haven't noticed if it gets better during my non lazy times, I should pay more attention.

oh, crap, I hadn't even thought about sunscreen,

Hera, I was in the pharmacy once when the eczema was really bad, when a lady looked at dd, who was sleeping on my shoulder with most of her face hidden, the lady says, "Oh, she has a rash!" DUH. Another time, when her cheeks were just starting to get to the flaking off point, we brought her to get her portrait taken, the girl (teenager) first goes to pick a piece of the flaky stuff off, then says, I'm not going to do a close up because of her face, ok? What the hell is the matter with people?

Thank you for letting me vent.

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#7 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 10:32 PM
 
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No prob, Hera. I didn't take it that way. I had to go back and reread your post to see what you were talking about. So did the homeopath not work? Could they not find the right remedy? I only ask because we have thought about it for my kiddies...as they both have it and daddy and auntie have it too..argh..damn stuff.
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#8 of 15 Old 05-14-2002, 11:05 PM
 
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My ds doesn't have eczema (yet), but I have had it on and off for most of my life, so here are some tidbits of what I've done over the years:

- Oatmeal baths
- No fragrances in laundry detergent, body lotion, shampoo, etc., or perfumes from mom/cologne from dad.
- All cotton clothing
- Re wanting to let her play with her food: Do a test patch of olive oil to make sure that doesn't irritate her. If it doesn't, rub it onto her hands and face before she eats. My hands get irritated when I cook, and instead of putting a bunch of lotion on, I use olive oil and it tends to help.
- Acupuncture. This is what really cleared it up and made it manageable. She is probably too young now (I know nothing about acupuncture and babies). I went when I was 12, and it has made a world of difference.
- Diet. As you probably know, dairy and wheat are biggies to avoid.
- Check out http://www.eczema.cc/guidebook/index.html. It has a lot of different ideas. They also sell product, but I haven't tried any.
- Do a search on this website for eczcema. There are a lot of threads, and a lot of good ideas.
- Try everything.

As far as it affecting her life, it did affect mine when it was at it's worst (junior high years) but once it was under control, the periodic outbreaks are no big deal. I feel her pain, and yours. I am so paranoid that ds will get eczema. Mine didn't show up until I was a toddler. Ds is 1, and I have not introduced dairy into his diet yet, and don't use anything with fragrance in it. Good luck.
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#9 of 15 Old 05-15-2002, 04:14 PM
 
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Well, you have to picture my 4 month old sweetie with scaly, oozey red and itchy eczema absolutely everywhere except under her diaper. My mom's friend in Chicago told mom that homeopathy had really helped her son, but that you have to go to a classical homeopath if you want to do it right. So, mom called their office and recommended someone in Denver (we were in gilpin county at the time) and paid the first visit fee for us ($250!!) I think it was $75 for the follow-ups. The guy is an MD, too. anyway. We spent a lot of time discussing her rash, and her temperament. I really liked the guy, he gave me great info about vaccinating for instance. After the first remedy, her scalp totally cleared up. That was great, because she had this horrible slimy yellow cradle cap. But, no matter what else he kept throwing at her, nothing helped the eczema at all. eventually he sort of suggested we go buy some sulphur 30c....and never suggested we make another appointment. I guess he decided we were wasting our money or something, I don't know. I did everything I could to help it work, changed my toothpaste and all that. It just didn't. So, we don't really use homeopathy around here........I guess it does work for some folks though.

I have had marginal luck with de-tox herbs, at least to get the rash to go away faster. Avoiding nightshades (tomatoes etc.) and really sweet and acidic fruit like mangoes and oranges, and making sure she drinks 2 or 3 12-oz bottles of water each day, and poops at least every other day.....that's what is helping us. It's lame though, she and I ate something that was a little spicy 2 days ago, and now she's all itchy again. Not too bad, and I know what caused it. That's definately an improvement.
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#10 of 15 Old 05-16-2002, 03:31 AM
 
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My lil one had bad eczema.. her legs would crack and bleed. I only bathed her two - four times a month and even then with aveeno and phisoderm.. so i started using aquaphor ointment. I would lube her up at night then put a sleeper on her.. worked wonders..
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#11 of 15 Old 05-16-2002, 01:29 PM
 
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(((((((((((((((((((((((((jtsmom))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))))))))0


We have found that the no

eggs, dairy, gluten (wheat, rye, spelt, barley and oats) has worked the best for us.

I still use a little bit of cortisone once in while when he really needs it.

Bath every day to hydrate the skin

then within three minutes of getting out of the bath

Lotion rub down (cetaphil)
Cream rub down (Little forest baby therapeutic )
A&D ointment rub down
in that order, every single time.

Seems to be working.
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#12 of 15 Old 05-17-2002, 01:11 PM
 
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Good for you for trying to go dairy-free again! A little tip -- apparently it can take up to 10 days to 2 weeks of eliminating dairy to really 'clear it out', so there can still be symptoms of dairy allergy in that time. Also, watch out for casein, sodium caseinate, lactose, and whey listed as ingredients -- all dairy derived. Good luck -- I know how challenging it can be!
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#13 of 15 Old 05-17-2002, 01:50 PM
 
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Here are some things that you might want to look into:
Essential Fatty Acid supplementation, especially evening primrose oil (which you can take internally and apply topically) - don't give if child has a fever
vitamin a, c, e, & selenium
acidophilous blend of probiotics ( HSO's might be warranted in this case)
MSM supplementation for additional sulphur
doing a rotation diet as per Dr. Doris Rapp
I'm still looking for that book, but here are some to check:
Neutraceutical Revolution
Smart Medicine for a Healthier CHild
Miranda

Pure Gardens herbal skin cream works really well on existing patches.
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#14 of 15 Old 05-18-2002, 01:02 AM
 
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You poor thing - Iguess all of us who've coped with eczema kids know the frustration and helplessness of seeing our beautiful children in pain. dd had eczema from about 2 weeks old and was a veteren scratcher from about 3 months - her wrists were chronic, we ended up with socks over her hands a lot of the time and never got any sleep until she had unbleached organic eczema sleepsuits with hands and feel included and you could tape up the wrists and ankles to prevent her pulling them inside and scratching in her sleep. She wore them for 2 1/2 years.
After following a course of treatment (diet, homeopathy and herbal creams) for about 18 months, she is relatively free and now only flares up with stress, illness and too much sugar or colourings.
We basically did what most of the suggestions above are - no dairy, wheat, tomatoes, mushrooms, yeast, dried fruit, onions, citrus fruits, beef.
Supplements of zinc and evening primrose oil (now I give the kids a teaspoon of UDO's choice oil everyday on breakfast).
Homeopathic combination remedies and a herbal cream called SELF HEAL - wonderful wonderful stuff.
Still, when she totally annihilated her skin and it was shredded to bits, I'd use a 1% hydrocortisone for one day to give it a chance to heal.
Last summer for the first time (3 years old) she wore summer dresses without TIGHTS!
When I read your posts my heart goes out to you - I truely believe that nursing a child with eczema is like nursing a chronic illness - it is stressful for the whole family and at times the helplessness feels overwhelming. Only other parents coping with similar situations can really know what you are going through. I remember putting a little hat on her when she was tiny after the looks I got from people who saw her chronic cradlecap - we finally got that problem sorted with oil made from Mahonia Aquifolium - massaged in every night and rinsed out with water every morning. She still has her hair washed only 6 times in her life with shampoo (its waist length and beautifully shiny - people always comment on its great condition and ask if she hates getting it washed - you should see their jaws hit the floor when I say the last time I washed it was about 5 months ago!!!!!!!!)

I went TOTALLY dairy free for my second pregnancy and for 19 months while breast feeding ds and he is eczema free. It takes 5 weeks for milk proteins to leave your body. Remember that milk is a hidden ingredient in lots of breads and cakes too.

Also we only use washing balls so there is NO detergent residue on the clothes.

Good Luck!!!!!!

ps Yes babies can have acupuncture and respond very well to it. My ds had it at about 5 months for constipation, a couple of times - one needle (he didn't notice) for a couple of seconds and it did the trick. Luckily friends husband was an acupuncturist - also treated me for mastitis successfully several times.
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#15 of 15 Old 05-22-2002, 04:45 AM
 
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some things that have worked for us, on and off

vasaline, important to wash of with cool damp cloth between applications

eczema care cream by pure baby (sold at babies r us and rite aid)... worked great for us for about a month

aveeno lotion

aveeno oatmeal baths (tepid water, short time in tub)

sea salt baths occasionally (to bring the pH of the skin back in balance after all that lotion)

1% cortizone ointment 2xday for 1 week when it was really bad and he got a secondary infection from having open wounds. This worked like a miricle and the day we stopped it started to come back. Tried using it just on the weekends, now it doesn't work anymore.

no dairy or eggs or sugar

no softener, switched to dreft, cotton clothes for everyone, cotton sheets

I drank a pint of whole milk at least once a day during my pregnancy for extra calcium and fat... I'm convinced that that is what has caused him to be so sensitive. Feel bad that he has to suffer for my ignorance.

We're doing the vasaline now... this worked when he first started to get it a year ago, then stopped working and haven't tried it since. His fingers are so cracked and he has several raw patches. This is helping quite a bit.

Tomorrow we're going to a dermatologist to see what he has to say about it.

Thinking of you
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