eczema- what to put on baby's face? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 05-31-2011, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there an all natural product that is safe to put on baby's face, in case he rubs it into his eyes or mouth?  I've been using coconut oil, cacao butter, shea butter etc., but there have been times when baby's face was really broken out that I just felt unsure about anything I was putting on it, not wanting to make it worse! 

Aveeno cream seems helpful, but is that ok for use on face?  I haven't been able to find one here that is specifically for use on face.

When I google eczema face, there is a product that comes up called Dr. Wheatgrass, which claims impressive results.  Has anyone ever heard of this, and does it actually work?

Thankyou.

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#2 of 26 Old 06-04-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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Hello 1iberty! I'm new to this forum :) A little introduction: I'm a mother to a three-year old boy who has eczema so maybe I can help you with this one.

 

I understand why you're concerned with what to put on your baby's face. I'm sure that this is a concern of many mommies out there who only want what's best for their little one! Anyway, I have a few suggestions for you which you can try :)

 

  1. Oatmeal Mask - Soak a cup of raw oatmeal in bowl of cool or lukewarm water. But I suggest you use boiling water to make sure the water is clean. When the raw oatmeal is puffy, drain the excess water from the bowl. Let it sit for a while to cool (if you used boiling water). Then, squeeze out the excess water from the soaked oatmeal using your bare hands. Make sure you clean your hands before hand! Lastly, place the oatmeal on top of your baby's rashes. You can do this several times a day for a few days until you see an improvement. As much as possible, you can do this while he's sleeping smile.gif
  2. You can also use the papaya paste and strawberry paste from this blog that I came across - http://hubpages.com/hub/Homemade-Eczema-Natural-Remedies. They're just as safe as the oatmeal mask I suggested.

 

Hey, let me know how things go okay? I may be needing your help in the future too. After all, both our children have eczema. Oh, by the way. I've heard about Aveeno products at Dr. Wheatgrass too. Sorry but I haven't tried these personally but I have heard they're mild. Not sure if they're safe around the eyes and mouth though.

 

- Amanda joy.gif

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#3 of 26 Old 06-05-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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I'm sorry but I don't think you should put strawberry or papaya on the baby's face, especially if there's broken skin! Papaya contains papain which can be used to tenderise meat! Strawberry is also quite acidic and it can sting, or make the baby's face more sensitive! If you really want to, please do a patch test first!

 

I know some people find huge relief with oatmeal bath, but I personally get rashes, so again, do a patch test.

 

That aside, Avene antibacterial repair cream (for babies and sensitive skins) has done wonders for my ds2 and it contains no fragrance or preservatives. It was recommended to another friend with eczem by her doctor. DS2's skin has improved tremendously in the past one year, but he has a persistent patch on his ankle that just would not heal. I was very cautious with it at first, applying it only to one small area and after I saw some improvement, I applied it on him two to three times a day and after two weeks, it has almost completely healed. I continue avoiding his allergens and paying due diligence with his daily skincare routine, but the repair cream has really helped to bring progress. He has eczema since one, he will be turning four soon.

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#4 of 26 Old 06-06-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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If it's broken skin- don't put anything on it!! You can use a mix of water with a few drops of tea tree oil to gently clean it so that it doesn't get infected, but otherwise I would just leave it alone.

If the skin is just dry and irritated, emu oil works great.

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#5 of 26 Old 06-06-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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Coconut oil can be great for eczema, apply several times a day. This was actually recommended to me by a ped.

 

Good little blog about eczema http://healthygreenmoms.com/how-i-finally-cured-my-babys-eczema-in-a-matter-of-days/

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#6 of 26 Old 06-06-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Coconut oil is great for the skin, but since eczema is often caused by food allergies, I would be careful with putting food products on it.

To get rid of the eczema, you need to figure out what is causing it, and remove those foods from the child's diet (or yours, if you're breastfeeding.)

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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#7 of 26 Old 06-06-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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I find that many doctors describe a huge variety of skin condition under the label eczema and give blanket advice that may not be suitable for the individual.  There's a big difference between dry atopic skin, a persistent allergic reaction, a persistent secondary fungal/bacterial infection and  an acute flareup with weepy swollen areas. You can put many things on the skin when it's just dry and scaly, as long as your child is not allergic or sensitive to it. But if there is broken skin and the area around the broken skin looks puffy and red, just keep it clean and dry and maybe put some antispetic cream that your child will not react to. Believe me I learnt it the hard way and I've tried pricy organic virgin coconut oil besides many other natural remedies. If you want to, try it on a small area of UNbroken skin for a couple of days first to see if it's suitable. Great if it is, if it's not, there's less to deal with.

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#8 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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I agree about finding out what is causing it (foods, environmental) and removing them from the childs diet (and/or yours if you're BFing).


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#9 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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I wouldn't use papaya, strawberry or tea tree on a baby - all too strong.  I use Weleda's calendula ointment and it's very soothing.  I also give my DD baths with calendula flower infusion and sometimes ground up oats.  Coconut oil is nice too as is shea butter.  My favorite pre-made cream is from Bubble and Bee - the unscented body butter - very pure and safe. 

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#10 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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deminc, is there a way to tell the difference between a flare-up with weepy swollen areas, and a persistent allergic reaction?  The rash is primarily on cheeks beside the mouth, and sometimes on lips and eyelids.  It isn't dry, and the coconut oil hasn't seemed to help.

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#11 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Gosh, I'm not sure how to best answer this. Basically a swollen WEEPY area is an infected wound that you should treat immediately. If it's simply swollen, it can be an allergic reaction or it can be a low grade infection, or both.

 

I made many many mistakes with my kid; in my kid's case it was everything - food, environmental, and infections and it just kept flaring up, getting progressively worse each time because all we did was put moisturisers, trying natural remedies (generally herbal creams and oils), and then using steriods when we got desperate. Many doctors I brought him to gave us steriods and moisturisers and told me to hope he will outgrow it. He went from one affected ankle to two badly infected legs in one year.

 

So do guard against infections. They can make a bad situation simply unbearable.If the coconut oil is not helping, don't use it. Just keep the area clean and pat dry very gently. If your child tend to rub the face, you should clean the fingers and nails with antiseptic solution to prevent infecting any open skin. If the skin keeps flaring up again after healing, you have start looking for the triggers. Food triggers aside, I remember a mother whose child used to develop facial rashes and she later tracked it to some synthetic fabric in the face-clothes she was using. Consider the flare-up pattern - this will be unclear while there is an infection, but once the infection is treated and resolved, a pattern should emerge. One of my nephews can't use fleece. My son is allergic to dustmites, and I have to rewash his clothes if they have been in the closet for too long.  

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#12 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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Are you sure its just eczema? A kid at my sons daycare had 'eczema' and within a week one of my kids came home with impetego! The daycare people said 'oh it's just eczema we don't need to send him home'. Anyways my kids had to do antibiotics for 10 days and I put tea tree oil on coconut oil on their skin. Luckily it was only a small patch on her face and I took her to the doctor that evening. If your baby has eczema it makes them really succeptable for infection from other bacteria, even normal flora so if there is any oozing or blistering it might be an infection on top of the eczema.

When my daughter was a baby there was a baby in her daycare that had eczema and it never got worse. His mom said she would squirt him in the face with breast milk and rub it in each time he nursed. I can't see that doing any harm!


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#13 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thankyou deminc,

yes, I have been watching for triggers like a hawk!  : )  There are some I've figured out, like soaps, perfumes, chemicals (like the formaldehyde and flame retardants that are sometimes on clothing) but I think there may be something to do with his digestive system: the spots on his skin will become red before he has a bowel movement sometimes, or sometimes redden immediately after nursing. 

You said to guard against infection- that's why I was wondering if I could put something on his face even as a protective barrier.  But I'm not sure about coconut oil, seeing as it is a nut, and I haven't identified food triggers... 

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#14 of 26 Old 06-07-2011, 08:54 PM
 
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The tea tree oil will help it from getting infected if it's open. As long as you dilute it, it's not too harsh for a baby's skin. For my diaper wipe solution I put a dropper-ful of calendula tincture and a few drops of tea tree oil in a little squirt bottle. You could use that same solution for the eczema (or just the tea tree in water; the alcohol in the calendula tincture might sting.)

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#15 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 03:44 AM
 
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Plain vaseline.  That is what we ended up using a lot for our one son who used to have eczema so bad it would get infected.  At a certain point though, we did use the prescribed creams, sparingly, because you really do have to address the infection.

 

Also, for us, our son was severely allergic to grass and trees.... so..... playing outside, in whatever was out in the yard..... was part of it.  We already had eliminated the food he was allergic to.  

 

But, really, we tried lots of lotions, bath stuff..... we had Cetaphil, Aquaphor, Eucerin (which was close to the best one we use), Aveeno...... lots of things labeled to be soothing for eczema..... and vaseline just was what we kept going back to.  

 

Personally, I'd would head to a doctor with weeping skin, swollen and puffy stuff, around lips and eyes especially.  

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#16 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I went to the dr, and the dermatologist, but both said it was unrelated to food/ allergies (and I don't feel convinced about that), and the derm. said to use the steroid cream as needed- but that would be far too frequently!!  I am getting a referal to a pediatrician.

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#17 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by FAmom View Post

and vaseline just was what we kept going back to.  

 

Personally, I'd would head to a doctor with weeping skin, swollen and puffy stuff, around lips and eyes especially.  


FAmom,

your child's situation sounds similar to mine, except mine is allergic to food and dustmites instead of pollen. do you think it may be that the vaseline acts as a barrier against the pollen? For us Avene antibacterial repair cream has been very helpful, and it's a thick paste. My ds2 is highly allergic to dustmite and any broken skin will develop welts once it's exposed to dustmites. I was thinking that one reason why the repair cream works so well may be because it acts as a barrier against dustmites.

 

1iberty,

It's so frustrating isn't it?  If the doctors only send you off with steriods, it's not enough, especially for weepy skin - and believe me, we were sent off with only steriods by a number of doctors, including senior pds and so-called dermatologists. This is even after I specifically asked them about infections, and they would say their steriod creams are an all-in-one. Even the allergist almost didn't want to test ds2 for allergies (his skin happened to be clearing up when our appointment finally arrived) until I showed him dated photos of ds2's skin spanning across a few months. If you can, try to get an older dermatologist who would have had a higher chance of having seen complicated cases, or at least cases where allergies really did play a role, and offer more comprehensive advice. Keep asking around for recommendations. That's how we found one of our doctors - through a mum whom I met only once before, but I heard how great her son was suddenly doing from another two acquaintances and immediately emailed her. Other parents of allergic children are always very forthcoming with contacts and tips.

 

In the meantime, if there is a weepy area right now, what we've been told to do is soak cotton pads in antiseptic wash (single use satchets) and lay it over the affected area for 5 min. We used to do it after the kid has fallen asleep as broken skin can smart. You may want to do that since it's near the eye area and you will not want him to rub it into his eyes.  

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#18 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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FAmom,

your child's situation sounds similar to mine, except mine is allergic to food and dustmites instead of pollen. do you think it may be that the vaseline acts as a barrier against the pollen?

 

I am not sure if the vaseline acts as a barrier or not..... that is kind of interesting to think about though.  In some ways, in order to figure that out, I think you'd really have to track your child, what they do, what they touch, what they eat, etc.  Which we did, in order to really try and find out what was the cause.  Sometimes you don't get something definitive, but at least a better hunch as to the cause.  You also have to have a break, when the skin is better, so that you can track from that point, until when it gets worse again, and the possible triggers within that window.

 

But, I would say, for our son whose eczema was the worst, with the skin infections, we discovered his egg allergy when he was a baby.  So, we hadn't had them in the house since then.  We didn't write off the idea of the development of new food allergies though.  We did go through some other testing, and eliminated anything that showed up on the RAST as possible.... even the most minute.  Wheat was the worst to work with.  Rice bread is not very tasty!

 

In the end, through trial and error, lots of testing, a couple allergists, and ripping out a lot of our front and back yards, by 9 years old, his eczema is almost non existent comparatively speaking to where we started.  

 

For me, especially, I also went through the weeping skin, swelling, essentially looking like I had been beaten up, and wanting to just scratch my skin right off my face, in college. Back then, I couldn't go to an allergist until the regular doctor did a referral.  That regular doctor wouldn't give up until he had guinea pigged me to death.  Every antihistamine, every eye drop..... creams... everything..... and when nothing worked... I kept asking.... and I remember that last appointment, and he said to me that he'd give me a referral, but that the allergist was just going to give me a cortizone shot, and that he could do that too.

 

Well, I didn't care.  And, I got to that allergist.  I knew I had to get there.  And, he helped me.  Did skin scratch testing.  For me, it was environmentals.  Found out I was allergic to things .... like cats..... that I had no clue about.  Not good to have had them on my bed all those years.  Explained a lot of illness for me.  I did immunotherapy with that allergist, and got some better medications, including a nasal spray that did wonders.

 

Anyway, point is with my story, the weeping skin is horrific, and I wouldn't stop until I figured that one out.  

 

It can be a long road.  A tiring one.  And sometimes you have to find the one thing that will make your child at least more comfortable while you figure out the cause, and while you find the right doctor.  I think starting with the pediatrician is a good place.  Even if they can't solve the problem, they can almost be a clearing house for a lot.  They can order RAST tests, they can prescribe creams, and they also will know (or should) about the various doctors, and hopefully more than one of any specialty, that can help you.  

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#19 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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I was just talking to DH, who also suffered with eczema...... 

 

..... he and I contextualize things differently.....

 

But, he thought with the weeping it sounded like poison oak.  Also, for him, the vaseline did serve as a barrier to keep moisture in.  

 

I do know that when it does come to creams, including hydrocortizone, you have to be careful in using them because you can end up drying things out more when you are trying to reduce itching and swelling.  So, then in drying things out more, you cause more itching.

 

I have to say, eczema is really hard. 

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#20 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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This is interesting. Another mum and I were just talking about how different individual seem to react very differently to various climates. There were cases where a child's eczema would clear up whenever he is in a dry cool climate, and conversely, individuals whose eczema would clear up once they move to a humid climate. Generally for the former, heat is a trigger while for the latter, dry skin is a big factor. We are in a humid climate but my ds has atopic skin prone to infections, including fungal infections. To clear it up we have to avoid additional moisture, and at the same time, avoid airconditioners which would further dry out his skin. AND at the same time, we have to try to keep the humidity level down to control the dustmite population. Talk about confusion and suffering! Fortunately with his food allergies improving, his skin is no longer so dry.

 

I'm so convinced that most doctors are simply rattling off a list of things they memorised from their medical textbooks, and only a handful of really good ones will actually look closely at the skin, and consider the interplay of genetics, skin, environment, and daily care routine.

 

 

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#21 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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I'm so convinced that most doctors are simply rattling off a list of things they memorised from their medical textbooks, and only a handful of really good ones will actually look closely at the skin, and consider the interplay of genetics, skin, environment, and daily care routine.

 

I kind of agree with you.  I would also add, that for me, a good doctor is one that will work with you if they don't know.  I can appreciate a doctor if they are willing to realize that as a parent, you might know something, and won't dismiss the fact that we are the ones living day in and day out trying to figure things out.  We see all the subtleties, and they get a snap shot. 

 

I agree too with really how different every individual can be with eczema..... and I can imagine that climates figure in too.  All three of my kids all have had different experiences with eczema.  Thankfully only one had it so severely.  

 

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1iberty View Post

I went to the dr, and the dermatologist, but both said it was unrelated to food/ allergies (and I don't feel convinced about that), and the derm. said to use the steroid cream as needed- but that would be far too frequently!!  I am getting a referal to a pediatrician.


 

 Eczema is from food allergies/intolerances or environmental allergies. Are you keeping a very detailed food journal (everything the child is eating and whatever you're eating if you're BFing, and ALL symptoms: sleep habits, poop habits, skin (use a scale of 1-10), gaseousness, hiccuping, neediness, tantrums, etc)? common triggers are dairy, soy, gluten, corn, and eggs. But it could be from anything. What was the first kind of doctor? A pediatrician is probably going to say the same thing. I've had them say that folliculitis wasn't from food intolerances (it was corn), the eczema wasn't from food intolerances (again corn), the leg pains were growing pains (nope, that was milk), night terrors (milk again), lip rash (from soy, which the allergist said was "impossible"), see a pattern here?
 

 


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#23 of 26 Old 06-08-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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The above post got me thinking.....

 

Here is a good link, with some good descriptions and categories for eczema vs other allergic skin conditions.

 

http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/allergicskinconditions.stm

 

For us, the main thing that relates to that, is seeing an allergist vs seeing a dermatologist.  And, again, I agree with the above poster that a pediatrician might say the same thing as the dermatologist, but a good pediatrician will also refer you to an allergist.  

 

Finding doctors that are willing to treat more than the symptoms is important for long term successful management of eczema and allergies in general.  

 

BTW, as an aside, we've had an allergist tell us based on a skin test one of our children had outgrown their allergy, only to say they were still allergic when they failed an oral challenge.  Doctors don't know everything, and good ones, again, will work with you.  They have their tools... things like skin tests..... and will continue to work with you when an oral challenge proves the skin test wrong.  

 

Definitely not an exact science with all of this allergy stuff I think.

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#24 of 26 Old 06-09-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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But the main point was that food intolerances can also cause eczema, and it won't show up on a skin test (or a RAST blood test) and I haven't met an allergist yet who believes in food intolerances causing anything. A food journal is key for that (or alternative testing: IgG/intolerance, muscle testing, etc.)


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#25 of 26 Old 06-09-2011, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks kjbrown92,  could you please tell me: what is an lgG/intolerance?

There is someone locally who does muscle testing, but does anyone have experience with that?  Does it really work, and how does it work?

 

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#26 of 26 Old 06-11-2011, 02:45 PM
 
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An intolerance is a food that causes a reaction (whether it's a stomachache, eczema, rash, headaches, muscle cramps/spasms, insomnia, bedwetting, the red ring of doom [around the anus], "colic", vomiting, night terrors, "growing pains",  ear infections, or any number of other symptoms) that does not show up on an IgE allergy test. My son, for example, has a soy intolerance. He gets a rash on his upper lip about 20 minutes after exposure, and it stays for 10 days, and he has horrible tantrums those 10 days. He's 11yo so not exactly in the tantrum kind of age. For my youngest daughter, eating (or even touching) corn would give her eczema on her inner thighs and/or folliculitis on her butt, and she'd wake up and scream during the night. Keeping a food journal (by ingredient) is a good way to figure out culprits. The top 4 food intolerances are dairy, gluten, soy and corn. Another common culprit for eczema is eggs.


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