Should I give up on this eczema? - Mothering Forums
Allergies > Should I give up on this eczema?
strmis's Avatar strmis 01:35 PM 05-26-2012
Dd now 8.5 mos still as eczema and it isn't getting better. In fact I feel like its getting worse and now debating if I should just slowly start feeding solids and ween her off bm. To determine triggers I have:
Switched to nellies laundry soap
Gotten air purifiers
Used every lotion in the planet ( Chinese herbs work best but only mask the symptoms)
Eliminated at some point:
Eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten, all starches, berries, citrus, vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil, all seeds, oats, some other random foods per the ASYRA testing, soy, shellfish, all nuts, all bightshade plants and Lord knows what else
Primrose oil
Fish oil
Laser therapy
Rotation diets
Dr brownness soap for baths
No soap for baths
Taking the bird outta the house for a couple weeks
Digestive enzymes

And still I am as clueless as I was in the beginning.

I'm now thinking of starting to wean her because I am running out of food to eat, mostly now just
Mixed greens
I've introduced lemons to have on my salad
Sometimes onions n garlic and who knows if she is reacting to this or if she will start to these. Any clues or ideas at this point would be immensely helpful. I feel like I continue to suppress symptoms with topical Chinese herbs and topical honeopathics ie florasone cream, just so this house keeps sanity and to steer me clear if feeling so depressed helpless and emotional over the situation. Not to mention Dds comfort.
I never wanted to consider weaning so early but now am really debating. Is it still worth it? Do the benefits still outweigh long term risks?
Are there any accurate tests she an do that can determine gig, igm and I've allergies?

prone_to_wander 02:11 PM 05-26-2012
How would weaning her help her eczema? I'd get to a naturopath.
strmis's Avatar strmis 11:03 PM 05-26-2012

I've taken her. Randall Neustaedter. he's written a bunch of books that i've actually read through ( a couple, anyways). It was too far to take her every week and her progress was minimal, so we stopped. took her to an acupuncturist closer in the area. we did 10 treatments with her, acupuncture, NAET, lasers, homeopathy and still the eczema persists. she has had some improvements, but i feel like she has had a HUGE setback since i "fell off the wagon" with my diet.  


As a side, how long does dairy stay in ones system. Its been about a week since i've re-eliminated it.

MamaKye's Avatar MamaKye 11:36 AM 06-08-2012
I heard dairy can stay in your system for up to a month. I totally know how you feel. I'm struggling with my 4.5 mo Ds. I actually thought I got it under control with an antibiotic cream since I believe it got infected from him rubbing and accidentally scratchin himself. But I had also cut out about every thing that is a common food allergy. I also eliminated processesld sugar and sugary foods since someone told me it could be associated to yeast. It got better. It was almost entirely healed. Then we took him in for his well baby check up and the doc said it couldn't be related to food since its not all over his body. And then she told me that I am endangering our health and nutrition by cutting all these foods out. So I got scare & confused. And admittedly I felt I was given a get out of jail free card because it was becoming very difficult tofind foods to eat that I liked. So then I started eating regular foods. The 1st being a turkey and provolone sub sandwich. And as the days passed I noticed that little by little red bumps started popping up again. After a week there was the rash. I was also under a lot of stress after learning some possibly terrible news and other stuff. Also I suffer from mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Do you? I wonder if that is a factor with the stress and hormones.
I wonder a lot if stopping bf would help. And if it doesn't then. I'll feel like I've taken away some of the best things for him. However I was considering trying an allergy free type of formula for at least a week while I cleaned up my diet. I'd. Have to pump and dump unfortunately. But maybe that will help him heal quicker while I do what I gotta do. I hats seeing my baby suffer.
sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 01:38 PM 06-08-2012
I feel for you in this nightmare but I would not wean. If (if...) she's reacting to allergens in your diet via breast milk to that extent I think finding a food source for her to eat directly is going to be next to impossible.

One thing that can cause these issues is a reaction to Balsam of Peru. It's relatively common as an eczema trigger and it can be environmental, foods, and both. There is information on google. It's worth completely eliminating in all areas to see if it helps.

I'm not a fan of testing for the allergies outside of IGE (traditional mediated allergy) testing. It's not that I don't think intolerances and the like exist but a lot of research led me to believe that testing for other types of reactions are just not reliable enough. Food diaries and trials are better ways of determining those things but breastfeeding complicates it due to length of time food eaten can cause reactions. Patch testing might be an option. I've not explored that in depth. Even IGE testing, not a good option at her age anyway, have a high incidence of false positives themselves so are better to verify known reactions or rule out foods as contributors than to identify a food issue when you have no idea what it might be/cannot see a direct immediate reaction. Using IGE tests to "fish" for foods with no clue what it is is can lead to lots of eliminations that are not necessary. The other tests have less validity in studies and, even if they were proven as accurate as IGE, I would not expect a better rate for lack of false positives.

I find this is good information. Note what it mentions about babies reacting generally to foods just because they are new. and I find their information about food trials (one at a time for a week at least) best. We had to identify my son's issues, outside of his clear IGE allergens that resulted in hives and similar, with food trials like that.

I'm so sorry this has been so hard.
MagicMommy's Avatar MagicMommy 08:10 PM 08-03-2012

I honestly feel like I'm in the same boat as you.  EVERYONE has suggestions and judgements yet unless they have a kid with severe ezcema they have no idea what it's like to try everything and still have nothing work.  I resisted using medicine for so long and instead tried so many natural remedies, creams, different bath routines, clothing... nothing made a difference.  Then starting in May I started giving my son medication (the doctor wanted it to be applied everyday until he's three or four and it goes away on its own... my god) but honestly, even the steroids and protopic weren't helping. Two nights ago his diaper exploded and the inner crystals of the diaper stuck to his skin and made everything even worse. It got to the point that he'd scream when I put on lotion and wake up in the night scratching until he bled.  It's horrible. I had no idea this condition could effect peoples lives like this. 


Anyways, I just started using cloth diapers yesterday and I notice a huge improvement.  My son stopped scratching as soon as the diaper went on and didn't scratch at all today.  I'm still wary.  We've had false hope in the past where we thought we found the "cure" only to be disappointed  But honestly, I am having a hard time no getting excited.  We are going to use the medication until he completely heals (and the medication is actually starting to appear effective for the first time in two months) and then see if his skin stays good with the cloth diapers and no meds once he's clear.  


I'll keep you posted.  


Fingers crossed.

alpenglow's Avatar alpenglow 11:02 PM 09-29-2012

Sorry you are STILL dealing with this!  


My dd's eczema trigger seems to be dryness.  She only got severe once though until I figured out the trigger.  For a couple months I was sure it was dairy and soy (though they seem to have been a factor in her ongoing reflux).  Every time there's a dry spell in the weather, she flares.  Then I start hanging the laundry to dry in her bedroom to humidify the air and it gets better.  In the winter I sometimes ran a humidifier.  Before moisturizing, I use a warm washcloth to wet her skin ever so slightly and then slather on really thick "Keys Tortuga" lotion, which is natural and thick/emollient enough to help seal in the moisture.  I have to do this several times/day to nip it in the bud.  If I do not stay completely on top of the moisturizing routine it can get nasty quick and her skin all over feels like sandpaper.  Go figure.


Maybe it's a long shot, but have you considered the dryness of the air as a potential factor?  If you have baseboard heaters, they are super drying....


I really would hesitate to wean (and cease a form of nutrition that is well documented to reduce the risk of allergies, ear infections, invasive pneumococcal disease, etc.).  While I have no doubt what you deal with is horrible and hard to see....I not sure there's a big risk of serious illness/death due to eczema....compared to something like bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, etc. (all risks significantly reduced by CURRENT breastfeeding).  If you weaned, and then your baby suddenly developed chronic ear infections, required ongoing antibiotics (which increases risk of life threatening antibiotic-resistant infections of all kinds) might be wishing you had stuck it out.  Or what if you weaned and found out your baby had all kinds of IgE allergies and you still couldn't feed her much?  Breastmilk (even if there's an allergen seeping into the milk that triggers eczema) is still a bit of a "food insurance" policy....I haven't heard of an anaphylactic reaction from breastmilk.  But perhaps I'm wrong.  


If your concern is allergies, then I would strongly consider getting your baby to a pediatric allergist.  Even if IgE skinprick testing isn't completely accurate at your baby's age, it still gives you a starting point.  It's non-invasive - my baby was happily playing with a toy while it was done!  They could discuss non-IgE allergies also.  My pediatrician, who has practiced a long time and who seems to have an interest in allergies, does testing for the basics only (dairy, soy, etc.) and told me that false negatives are very uncommon, but that false positives are common.  (she's referred me to a pediatric allergist to explore the hives we got from avocado and watermelon).  However, since you're already accustomed to elimination diets, I don't see potential false positives as being a problem for you, kwim?  But if you get all negative results on a wide variety of foods, if anything, it might help you to feel a bit more at ease (though as I mentioned there's still a small chance of false negatives). 

kamsmama's Avatar kamsmama 10:47 AM 10-10-2012

Based on the things you DO eat, I'm thinking possibly candida or oxalates/salicylates. Look at the failsafe diet to see more info on salicylates, amines and several other food chemicals. for oxalate ideas.

Are you giving babe the probiotic directly?

APToddlerMama's Avatar APToddlerMama 10:53 AM 10-10-2012
kjbrown92's Avatar kjbrown92 12:45 PM 10-14-2012

My daughter's trigger was corn. Even touching it. And it seemed to be everywhere (the corn, not the eczema, which was only on her inner thighs).

My son weaned himself cold turkey at 8 months. He went on neocate. Did it help him? Well, it helped put off finding what the food triggers were. But it didn't cure him. At some point you're still going to have to figure out the triggers.

Do you have pets? If it was the bird, taking the bird out of the house for a couple weeks isn't going to tell you much. The dander is still in the house. I know cat dander stays in a house for simply months. My husband still reacts to his sister's house and her cat has been dead a year. The dander is extremely hard to get rid of.

pek64's Avatar pek64 12:54 PM 10-14-2012
Skin reactions can occur in response to many things. It is mainly under the clothes or diaper, or on bare skin? Possibilites are man-made materials, also, zinc. Check ingredients for zinc in all creams, lotions, etc. Try castile soap for bathing, and at least fragrance free laundry products. No drier sheets.
Pookietooth's Avatar Pookietooth 10:27 PM 10-29-2012

My ds has eczema, and taking him to a classical homeopath really seemed to help. I know you said you tried homeopathy, but did you see a classical homeopath with experience dealing with eczema?

ALM0612's Avatar ALM0612 09:29 AM 11-01-2012

My son had eczema since he was six months old. Dermatologist said eczema in most babies is due to allergies. I would reccommend geting your child allergy tested (blood) test as soon as possbile. The allergy test should help identify any possible triggers.

JRoberge's Avatar JRoberge 11:12 AM 12-03-2012

Have you thought about the GAPS diet? We never tried this, but it helps a lot of children with eczema. Also, have you considered a yeast overgrowth, like Candida?

Ophelia's Avatar Ophelia 07:56 AM 02-10-2013
I would also encourage you not to wean as there is no truly allergen free formula. When my DD was a baby, she is now almost 2, I cut out dairy and then eventually was down to just turkey and green beans literally for a month or two. Both her, my 6yo and myself get eczema and all are food related for us. Hers is caused by egg and possibly pepper. I think corn used to trigger it also but luckily no more. My sons caused by wheat/gluten and mine is from sugar it's basically a yeast rash. Have you gotten it swabbed and lab tested? My DD had a continuing rash under her neck and diaper area and I think it turned out to be staph. I finally got rid of it by using a GSE mix. Prescriptions and coconut oil did not help.

If its food I might suspect corn since you've cut out most stuff. I've read corn can be used for gassing bananas so also possibly other produce and if it is sprinkled in packaging they do not have to declare it on the label. Also such as for using in meat packaging. I think if someone is really sensitive to it they can react if they eat meat from an animal who has eaten corn. Try 100%grass fed beef and cut out all other meats for a couple weeks. Another thought is something in your water, chlorine, etc.

I would also suggest GAPS.
Also check out the yahoo group foodlab. Lots of knowlegable mamas on there who deal with exactly these things.
Of course could be environment too which unfortunately is much harder to figure out since its a lot harder to control. I have a bird also and yeah you cannot get the dander out completely.
franklin907's Avatar franklin907 12:09 AM 02-27-2013

We went through he** with my oldest (who's now 6) with severe eczema, head-to-toe, for a good few years. It got really bad around 15 months & didn't get 'good' (manageable?) til about 3.5-4. He still gets flare-ups, but it was so incredibly awful for so long, I can completely relate. I'm pretty sure we tried everything (at least it felt like it)- both conventional & alternative. Some major turning points for us was treating him for yeast overgrowth (this didn't 'cure' anything, but he definitely had major yeast issues going on), we tried LDA (low-dose allergy immunotherapy) that was helpful but not life-changing enough to continue with it, & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which was our major turning point. When we went to the TCM doc, his wrists/ankles were still majorily flared, cracked, rough, etc. & he had a patch on his forehead where hair wouldn't grow. He also slept terribly. Within days of his first appointment, he slept through the night & his wrists/ankles began healing. It was crazy, but so incredible to actually have something finally work! I know every TCM doc is different, just like any field, but the one we saw in Los Angeles was truly an amazing asset to his healing journey. We also still use a peppermint cream from her on any flare-ups, that makes a huge difference. 


We're now dealing with allergies & eczema with my youngest (10 months) & so I've found myself back on this forum, looking for some help :) I hope you & your family are doing better & it looks like the original post was quite awhile ago, so hopefully some major healing has been happening for all of you!

JRoberge's Avatar JRoberge 06:02 PM 03-14-2013

My son had severe head to toe eczema at around age three. It started at birth and gradually worsened and we hit rock bottom at three. Now he's about to turn five and he's close to eczema free. He still has a few spots that flare up here and there, but if we keep them well moisturized with natural balms, he's fine.


So, first, hugs. Eczema stinks. And it's so hard, mentally and physically for everyone, not just your child. Surely your stress levels are through the roof and sleep is probably pretty hard to come by. I understand and can relate. You are not alone. You will get through this.


How long did you eliminate all the foods? Did you remove them all at the same time or at different intervals? The reason I ask is that it's possible you removed one allergen when another allergen was still being consumed. So, you wouldn't see much if any improvement. Also, it's best to remove the foods for one month. I'm sorry if you know all of this, which it sounds like you probably do, having gone through everything listed above. Not to scare you, but allergies can be to thinks like mustard, garlic, pepper - very hard to trace herbs and spices as an allergen.


You didn't mention any environmental allergies.I see the air purifier, which is great and very helpful IF you have a really good one. Otherwise junk. Do you have carpets in the house? Curtains? Huge dustmite magnets and will need to be heavily cleaned constantly or removed altogether. I know many parents that swear by the dust mite mattress covers. I personally don't have any experience with that.


Keep in mind fish oil and probiotics take a long time to work - at least three months. And make sure you're giving a dairy free, gluten free, soy free probiotic. Genestra makes the absolute best one called HMF. Most natural Drs will tell you there really isn't a better one. I've been taking it and will move my son over to it soon.


Have you tried virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer and in the bath? Have you tried wet wrapping? Yes, it's a band-aid, not treating the cause, but it can really help give you all a break from the eczema stress for a few days.


Let's see, what else?


Oh, another thing that many claim healed their guts (which you probably know a leaky gut is now thought to be a major source for the increase in many illnesses based on inflammation in the body, like eczema) is the GAPS diet. Also Candida diet. Candida is essentially an overgrowth in yeast that can pass on to your child during birth and is pretty common. Triggers to an overgrowth are abundant and include antibiotics, birth control pills, etc.


One more thing, you say no soap in the baths, but you're using a soap to clean the laundry. I'd try something like soap nuts or a Smart Kleen ball instead. I've used both and they were amazing and didn't cause any skin irritation and were fantastic.


I hope this isn't information overload or boring because you've heard it all before. Just don't give up. You can figure out your child's triggers!


Please let me know if you have more questions!

delilahbarron's Avatar delilahbarron 08:18 PM 03-15-2013

I was born with eczema and it was severe.  I suffered from it for many years, but when I was a teenager I found a regimen that works for me.  I'm 33 years old now, I've had healthy skin since I started using my regimen.  A friend of mine tried my regimen on her daughter and her skin is healthy now.  Theres no cure for eczema, so I have to do my regimen everyday in order to keep my skin healthy.  I hope it works for others as it does for me.


I also came across an article that explains how emollients mimic the epidermal lipids, which in turn create a protective barrier on the skin  The article doesn't list which emollients work to create this protective barrier, but in my experience Aquaphor has been the only one that works for me in doing this.  It protects my skin and keeps it healthy and moisturized.


My regimen


1.  I take a shower every night.

2.  If you can afford a water softener get it because it does help the skin feel moist after a shower.

3.  I wash my skin with Eucerin Calming Body Wash, or Kirk's Original Coco Castile Bar Soap Fragrance Free

4.  I was my hair with Head and Shoulders Smooth and Silky Shampoo.  I've tried expensive brands but they irritate my scalp causing dandruff.  For babies I would try the Aquaphor baby line they have hair and body wash for babies

5.  When I get out of the shower I wrap my hair in a microfiber hair turban to keep my hair out of the way

6.  Next I dry my body with an organic cotton towel

7.  Next If I have any eczema patches/flareups then I apply Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment USP 0.1% this medication is by prescription only.  I’ve tried many different types of medications one of them being Elocon but that was too strong for me, the Triamcinolone works the best for me in getting rid of the rash fast.  I rub the ointment only on the rash area.  I don’t have to use this medication often because the Aquaphor helps keep my skin healthy so I don’t have to use the medication much.  Make sure when you ask your dermatologist for this medication to get the Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment USP 0.1%, because my dermatologist accidentally gave me the cream base formula once and my skin didn’t absorb the medication, it only worked for me in the ointment form.

8.  Then I apply Aquaphor (miracle stuff for my skin) on my body, except my face.  I start by applying it on my upper body first starting with my neck all the way down to my ankles

9.  Then I get my organic cotton towel, and wipe off the Aquaphor, don’t scrub it off, just wipe it off starting from your neck down to your ankles.  This is the method that works the best.  It seems like the skin absorbs the moisture it needs so even though you are wiping it off, your skin will have absorbed what it needs and it creates a protective barrier on your skin.  The protective barrier protects the skin from pollutants that would normally irritate the skin, it also leaves the skin feeling comfortable.

10.  Also if your eyelids are dry and flaky (mine get like this due to eye allergies, I will be making a post on my regimen for that) before bedtime you can apply Aquaphor on your eyelids.  I went to my Opthamologist to see what I could use on my eyelids (wanted to make sure it was something safe for the eye area) and she actually recommended Aquaphor, so I put it on my eyelids at night before bedtime when they are dry and flaky.

For babies I would try using the Aquaphor baby line, they have shampoos, body wash, and all kinds of other good stuff

MobiusStrip's Avatar MobiusStrip 03:11 PM 03-20-2013
My daughter's eczema turned out to be due to allergies. I got her tested shortly after she turned 3 and confirmed allergies to peanuts and stone fruits but found out - surprise - she was allergic to bananas too. She used to have a banana almost every day. She still has more delicate skin but the days of horrible red bumpy rashes and cracking and bleeding are finally gone. Previously, I'd dealt with it by giving her tepid baths twice a week with an ounce or so of bleach in them, rubbing with coconut oil and cutting in a px steroid cream when needed. Oh, and she could not wear shorts in the summer. I am hoping to see that change this year! I know this may not help you know but hope there is a light at the end of the eczema tunnel for you as well.
Pookietooth's Avatar Pookietooth 03:30 PM 03-21-2013
I would not use aquaphor on a baby since it contains petrolatum.
I hope the pp has found some help. Classical homeopathy really can help.
delilahbarron's Avatar delilahbarron 08:52 PM 03-22-2013

Growing up my mom actually tried organic natural products, she also had me on a restricted diet, non of which help control my eczema the way Aquaphor and the medication I occasionally use has.  My eczema was extremely bad, and would still be bad if I don't follow my regimen.  There is still no cure for eczema but with the regimen I use my skin stays healthy, comfortable and normal.  A few days ago my mom asked me to come to her work because a client of hers has a son with severe eczema.  I went to my moms work and met her client and met her son and his eczema was in terrible condition.  I went and bought all the products I use and gave it to the lady, she went to the doctors to get the medication that I use.  That was two weeks ago, she recently came to see my mom and her son's condition has greatly improved, she said that this is the first time he has been able to sleep well through the night:)  I'm going to track his progress to see how effective my regimen works for him because so far in only two weeks his skin has greatly improved.  Aquaphor is nothing like vaseline, vaseline is irritating, Aquaphor isn't.

MJ13's Avatar MJ13 06:33 PM 03-25-2013
When I eliminated dairy with DD it took a full 6 weeks to get out of my system and hers. Her reflux stopped and her eczema went away at that 6 week mark.

Good luck.
Pookietooth's Avatar Pookietooth 11:04 AM 03-26-2013

Aquaphor may not be exactly like vaseline, but it's still a petroleum product.

I will try to link to a book called the eczema cure:

AprilEHB's Avatar AprilEHB 02:15 PM 04-26-2013

I don't have time to go into everything that we had tried or how horrible the eczema  was on my daughter. But, after trying everything imaginable and 6 different types of doctors. We discovered Bentonite Clay. She took a bath in it for 30 minutes every day for a week. Then went to every few days. Then once a week. The time between the clay baths stretched out longer and longer until at this point it has been 2 months since she required a clay bath. 

Please consider trying it. Here is a link so you can read more.

lauranhc's Avatar lauranhc 02:34 PM 05-15-2013

I didn't get a chance to read through the entire post but have you tried lye soap?

LBwilliam's Avatar LBwilliam 01:06 AM 07-01-2013

Has anybody heard about the Buteyko breathing method? I was sent this link about also check out the introduction video any comments or suggestions would be appreciated - many thanks Bill

Tags: Allergies