sandpaper rash on arms & legs? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 3.5 and has had a re-occuring sandpapery rash on her upper arms & upper legs for most of her life. It sometimes hangs around for months at a time. It isn't red, doesn't ooze or anything...just raised bumps that feel like sandpaper. And then they'll just go away. At their worst, they spread to her belly, too.

We know she is allergic to bananas because she's reacted to them several time by breaking out all around her mouth. We didn't realize for the longest time that the tooth gel we were using with her had natural banana flavoring & as soon as we eliminated that she started sleeping better at night (when she was 18 months). We had horrible sleep issues for all of her early life. I thought eliminating bananas might also clear up this bumpy rash once & for all, but it hasn't.

The rash has never bothered her until now (or she didn't know how to express it). Now she says it itches & she scratches it sometimes. I think it gets worse in the winter when it's more dry here, but it does appear in the summer sometimes, too...just never as bad.

Any idea what this might be? Are there other symptoms I should look for if this is an allergy? Where should I start if I'm finally ready to figure this out? (I know, bad mama for not pursueing this sooner. : )
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#2 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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I literally *just* came from a gastroenterologist about my daugheter who has a sandpaper rash and she said that those types of rashes are caused by a protein allergy. DD, apparently, has an allergy to both milk and soy proteins. You might want to have your pedi refer you to either a gastroenterologist or an allergist as continuing to expose your DD to foods she is allergic to can lead to anaphalatic shock (or so I am told).

BTW-the allergy doesn't always show up in blood work...my DDs didn't.
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#3 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply. I wonder if I should try an elimination diet then while waiting for an appointment with the ped?

I hadn't heard that continued exposure to an allergen can lead to anything worse. Does anyone have resources where I could read more about this?

I wanted to add, too, that there was some concern about DD's weight at her last well-child visit. She's 3.5 yrs old, 41 inches tall, and about 47 pounds. Could she be overweight due to allergy issues? She doesn't look like an obese child and is otherwise active and healthy. DH had a similar build as a child, too. So, I am not overly concerned about her weight. But I do wonder if it could be related to an allergy.

I have also heard that children sometimes crave the foods they are most allergic to. Has anyone else heard this? It's hard to know what to think about that because I also believe that people often crave the things their body needs. So, it would be hard to figure out which kind of craving it is.
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#4 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, shoot. I just thought of something else. The rash has been especially bad this last week...more bumps, more raised, more itchy.

I was trying to think of something she had been eating this week that she doesn't normally eat or something we've eaten more of lately. And guess what I came up with........


HALLOWEEN happened on Monday and DD has had one piece of candy each day this week. I feel bad admitting it here, because I know lots of you don't give your kids candy. But I caved to peer pressure & we took her trick or treating because she really wanted to go...and then she had all this candy. So, we let her have some.

Uh...could she actually be allergic to sugar? What other things are common to candy that she might be reacting to? She had two lollipops & a little box of those Dots candies last week. And some chocolate.

Her exposure to candy has been pretty limited until now. I have a weakness for chocolate. So, she's had chocolate occassionally, but, otherwise, she hasn't really had candy until this year. But she certainly has had sugar in other forms. But maybe not in such concentrated amounts usually. I mean, most bread even has some sugar in it. And I bake bread at home.

I have often wondered if she has problems with refined wheat products because whenever we eat with other people and she non whole wheat products (bread, pasta, muffin, whatever) she seems to get really out of control behaviorally. I have attributed it to refined/processed/additives/etc... But maybe it's sugar?


Thanks for listening to me ramble as I sort this out. I helps me to write it out & it helps to be able to ask for the info I don't have.
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#5 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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Have you considered corn? It's in almost all candy as "high fructose corn syrup". My DS is allergic/sensitive to corn and had awful rashes that just kept getting worse until we figured it out. It isn't the easiest thing to cut out of a diet, but it's made a world of difference in my DS.

Good luck!

(p.s. chocolate can be an allergen too)
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#6 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, corn. *sigh*

Ok...so I could eliminate dairy, sugar, corn, chocolate. We did eliminate dairy for a while when she was little to see if that was the culprit in the mouth rash. Then we realized the mouth rash was from banana flavoring & we added dairy back in. Her sleep improved and the face rash went away. So, we assumed dairy wasn't a problem. ...except maybe dairy accounts for this bumpy rash instead? And bananas accounted for the poor sleep and the mouth rash.

I have a much easier time eliminating one thing at a time than a while bunch of things at once. But I suppose that won't help if she's allergic to more than one thing.
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#7 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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Really, it sounds like eczema to me. Elimination diets, aren't you just supposed to eliminate one thing at a time? I don't know, I've never done it. My eczema always gets bad right around now for a few reasons. One, the heater comes on and that air dries me out quicker than anything. Also, I wear more clothes, so my skin can't breathe, which makes the rash worse. good luck, mama!
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#8 of 14 Old 11-07-2005, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But it's my understanding that eczema is just a symptom, not the problem, and that most eczema is caused by an allergy. Am I wrong about that?

About elimination diets: The trouble with only eliminating one thing is that it won't help if your child is allergic to more than one thing. So, you take something out. It doesn't make a difference because your child is allergic to that thing & two other things. You think it's not the problem because nothing got better when you took it out. So, you add it back in. That's why a lot of people seem to recommend taking out all the common allergens & then adding them back in one at a time.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-08-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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Unfortunately - the best way to do it is to eliminate everything that can cause an allergy and then add them back one at a time because some allergies can be disguised by other allergies. This means eliminating dairy, wheats, glutens, and soy (soy is like in EVERYTHING), and corn or anything else you suspect. Basically, you will have to feed DD whole foods...and stick with rice milk and water for beverages (avoid juice). Here are some websites I found on how to do an elimination diet:

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/rwg...owto.htm#ediet

http://drcranton.com/Elimination_Diet.pdf

http://allergy.healthcentersonline.c...gyintolerance/

It really, really sucks...especially for the first couple weeks. I know, I have been through it. But hang in there and know you are doing the best for your DC!
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#10 of 14 Old 11-08-2005, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, fortunately, we've been on a whole food journey for several years now. I have a friend who has Celiacs, too, and we cooked together for three days on a family trip this summer. So, I have some good resources for eliminating gluten. I don't think soy or corn should be too hard to eliminate, since we don't eat a whole lot of them. Hmmmm...I'm just thinking about my menu for the next week. The hardest things for us to eliminate will be wheat & cheese. My friend can help me with the wheat part. And we can struggle through the dairy.

I'm thinking I'm going to have to set a start date for this & plan a menu for a week to get us started. Thank you so much for the links!
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#11 of 14 Old 11-08-2005, 11:18 PM
 
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Garden of Eating Diet cookbook

soy, dairy, gluten and corn free and it is not trying to be free of those. It just is.

I LOVE my cookbook and use it daily.
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#12 of 14 Old 11-12-2005, 12:25 AM
 
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One cause of this is lack of essential fatty acids. Try 1/2 tsp. cod liver oil and 1/2 tsp. flax seed oo;. If doesnt' work, repleace flax with evening primrose.

Forgot beginning dosage... DS takes 1350mg/day to keep his eczema away. When I drop below this he gets chicken skin again.

Some kids can convert the oils to the kind they need, some need evening primrose which is already converted.

All explained in the book "Superimmunity for Kids" by Leo Galland
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#13 of 14 Old 11-14-2005, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I just started her on essential fatty acids this past week. We're waiting to see if that helps the problem. I'm actually thinking, though, after doing some research that what she has on her arms is keratosis pilaris:

http://www.drgreene.com/21_84.html

But, also, after doing some research I realize that she *does* have some funny bowel/gut issues. They aren't severe, but they do exist. So, I think we're still dealing with some allergies or something. I looked at this chart here (you have to register at the site to read it):

http://www.foodintol.com/matrix.asp

And I think what we may be dealing with is a yeast sensitivity, based on her symptoms. Which may explain why sugar seems to be a problem also. She has had lots of gas since the Halloween candy. I don't know how it all fits together, but now I may be on a journey to learn about yeast and I'll still be reading the healing the gut tribe. DH also seems yeast sensitive. So, I wouldn't be surprised if DD is.
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#14 of 14 Old 11-14-2005, 06:24 PM
 
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Yes, gas means that food is not being digested properly.

KP is pretty much similar to eczema as far as needing efa's and being a symptom of immune system overload/disfunction.
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