Eczema, eczema, eczema-Allergy Testing - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-26-2007, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there are a lot of you out there with eczema babies that have already posted and I apologize for repeating this question...

My dd is 6 months old and has been dealing with eczema since she was 2 months. It appears to be getting worse. We've tried the normal topical remedies (lotions, salves, oils, etc.) and even broken down and used hydrocortisone when it's really bad. I've also cut dairy out of my diet and it doesn't seem to be helping. I'm a vegetarian, so cutting dairy out made me nearly vegan- not something that I wanted to do while bf-ing. It's been hard and I'm not relishing the idea of cutting out gluten next. However, if it's got to be done... So, please tell me your success stories for encouragement!

Also, anyone out there find relief through homeopathy? I made an appointment next week and am hoping for the best.

Thanks for your help!
Jaimee

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Old 07-26-2007, 03:12 AM
 
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Probably the best way is to eliminate the top 6 and then wait a couple weeks for her to clear up. Then add them back every week or two and see if you can figure out what's causing it. Good luck! Allergies are frustrating.

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Old 07-26-2007, 03:47 AM
 
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We are going through it too with my now 2 year old. She started having rashes right after she was born and pretty quickly I noticed she reacted when I had wheat. We have had it clear up for quite awhile when her diet is very good and every once in awhile (usually after getting sick) it seems that she develops a new food allergy. Right now she is in the middle of a break-out that may be heat related. As for homeopathy -- this has been really good for us in general. It was the ND that gave us our first food intolerance testing and helped totally clean up her diet (foods lurk in funny places -- like corn is in everything that comes pre-packaged). For 6 months she was eczema free.

Best of luck! I think you are on the right path.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:09 AM
 
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My DS had eczema at 2 months and after spending months watching EVERYTHING that I ate, and trying tons of other stuff that worked for other moms on Mothering - we had the RAST blood test and found out he was allergic to peanuts. No more peanut butter for me and no more eczema for him. It was a painless blood test (no crying at all) and two days later I had the results. Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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IIRC, up to 50% of kids' eczema is tied to food reactions.

For my son, it was egg dairy and possibly also nuts that caused his eczema. Once we did a food log and figured out what we suspected (followed by allergy testing) and found out which foods to eliminate, his eczema improved enormously.

Now we do three things:
1. avoid his triggers (food and some environmental stuff)
2. medication: give him a daily antihistamine to kill the itchiness, and, for flares, prescription steroid ointment on the bad spots. yes, I know, steroids are scary, but when we use it right away in small dabs right on the flaring spots, we can stop the eczema getting bad and use it only once or twice every couple months.
3. skin care: warm baths of at least 20 minutes a day, no soap, followed by Vanicream lotion all over, no fragrances or fabric softener for the laundry

As long as we do all that, my son's skin is almost always clear and he itches very minimally, usually when I slip up on his diet or he's exposed to something another kid eats. The forums at http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org have been alifeline to us in figuring all this out. Main forum is free with an associate membership; subforums (including recipe database and subforum on BFing on an elim diet) are part of the very-worth-it $25 family membership.

A good allergist and a good dermatologist (both with experience with kids with eczema) could help you figure out what might be causing your child's reactions.

(FYI, our allergist says in his practice most of the kids' eczema he sees is caused by egg and dairy.)

you can also try wet-wrapping, where you put a layer of wet clothes on followed by dry pajamas on top. I have never had to do it, but you shoudl be able to find directions online.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Our issue was dairy and egg. Ds's skin looks great now. We also only bathe he 1-2 times a week. We sponge bathe nightly now that he is crawling. Alsothere are only two products we can wash him with Dr. Bronners baby ans earth mama angel baby. alos Weleda baby lotion is very soothing for the irritation. Unfortunetly we had to use a steriod for three dyas. My ped is anti steroid but Ds was cracked and bleeding and he was starting to get infected. We had no choice. But since then it had been fine> GoodLuck!!

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Old 07-26-2007, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like egg and dairy are the main triggers for most of you. Perhaps I should eliminate egg for a few days as well. I hear that egg only takes a couple of days to leave your system, right?

My ped is not so naturally based and wants me to start Elidel right away. Any experience with that? My sister recommends Dercut cream... anyone used that?

Thanks for lots of great suggestions!

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Old 07-26-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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We have eczema issues. we identified dairy as a trigger and noticed some improvement, but it didn't go away. we did the rast but it only showed a mild cat allergy. a few months later, we did a more comprehensive blood test through meridian valley labs (test kit from doc; mail it to lab; results sent to doc). there are two tests with 95 foods and spices each - so, 190 total.

we just got our results back. dairy as we suspected; but also: garlic, poppyseeds, tumeric, navy beans and pinto beans. elimination diet would have been long and hard to figure those out. FWIW, DD1 is 27m and we've been dealing with allergies/eczema since her birth.

Good luck, it's hard...

http://www.meridianvalleylab.com/allergy_dept.html

ETA: the rast only measures IgE responses, whereas this other test measures IgE AND IgG...

Nessa, DD1 (5) DD2 (3) & expecting again in late February/early March!
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone else had poor results with the RAST? Anyone else used the Meridian Valley Test kits with good results? The latter really intrigues me. It would be nice to know about smaller allegies and not just help the eczema, but actually get it to go away by truly eliminating all the factors.

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Old 07-27-2007, 09:09 AM
 
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Are you taking probiotics? It would also be good to get one with only bifidus infantis for your babe. Then supplement with flax and evening primrose. Lots and lots of it. And make sure that you are getting enough vit A.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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I second kidswithfoodsallergies.org. It's a great site and we've gotten a lot of information and support.

We're in the midst of a Total Elimination Diet to try and figure out our 6 month old's triggers. He's also getting a RAST to test for major food and environmental allergies. So i feel your pain. Even on hydrocortisone, he cleared up and now is starting to get it back again since we stopped. Urgh.

I suggest a elimination diet of the Top 8 (egg, soy, dairy, corn, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish) for 4-6 weeks. Yes, most of these things leave your system in a few days, but since the skin is the outside layer of the body, it takes longer for the skin to "notice" that the allergen is gone. So it'll take a while for the eczema to clear up. It sucks to be vegetarian and not eat dairy or soy, but there are a lot of beans and grains out there - get creative!
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We did feed her probiotics for months and then stopped when we went on a short vacation. There was no difference that we could spot and pumping everyday was difficult for me (she's a grazer- eating every hour or so). So we stopped the probiotics.

Incidentally, I've been off of dairy for a few weeks now and just today it seems that perhaps her eczema is better. I can actually see skin-colored skin behind one of her knees and she didn't spend the entire night raking the skin off of her cheeks. Maybe this is progress...?

Honestly, I was hoping dairy wouldn't be the culprit, but I'm happy that her skin is feeling better. So, for those of you off of dairy for eczema, are there select dairy products that you've been able to reintroduce without reaction? Like yogurt? Or do I have to say good bye to it all for the rest of my bfing career?

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Old 07-27-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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we cut out dairy, now my son no longer gets eczema.

one of my friends cut out the top 6, now all they eat is basically beans and meat. she also started hand-washing all her daughter's clothes. but her dd still has it! :

i would try taking fish oil capsules every day. those really helped us.

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Old 07-28-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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my son has always had mild eczema on his legs...we have had lots of luck with calendula cream, we happen to use weleda..most other babies i know w/ ezcema cannot tolerate dairy...also, what seemed to help the most was cutting out all soap/shampoo..good luck!
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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Have you tried eliminating soy from your diet yet? I only ask because you're veg*n and I ate a lot of soy when I was. I had to cut it out because it was giving my ds eczema.
Soy gives him a big ol' patch every single time I try it.
Now, for my nephew, fabric softener breaks him out.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:57 AM
 
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What about for the times when your child is really really itchy? What do you use for relief?

We are not using steroidal cremes at all so that's out. I lather her up with Eucerin after her bath, which helps keep it at bay. However, she is allergic to cats and there are times when the itching is terrible for her. I give her camomile and try stellaria creme but that just doesn't work when the itching is at its worst.

Any recommendations for cremes for itching?
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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Eucerin (and other petroleum/petrolatum based products) can actually make eczema worse in the long run. The petroleum is just not good for skin, and can dry it out and sap nutrients from the skin. There is "unpetroleum jelly" made by alba you could try instead. Also, I've seen great results for skin rehydration and protection with just a nice zinc oxide diaper cream - we use weleda's calendula diaper care cream.

DD1 is also allergic to cats, and we found days when she was especially lovey with them to equal fairly itchy nights. washing her hands after exposure helped a bit. Keeping the cats out of our bedrooms helped A LOT.

As far as the non-effectiveness of RAST and the effectiveness of the meridian valley lab test in OUR lives, let me share how we're doing only four days after getting our MV lab results back...

So the RAST only showed a mild cat allergy, and we dealt with that as best as we could and saw little to no improvement. About 3m ago, I cut out dairy out of all of our diets. We saw marked improvement - the full body eczema retreated to only the 'classic' eczema spots: behind the knees, in the elbows, neck & wrists... Within 24hrs of cutting out garlic (and her other allergens per MV), she was 99% eczema free. Now, just 4 days in to avoiding all known allergens, we're just working on healing the dry broken skin on her wrists. She is virtually itch-free and is actually sleeping better, too (no jinxies! ). She's been in a much better mood and her appetite is better too.

I strongly urge you to do everything you can to find the cause of your DC's eczema, be it elimination diet (in our case, it would have to have been a TOTAL elim diet) or labs. Good luck.

Nessa, DD1 (5) DD2 (3) & expecting again in late February/early March!
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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So far, a pretty strict elimination diet combined w/ topical treatments has worked for my ds's body, but not his face. The rough patches on his legs and arms are just about gone, but his face has gotten progressively worse: bright red weeping patches. I think its because his face is subject to milk, rubbing, getting crud on it like lint. So I encourage an elimination diet paired with careful cleaning and diligently keeping the kid from rubbing the affected area.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:16 AM
 
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Nessa, do you mind me asking how much the Meridian Valley test was? I have checked their site and can't find a price list anywhere.

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I emailed Meridian Valley and here is what they sent me:

The allergy tests we offer are the E95 for $129.20, the A95 for $129.20, or the Combo Panel which includes both the E and the A Panel for $247.

I am attaching the Test Data Sheet for the allergy panels. It explains what is included on each of the panels. You may come in to our office and pick up the kit. You may also call our office at 425.271.8689 Monday through Friday 7:00 – 5:30 PT to order kits. If shipping the kit to you, please include a $10 shipping and handling fee.

Thank you for your inquiry.
Customer Service
Meridian Valley Lab

801 SW 16th St Suite 126
Renton WA 98057
425.271.8689 Phone
425.271.8674 Fax

www.meridianvalleylab.com


I am hoping that my insurance company might cover part of it. As for itch relief we've tried a variety of things from apricot oil to calenula salve to eucerin and hydrocortisone. For us only the latter has worked. I know other mamas have used anihistamines. As I mentioned above, I've heard wonderful things about this Dercut cream only available from the company or through your medical provider.

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Old 07-30-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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I wanted to point out that the limitations of the RAST and other blood tests are that there tend to be high incidences of false negatives. Especially in children under 2 (and some people say under 4 or 6, even). On the flip side, the SPTs tend to have a high incidence of false positives and are rather uncomfortable to get. So... Eliminating suspected food items is always my first track. But, like in our case (garlic, seriously, who is allergic to garlic? I'm still spinning. : ), that would have taken forever and would have been tricky to spot. So. It's hard is what I'm saying. Much luck!

Nessa, DD1 (5) DD2 (3) & expecting again in late February/early March!
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:14 AM
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I recently saw two NDs for my 5 yo ds' eczema. We had been doing both probiotics and fish oils, but what made a big difference and what was recommended by one of NDs was digestive enzymes. She believes that he was not digesting properly. After 3 days on medical grade probiotics (VSL#3), Similase, and Coromega, my son's flare up was dramatically improved. We did the VSL #3 for 10 days. I also have been using NAET to begin to eliminate his food allergies. I used this technique for mine 8 years ago and my eczema is almost non-existent now, along with eliminating my food allergies. One of the NDs also gave us Wise Woman Herbals All-Purpose Salve which has really helped with during the time the eczema is oozing and "open." Good luck!

BTW, we had a third ND offer us Elidel. The FDA put a black box warning regarding possible links to cancer. I would definitely google it and get more info.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I was aware of the black box warning on Elidel... though 2 different peds offered it to me and told me that they would use it on their children- believing it to be safer than hydrocortisone- I passed. Can give digestive enzymes and such to infants? DD is only 6.5 months. I'm seeing a homeopath today and really hoping for some results with that. I'm still off dairy, but the eczema has flared up again since my earlier post when it appeared to be better. I'm waiting to hear what the homeopath has to say before delving into addition dietary eliminations. BTW, what is NAET? And where did you get the Wise Woman salve?

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Old 08-01-2007, 01:25 PM
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I just noticed you were in Austin. I lived in Austin for 4 years and it was actually two NDs that I saw in Austin that gave me the results with ds that I described. You might try checking them out if you haven't already. One is Dr. Jeanne Galloway at Central Family Practice on 38th and the other is Dr. Melanie Landers at Remedy Healing Center on Burnet. We live in Tucson and were in Austin for a week during which his eczema was the worst. Since I was desperate to not get another staph infection I took him to see to NDs in order to get two opinions. I combined advice from both.

I got the Wise Woman Herbals from Dr. Landers. She said she has used this on many applications and it is very good, which I have seen to be the case on his weeping sores. Dr. Galloway is the one who prescribed the medical grade probiotics and digestive enzymes. I am not sure about 6 month old, but I am sure she would be able to give you good advice.

NAET is an allergy treatment that uses chiropractic/acupunture modalities to eliminate allergies. I eliminated major food allergies that way and I am now using it on my 8 month old ds and 5.5 year old ds. I actually used Dr. Margaret Owens on Medical Parkway with my DS1 to eliminate dairy. What I didn't do was follow up with the entire sequence with him and he had an unknown wheat allergy which has then led to his eczema. Duh! I am now using someone in Tucson to finish up his sequence of treatments. This is her website: http://www.allergyeliminationclinic.com/
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I use the elidel creams on my kids. You should read the actual study for yourself before you blindly decide whether or not you want to use it. The study was in adults and they were using high doses of the medicine for cancer treament. They were not using low dose cream. I don't think you can look at high dose of oral and IV meds and then correlate them to a low dose sparily used cream.

And currently there are several studies ongoing that are testing elidel on kids of different ages. I had called their number to sign up my kids, but it was already full. They expect to have the data out from those studies in a year.

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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For all those who suffer with excema babies and have tried everything hear this....My breastfed 11 month old son had moderate to severe excema since he was 6 months old. I can proudly say that it's completely gone now!! The miracle product that worked for us was Carlson Fish oil. A alternative doctor reccommended it. It's a blend of cold water fish oil from Norway. The DHA and EPA long chain fatty acids in the oils help with inflamation. I am not sure exactly but it's amazing! They pride themselves on being mercury and toxin free. I started giving him 1/4 tsp every morning and within 5-7 days his skin has never looked better. He has been excema free for over a month now and I have yet to see a flare up. I buy it at Whole Foods but you can get it online. They make a children's version with a lemon flavor. No more expensive creams and lotions, no more elimination diets for me or him, no more all night itching, no more hours wasted wrapping his legs in syran wrap with colloidal silver, no more wet clothing to bed, no more brands of probiotics, no more oatmeal baths, no more doctor visits and expensive tests, no more homeopathics that never work, no more irritaion and crankiness, no more flax seed oil, udos oil and any other oil that doesn't work. I just had to let you know that this product worked for us. We live in Florida and not even the hot humidity brings out the excema anymore. I am SOLD on this product. So sold, that my husband and I take it every morning too! If you have tried everything else and are fed up with excema like I was. I prayed so hard for a miracle and who would have thought it was that simple. Anyway there is hope!
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:11 AM
 
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i hope that is true. any online testimonials we can read?
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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You can read more about their product online.
I am not sure if they have testimonies there about excema. But I can say that a friend of mine's daughter had head to toe excema for 3 years and they tried eveything as well. She took her to an alternative doctor in Miami and he took one look at her and said "fish oil". Within a week her excema was gone too. After that, I tried it on my son and had the same results. I have had him tested for allergies and supposedly he's allergic to corn, sugar, yeast, mold and calcium which is weird but he eats all organic and I am sure he's eaten corn or yeast since he's been on the fish oil and he has yet to have a excema flare up.
www.carlsonlabs.com
http://www.carlsonlabs.com/product_d...f&categid=74d8
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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Carlson's fish oil did not cure my son's eczema. It was allergen related for him so that was the key. Lots of kids with eczema have dust allergies. Eliminating dust in the sleeping area with dust mite covers and washing bedding frequently in hot can make a big difference. Detergent or clothing type can be a factor for some kids. My son reacts to lots of detergents, soaps, etc. He also reacts to wool which really stinks since I had so much for diapering. Dairy extremely common and worth cutting no matter the allergy testing I think (gluten maybe too at least to try).

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Old 08-26-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Carlson's fish oil did not cure my son's eczema. It was allergen related for him so that was the key. Lots of kids with eczema have dust allergies. Eliminating dust in the sleeping area with dust mite covers and washing bedding frequently in hot can make a big difference. Detergent or clothing type can be a factor for some kids. My son reacts to lots of detergents, soaps, etc. He also reacts to wool which really stinks since I had so much for diapering. Dairy extremely common and worth cutting no matter the allergy testing I think (gluten maybe too at least to try).
What are you using now for detergents? I think my dd might be reacting to detergent as well, but we are already using a free and clear one and I'm not sure what to try next.
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