Cheese (or dairy?) causing rash on contact?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 11-22-2007, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Background: We don't have any family history of food (or any, other than minor seasonal) allergies, but my son is sensitive to dairy (chronic ear infections when eating dairy which cleared up when it was removed from his diet).

When my daughter was about 2-3 months old, she developed pretty bad eczema on her face and hands. I suspected she might be sensitive to dairy that I was consuming--this was around the same time that we were realizing that my son was sensitive--but the doctor sort of blew the suggestion off (she also had occasional blood in her stools, which I read can also signal a dairy sensitivity). When we cut dairy out of my son's diet, I cut way back on dairy myself, and her rash cleared up considerably. A naturopath recommended that slippery elm be her first food, and we gave it to her at about 7-8 months (only a few times, though; she didn't like it and wasn't eating solids yet), and hte rash cleared up entirely. Over time, I've added more dairy back into my diet, but she's never had a reaction.
At about 10 months, she was given a Gerber "wagon wheel," and, shortly after she ate it, she got a blotchy rash on her face, particularly around her mouth. We tested it a couple times after that (it wasn't a very serious reaction and it cleared up on its own within 30 minutes or so), and there was a clear correlation between the wagon wheels and the rash. I noted that the wagon wheels did have dairy (cheese) in them.
Recently (she's 12 months), she had a little bit of macaroni and cheese for the first time, and shortly afterwards she had a blotchy and slightly-raised rash around her eyes, which she was rubbing (not sure which came first--the rubbing or the rash). It cleared up within 30-45 minutes. Today, she had a little macaroni and cheese again, and while she was eating it, she developed this same red rash around her mouth--you could almost see that she was breaking out where it was touching her skin.

Is this typical (of a child with a dairy sensitivity/allergy)? Am I right to think that cheese (or dairy in general) is the culprit? I guess I've never heard of this type of reaction, and I want to be sure I'm not avoiding the wrong food.

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#2 of 6 Old 11-22-2007, 03:24 AM
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This sounds like the rash my son got when he ate dairy -- looked like blotchy red marks all around his mouth. I would def. suspect dairy as the culprit based on what you've written, however, the Wagon Wheels and mac n cheese also have wheat... has she done OK with wheat before?
Good for you for being so tuned in to your DC's reactions! Hopefully she will outgrow the allergy and be able to eat dairy later on. That's what we are hoping for over here!
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#3 of 6 Old 11-22-2007, 06:18 PM
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I think that's a variant of hives -- my DS gets little red spots up to splotches on his chin when he's been exposed to dairy.

Get her allergy tested, for sure, and before the reactions escalate. One reaction doesn't predict the next. Lots of parents have seen a few minor reactions, and then a major scary reaction. A scratch test or RAST test should be able to tell you how severe the allergy is.
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#4 of 6 Old 11-23-2007, 10:31 AM
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My son gets a similar rash weh touched by dairy. He'll even get it if my husband gives him a kiss 30-45 minutes after he's eaten dairy. And yes, if you're sure dairy is the suspect food, I'd treat it as an allergy until you can get it tested. My son had a milk bath once, a few bites of yogurt a few weeks later and a mild anaphylactic reaction to what we assume was cross-contamination on grapes a couple of months after that.
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#5 of 6 Old 11-23-2007, 01:57 PM
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Sounds exactly how I'd describe ds's reaction to both cottage cheese and yogurt when I introduced them around 10 mos or so, except his rash/redness lasted probably a couple of hours each time. He'd been showing so many signs of dairy allergy up until then, but I think I was in denial until the evidence hit me in the face (or I guess in his face, so to speak!). He's done so much better since we've eliminated it completely from both his and my diets.
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#6 of 6 Old 11-24-2007, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, for your replies. We have an appointment with the pediatrician this week, so I'm going to talk to her about it then and ask for a referral to an allergist so we can ascertain whether or not (a) she's allergic and (b) it's dairy that's causing the problem. (She has had wheat in other things, by the way, without any problem, so I don't suspect it's the wheat in the wagon wheels/mac and cheese that caused the reaction.)
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.
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