Our daughter has had eczema since she was 5 months old. She is 14 now, still breastfed (I'd say, 75% of her diet is BM), and this stinky eczema has been winning the battle. We've tried a ton of moisturizers - finally found the shea butter, makes a big difference. We thought that it might be dust/dry air/cats that trigger her - but eliminating didn't help.
For the last two weeks we, once again, eliminated dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, eggs, citrus - barely any change at all! She usually has flare ups under her knees, around ankles, on her neck, rare spots on her back and belly, and a bit on the forehead. Well, her legs are doing better, but there are new spots on her back and belly. This just tells me it might not be food related at all. But then WHAT? What is it? Does anybody here just has eczema? Without any triggers?
She also scratches her legs really badly, anytime they are not covered up - not just the red dry skin spots, but "good" clear skin, too. Does it mean her whole body is itchy or she is just used to scratching?
Really don't know what to do. I've heard that Chinese herbs can do a miracle, anybody tried that?
As a side note, we don't have a pediatrician: we are not vaccinating, and after 4 doctors kicking us out for that, we gave up looking for one.
Thank you for reading this long post! :)
I'm sorry to hear about your battles with eczema, it's so hard to see a little one itchy all the time My DS has eczema, though it has gotten a lot better from the many things we have tried. It took a lot of trial and error but even now, I don't know exactly what causes his flare ups. Food allergies were big for us so he is still avoiding a long list of foods, but for some people it doesn't seem to help. Is there anything that you eat frequently or a lot of when you take out foods that could be causing it? For others it is environmental. Have you looked at topical things for your DD? My DS is sensitive to gluten/dairy/corn/soy/egg, and some of the "natural" body soaps/lotion as well as dish and laundry detergents I was using had one or more of those things in it. Taking those out helped some.
It's just hard to offer helpful advice about eczema because it seems to be individual and some people can't seem to find a cause. It might help to seek an opinion from a naturopath/ homeopath/chinese medicine practicioner if you can. I did try chinese herbs with DS but it didn't work and later on I found out the tincture had wheat (!) in it so that was probably why. Some people have had luck with them. I'm sorry I can't be of more help!
Mom to DS born 6/09 and DS2 born 6/12
I would second the suggestion on looking into food allergies if you haven't already. My son (now 18 months) was from around 5 months old between 30-50% of his poor little body covered with eczema. It was just awful and even the allergist perscribed cortizone cream was not helping much. He was also 100% breastfed until around 7 months when we gradually began introducing solids. That made things even worse. I had played around with giving up milk myself since most of his diet was breast milk, but that never seemed to make a difference probably because I was not faithful enough with it. It was only after we had him tested for food allergies did we know the whole extent of things that both he AND I had to cut out of our diets entirely: soy, eggs, dairy, coconut and peanuts. Slowly but surely his skin began to heal and even months later it is not quite at 100%.... he still has flare ups (mainly if I eat something I shouldn't have) but it is so much better than before. He used to wake up each morning to bloody sheets from all the scratching and was miserable most of the time. He's a totally different kid (much, much happier!!) than he was before we eliminated those things.
My mother also has had severe eczema since babyhood. She has had years of treatments through both traditional western and alternative medical paths without much success. Only just recently has she undergone helpful treatment with a chinese trained nutropathic doctor and has had the following bits of insight:
- She has to limit her diet until she can be de-sensitized to the food/environmental items that she is allergic to. This is done through homeopathic treatments and seems to be working.
- There is an emotional component to eczema. Kids (and later adults) pick up on stress and can internalize it leaving flare-ups as an outlet to some emotional stressor they are experiencing. I have to say that I notice when my son is under pressure or picks up on dh and my own tension, that he does tend to flare up.
Good luck with finding a solution.... I know just how miserable it can be to see your baby suffer. Keep trying though, you'll get her feeling better!