20 month old with ongoing rash/eczema - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 12-15-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there. I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but I'd like to start exploring alternative ways to treat my son's eczema.

 

He's 20 mos & had this rash before (late last winter?). Well he started getting red splotches on his legs again about 1 1/2 months ago. Very scratchy (as in like sand paper) but doesn't seem to bother him. Ped confirmed eczema when he had his last visit 1 week ago. She seems to think it's related to the change in the weather (dryer air inside & out) but it seems like it popped up really before we had a big change in climate.

 

She suggested to use petrolatum & hydro cortisone if he starts scratching it (which he hasn't -- actually doesn't seem to bother him one bit). We used the petrolatum before & it seemed to help but (a) I HATE the idea of using it, and (b) it really doesn't seem to be helping at all this time around (though I realize it might be preventing it from getting worse).

 

Maybe I'm just being overly paranoid or sensitive about slathering DS with petroleum every day but I have to think there's a better solution. Also it's strange because it's only on his legs (and elbows) but not his diaper area (we use cloth). Ideas? Anything to try or are there underlying causes that I should think about?

 

Thanks so much for reading (and please tell me if I should post somewhere else)!


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#2 of 9 Old 12-16-2010, 07:41 AM
 
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My son has eczema as does my brother and nephew.  We are a rashy family.  Eczema seems to be worse in the winter because of the dry air.  So we limit baths.  My son gets 2 to 3 a week and with soap only once (unless he is nasty).  My nephew (sever eczema... from the palms of his hands to the soles of his feet)  gets 1 bath a week and uses soap only when he is dirty.  These baths are quick... in and out.  Maybe 5 minutes to play for my son but my nephew is in and out... showers are even better.  Ivory soap has been the best soap for us.  With my son scents break him out so if it smells good we dont use it.  This includes laundry detergents, soaps and lotions.  Also, eczema can be caused from some type of allergy, food or other.  A lot of dairy will break my son out.  In all honesty he probably shouldn't have any but he hasn't any ill effects with limited dairy.  I have also found that Hazel wood necklaces have helped him out a lot with his eczema (along with other issues).  With all this he rarely breaks out with any patches.  In the rare event he does a little extra lotion helps as does the hydrocortizone cream but we tend to just go for some calendula lotion.  He uses the calendula lotion regularly.  HTH


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#3 of 9 Old 12-16-2010, 08:24 AM
 
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Actually, the idea that ezcema sufferes shouldn't take frequent baths is a myth.  Water is very hydrating, as long as the water is warm and not too hot and the baths are quick. 

 

Many ezcema suffers find relief with frequent, quicks baths followed by a pat dry and lots of moisturizer.

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#4 of 9 Old 12-16-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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My son has eczema and after "controlling" it, I have decided to address the underlying issue which is allergies.

 

We've been doing bioset allergy elimination and homeopathy for several months and the results are promising so far. My son is much much better. I don't want to just control his outbreaks, I want to eliminate the problem for good!


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#5 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies!

 

I think we need to shorten bath time, which is difficult because he REALLY likes his baths. We recently switched to just using cetaphil on him & a mild shampoo every few days, but maybe we'll just stop with soap altogether except for once a week, like chase_mommy suggested.

 

Yes, I think we will start considering possible allergies, Marnica... I want to say it's laundry detergent. Not ours but our neighbors. We use country save, and now that I think about it, it cleared up last summer when we were living somewhere else where we didn't share a washer/dryer. At home we share a washer/dryer with two other floors & they use some very un-green detergent (in addition to dryer sheets). The reason I say I think it's the detergent is because it is only on legs & elbows... which is where his skin is constantly rubbing on his clothing. He doesn't get it on his diaper area at all, but could that be because we wash his diapers on hot & do an extra rinse?

 

Does anyone have experience with laundry detergent allergies? My husband is also sensitive to detergents. Hmm... If that's it how to address it with the neighbors.

 

I will do some research on allergies & hazel wood necklaces (where to start on that one chase_mommy?). And maybe switch to some calendula lotion since the other stuff isn't helping at all anyway.

 

OK. Thank you!


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#6 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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Behind the knees and on the elbows and in the armpit creases are classic eczema places, which could indicate a food allergy/sensitivity, not necessarily detergent. You could wash his clothing with basically no detergent, or by hand for a week or so to see if that helps. I also second going without soap in the bath. I think DS gets soap about once every 2 weeks when DH washes his hair. (He shoots for every Friday night, but I know it is less often than that.)

 

Neighbors? I'd try to avoid confrontation, and to do that, I would do 2-3 loads of laundry: first, wash your towels and sheets. Don't put any soap in the machine, as there is probably enough soap IN the towels and leftover in the machine to get a suds. Then, wash your and DH"s clothing, sans soap. Again, you're likely to get some sudsing action in a shared machine. THEN, wash a load of your son's clothing. Or, just wash your son's things by hand for a couple of weeks and see if that helps.

 

A lotion that is thick enough to come in a tub is what you probably want. Cetaphil fit the bill for us. Sometimes Eucerin, but now we've been using cocoa butter for the past 6 months or so and like that best of all. Straight cocoa butter is too firm for DH's liking, so we use Palmer's in the tub. All the other commercial brands had stuff in it I didn't want, and cocoa butter wasn't a top ingredient.


DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#7 of 9 Old 12-18-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t2009 View Post

Thank you ladies!

 

I think we need to shorten bath time, which is difficult because he REALLY likes his baths. We recently switched to just using cetaphil on him & a mild shampoo every few days, but maybe we'll just stop with soap altogether except for once a week, like chase_mommy suggested.

 

Yes, I think we will start considering possible allergies, Marnica... I want to say it's laundry detergent. Not ours but our neighbors. We use country save, and now that I think about it, it cleared up last summer when we were living somewhere else where we didn't share a washer/dryer. At home we share a washer/dryer with two other floors & they use some very un-green detergent (in addition to dryer sheets). The reason I say I think it's the detergent is because it is only on legs & elbows... which is where his skin is constantly rubbing on his clothing. He doesn't get it on his diaper area at all, but could that be because we wash his diapers on hot & do an extra rinse?

 

Does anyone have experience with laundry detergent allergies? My husband is also sensitive to detergents. Hmm... If that's it how to address it with the neighbors.

 

I will do some research on allergies & hazel wood necklaces (where to start on that one chase_mommy?). And maybe switch to some calendula lotion since the other stuff isn't helping at all anyway.

 

OK. Thank you!


 

I barley touched on the hazel wood in my other post but it really has helped DS a lot.  I get all out hazel wood and amber from Inspired By Finn.  I actually keep one on hand... they do lose their potency, all that info is on their website.  As far as the detergent goes I used Soap nuts and Charlie's we haven't had any issues with either.  My brother and SIL use free n clear of various brands.  I like PP's recommendation on washing a few loads and then the clothes.  As far as the baths being soothing and helpful ( I am not saying they are not) but in our cases it has not been.  We have tried Eurcine, Cetophil, Neutragina and whatever else that has been suggested after baths (our LO's loves baths too, we didn't want to limit them) but end the end the lack of soap (and using a mild soap when needed) and short bath time really helped us.


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#8 of 9 Old 12-19-2010, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post

Behind the knees and on the elbows and in the armpit creases are classic eczema places, which could indicate a food allergy/sensitivity, not necessarily detergent. ...

 

Neighbors? I'd try to avoid confrontation, and to do that, I would do 2-3 loads of laundry: first, wash your towels and sheets. Don't put any soap in the machine, as there is probably enough soap IN the towels and leftover in the machine to get a suds. Then, wash your and DH"s clothing, sans soap. Again, you're likely to get some sudsing action in a shared machine. THEN, wash a load of your son's clothing. Or, just wash your son's things by hand for a couple of weeks and see if that helps.

 

...Straight cocoa butter is too firm for DH's liking, so we use Palmer's in the tub. All the other commercial brands had stuff in it I didn't want, and cocoa butter wasn't a top ingredient.


These are great ideas! Thanks! We started his laundry right before I read this. Grr! But we did an extra rinse & next time I'll try to do our towels, etc. & then do his without detergent. And like you said, we can avoid asking the neighbors to change anything (though they're very nice & I'm sure we could find a solution if absolutely necessary). I may also go back to wiping the inside of the dryer drum with a vinegar/water mix (suggestion from the local cloth diaper store).

 

And, yes, it may be food related but I figured since the eczema doesn't actually seem to bother him at this point I'll try the easiest solution & then go the route of exploring food allergies. And we'll try the cocoa butter... fewer strange ingredients the better for us.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_mommy View Post

I barley touched on the hazel wood in my other post but it really has helped DS a lot.  I get all out hazel wood and amber from Inspired By Finn.  I actually keep one on hand... they do lose their potency, all that info is on their website.  As far as the detergent goes I used Soap nuts and Charlie's we haven't had any issues with either.  My brother and SIL use free n clear of various brands.  I like PP's recommendation on washing a few loads and then the clothes.  As far as the baths being soothing and helpful ( I am not saying they are not) but in our cases it has not been.  We have tried Eurcine, Cetophil, Neutragina and whatever else that has been suggested after baths (our LO's loves baths too, we didn't want to limit them) but end the end the lack of soap (and using a mild soap when needed) and short bath time really helped us.


I will check out Inspired by Finn. Thanks!


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#9 of 9 Old 12-20-2010, 06:58 AM
 
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I just realized a confusing part of my post.

 

By "Palmer's cocoa butter lotion in the tub" I meant, the product comes in a tub, not that you should use it in the bathtub.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Palmer-s-Cocoa-Butter-Cream-7.25-oz/10311246?sourceid=1500000000000007346330&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=10311246

 

and that walmart price for 200 grams is a good price. At CVS, the only place I can find it locally, I usually pay just under $5 for 100 grams, I think.

 

And I do have to say that the ingredients in Palmer's aren't necessarily all natural (contains mineral oil and dimethicone and, eh, other stuff I'd rather not use), but at least cocoa butter was the FIRST ingredient, as opposed to somewhere buried down the list. You CAN get 100% cocoa butter, but it's really firm at room temperature, and we haven't had much luck getting it rubbed into the skin.

 

Basically, the one, single helpful thing I learned from our dermatologist was that lotions and oils that come in bottles are too thin/evaporate too quickly for someone with eczema. You want a cream that is thick enough to come in a tub.


DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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