I need advice from those of you have experience with the red cheek phenomenon . . .
My breastfed 8-month old son has had red, chapped, swollen cheeks off and on since he was about 3 months. Yes, he is teething (has 2 teeth now), and the pediatrician, my mom and the cashier at the baby store (among others!) insist this is teething rash. My intuition says otherwise.
He had one major skin crisis at 5 1/2 mos which looked like hives to me (happened one day after tasting banana as first solid food), but the dr. diagnosed it as eczema. The full-body hives and sandpaper-like rash cleared up after 3 weeks, but only after I religiously cut-out wheat, cow's milk, and soy. The cheeks have remained, however, so I have since cut out citrus, eggs, nuts, chocolate, corn, tomatoes, and berries. They're still red and inflamed. If this were just a cosmetic issue, I'd be willing to wait it out, but I am so afraid it is a warning sign that eczema (and asthma) is lurking and I SO want to prevent later allergy problems for him, if I can.
Could this possibly be due to something as simple as the weather? I did notice an improvement after a few days at the beach and one week in the spring when it was unseasonably hot and humid. (It has been cold here in NC for a week or two . . . never thought I'd be wishing for the HEAT!!!) If it was a food allergy to something in my milk, wouldn't some other part of his body be affected? Could it actually BE due to teething? Did anyone else conclude this with your babes?
And BTW, I do put homeopathic calendula cream in an all-natural base on his cheeks hourly, followed by a layer of lanolin. One cheek will clear up completely for a while, then they're both a mess again. I'm interested in other remedies, but more interested in the cause.
Please help, experienced mamas! The medical community has SO very little to offer me (and even the naturopath, osteopath, and chinese herbalist we've seen have been stumped!). I'm hoping one of you will have some insight for me!
Fingers Crossed in NC!
P.S. Forgot to mention that I AM eating goat's milk cheese . . . will cut that out next, but would love to hear if anyone else has heard of a sensitivity to it. THX!