Help~cracked skin behind ear! - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-03-2002, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope someone has experience with this and can help - my 5 y.o. ds has cracked, crusty skin in the crease at the back of the ear. He is prone to dry skin. This has been a problem for several months now. After several weeks of treating it with herbal salves (with little/no improvement) I took him to the doctor who said that it is normal and lots of kids get this. He suggested a cortisone cream if he's bothered by it. The woman who cuts ds' hair also said that she sees lots of kids with this. Anyway, I still do the herbal salve each night before bed but it is getting worse and now actually bleeds and scabs over some days.

Now, I notice that he has two pea-sized lumps near the cracked skin and the whole area seems a bit red. He says the lumps don't hurt and dh says that it is probably just his lymph system working overtime to clear up whatever the skin problem is.

Now, this is my third boy and I generally have nerves of steel and tend to remain calm in most cases, but the lumps are freaking me out a bit. Does anyone have experience with this? Should I take him back to the doctor? Should I wait and see if the lumps resolve themselves? Any input will be appreciated!
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Old 08-03-2002, 11:24 PM
 
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Hmmm . . . can't speak to the lumps, but the cracked skin behind the ear is classic eczema. Ds has this (the ears), my brother had it as a baby, and my dr. agreed it's very common. Your dr. will never agree with this, but every single alternative health care provider I've talked with is convinced that eczema is caused by allergies. (trad. medicine says no one knows the cause)

I'm not a health professional, but I would suggest cutting out cow's milk first, and then wheat, and maybe corn to see if you can get them cleared up. I agree that the ears in and of themselves aren't that big a deal, but they could be a warning sign that more widespread eczema is on the way. (or they could be all you ever see!)

I also like Nelson's homeopathic calendula cream -- it works very well for us, and even if it doesn't clear things up, it can help prevent infection for when the cracks bleed (ds's do that, too, esp. when he scratches in his sleep).

Try doing some internet research on eczema, if you're not familiar with it, and maybe even get Is This Your Child by Doris Rapp -- she's a little extreme, seems to think everything is an allergy -- so don't let her freak you out, okay?

Good luck. I hope the red lumps go away -- and feel free to PM me if you need more eczema info or support (there are also a lot of eczema moms here!).
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Old 08-04-2002, 01:01 PM
 
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The redness ... it could be a yeast thing.

I can't suggest a homeopathic remedy, don't know one, but if you're okay with drug-store-medicine stuff, Lotrimin is an anti-fungal, works fine.

- Amy
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Old 08-04-2002, 04:11 PM
 
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My ds had cracked ears and neck when he was an infant. We finally cleared up most of his eczema with elimination food diet (milk, eggs, wheat, oats and corn) although we still use cortisone from time to time. But the he doesn't have cracked skin anymore. Oh, my ds used to have swollen lymph glands around his head too (but not on top of the cracked areas per se..) Those finally went away too when we started the elimination diet.

Elimination diet is a slow process and it can take up to 3 weeks to see a significant change, but it does work. Really. If I were you, I probably would start with dairy first.


If my ds was 5, what I would probably do is increase his fat intake a little bit (and I'm talking like, avocados, flax oil, olive oil, cod liver oil, salmon etc) bathe him everyday in nothing but plain water (soaps really irritate dry skin) and religiously slather him with

Little forest brand therapeutic lotion and A&D ointment (the combo smells so good, to me anyways)

Anyways, this is what I'm doing already and it works great along with the elimination diet.

A lot of work but sooooo worth it.
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Old 08-04-2002, 05:36 PM
 
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i had this as a kid, and accupuncture is the only thing that worked, it never came back.
my daughter has this now, she is 16mo. i have tried sulfur 30c, and graphites 30c. they didn't work. currently weare using polysporin/neosporin. this is helping. but i don't know if it will come back some day!??
good luck
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Old 08-05-2002, 04:39 AM
 
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The yeast thing I suggested was 'cuz it happened with us (with DS#2) and that was her (dr's) suggestion. She was right.

She also recommended the cortisone, and that we did not bother with. It is a steroid, you know? Anti-fungals I can deal with, they clear up the fungus. But the steroid just clears up the redness. A little coloration can hang around a few extra days, IMO. Better than the steroids.

- Amy
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Old 08-05-2002, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much everyone! Great advice. He does tend to have dry skin but no scaly patches anywhere so I really hadn't considered allergies. Oddly enough, we spent yesterday at the ocean and after 8 hours of splashing around in salt water the ears look almost perfect and the lumps are gone. Could be a coincidence and maybe the herbal salve finally kicked in, who knows?

Anyway, if it returns I will definitely use all you great mamas sound advice. Thanks again!
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