My son's eczema won't go away :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 01-11-2006, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's 4.5 and has had eczema since 5 months... worsening over time. We've been to the dermatologist a few times... she just says to keep alternating dermatop and elidel and he'll grow out of it. Went to an allergist for blood tests. Called today and everything was 0, no allergies. It has been SUPER dry here this winter which I am sure contributes, but the kid is covered in itchy bumps and red patches. Two weeks ago it was so bad that I took him to my reg. doc and he got steriod shots and was on abx b/c it was infected. It cleared up until about a week after the abx wore off, so the past few days he is flaring up again. I use coconut oil and shea butter right now on him. I can't stand the idea of using the elidel or steriod creams indefinitely. Poor kid has had so much of that stuff on him in his life already. I just don't know what to do. We sleep with a humidifier in the room. Granted, we don't moisturize as often as we probably should (2-4 times a day on a good day) but it is hard to remember as scattered as I am.
I feel like such a failure since I can't seem to help this go away. I keep meaning to buy flax seed oil to give him, but don't ever remember when I have $$ to buy it. I have given him some EPO the past couple of days.

Anyway... what else can I do??? Is there a better moisturizer to try that isn't a steriod, linked to cancer or petroleum based? Could it still be allergies, even though the tests were negative? Could the probiotics he was taking with the abx have been part of what cleared it up?
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#2 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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i dont' know if these are bad so you will have to research them but my friends swear by :

hydrophor
cetaphil
aveeno

what about oatmeal baths? limiting baths? doing a food journal to find triggers ( milk is a big one i think???)

a humidifier

i have always wondered if you can put lanolin or something like that on it. i've put vaseline on my son (didn't know that was bad?) and it helped with one of his rashes.

do you guys go out in the wind a lot? i know that makes it worse

good luck!

nichole
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#3 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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I was told soaking in a bath with dead sea salt helps you can get it at health food store.
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#4 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Daily baths *seem* to help a bit, as long as there's no soap and we remember to lube him up right after. Aquaphor is made with vaseline, isn't it? I can't remember. Oatmeal baths didn't help much. The one time I tried a buttermilk bath it seemed to get a lot worse after that, but days blend together so badly it's hard to tell.
I kept a food journal for a week or two (before we had visitors for a few days and I forgot ) and didn't notice any correlation to his breakouts.
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#5 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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I would definitely try the flax seed oil, if you can afford it. I've gotten some for about $7 a bottle. It's worked really well on my son's rashes.

I hope you and your babe find some relief soon!
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#6 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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I know he tested negative for common allergies, what about soaps (body, shampoo, laundry soap, etc.) My sons both have sensitivities to certain laundry soaps and fabric softeners. My oldest will break out just by giving my mother a hug (she has fabric softeners in her clothing).
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#7 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We use ALL free & clear and no softener. For soap, if he uses any it is WAHM made, all natural soap. I can't stand perfumes and scents so those are pretty rare here, too. It's just weird. I thought it could have been mold or dust or something in our home, but he tested negative... I assume those tests are fairly accurate, but I really don't know.
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#8 of 28 Old 01-12-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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I've heard from many people that the tests show nothing. Some have said this about just the blood work and others about the skin prick. I would try doing the food diary again. My son is 3.5 and we're in much the same boat -- it seems to be getting worse and the allergens seem numerous. Currently we eliminated all of the things we think he might be allergic too and are re-introducing them one at a time to see what happens.

Good luck.
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#9 of 28 Old 01-14-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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Hi. My dd is almost 6 months and was diagnosed with Eczema a couple months ago. She had very rough patches on her cheeks and it was very itchy. Ped suggested that I take fish oil and acidophilus powder every day (since I am BF). Don't know if it's coincidence or not, but it slowly got better and now it is completly gone. I use Nordic Naturals liquid (since it's free of metals and PCBs). It's not cheap (about $15 for 48-day supply). Also, used baby aveeno and Weleda diaper rash cream when it was at its worse.

Good luck!
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#10 of 28 Old 01-14-2006, 08:38 PM
 
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My son is an eczma kid also.
Hi is definitely environmental as it completely goes away in the summer when the air is moist (we live in dry cold Maine).

Here are the things that have helped us:

Flax oil taken internally - I mix it with a yoghurt smoothie and he doesn't notice it.
Aubrey organics Evening Primose Oil Body lotion - the fatty acids in the EPO help a lot.
Minimal bathing! Every 2-3 days, with soap free, fragrance free body wash, we use the California Baby Super Sensitive body wash.
For the nasty red, sore, itchy patches that won't go away we use a homepathic cream called Florasone, it is a cardiosperum treatment, a plant based tincture to deal with eczma.
We run a humidifier in his room all night, and whenever he is in there.
We use fragrance free laundry detergent and no dryer sheets.

All those things combined have helped him out considerably, we haven't seen the doc in 3 months! A long time in the winter of an eczma kid!!!

Good luck!
Olivia
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#11 of 28 Old 01-14-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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Allergy testing is a HIGHLY INACCURATE SCIENCE. Eczema is the sign of an atopic person. Triggers are food or environmental. Flare ups are a sign that
something is invading the immune system.
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#12 of 28 Old 01-14-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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My son has horrible ezema, so bad he looks like a leper. What keeps him in check is to "oil him up" every day!! Eucerin creme, or Aveeno Moisturizing. I also have him take Mega-3's which contain, flax & fish oils. Along with acidophulus, daily.

Now that our perscription benefit changed, I will try elidil as well. I read in a natural pharmacy book, that Aloe may be good as well. I tried to cut out dairy but he loves it, so I watch it @ home but @ school he has it.

Good Luck. I know it sucks....Let us know if anything really REALLY works.

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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#13 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 12:07 AM
 
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I know you said that it helps to bathe him every day and then "lube" him up immediately afterwards, but I'd try minimal bathing instead, as a PP mentioned! Very short baths and use only tepid/lukewarm water -- the hotter the water, the more drying to the skin. This was a big help to DS when we were battling excema.

Another thing you might want to look at again is the food diary. It could be that he has a wheat or gluten intolerance -- excema is often a first sign of damage to the gut -- and those often go undetected in regular allergy panels. (My DS has Celiac disease, so this was very true for us!) In fact, you may want to ask some of the mamas in the "healing the gut" tribe in this forum about this.

You've had several good suggestions so far -- olivenaturals was right on the money -- and I'd also add that calendula ointment can work wonders for excema. Weleda makes a good one.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
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#14 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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The thing that helped with my dd who had horrific eczema is not to give baths more than once a week and sometimes even less than that. She used elidel up till about 4 months ago when the allergist told me there was a growing concern about immune problems associated with it I do use a topical steroid. She only has a patch on each of her feet now. But before a year old she had bleeding running hands and wrists and patches in a bunch other spots it was awfull. she had allergy testing both prick test and blood work. showed egg, nut, and one or 2 others that were big triggers for her. The egg was the biggest. The good news is they usually grow out of it the bad news is that does nothing to help right now when they r sufferign the most.

 
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#15 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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See, I go back and forth on the bathing thing... One month, frequent tepid baths help. The next, more than 2 a week is too much. And one doc will say fewer while the next says daily soaks...

I'm going to try 2 weeks with no dairy first and see what happens. I am also trying to remember to give him probiotics daily, as well as EPO until I feel well enough to go out and buy some Flax Seed oil. I would way rather it be dairy than wheat... as selfish as that sounds... almost everything we eat is wheat. That would be very hard to get around. I'll update when I can. Tomorrow will be day 1 of no dairy as we ran out of cow milk and will be using Rice Dream instead.
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#16 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 01:29 AM
 
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hum...
I have some small patches that come and go... they actually do best when kept dry, going away durring the winter.
I found that a combination of Quercetin Complex tablets taken orally and wallnut leaf extract applied topically did the job better than the cream that the dermatologist perscribed.
Check out the book "Perscription for Herbal Healing" by Phyllis A. Balch, it has some good suggestions on much more than just Eczema, but that's where I got my fix.
good luck!
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#17 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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My dd, now 14 months, has eczema, basically since she was 10 weeks old.
Over time it has gotten worse and now it's gotten better in the last two months, since I've done a food diary. I really feel I can write a book on eczema...we've been through eczema-hell and back. No scars though, so far.

So this is what I'm doing now...
She is only mildly allergic to milk, so she gets her morning raw organic milk with Probiotics, incl. Culturelle which is supposed to help eczema get about 30% better.

Then I make her organic basmati rice with rice milk, water and seabuckthorn or borage oil, I sometimes add chlorophyl and other various things I try out. She is allergic to fish and fish oils.

Lunch/Dinner is the occasional chicken baked in ghee butter, sweet potatoes (as of yesterday she seems ok with sweet potatoes, yaaay!), peas, rice, rice pasta with raw cream sauce, broccoli, swiss chard, avocado or any other green veggies. Zucchinis baked in ghee butter is good too. She's also ok with cheese (Mozzarella).
Desert is whole milk organic yoghurt or cottage cheese.

That's it. She can't eat anything else right now. Today she wrapped her little fingers around a wheat cracker and ate a few bites in complete happiness and tonight she was breaking out and is really fussy.

At one point she lost weight, since my doc suggested to take her off milk to see if she would clear up, it didn't make much of a difference. Then I found out it was the carrots that I kept feeding her almost every day! And I only found this out by keeping a food diary and checking it every day of the week to see what the pattern was.She got really skinny, since she could barely eat anything at all, it was horrible, since I felt that I needed to feed her, but everything I tried made her scratch herself bloody! I was in tears every day, really, really desperate.

So here is what I do with lotions and creams (after I even spent a bunch on making my own creams!):

I bathe her 2-3 times a week in water treated with a 'bath ball" that takes chlorine out. It's warm water and I use a soap-free gel from Germany by a company called Lavera to clean her. I take her out after 10-15 min. and butter her up real good before she even gets dry. If she has no break-out I use California Baby Calming Botanical Moisturizing Cream, it came highly recommended and it works well for us. It's pricey though.
If she is itching lightly at different spots I use Florazone first (see pp for description) and then put Cal Baby over it to give it extra moisture. Sometimes I also use Aquaphor. I've tried just about EVERY product out there and also like the Weleda line, but the only one to keep enough moisture on the broken and dried skin is NOT the Calendula baby product, but a green tube called Weleda Skin Food, it's a thick paste. Good stuff!

Ok... so if she has an eczema attack, I put on a light cortizone paste that is mixed with Aquaphor or something like that to lock in the moisture. Somebody brought it to me from Canada, it comes from a little pharmacy in Montreal. It works well. You can probably mix your own if you feel you have to have a power cream so the itching doesn't get bloody. Then I put Cal Baby Cream over everything.

Most importantly, you need to keep the spots moisturized externally (creams, pastes) and internally (with omega olis).

Her is a list of her allergens for your reference, not that it's the same with every baby:
wheat/gluten
ALL FRUITS! Literally ALL!
corn
sugar
caffeine (not that I would give her this anyway)
chocolate
turkey, pork
tomatoes
vitamin C in ALL forms
vitamin supplements
Olive oil, all typically used oils
soy (which is in sooo many products if you check labels!)
nuts
carrots
bell peppers
fish
potatoes
beans
juices of all kinds
etc..., etc,...
the list is so long.

So, what I do now is stay with the "safe" foods so she doesn't suffer and then introduce a new and nutritionally complete food to see what her reaction is. Only introduce one thing at a time within a 2-3 day period.


We also did spend A LOT of money for NAET treatments. It was helpful in determining the allergies, but failed to give us any lasting results in "eliminating" them. We don't do much "conventional" doctoring, so I've never taken her to do the allergy tests. It has dubious results anyway, from what I've heard.

The hardest moments are when she begs for apples, strawberries or bananas, it breaks my heart not to be able to feed her healthy fruits and she wants it so bad too! :-(

Oh, clothing is another important thing! Cotton! Nothing but cotton on her skin. Sweating can aggravate eczema, as does dry air, as you know. I've also had to bandage her wrists and ankles, so she couldn't reach her skin to scratch. But that's reserved for only desperate moments...sad as it is.

I hope this helps a bit in this jungle of this mysterious atopic helplessness.
Hugs to all you mamas who have to deal with this too

unschooling mama with Toots'n Fruits (6) and BeenzieBoo (3)
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#18 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I planned to mix up some beeswax w/ olive and coconut oils, as a similar moisturizer was pretty good at keeping his skin hydrated. Maybe I could mix in some EPO as well? Give him flax or fish oil and probiotics orally, start a food diary, and no dairy for a couple of weeks.

Does this sound like a good place to *start* this week?
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#19 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 10:40 AM
 
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I haven't read through the replies, but thought I'd tell you what items we used to help with eczema:

* Calendula (homeopathic) ointment (not cream) to reduce inflamation and irritation
* Flax seed oil internally (or borage, evening primrose or combo)
* Children's probiotics (dairy free)

Besides that, I've only heard of elimination diets being the most accurate for determining food allergens.
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#20 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 10:48 AM
 
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It sounds like you've gotten a lot of good suggestions, but I just wanted to ask if your doctor informed you of the blackbox warning on Elidel? It significantly increases the risk of some types of cancers and is only to be used with extreme caution. A black box warning is one step away from removing it from the market.

I hope some of the other things help you, mama. My DD has eczema too.
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#21 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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I had added shea butter, camomile and calendula to my ointments, as well as beeswax and almond oil. Yes, your start sounds very good! Definitely do the elimination diet the pp suggested!

unschooling mama with Toots'n Fruits (6) and BeenzieBoo (3)
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#22 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't know about the black box warning... I did know that there were studies linking it to cancer and that's why I quit using it. That makes me so sad that I used it for so long on my son, not to mention it was all over my hands while pregnant.
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#23 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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the body is mostly water...in order for it to be hydrated it needs water....one can use all the oil and butters they want, but those don't provide the water that the skin is made up of and is craving....when i use oil/butter only creams....whipped shea butter, whipped mango butter, ect...the skin on my right hand (which has the eczema) actually feels dried out after using these things, not moisturized....if hydration is what you are seeking, then something along the lines of an emulsified body butter that actualy contain water would provide the hydration you seek with the the oils to hold in the water....kwim?
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#24 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 07:13 PM
 
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Carrie, that's a great insight! Maybe that's why it's actually beneficial if you take baths and lock in the moisture right away!

unschooling mama with Toots'n Fruits (6) and BeenzieBoo (3)
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#25 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 08:28 PM
 
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Davina....i got something whipped up for the little guy to try....will stick it in the mail tomorrow.
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#26 of 28 Old 01-15-2006, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Carrie!! We use the shea butter all the time, just isn't enough some days.
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#27 of 28 Old 01-16-2006, 04:57 AM
 
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I use the body shop hemp cream love it works wonders.
I put him in the bath no soap, give him a little rub iwth a soft washcloth then make sure he's covered and put the cream on, if his skin contacts anything but his cotton/wool clothing he will rash badly.

8 might be enough
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#28 of 28 Old 01-16-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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I know that this thread was not for me, per se, but I have learned alot. I will not be getting the elidel, that is for sure. I would cut back his baths, but he seems to itch more when not clean. Not only that, he comes home smelling like kid funk after school, or like billy goats, which ever kids you a better image.
I hope everyone's babies stop itching & hurting soon.

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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