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#1 of 33 Old 10-29-2008, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is it about cold weather that causes eczema to get worse? Is there anything that can be done to prevent that? How do you treat the pain of a flare up like that?

My 4yo ds was outside playing today. When he came in he said the patches of eczema on his face hurt. They were bright red and looked irritated. They are there all the time but normally are barely noticeable and he's never complained that they bothered him before.

(I know about food allergies and eczema. DS is not interested in trying an elimination diet.)

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#2 of 33 Old 10-29-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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I think it's going from extreme of temp and being exposed to more dry heater air. Can you put something on it before he goes out or at night?
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#3 of 33 Old 10-29-2008, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you put something on it before he goes out or at night?
What would I put on it?

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#4 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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We baste dd in sweet almond oil before bed, and put lanolin on any really nasty spots. I did a patch test on her shoulder with the almond oil first, btw, just to make sure it was okay.

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#5 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Almond oil, ok. A friend of mine suggested coconut oil, which I have. DS is so against taking anything or putting anything on his skin. He refused to let me even try the coconut oil, or anything else for that matter. However, that was before it started to bother him. Maybe he'll be more amenable now.

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#6 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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National Eczema Association recommend using a humidifier during winter months to counter dryness from especially from heating.

Also the site talks about avoiding potential irritants things like color, fragrance, parabens - they publish a whole list.

They recommend products like cetaphil and exederm. Remember to slap on lots of moisturizer

Here's the NEA link www.easeeczema.org
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#7 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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PS: You can add coconut oil to warm bath water - works great, melts in hot water then cool to the correct tempature with the cold water faucet. no rubbing in, but the tub can become slippy
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#8 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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National Eczema Association recommend using a humidifier during winter months to counter dryness from especially from heating.

Also the site talks about avoiding potential irritants things like color, fragrance, parabens - they publish a whole list.

They recommend products like cetaphil and exederm. Remember to slap on lots of moisturizer

Here's the NEA link www.easeeczema.org
Thanks. I was actually going to look into getting a humidifier. I have a vaporizer but I guess they aren't the same thing. We don't use anything with any color, fragrance or parabens or anything else. He doesn't use soap or shampoos or other detergents, only water to wash. I use special laundry detergent, too.

The moisturizer isn't irritating? When my skin gets really dry and irritated moisturizers sting and burn.

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#9 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PS: You can add coconut oil to warm bath water - works great, melts in hot water then cool to the correct tempature with the cold water faucet. no rubbing in, but the tub can become slippy
Cool! What a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. The eczema is only on his face, though, around his mouth, which he won't usually wash. However, it'll probably still feel good. I think I'll try that for myself, too.

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#10 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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I know it has petroleum, but bag balm is my go to thing, doesn't sting.
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#11 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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(I know about food allergies and eczema. DS is not interested in trying an elimination diet.)
No offense or anything, but I'm not sure its a great idea to let a 4yo make those kind of health decisions for himself. You're the mama - that's your job. I'd be looking for the internal, root causes of the eczema as well as looking for topical relief.
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#12 of 33 Old 10-30-2008, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No offense or anything, but I'm not sure its a great idea to let a 4yo make those kind of health decisions for himself. You're the mama - that's your job. I'd be looking for the internal, root causes of the eczema as well as looking for topical relief.
Thanks. No offense taken. But, we don't force or try to coerce our children to do anything they don't want to do regardless of their ages, especially when it comes to their own bodies.

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#13 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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Fair enough. I hear you there. It's worth keeping in mind though, that food allergies when not addressed can set the stage for other problems down the road. Namely asthma, environmental allergies/hayfever, gut damage and digestive troubles. I'm not sure if a 4yo is capable of making decisions based on the available information when they probably cannot fully comprehend all the factors involved.
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#14 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He's already got environmental allergies/hay fever. I doubt anyone can comprehend fully all the factors involved (or not involved). I think a 4yo is just as capable as an adult of making decisions about his own body. If something doesn't feel good to him, I'll let him trust his own gut about it. I know it's a very different perspective and hard for a lot of people to wrap their brains around.

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#15 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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I wasn't criticizing your parenting. I'm all for consensual living. Some folks aren't aware of those connections to food allergies, that's all.

FWIW, before we figured out the triggers for dd's eczema, we used pure shea butter which worked pretty well to seal in moisture. No topical treatment ever helped very much, though.
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#16 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wasn't feeling criticized. I was just explaining myself a bit more. I had read that topical treatments don't help much. That's why I was wondering what I could do for a flare up like that.

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#17 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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Ok, in my family 5 out of 6 of us have exzema! And we live in Alaska where it gets down right cold! The cold will actually dry your skin out more than anything, that is why exzema is worse in the winter months. What we have to do is wash with only water, the water can not be real warm either and we can't take long baths or showers, then apply moisturizer constantly. The recomended one by the specialist said Cetiphil! If you have a Fred Meyer in your area they should have the Kroger brand of cetiphil for about half the price. We also try to limit our time outside durring the coldest months. For flare ups I mix the cetiphil with a little hydrocortizone cream in my hand before applying it. It stops the intens itching and pain.

Some of the other things that have caused flare ups on my kids are contact allergies (cetain stuffed toys, perfume...), long bubble baths, laundry detergents, sented anything (exept my candles, I've been able to keep those).

Other things to avoid- Lanoline!, and many moisturizers have alcohol in them, that is why they sting when applied to dry skin. Petrolium products can also be irritating.

I hope some of this helps.
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#18 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That helps a lot. Thanks.

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#19 of 33 Old 10-31-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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DD was just diagnosed with eczema. She has a prescription now, but we're doing Aveeno baths - really soothing! Also, a really emollient lotion (with each diaper change), humidifier and making sure she's covered up before venturing out. The cold does seem to exacerbate it for her.

Aveeno is the only thing I didn't see mentioned - and it really seems to have helped more than some other things we tried.

Good luck!
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#20 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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No offense or anything, but I'm not sure its a great idea to let a 4yo make those kind of health decisions for himself. You're the mama - that's your job. I'd be looking for the internal, root causes of the eczema as well as looking for topical relief.
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Fair enough. I hear you there. It's worth keeping in mind though, that food allergies when not addressed can set the stage for other problems down the road. Namely asthma, environmental allergies/hayfever, gut damage and digestive troubles. I'm not sure if a 4yo is capable of making decisions based on the available information when they probably cannot fully comprehend all the factors involved.
:

Seriously. I understand letting your child make decisions about their own body... but if there are underlying food allergies, they could be doing serious damage to his gut, without you or him knowing it. Does he enjoy living with his eczema and seasonal allergies? Has he been informed about the possible connection of what certain foods could be doing to his body? If you are choosing to let a 4yo harm his body, at least make sure that he is informed of the consequences. (And I'm not saying that he is in fact harming his body, but I think that's a possibility- and your job as a mom is to protect him, keep him safe even if he doesn't completely understand or agree with your decision. JMHO.)

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#21 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously. I understand letting your child make decisions about their own body... but if there are underlying food allergies, they could be doing serious damage to his gut, without you or him knowing it. Does he enjoy living with his eczema and seasonal allergies? Has he been informed about the possible connection of what certain foods could be doing to his body? If you are choosing to let a 4yo harm his body, at least make sure that he is informed of the consequences. (And I'm not saying that he is in fact harming his body, but I think that's a possibility- and your job as a mom is to protect him, keep him safe even if he doesn't completely understand or agree with your decision. JMHO.)
Yes, we've talked about all this stuff and we continue to talk about it periodically. He's been tested for food allergies and all was clear (and, yes, I understand that sometimes those tests don't pick up every possible allergy or sensitivity). He's been tested for environmental allergens and only reacted to one type of grass. We have prescriptions and herbal remedies/preventatives. We've been to the acupuncturist and the chiropractor. We are very involved and proactive about this. However, I am not going to force any type of treatment on my child. What to do with his body is his decision. He has decided he'd rather tolerate the eczema and other allergies than take the medicines, herbs or treatments. I respect that.

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#22 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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I think that is really cool, your decision. Plus most kids grow out of eczema naturally without any elim diets.
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#23 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that is really cool, your decision. Plus most kids grow out of eczema naturally without any elim diets.
Thanks. I also believe that sometimes we need to just leave things alone and let them work themselves out. Our bodies are amazing in their ability to overcome problems. Sometimes trying to eliminate an offending substance causes more problems, like the possibility that the use of so many antibacterial agents in personal and home cleaning products may have led to more incidence of asthma in children, especially when regular soap and water work at least as well.

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#24 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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Thanks. I also believe that sometimes we need to just leave things alone and let them work themselves out. Our bodies are amazing in their ability to overcome problems. Sometimes trying to eliminate an offending substance causes more problems, like the possibility that the use of so many antibacterial agents in personal and home cleaning products may have led to more incidence of asthma in children, especially when regular soap and water work at least as well.
I completely agree. I think in our zeal to kill and beat everything we have lost trust in the body's natural ability for healing...we want it fixed, NOW. Which is just not the way nature works. I wish I had a mom like you to talk to around here! I feel people get "overeducated "and lose common sense sometimes...Thanks for your strong and solid voice.
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#25 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I too agree with trying to let the body heal itself... That is why I use the hydrocortizone mixed with cetiphil for breakouts. My pediatrition gave us a prescription but I did a check on it and if used too much it can change your skin. Making it tougher, and less receptive to feeling, so since I really don't want my kids going around like rock people... I use the hydrocortizone, its much safer and I only use it for flareups that bother the you know what out of us. The best thing I found is to limit exposure to the triggers, like cold (but we still build snow men every year), laundry detergents, and lanoline. I also have flareups when stressed out, so I practice yoga and pilaties to help with stress.
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#26 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Thanks. I also believe that sometimes we need to just leave things alone and let them work themselves out. Our bodies are amazing in their ability to overcome problems. Sometimes trying to eliminate an offending substance causes more problems, like the possibility that the use of so many antibacterial agents in personal and home cleaning products may have led to more incidence of asthma in children, especially when regular soap and water work at least as well.
i understand what youre saying, but i do want to point out that ezcema can lead to very serious inections, like staph, etc...that could call for hospitalizations. a friend of mine had to put her 6month old in the hospital due to infections from eczema and it was just horrid.

getting things under control now is a good idea.

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#27 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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I too agree with trying to let the body heal itself... That is why I use the hydrocortizone mixed with cetiphil for breakouts. My pediatrition gave us a prescription but I did a check on it and if used too much it can change your skin. Making it tougher, and less receptive to feeling, so since I really don't want my kids going around like rock people... I use the hydrocortizone, its much safer and I only use it for flareups that bother the you know what out of us.
Using steroids (hydrocortisone) on a child's developing body is about as far as you can get from letting the body heal itself. Hydrocortisone thins the skin permanently if used often enough. It also renders the body less able to fight off the bacteria that is common with eczema. In addition, and probably most harmful overall, it suppresses the immune system. The immune system is the body's only way to 'heal itself'. When symptoms are suppressed by drugs, all that happens is that the reaction is pushed back into the body and must be dealt with by another route. Just because you can buy cortisone over the counter does not make it safe. It is about the worst thing you can do when dealing with eczema. It is also one of the reasons that kids with suppressed eczema end up with asthma. The body is trying to tell us something. If we do not listen, it will try to tell us in another way.
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#28 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My pediatrition gave us a prescription but I did a check on it and if used too much it can change your skin. Making it tougher, and less receptive to feeling,
Was it Elidel?

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ezcema can lead to very serious inections
My ds' eczema is so mild it's almost nonexistent. When I showed it to 3 separate docs on 3 separate occasions, all of them said it was extremely mild. At first they questioned whether he really had it. I had to point it out to them.

I appreciate everyone's concern but I really didn't want this to turn into a discussion about whether and how to treat eczema in that way. That was why I originally said I'm aware of the food allergy issues. I just wanted quick, simple and safe solutions for relieving discomfort when it bothers my ds. We lived in Hawaii for his first 2.5 years of life where we never had this issue, presumably because it was always warm.

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#29 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Thanks. I also believe that sometimes we need to just leave things alone and let them work themselves out. Our bodies are amazing in their ability to overcome problems. Sometimes trying to eliminate an offending substance causes more problems, like the possibility that the use of so many antibacterial agents in personal and home cleaning products may have led to more incidence of asthma in children, especially when regular soap and water work at least as well.
Eliminating a food (like dairy) is not at all the same thing as antibacterial use eliminating bacteria and causing problems. There is nothing unhealthy or dangerous about avoiding a food or foods that you are allergic to- in fact quite the opposite.

The more you continue to expose a person to an allergen, the more damage it does- and the body will never be able to heal itself if you keep it in a constant state of reaction and inflammation.

I agree with letting the body heal itself- but you have to give it the opportunity to do so, rather than continuing to harm it.

Your OP asked if there was anything you could do to avoid or treat the pain of eczema... Are you asking if there is a way to mask the symptoms, or actually treat the eczema?

Have you ever tried an elimination diet for your DS? If it is a food, and his body gets a break from it for a while, he might realize how much better his body feels and then choose to avoid the food(s) himself.

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#30 of 33 Old 11-01-2008, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your OP asked if there was anything you could do to avoid or treat the pain of eczema... Are you asking if there is a way to mask the symptoms, or actually treat the eczema?

Have you ever tried an elimination diet for your DS? If it is a food, and his body gets a break from it for a while, he might realize how much better his body feels and then choose to avoid the food(s) himself.
I specifically want to know what I can do to treat the discomfort he feels when it gets irritated, for example, when he came in from the cold and he said it hurt. We have tried an elimination diet and he did not like it all. It also did nothing to change the state of his eczema. The eczema showed up this spring along with his seasonal allergies, which are new since we've moved to NC. So, although there's a lot of info out there about the association between eczema and food allergies/sensitivities, I'm not convinced that's the only cause. I'm more inclined to think my ds' eczema is associated with his seasonal allergies.

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