Any value in allergy testing for eczema? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 5 Old 05-15-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 15 month old son has mild eczema - when he gets flare ups he gets quite itchy and can't sleep, and scratches until he bleeds sometimes.

 

We have no idea what is causing it, and at this point in my life the idea of an elimination diet for both of us (I'm bf) seems too overwhleming.

 

Is there any value in doing allergy testing to try and figure out what is causing it?

 

Are there any concerns with conventional allergy testing in terms of toxins that might be injected, or any other good reasons to not do allergy testing?


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#2 of 5 Old 05-15-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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That's interesting concerning toxins... I wouldn't personally worry for skin testing because it is just a skin prick on the surface with tiny amounts of allergen mixture.  But that doesn't eliminate the concern about What Is In There.

 

Eczema has many forms, many triggers.  If the cause is environmental and from, say, the skin not providing an adequate barrier (something both dd2 and I have), then it can come from anything on contact.  For environmental allergens, even if you get a positive test, the advice is: avoid and good luck.  Allergens tested for are pollens, molds, etc. and usually not chemical tests (that I know of, I don't know what's out there, honestly).  So, if it's chemical, you still have to figure it out and avoid it.

 

For foods, and especially at this age, even allergists who approve of "fishing" for allergies still might not test for much beyond the Big 8.  Again, my limited experience might make me ignorant of what is out there, medically speaking.  You might prefer the help of a naturopath, but frankly some of the "tests" and "treatments" they do for allergies leave me in a state of bewilderment..... but... some moms swear by them, but... yeah.... I'll drop that topic.

 

It sounds like the eczema can flare up and be extreme, so perhaps a physician can be helpful.  That's not to say I would do an allergy test in your situation (and I am usually on board with allergy testing, in general).  If there were a food allergy, I would imagine there would be other, obvious symptoms beyond eczema.  But.... eczema in this form is not in my personal experience.

 

Causes of eczema can be beyond baffling, and many forms seem to have nothing to do with allergens.  Still, if the eczema were frequent, severe and painful and I couldn't figure it out with my own research, you can bet that I'd at least investigate an allergy connection, and possibly with an allergy test.

 

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#3 of 5 Old 05-17-2013, 07:11 AM
 
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Hi there -

 

Allergy testing can be a good place to start, but results can be inaccurate - false negatives and positives AND more importantly, your child may only have a food intolerance or sensitivity that is triggering the eczema, which wouldn't show up in allergy tests. Only an elimination diet can determine if food is truly causing your child's eczema. I know it seems overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Find an allergist that is on board with helping you determine the steps to doing this diet successfully and also to help ensure you have all the appropriate nutrients in your diet. I wrote a post about how we did our elimination diet and why (severe eczema), so I hope you'll find it helpful!

 

http://itchylittleworld.com/2013/01/08/our-eczema-trials-elimination-diet-how-you-can-do-it-too/

 

Wet wrapping can really help as well - provides pretty quick relief.

http://itchylittleworld.com/2012/03/20/our-eczema-trials-wet-wrap-therapy/

 

Also, if scratching is really bad, like with my son, consider something like ScratchMeNot mittens or Kumfy Cotton tops and onesies with opening mittens. Very helpful!

 

Jennifer

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#4 of 5 Old 06-30-2013, 10:54 AM
 
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Has your son had eczema since the get go? I'd recommend switching to a hypoallergenic laundry detergent if you haven't done so already.

And/or eliminate gluten as a first step. GF foods are easy to come by these days & taste just as good as their gluten filled counterparts. Let me know if you want more info about that.


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#5 of 5 Old 06-30-2013, 06:33 PM
 
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80% of eczema is NOT related to allergies. I would never test if that was the only thing happening because the high false positive rates of both skin and blood testing often end up limiting a persons diet unnecessarily.

 

I would look into bleach baths and wet wrapping. My DD was tested due to her older brothers life threatening allergies and she tested negative to everything. Her eczema was under control within a week or two of 2 bleach baths (2x a week) and really slathering her up with a good cream.

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