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Eczema took a vacation with us......

914 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Leatherette
We just got back from a cruise, and during the week that we were on the cruise, my daughter's eczema almost completely disappeared. Her diet was the same, in fact, we started adding some foods that we had previously eliminated (wheat, cow milk cheese and yogurt) the week before the cruise.

She started scratching and getting her patches back within hours of being home.

We have cats in the home, and we live in Seattle, so there is probably some mold, though nothing that stands out. The cruise was all air conditioned and went to Alaska, so there was still dampness, but maybe no mold?

What do you all think? I am thinking about sending the cats to a friend for a while to see if that helps, but how long would it take, and how much effort to get all of the hair and dander out of the house?

My daughter is 18 months and has had serious eczema for a year.

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Have you had any allergy tests done? Skin tests are the most accurate, and the IgG blood test.

Other than that, it could be your vacation was like an elimination test, and you got lucky to find that it was the cat.

My little boy used to break out in rashes when I opened his onesie to change his diaper. I used the 50-cent air filters from Walmart, so I upgraded to the $17 3M ones, and that stopped happening within 24 hours.

I also had my carpets deep-cleaned, and let the cat live outside.

So, I would suggest changing the air filters, deep-cleaning the carpets, furniture, drapes and bedding, and washing all the sheets/bedspreads, etc.

In answer to your question about long it will take to get all the dander out of the house and see an improvement: I have no idea.
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Leatherette- we had a similar experience. We were out of town for two weeks last year and ds's eczema cleared up! We were in hotels and he ate some stuff he shouldn't have as well.

We got home and he began scratching. That's when we knew it was the pets
I waited too long to rehome the cat even knowing that. We are still finding cat hair in places a few months later and even one or two cat hairs sets him scratching til he bleeds.

It took almost a month without the cat (a dear friend took her) before ds was better. We had to wipe down everything, steam clean the upholstery and carpet, wash curtains- etc. It was a huge job and I still miss my cat, but worth it for ds's health.

Eczema can turn into asthma- this is what happened with my ds- and if I could go back in time and find the cat a new home sooner, I would have.
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Thanks for your replies. I think we have to bite the bullet and do it.

She had blood tests done recently that said she did not have allergies to the foods we had been avoiding. We are waiting to do another scratch test until she is 2. She had one at 6 mos that was inconclusive.


Originally Posted by Leatherette
She had blood tests done recently that said she did not have allergies to the foods we had been avoiding. We are waiting to do another scratch test until she is 2. She had one at 6 mos that was inconclusive.

Keep in mind that the allergy blood test is called "inaccurate and inconclusive" by the American Association of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. The skin tests are the way to go.

The skin tests only measure the body's IgE response to allergens. Ezcema, in my son's case, was mostly caused by IgG responses.

Most conventional allergists don't understand the IgG test (which is a blood test). IgG problems usually mean there's a yeast overgrowth which caused a condition known as leaky gut.

However, if it's just the cat, then you probably don't have that to worry about.
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From our experiences, and from researching the topics, both blood and scratch tests are incredibly unpredictable in young children. Trying to eliminate possible allergens and monitoring the response is definately the best way to go IMO. It's very sad that you might have to find a new home for your cat, but if it keeps your little one well, it will be soooo worth it. And, it is great that you are figuring this out at such an early age. We didn't discover my son's allergies until he was 5!
I am skeptical enough of the tests, believe me. But the blood tests were just for the foods, and we have not seen any problems since adding those foods that we had been avoiding. We have had trials of eliminating everything BUT the cats. Hopefully my friends will take them for a little while to see if the theory holds true. She was up scratching all night, after sleeping so well on the boat.....

Have you tried a rotation diet? You can find some on the web. It's usually a 4-day rotating diet, where you log what she eats & when (and you too if you're breastfeeding), and her symptoms.

I had a neighbor whose son had bloody ezcema for a year, during which time she took him to every doctor she could find. Finally, she went on a rotation diet, and found the sources within a couple weeks, and he was clear.

But then again, her son's was mostly to foods, and your daughter's might be the cat (you might have lucked out that that's all it is) - hope so!
L- Hope you find the answer
If you do a cat trial- leave enough time to know. It takes several weeks minimum. If you have forced-air heat, the dander will be throughout the house and hard to get a clear answer until it is gone.
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We have moved the cats downstairs and blocked them off. I have been cleaning the upstairs like crazy, and it will be a long process just to clean everything in the midst of life. If we are no longer using our heating system for the year, could there still be issues with that?

I don't think that we will be able to totally eliminate the allergens as long as the cats are downstairs, but we should be able to get them down to a much more manageable level and see if there is an improvement. We want to be 100% sure before we look for another home for our cats.

How is it going? I hope moving the cats downstairs was enough.
Well, she came down with a virus right after we did it, and her eczema usually gets worse with a virus (but it wasn't visually too bad this time, but she scratched a lot). She's been better for two days, and I do think I see a big improvement. We are giving it a few weeks before we get too excited, because it could just be a natural ebb (they've happened before

Thanks for asking.

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our son's eczema took a vacation with us too, turns out that soy gave him the worst itchy oozing patch, but he continued to have low grade eczema. A few other things (you may have already tried them) help him a lot. One big one is regular smoothies with LOTS of flax oil, cod liver oil, coconut oil, hemp oil... whatever's in the fridge. Also greens powder and acidopholis or yogurt. The improvement is dramatic, and when he doesn't drink them the eczema seems to come back. We also got a chinese herbal pill prescription that I would blend in with the smoothie (blueberries hide a lot of things!!) that took the exzema right away too (said it removed heat and cleared the liver or somesuch). It's helped the eczema to the point that it is no longer our main concern and we can focus on improving his overall digestive health, which I think is probably more important in the long run. good luck finding what works for your child, and I'm sorry if it might be your kitty.
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Neither of my kids will drink smoothies.

I have given flax and borage oil in her oatmeal in the past, then she stopped eating it. She hates anything wet now unless it's milk or ketchup.
Driving me bonkers.

She still looks great, but is scratching, less, but still have to keep her in long sleeves and pants. I think it has become a behavior for her, which will take a while to go away.


Love Victoria, by the way.
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