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Our eczema battle

1123 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Jessviola
Since I have it all typed out right now, I thought I'd share. I mostly lurk here and read since I'm usually holding Max and trying to keep him from scratching....

Max first flared up around 3.5 months. It started on his cheeks and quickly spread throughout his body. The same week it started, I started eliminating dairy, eggs and chocolate, which made me a vegan since i was vegetarian to begin with. After 3 weeks of seeing no improvement, I added wheat, soy, citrus, nuts, caffeine, alcohol, corn (although keep finding new hidden corn in my foods) hmmm, i think that's it... So basically I've been on a majorly restrictive diet for 2-2.5 months.

We use a hypo-allergenic detergent, and I use only a small glug per load. I only use vinegar as a softener.

We've tried many bathing routines. At first we rarely bathed him. Then we saw a dermatologist who suggested nightly bathing. So we tried that and he got better for a few days, but then went back to 'normal', which is red, inflamed and weeping. We never use soap, except a couple times a month i'll use a tiny bit (aubrey vegan baby soap) on his hair when it gets really oily. I always slather him with a moisturizer immediately after taking him out of the bath and at most pat dry, never rub.

We've tried countless creams, lotions, balms, salves, ointments, etc. Some seem to work for a few days but just as we get hope that it may be working, his skin gets worse again. I've refused to use the steroids because while i'm sure they'll calm the flare up, as soon as we stop using them, it would come right back because they don't treat the underlying cause. Thankfully, dh is with me on that and i don't have to fight him over it.

We cover his hands with socks most of the time so he won't scratch his face bloody and cover the rest of his body with long sleeves and pants (100% cotton). Sometimes at night I'll pin his sleeves to the bed so he doesn't wake himself up by scratching/rubbing. Sometimes he figures a way to scratch anyways though...

I'm taking EPO supplements, 6 500mg caps daily, and probiotics. I also finger feed Max some probiotics. I'm also eating a lot of flax seeds and put lots of olive oil on my salad and veggies and eating lots of avocados.

We have almost all hardwood floors in the house and I'm washing the sheets 1-2 times weekly in hot water. we do have curtains in our room, but i vaccuum them and wash them regularly.

We're seeing a pediatric naturopath for the first time tomorrow and i'm really hopeful that she'll be able to help. and the best parts are that she's close, our insurance covers her and we've heard nothing but great things about her from friends.

I think that covers it all. He's still insanely itchy and it's gotten even worse the past couple nights. I feel like such a failure because I'm trying to do everything I can to help, but nothing's working. Our lives have been taken over by this and I can't sleep well at night because I spend the whole time making sure he's not scratching/rubbing. He's such a mellow little guy and so happy despite all this, it just kills me that i can't help.

Eczema SUCKS!!!!!
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Sure does! I have it as well as my dd.
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be careful of the flax seeds, my dd was RAST tested at 2 1/2 years, she is allergic to sesame seeds, eggs and peanuts. We avoid all seeds. Maybe take out the flax for a few days...and see if changes. Also, make sure there isn't any yeast or staph in the open sores. This can happen easily and just provokes more itching. I bathe my dd, twice a day in sea salt. Every eczema kid is different and different things work for different kids. It's trial and error.
Good luck.
wow, i'd never heard that about flax seeds. and i've been meaning to try the sea salt in the bath. how much do you add?
I buy the sea salt in 2 lb. bulk bags, I add about 1/3 of a bag for each bath
We started doing this after noticing that dd's skin did well after swimming in the ocean. We have also used baking soda and oatmeal. Something will work for awhile, then we'll notice we need to change things up and we'll try something else.

Originally Posted by circlemama
It's trial and error.
Good luck.

Just a note on the dust mite thing- if he has an allergy, just washing the sheets is not enough. It is in the bed and the pillows and the box-spring and your couch...on and on. My ds is allergic to dust mites, and his room is rug free, curtain free, he has protective coverings on the mattress, box spring, pillows and duvet.

If we visit someone else's house and stay the night he will often get rashy just from sleeping in a non-shrink wrapped bed for one night.

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I just want to add my support and

I know EXACTLY how you feel... it's so heartbreaking watching your child go thru this. And feeling desperate AND hungry is enough to drive the strongest mama over the edge. I hope the naturopath helps, keep us posted!! More
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Originally Posted by Jessviola
... and eating lots of avocados.
Check for a sensitivity to salicylates. Avocados are pretty high in salicylates. I was eating them a lot, too, early on until someone pointed this out to me.

Holy cow. I will never complain about Stella's measly patch again.

I was talking with dd's doc today (she RULES, I 100% trust her) and she said that Protopic will be making a comeback and in some cases the benefit way outweighs the risk. I don't know how you feel about Elidel or Protopic (I know about the black box warning) but it might be something to consider until you get it under control.

{{{hugs}}} I'm itchy just reading your post.
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Just a few thoughts: my own diet looks very much like yours, except I do eat meat and my ds2 is also allergic to all fruit except blueberries and most veggies (hence the meat).
  • flax seed. As a pp mentioned, all seeds could be a potential problem.
  • avocados. My son is ana to avocados and will break out when I eat them.
Those would be my specific concerns, but, really, any food could trigger severe eczema. My son's was horrible until I was able to identify and eliminate every allergen. Apples were awful, he now gets physically ill if I eat them, but initially it was "just" eczema; capers break him out (related to mustard, I learned), cilantro...onion...

We used to use elidel very sparingly, but since the studies came out, we haven't touched it. You're right that a steroid might clear it up initially, but that doesn't tell you what's causing it and it really only masks the reaction.

Oh! The probiotics! There are some that have been cultured on dairy and have caused big problems for those dairy allergic kids!

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. By the time my son was five months old, he had scratched out all his hair and was broken out from his scalp to his ankles. It was horrible. Now, he's almost three and is like a different child. But, I remember...hang in there!!

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well we saw the ND last week and she recommended cutting out a bunch more things. (please excuse the rotten english :LOL ) now we're also avoiding rice, white potatoes, bananas, grapes, avocados, sugar (not that there was any before, it's just official now
)mucous causing foods, and all foods on the eat right 4 your blood type avoid list. we're also taking a few supplements. we went in for blood testing so hopefully that will come back with some answers.
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and we switched to a special dairy free baby bifidis. i was using the jarrodophilus before, but it had some corn ingredients so we had to change it
Let me know if you need another ND in the area. Dd goes to a ND that specializes in peds and allergies. She is located in Danbury and takes CT insurance. We love her. Good luck with your little guy.
i'll keep the offer in mind mountainmom, thanks! the nd we're seeing also specializes in peds so we're very hopeful.
I'm sure you've probably checked out the other ezcema threads to get ideas... I used 1% hydrocortisone on dd's face only at night after her bath, which didn't touch the ezcema until I started the elimin. diet. I sewed the sleeves of her pj's shut so she couldn't scratch at night-at least w/ her nails, and gave her homeopathic teething tablets when she would get really agitated. I would say that got rid of it about 90%-and I started seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner who also did NMT. She told me to stop using the Hydrocortisone and instead use unscented Chinese Pearl Powder cream 2x/day. That worked just as well if not better than the hydro. I did 4 NMT sessions total. Now her face is normal, even if I don't use the Chinese Pearl Powder cream, unless I eat dairy or too much junk food-which for me is brownies, baked goods, etc.

Good luck... I hope you find something that works! It is so sad so see them suffer!
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