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Formula and bad skin - a link??

(50 Posts)
MrsFish Sun 13-Jan-08 08:22:03

Hi there

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of using formula and their lo's having really bad dry and red skin (not eczema, it doesn't seem to bother him, just looks bad) I started off using Aptamil which didn't agree with him stomach wise, so I changed to Cow and Gate comfort, but I can't remember whether his skin was bad before that now. I have tried Aveeno cream, diprobase, epaderm and now they have given me an Evening Primrose cream to try, all to no avail, nothing seems to help at all. I have recently started to wonder whether it could be anything to do with the formula, and until I can next see the HV thought I would ask here to see if anyone had had similar problems.

close up

all over

His back and bottom are clear funnily enough, its just all over his front, and he has a really dry face and scalp too.

Any help would be appreciated thanks

cherryredretrochick Sun 13-Jan-08 08:31:56

Looks like excema to me.

Buda Sun 13-Jan-08 08:35:34

He is very cute!

It does look nasty. He doesn't scratch at all?

DS had really blotchy red skin on his face when he was a baby but I thought it was just down to the fact that we lived in Bulgaria and the air was very dry.

When he was about 16 months I started weaning him on to cow's milk from formula and his skin got much much worse. Took him to a paed and she said it was a mild allergy and she recommended Nestle Nan which is a hypoallergenic formula and said to avoid dairy. We cut dairy out for a year and it really improved. He is now 6 and still gets itchy dry skin at times.

So - yes it could be the formula. It doesn't seem to be on his face? Makes me think it could maybe washing powder or softener too.

cherryredretrochick Sun 13-Jan-08 08:39:18

Buda makes a very good point, you could try something like surcare for your washing.

Pixiefish Sun 13-Jan-08 08:41:19

i'd ask to see a dermatologist.does i feel warm?

kinki Sun 13-Jan-08 08:55:20

Can't help I'm afraid MrsF, but couldn't pass by without saying how gorgeous ds is.

(It's not due to a soap product is it?? His back and bottom aren't affected, and laying in a bath these areas don't get so much attention and get rinsed better.
Just a thought, ignore at will!)

Tamdin Sun 13-Jan-08 08:57:56

mrs fish yes. ds was bf until 8 months and then i put him on hipp organic. turned out he was allergic to cows milk formula and his skin cleared up instantly when we swapped to soya formula. (on the hipp f he was also very sneezy)hth

MrsFish Sun 13-Jan-08 10:40:26

cherryred - My HV said it wasn't eczema, I'm no doctor so have just taken her word for it. His skin isn't infected or weeping at all, it is just very very dry and it feels like he needs a good going over with a stiff brush Oh and it doesn't feel warm either.

Buda - no he doesn't scratch at all, and it doesn't seem to bother him when I am rubbing all the cream in either. I don't think it is washing powder because his back and bum are completely clear, surely if it was the powder they would be bad too? I am already using non bio and the gentlest of softeners.

Hi Kinki thanks for dropping by

Tamdin - that's interesting about the sneezing, as ds does also sneeze a lot. I will mention it to the HV next week.

cherryredretrochick Sun 13-Jan-08 10:45:31

there is a link between excess mucus and some form of milk intolerance, definatley worth talking to HV. HV aren't always that helpful once you start to mention dietry things though so don't be disheartened.

MrsFish Sun 13-Jan-08 11:06:57

OK, I'll try and push for an answer. It suggests it may be dietry if none of the creams I have tried have helped at all.

hercules1 Sun 13-Jan-08 11:09:16

I would go to your GP and bypass the hv on this one.

hercules1 Sun 13-Jan-08 11:10:03

Your hv is no doctor either !

MrsFish Sun 13-Jan-08 11:14:23

I have an appt with the doc next week too actually, so I'll mention it to her

Pannacotta Sun 13-Jan-08 11:27:26

I think the it might be linked to lack of essential fatty acids in formula (these exist in breast milk).
Think some formulas have them added now, might be worth looking into this if you can find info it.

alicet Sun 13-Jan-08 14:35:45

Hi there,

He is so gorgeous!!!

I have to say that I think this looks like eczema in the close up pic - I know I'm a doc but I don't have much experience with kids / skin problems so your GP will def be better to advise esp as it might look different in rl - I agree with the poster who said to see the GP and not rely on what your hv says.

I was also wondering if it could be irritation from washing powder if his face and bum are relatively spared - his nappy will mean his bottom isn't in contact with his clothes. This doesn't fit so much with his back being spared though but just another thought.

Sorry don't know about a link to formula other than ff is assoc with a higher incidence of eczema than bf.

At least he isn't bothered by it though but be interested to know what your doc says!

MrsFish Sun 13-Jan-08 16:30:05

alicet - he has it on his face too, his forehead is particularly bad along with his scalp, but it is also on his cheeks too. I'll see what the doc says and let you know

Pixiefish Sun 13-Jan-08 17:19:39

was going to say exactly that hercules- your hv may be an expert on babies but she hasn't qualified as highly as a dermatologist.

Whatever it is it need ssorting- I'd go to the gp and ask for a referral to a dermatologist

FloriaTosca Sun 13-Jan-08 22:27:19

Ahh the poor little darling..and I second those who have already said that he is utterly gorgeous

Aqueous cream might help ease things...it is what they used to smother my brother in when he has eczema as a child and I must say that it does look similar to what he suffered ... I hope the doctor will give you a correct diagnosis...in my brothers case his skin improved when he stopped having dairy products after weaning...I do hope your lo improves soon

MrsFish Mon 14-Jan-08 08:38:11

Thanks for all your replies. I am going to try changing the washing powder in the interim, and I will mention it to the doctor when I see her on thursday

amidaiwish Mon 14-Jan-08 09:36:29

i would definitely try switching formula too.

DD2's face would get hot and red and she used to scratch it until it bled. She also had patches of eczema on her body but not like your ds (which btw looks like eczema to me!). Within two weeks of changing her onto Babynat organic formula it disappeared.

A friend's baby had a very similar rash to your ds. She also was clear on the nappy area. She changed formula (to soya) after seeing the instant success we had and it cleared up in a week.

Good luck!

MrsFish Mon 14-Jan-08 09:46:41

Interesting to know thanks. It doesn't bother him at all, he doesn't scratch and he doesn't bat an eyelid when I rub the cream in, I thought eczema was itchy? I will speak to the doc on thurs and see what she says I'm loathe to switch formula again atm because he is so settled on it in every other way. Of course if the doc suggests it I will give it a go.

Bilbomum Mon 14-Jan-08 10:00:32

This does look like eczema to me, my son has suffered since he was 6 weeks old (and still does now aged 16 months but to a lesser degree). DS didn't seem to cotton on to scratching until he was older 10/11 months and now there's no stopping him sad. Although he had it all over his body it never affected his bum or back which the dermatologist told me was common in smaller babies. His is linked to food allergies (dairy/egg/sesame/nut) but even with those cut out of his (and my) diet he still has problems. Cutting out dairy was definitely a turning point for us though. Get to the GP for a diagnosis don't rely on the HV. BTW he looks a cutie!

MrsFish Mon 14-Jan-08 10:39:21

Thanks bilbomum - I really hope it isn't eczema I will let you all know what the doc says.

WowOoo Colombia Mon 14-Jan-08 10:44:11

hi, no expert either. Boiled water is good for all of us. I always gave ds water to drink when he was just a bit thirsty. I used Hipp formula when I stopped bf.
Ecover etc fabric conditioners smell lush and contain far less nasty stuff. (pricey mind) if you use them on his bedsheets etc
Worth considering maybe?....

Ina7 Tue 15-Jan-08 13:12:03

Hi
My daughter had the same problem and we tried everything, until we realized it is Aptamil. we switched to Cow and Gate and her face cleared within 72 hours.
Hope this helps

BibiThree Tue 15-Jan-08 13:16:28

DD1 had that too - sorry don't know if ff has anything to do with it but she had it until she was 2.5 so I doubt it was formula.

We were at the Drs every month for a new cream/lotion and the only thing that cleared her skin was E45 Bath Oil. She did need Hydrocortisone for the really bad parts but we were advised to bathe her as little as possible and when we did, to use the oil in the water. It was fab stuff. You can buy it in lloyds Pharmacy or Tesco if you can't get ot the Dr but it's not cheap.

Good luck.

MrsFish Tue 15-Jan-08 14:43:17

Ina7 - I started with Aptamil, but he has been on Cow & Gate for weeks and weeks now, looks like they are all different but looks like it is still formula. I'll see what the doc says on thursday and if she suggests changing I will.

MrsFish Tue 15-Jan-08 14:44:36

BibiThree - I am using Oilatum in the bath atm, may try the E45 one though

MrsFish Thu 17-Jan-08 19:53:13

Well saw the doc today and ahe said it was ezcema on his arms and legs but elsewhere it was just very dry skin. He should apparently grow out of it. My HV spoke to the childrens dermatologist at the hospital and she recommended liquid paraffin which I am now trying, if it hasn;t made any improvement in a week she is going to refer us to the hospital. She also said that she thought it was extremely unlikely to be anything to do with the formula, so did the doc. I may still try changing the washing powder though

Bilbomum Fri 18-Jan-08 09:27:43

Well at least you've got a diagnosis. It's horrible to deal with but usually improves as they get older. We were referred to hospital very early on which was a great help. We have special Comfi Fast vests and tights for our boy, you put a thick layer of gloop on the skin and the suits straight over the top and it keeps the skin hydrated for longer. He's been wearing them 24/7 for about 6 months now and they definitely help. It's a bit of a wrestling match to get them on but it gets easier. Good luck!

chipmonkey Fri 18-Jan-08 09:50:07

Bilbomum, my ds2 was exclusively bf until he was 4 months old. He was given one bottle of formula by his creche and came out in a patchy dry rash which my GP said was exzema. The formula had been given in error because the creche staff thought you couldn't heat breastmilk hmmand he wouldn't drink it cold. after that I tried to keep him exclusively on breastmilk but sometimes couldn't keep up with the expressing. I did find that his skin remained clear if I gave him Nanny formula which is goats milk based and didn't smell as awful as the soy based ones. Nanny was taken off the market in the UK as a baby formula but is still available in health food shops, just not labelled as a baby formula. It was taken off because apparently is not as nutritionally sound as "normal" formula but maybe might be worth trying when he is older and on solids?

chipmonkey Fri 18-Jan-08 09:50:50

Sorry, that was for MrsFish, not Bilbomum!

meep Fri 18-Jan-08 10:05:20

MrsFish - what a cutie your ds is, even covered in the rash

Out of my antenatal group, 3 of our babies have the same sort of problem - one formula fed, one mixed fed, and the worst one exclusively breast fed. Out of the babies with perfect skin 2 have been formula fed from around 3 weeks!

I use Epaderm on my dd - if I didn't she would be all red and patchy like your ds. The red patches "glow" when she's in the bath, but normally she looks fine apart from behind her kneew. Her back has never been affected (nor mine - I have excema and I never get it on my back!) My only tip is to moisturise a lot - we use the Epaderm at least twice a day - and it took a few weeks for it to start getting really better.

Hope you find something that works for you.

jellies Fri 18-Jan-08 10:17:16

Mrs fish please email me jennymbrown@aol.com
re this thread!

TheBlonde Fri 18-Jan-08 10:19:58

Just seen this
MrsFish your LO looks exactly like my first did at 3 mths (excl bf)
We used hydrocortisone cream which cleared it up quickly
Then we just used ollatum and diprobase to keep him moistured

MrsFish Fri 18-Jan-08 13:01:42

Thanks for your replies

meep - it just goes to show that if they are prone to it they will get it whichever way they are fed. DS glows red in the bath too, also when he has had a screaming fit and got himself all hot and bothered.

He has started to scratch now, as soon as I take the babygro off his hands are straight to his legs. Also he is never still, I just thought he was very active, in hindsight I think the reason he thrashes around so much is his way of itching himself.

TheBlonde - they are keeping the hydrocortisone as a last resort I think, it was mentioned but they wanted to try everything else first.

Jellies - I have emailed you.

Chipmonkey - I may look out for that once I start weaning.

I just hope he grows out of it, my ds1 had it to a far lesser extent he is now two and a half and it has practically gone apart from a few very small patches the size of sall fingernail.m

Mommalove Fri 18-Jan-08 13:05:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mommalove Fri 18-Jan-08 13:08:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheBlonde Fri 18-Jan-08 13:20:33

ask about the HC, it will clear it up much more quickly

3andnomore Fri 18-Jan-08 13:26:05

It does look like Eczema, to me, too...
whatever it is though, I would avoid any Babybath, use some oats or some grapeseedoil in the bathwater instead of Babybath, keep using some sort of Emoillient cream, and it is very much of a trial and error which one suits an individual best, and use non bio Washingpowder and maybe avoid softener altogether (you could use a little white malt vinegar instead)....see if it makes a difference...because somehting is obviously upsetting your lil ones skin.
And I agree, he is utterly adorable

MrsFish Fri 18-Jan-08 14:30:27

Thankyou all, especially the comments about my gorgeous boy Right I will leave out the fabric softener, I am already using non bio but will try a different make.

TheBlonde Fri 18-Jan-08 14:43:25

surcare is worth a try

amidaiwish Fri 18-Jan-08 15:02:35

i have never met a doctor who believes eczema and food/milk is related.

However the amount of mums i know with children with eczema - who all found it improved with a change of milk....

don't be too scared of the hydrocortisone by the way - just use it very sparingly on the worst patches to get over the worst and then hopefully you will hardly ever have to use it.

bluejelly Fri 18-Jan-08 15:07:06

My baby had this, cleared up by 2 years old though, but I still don't use any soaps or bubbles in the bath

meep Fri 18-Jan-08 16:34:39

I have used hydrocortisone on dd - when the patches behind her knees got particularly bad - it clears it up really quickly - the only thing to remember is not to stop using it once it has cleared up - you should continue with it for at least a week or it will come straight back.

Nice to know that your GP is not just sending you away with a tube immediately - but they only give 0.5% to babies so if you needto use it do not worry. We don't have to use ours any more

You might also want to think about 100% cotton clothes - a pain but it worked for my friend's ds

MrsFish Sun 20-Jan-08 07:49:01

Well 2 days in and I can see a slight improvement in his skin... his sleeping and feeding patterns on the other hand have reverted back to how he was in the first couple of weeks. hmm

ChicPea Sun 20-Jan-08 23:43:22

MrsFish, I started a thread on the Allergies topic thinking that my ds age 8mths who had a rash on his face expecially under his eyes was allergic to Ecover. So I changed to Filetti. A friend suggested that it could be an allergy to dairy so I avoided giving him cheese and fromage frais but upped the advocado and butter beans to ensure he had enough protein etc. The rash did improve but not completely. Then a friend suggested it could be the formula as I changed from Cow and Gate Premium to Cow and Gate Follow On at 6mths which was exactly the same time as starting solids. So I went back to Premium about 10 days ago and his skin is so much better. My dh rang Cow and Gate and they said that there is a higher level of whey and casein in the follow on milk and that some babies react.

Hope you find whats bothering your little one. He looks gorgeous!

MrsFish Mon 21-Jan-08 07:17:23

Hi chickpea - I'm using the C&G Comfort, which suits his tummy, still not sure about the link with the skin and formula though, it seems the jury is still out. Once he is on food more I may try him on a totally different formula to see if it makes a difference. His skin does seem a bit better on this liquid paraffin though, its still red but the skin isn't as thick and dry as it was. I will see how he is on friday because he will have had a full week of it by then.

Lillyaan Mon 19-Nov-12 01:24:16

Looks more like an allergy and not at all like ecezema.
Might be the formula? Or-
Leaning towards a contact allergy
?Clothing = lanolan / wool garments or type of washing liquids used for clothing or bathing.
Some areas in the UK have 'Drop In Eczema' clinics, Your nearest Health Centre can advise if there is one or why not telephone the Aptimal or C&G Formula Reps ask their advice.

freefrommum Mon 19-Nov-12 09:14:13

Definitely looks like eczema although quite surprising he deosn't scratch. What did HV suggest it was if not eczema? My experience is that GPs and HVs are really not that great when it comes to dealing with eczema and allergies. I would push for a referral to a dermatologist. Don't be fobbed off, you are well within your rights to ask for a referral, especially as the HV doesn't appear to know what it is and all the creams you've tried haven't worked.

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