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Eczema - any advice?

(164 Posts)
HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 07:21:37

My DD (5 months) has terrible eczema on her face - it's like an open wound, all raw and weepy, with crusty and flaky patches. It's so sore poor baby. We have had antibiotics, steroid cream, use emollient in the bath and apply Aveeno moisturiser often throughout the day but nothing has helped. We've been referred to a dermatologist, but in the meantime does anyone have any advice or suggestions for how to help?

mumat39 Wed 23-Jan-13 18:54:02

We also had a water softener fitted before Christmas. They are expensive, but my dd is a lot less itchy than she was before. Also you need a lot less soap/detergent.

We use aqueous cream for bathing the kids and the soft water foams up the aqueous cream so for the first time ever they've had a bubble bath of sorts.

Me and DP also have dry skin and it has helped loads with that too.

BadMissM Wed 23-Jan-13 19:36:19

Old-fashioned Coal Tar Soap for eczema on the face. Used it as a child, and now find out it works really well on my eczema even now... lavender oil also good to prevent scarring. Have also been allergic to creams prescribed by the GP...

Also Avene or La Roche Posay products, from France....they are brilliant, and Boots do them now.

Leafmould Wed 23-Jan-13 19:46:09

NICE guidelines say that if the main affected area is the face, then it is likely or be an airborne allergen, and RAST testing is recommended. In the mean time do you have a cat? A dusty house? Try some of the strategies for reducing these allergens and try and ask the dermatologist for RAST testing. Being very young, they might try to put you off having blood taken, however the pediatric nurses are expert in doing this and it is far less traumatic than years of delay and suffering from eczema.

Has anyone linked the NICE guidelines yet? They have been mentioned a few times , i see but i am afraid i have not read the whole thread. Very useful reading for anyone with a child who has eczema.

sandiy Wed 23-Jan-13 19:48:25

Aveeno.Nothing else to add amazing stuff.

Trial and error for sure!

My 5 month DS has infantile eczema on his legs and arms - basically, dry patches of skin - and a patch of atopic dermatitis on his forehead. Diprobase didn't do the trick for him and all the lovely natural oils I was rubbing on his head just clogged everything up (although the Pure Potions Skin Salvation balm is good on the infantile eczema). Aveeno has been very helpful - not as oily as the Diprobase - and hydrocortisone cream seems to have pretty much cleared up the atopic patch (for now).

Heat seems to exacerbate DS' eczema - which is annoying because he also feels the cold, so prefers to be reasonably well wrapped up to sleep.

I feel for you - hope it clears up soon. No shortage of things to try on this thread, anyway!

Lcy Wed 23-Jan-13 20:35:48

I really feel for you. My son was covered in bleeding eczema as a baby. It was terrible when he was 4 months my doctor suggested me giving up dairy as I was breastfeeding. I stopped all dairy and soya and I also stopped washing his clothes in any washing powder (just hot water - not great for stains!). I only used a cream from Neals Yard (can't remember name) and put nothing in his baths. He was dairy free until 1 year when we slowly started introducing it in food but gave him oats milk until he was 2 years old.

He is now completely eczema free and has milk in food. He still avoids drinking it though!

Lcy Wed 23-Jan-13 20:38:11

I really feel for you. My son was covered in bleeding eczema as a baby. It was terrible when he was 4 months my doctor suggested me giving up dairy as I was breastfeeding. I stopped all dairy and soya and I also stopped washing his clothes in any washing powder (just hot water - not great for stains!). I only used a cream from Neals Yard (can't remember name) and put nothing in his baths. He was dairy free until 1 year when we slowly started introducing it in food but gave him oats milk until he was 2 years old.

He is now completely eczema free and has milk in food. He still avoids drinking it though!

Flickstix Wed 23-Jan-13 20:47:08

Oh it is awful, really feel for you too all too.

My 4 year old DS used to get terrible eczema, it turned out to be triggered by bloody fairy washing powder, we assumed it would be ok for babies and children as it is marketed as such but a couple of days after we stopped using it his skin really cleared up. We now use surcare which has no perfumes, worth a try, good luck.

Flickstix Wed 23-Jan-13 20:48:17

Oh and double base cream was the only one that soothed it, it's very thick but it works.

cheapandchic Wed 23-Jan-13 20:55:41

Everyone keeps saying trial and error....but all I do is error!!!
I have tried a hundred different bath things and creams and oils on my little one who is now 14 months.
Currently am using pure coconut oil as a moisturiser, but I prefer pure shea butter.
I use non bio powder, extra rinse cycle. I use only cotton fabrics, etc... but the eczema is still bad.

GP gave me 1% cortisone ointment for the worst patches, which does help clear it, only for it to come back. But a naturapath told me the cortisone is horrible for the babies skin...so what is the alternative???

I suspected an intolerance to milk when I tried to switch baby from breast/formula to cows milk...she immediately got diahrea and skin was bad. But GP said she would have had this reaction from formula or the occasional cheese or yoghurt she has...

What in the world do you give a 14 month old to drink before bed if she is dairy free? How do I get my GP to test for allergies?

HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 21:32:27

Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who has replied, I'm just sorry so many of you have gone through the same thing! I've got loads of things to try now, so feel like I can actually be doing something while we wait to see a dermatologist. I think I will try cutting out eggs and dairy for 2 weeks (with supplement just to be safe!); She's had a bottle of formula at night since quite early on and the eczema is only recent, so hopefully it isn't dairy but guess you never know! We have already knocked the fabric softener on the head. I think also I've not been putting the cream on often enough or thick enough - the aveeno does seem to help but not for long! We also have eczmol cream to try which I'm finding doesn't absorb as well but will persevere and maybe try some of the others mentioned. Her skin tends to look best after a bath once she's been moisturised, so I don't think I'll cut down on those. We do have a dog, but I'm hoping with everything I have that it's nothing to do with him as it would absolutely break my heart to part with him, I don't think I could do it!

Hopefully she'll start to improve soon thanks to you all!

Cheap, I hope someone comes along with some suggestions for you too.

Superene Wed 23-Jan-13 21:35:58

My ds2 developed horrible eczema at about 8 months. It was everywhere but not where his nappy was. So I switched from persil non bio and comfort pure (which I had used from birth) to surcare which more or less stopped it. Then when he turned one I gave him cows milk and the exzema returned. So I switched to goats milk, goat yog or alpro yog, goats cheese and vegetable oil spread. This helped but it still flared.
So I began to put oats in the bath. I cut up pairs of tights and turned them into little bags with a handful of ordinary porridge oats inside. I stick one in a running bath and squeeze them to release the oat milk. And started slathering him in an oat based cream called A-Derma Exomega Creme (available on tinternet, or independent chemists). He is now back on dairy (and persil) but the oats in the bath and the oat cream keeps the eczema at bay. I am hoping he will grow out of it, he is now two.
Oilatum did nothing, nor did any of the creams the doc prescribed. Good luck

willybreeder Wed 23-Jan-13 21:36:19

I wish I knew about mumsnet 4 years ago when my youngest had bad eczema, there's been some good advice on diet this thread that I'd not thought of.
After wrapping our son in what can only be described as tubi grip PJ's every night with layers of different creams underneath (all recommended by the dermatologist and GP) I read an article which said the ingredient SLS (sodium laurel sulphate) is what makes the cycle of itching worse so to cut it out completely. SLS is in all of the creams we were told to use including Aqueous and Epaderm - crazy!!
Its also in most shampoos so we've swapped to Body Shops rainforest range. The best moisturiser for him is Aveeno which I'd tried previously got a reaction so stopped, but I tried again and its been great ever since. I wish I had known this and want to spread the word!

mumat39 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:05:41

Cheap, as Leafmould says upthread google NICE guidelines. Look at them and if you think the list could describe the symptoms, then print it out, and take it to your GP, and demand a referral to an allergy clinic.

If you call the allergy uk helpline, they can tell you which clinic is closest to you so you can then ask to be referred to that one.

The only thing to bear in mind is that if it is an intolerance rather than an allergy, the rast, skin prick tests, won't show anything. With an intolerance, I believe the only way to know for sure if to eliminate the suspected food.

As your little one is over a year old, it may be possible to get a non prescription dairy free milk alternative but you'd need to speak to your gp.

Good luck by the way, but your GP has to refer you if you ask.

Hoophopes Wed 23-Jan-13 22:19:00

Cheap if you have concerns good to ask your Gp to refer you to a dietician say, or paediatrician who can authorise the testing. I have to say where I live the only access to a dietician is through a paediatrician and then they refused me blood tests (RAST etc) and patch testing and diagnosed CMPI through a very strict exclusion diet. But everywhere does it differently so if you find out what happens where you live you can access what you need. It was my health visitor who told me to ask Gp for referral to a dietician and I have learnt Gp's here do what HV's suggest!!

For dairy free milk they seem to suggest Oatly milk (not rice milk until 4yrs old at least) after 1yr old. My son not that old yet so breastfed or Nutramigen formula for breakfast. You can buy Oatly in supermarkets, often long life cartons. But best to do that under a dietician's supervision and advice.

mumat39 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:19:50

There is another forum called Talk eczema that might be worth joining. They sometimes have week long q&a topics where you can ask doctors who are specialist in the particular area, questions directly. You'll probably get loads of advice too as you can post questions in a similar way to MN.

Here's the link

mumat39 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:31:33

Also the link to NICE here

The website is different to how I remember it, but I believe these are the guidelines that gp's should be following when treating patients.

Hope this helps.

eigmum Wed 23-Jan-13 23:00:05

House, also make sure you try aveeno baby, not just aveeno. We get it from the web as I found it much more effective, sold in the states. And we found emolument in the bath a problem so got aveeno baby for the bath too. I also found introducing oats via ready brek or porridge to his diet once I started weaning helped. We also wash all family clothes with surcare and have him with cotton only clothes most of the time. This all generally works. When it doesn't we use the steroid cream but that is rarely now. My DS started getting eczema around 5 months and it's really improved, he is three now, but the cold weather and central heating doesn't help!

fluffypillow Wed 23-Jan-13 23:19:40

My Son (now 10) has always suffered with eczema. When he was a baby his cheeks used to bleed, and his skin always looked so sore.

I have always used the Tescos non bio washing tablets, and the Tescos sensitive conditioner. If I change it at all (once I got same brand, but different scent) he flares up terribly. You have to experiment though, as the same things don't suit everybody.

My Son was seen by a consultant as a baby, and prescribed the 'wet wrap technique'. That works really well, and I still do it now from time to time if he has a bad flare up.

I always used hydrocortisone on his face, and plenty of emulsiying ointment too. On his body, eumovate ointment and plenty of emulsifying ointment (and bandages if he needs them).

I want you to know though, that even though his face was really bad as a baby, he grew out of it very quickly. By the time he was 10 months old, he never got it on his face (and never has since). Now, he just has dry skin, and his ankles and hands crack sometimes, but it really isn't that bad now.

People used to tell me it would be so much better when he was at school age, and I couldn't believe them, because it looked so awful, but they were right.

I hope you find the right treatment for your DD, I know how distressing it can be for both parent and child. As a Mum, you don't want your child to be uncomfortable, it's hard to deal with.

I must say as well, I had two other children, and neither have eczema at all (just my middle son). I guess he was the unlucky one.

Good luck.

fluffypillow Wed 23-Jan-13 23:27:17

Sorry, just saw your latest post! Just to add, we have had a golden retriever since my son was 2 and I never noticed any change in his skin after we got her.

You also say that her skin looks best after a bath and been moistuised. This is when you would use the 'wet wrap technique', and it seels in all that lovely moisture! It really is quite magical smile

Sonotkylie Thu 24-Jan-13 09:37:50

I'd say the same about dogs. We too got a lab when DS was 2 and its made no difference to his skin. My father who had asthma, eczema and allergies to everything was fine with dogs too. Dog fur is supposed to be less allergenic I think. Although that's not to say no one is allergic to them of course. There's plenty more that's more likely to be not helping but eczema can happen without any allergies at all (neither DS nor I have any that we know of). I was told its the skin mistakenly reacting to itself or reacting as if there was something, not necessarily an actual reaction. (Does that make any sense?). That's why its so hard to treat. But you will work it out and be posting here to help other people in no time! It is the worse thing I have had to deal with (so far ...) as a parent and reading your post reminded me of that hopeless feeling. It doesn't last as she will improve and you will get more help and become more expert very quickly.

PartTimeModel Thu 24-Jan-13 09:38:39

I have started giving DD omega 3/fish oil for kids and it is having an amazing effect on her eczema - but she is 19mo. I give her 5mls a day with one of those medicine syringes and it's making a big difference to her skin.

kateecass Thu 24-Jan-13 09:58:45

I don't like using steroid cream either and it didn't really help much for my DD either. I was recommended this. Someone at the beginning of the thread recommended a plant based cream that is a natural steroid..afraid I cant remember what though.

Bit extreme but my DDs eczema (she only has it behind her knees though) completely vanished within 2 days when we went to Majorca last year. We still don't know whether it was the sun, sea or possibly even the suncream that did it. She was even swimming in the pool everyday there. It has flared up again in the past few weeks now she has started swimming lessons. Bit of a mystery really but I must try epsom salts in the bath! Maybe we just need to take her on holiday again!

Flickstix Thu 24-Jan-13 10:06:47

I would really recommend trying surcare for washing clothes, non bio can still be bad for eczema. This worked with us and also a friend who had bad eczema, you can get it in sainsburys, tesco etc..

StinkyWicket Thu 24-Jan-13 10:55:02

I've always suffered from eczema - luckily my children seem to be ok.

You need steroids or antibiotic cream when it's weepy, when it's inflamed and sore but the skin isn't broken, medihoney is excellent. It's expensive (about £14) but you can get it on prescription. It smells weird, but it honestly is so much more soothing and calming than anything else non-medicated.

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