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Excema, Am I doing enough?

(31 Posts)
mower Mon 13-Feb-06 15:58:44

Am worried that I may be missing something that I should be doing to treat my 4 month old ds excema. It is very red a sore on his face and head and back and chest. Have been using steriod cream, but am really not keen on using it long term, as can see where it is starting to scar the skin already, so use it once only two or three times a week then apply E45 cream regularly. Trouble is when I don't use it it starts to flare up again. Does anyone have any other tips on managing excema long term? It is breaking my heart.

melsy Mon 13-Feb-06 15:59:59

Aveeno(boots or prescription) has worked wonders for lots of MNers, I use it too and its very good. I think there's a bath treatment too.

melsy Mon 13-Feb-06 16:00:29

It has live oats in it I think, thats the trick, the oats.

motherfunkerhunkermunker Mon 13-Feb-06 16:01:05

DS1 has little patches on his legs and I use hydrocortisone cream when it flares up and Aveeno the rest of the time.

mower Mon 13-Feb-06 16:01:20

Thanks melsy, I will try this.

chocolateshoes Mon 13-Feb-06 16:48:04

Yes there is an Aveeno bath oil that you can also get on prescription. My Dr`advised baths just once a week if possible.

williamsmummy Mon 13-Feb-06 18:42:07

the steriod cream prescribed will be a very low dose and will be safe if used correctly, contact the ezcema society for advice. They will tell you the same thing.


Consider going back to your Gp for a new type of moisturiser, E45 may not have enough 'grease' for your babys skin.
ESp as its flareing up regularly.
What other stuff is prescribed for your childs skin?

I think its worth going for bath emollients, aquaeous cream to use as soap and then mositurise your babies skin frequently.
How often are you doing this now?

keep jars very clean, and take care to wash hands thoughly before touching baby when applying creams.
There are lots of triggers for eczema, and one of the most common is dustmite, so keep them down a little.
boil wash bedding, or if they cant be washed on a hot wash, freeze then wash. keep soft toys out of cot unless you are prepared to frezze them as well.
dont dry clothes on radiators as they are perfect breeding grounds for dustmite.

make a note of the date /month that ezcema flares up, and then next year if it happens to do the same, you can link it to environmental allergies, and pester doc for help.

If ezcema has started so young , before solids, be careful and take advice about solids. Be on the look out for food allergies.

are your family particularly atopic?
as there is herditory factor to allergic disease.

hope this helps.

Mercy Mon 13-Feb-06 19:00:09

When he's a bit older, diet can be a factor in controlling eczema. My brother has had this since a baby and finds that limiting dairy intake and increasing fruit & veg on a major scale helps when his flares up.

My mum also found that using steroid creams on him long term 'thicken' the skin. I will ask db for more info as he's quite into alternative/natural remedies.

mower Mon 13-Feb-06 21:39:08

Thanks for all your replies.

Other stuff ds is prescribed are diprobase, which doesn't seem to make any difference, dermol 600 for bath, which def makes skin softer and ketoconazole shampoo, which haven't used very often as can't use with steriod cream. Am bathing ds every night, may start bathing him less.

Am moisturising ds skin with E45 as there is a family history of ezcema and I have had it myself, E45 worked the best. Also lavendar oil worked really well with me, but am unsure whether this would be ok to use on ds as he is so young, will contact ezcema society to find out.

I am breastfeeding and I tried to cut out all dairy products, did this for three days, did not make skin any better, if anything looked worse, maybe I did not try this for long enough.

Am going to buy Aveeno which was suggested and see if this helps at all.

TuttiFrutti Mon 13-Feb-06 21:42:34

Diet is a major factor in causing eczema in my experience, although conventional Western medicine denies this. Some people find cutting dairy out of their diet gets rid of their eczema, while in my case cutting all acid out of my diet worked a miracle cure. I was 30 and had suffered from eczema all my life, GPs had always told me there was no cure and prescribed steroid creams, but then I met a Chinese doctor who told me to cut out all acidic food and within a few weeks my eczema had gone.

It is hereditary, and if you inherit the gene you will have it especially badly as a baby and young child. Some children grow out of it completely, and all of them get slightly better. You may find that altering your ds's diet makes the eczema better.

bobbybobbobbingalong Mon 13-Feb-06 22:02:03

It takes 2 weeks to notice a difference with cutting out a food from your diet - and you have to read every label.

You could take probiotics though - this will be beneficial and is easy to do.

Oats in a sock in the bath help too.

Mercy Mon 13-Feb-06 22:12:12

Yes, 3 days isn't enough. Carry on breastfeeding for as long as is ok for you. When it comes to weaning you will need to be careful.

Go back to your doctor and explain what's happening. Is your ds on prescribed treatment?

williamsmummy Mon 13-Feb-06 22:26:17

If diprobase is not helping, go back and change prescription.
my son started with aquaous cream/then dirprobase, then 50%50 mix of soft petrolum ointment, this worked much better. I even got a even thicker mix( ungentum merick,,Sp?!!) that was good to apply before swimming to protect his skin.
on the ocasion that his skin was ok with the pool water!

The danger of strong steriods is skin thinning, and this is not something that happens to todays children, who are treated at home.
Thickening of the skin is linked to scar tissue from severe eczema damage.
As a adult my skin treatement was basic to say the least, and I have thin skin on my hands from applying for years a very ,very strong steriod to my legs.
There was also no moisturisers , today that has changed dramatically.
Ezcema skin can not hold water, so children with ezcema tend to have a poor temp control and will often get cold quicker or over heat, which can all aggravate skin condition.

The main area of skin control is in the frequent application of creams to emolient the skin.

wet wraps are something that is worth exploring or bearing in mind as a possiblity if the skin gets worse as your child gets older.

One main warning that has gathered a lot of recognition, but is often forgotten by GP's is the avoidance of ezcema skin products for young children that contain nut/nut oils.
A study by Dr gideon Lack of St marys hos london has linked the absorbtion of nut through the skin causing nut allergy to be triggered.
So please check all creams and potions.

If you have an nut allergic child, please check any new ezcema prescription before you use it, as GPs can forget. One of my friends narrowly avoided a hospital trip when prescribed a bath oil that contained nuts.

eczema is very individual and can not at all times be linked to just food. Other atopic diseases as a whole are on the up. The uk has the highest rate of asthma in children than any other country.

Its all jolly depressing stuff really. sorry

Mercy Mon 13-Feb-06 22:39:30

Williamsmummy, whilst I totally sympathise with your situation, what you are saying doesn't hold true for all excema suffers. How old are you btw? I only ask because my brother's experience seems different to yours

mower, I would really urge you to go back to your GP and ask for further advice if you are not happy.

williamsmummy Tue 14-Feb-06 10:20:28

mercy, which part of my story didnt you agree with?, btw will be 40 this year. Not looking forward to it but cant lie.

chocolateshoes Tue 14-Feb-06 13:29:24

Just thought I'd add to the discussion - my DS had a reaction to Diprobase. The more cream I put on the redder & drier his skin became. Once I changed to Aveeno his skin improved considerably. He still has the odd flare up but daily use of Aveeno has helped.

keresley Tue 14-Feb-06 20:52:16

Mower, I sympathise with you - my DS was diagnosed with eczema when he was 6 weeks old and has had it ever since- he is now 14 months. My dh and I made the decision to stop using steroids after using them for a few weeks at the start. We found as soon as we stopped using them , our ds's eczema would be back within days. We use SOS Cream from Barefoot Botanicals- purely herbal cream which is amazing (although expensive) stuff. We also only dress our DS in 100% cotton clothing. I bathe my Ds every night becuase if I miss a night my sons skin becomes more inflamed and itchy. We use Aveeno bath oil and aveeno cream and wash him with only aqueous solution. We also only feed him organic food and milk. At night we have kept our DS's hands covered (since he was 6 weeks old) at first we used scratch mits, but now we use eczema suits from cotton comforts.I hope you are finding some of this advice from mumnetters helpful.

contentmum Tue 14-Feb-06 21:45:15

Mower, really sympathise with you. My dd started at around 6 months, on her neck, under her chin and got really fed up with friends and relatives, especially mother-in-law, saying stuff like has she STILL got that sore neck - like I didn't care and wasn't doing anything about it. Tried steroid cream which cleared it but as soon as I stopped it flared up again. Health visitor has suggested later that she should have been gradually weaned off it rather than just stopping. Don't like using steroids so now get Aveeno on prescription - not totally gone but is definately under control and she's not suffering. Also use oatmeal in a muslin bag in the bath and have her soak in it once or twice a week.
Hope this helps.

Mercy Tue 14-Feb-06 22:00:45

williamsmummy,I was referring to the skin thickening or thinning part - sorry no offence meant. It's just that my brother's experience is very different to yours - he's nearly 36 btw. But as you say, there are different types of eczema.

williamsmummy Wed 15-Feb-06 00:13:44

mercy, thanks ,yeah there are many types of ezcema, and I think the hardest must be for the those with severe ezcema that doesnt have a visable, tracable tigger. So control is not an option.
As for skin thining it is common complaint of those from my generation, for e.g lots of people with facial ezcema where given repeated prescriptions of strong steriod ointments, like betnovate. Eye lid thining being a nasty side effect.

I had terrrible ezcema on my legs as a child in the 70's and put thick layers of betnovate on my legs, and slid in to my polyester bed sheets!

I know the skin on my hands is thin, and have for all my life a probem with hand ezcema.
I still get occasional mild bouts on other areas of my body. But nothing like my childhood.

I know I have been very lucky as only one of my four children had severe ezcema, he just happens to be the one with the severe food and envrionmental allergies as well.

The routines of ezcema management takes a big toll on familes.

BernieBear Wed 15-Feb-06 08:38:11

I can't believe it, this could have been me 18 months ago. My ds had/has ezcema and has done since he was 6 weeks old (he is now 23months) and the first year was hard work. I breastfed until he was 14 months when I switched him to goats milk. He had a rast test (allergy blood test) at about 8 months old and has allergies to dairy and egg so cut those out of my diet and after about 6 weeks things did improve. Aveeno is amazing stuff and I still use it now - thanks to MN's. Ds's ezcema is now just in little patches and none on his face at last (that was the last area to go) and this has happened since about a month after switching to goats milk. My advise for what it is worth, is stick with the breastfeeding (cutting out dairy). You really have my utmost sympathies, I cried almost every night trying to stop ds from scratching and he only started being able to sleep though from around 14 months due to the itching. Keep visiting the doctor until you are happy, from my experience and those of others on here it appears the doctors have to be seen to follow a particular path when dealing with ezcema, this generally starts with Diprobase, steriod cream and emoillient. Stay away from Aquaous cream as recent research suggests this can in fact cause ezcema (shocking!). Sorry for rambling, it is just all so familiar to me and I remember the feeling of helplessness. Good luck

keresley Thu 16-Feb-06 00:15:12

BearnieBear- what research are you referring to about aqueous cream- do you know the name of the article?? I'd like to read it as I wash my Ds in aqueous solution every night. Thanks.

mower Thu 16-Feb-06 10:12:50

Thanks for all your support, mumsnetters. Have been using Aveeno cream from boots for the last few days and is looking slightly better already. Also I have started a dairy free diet for myself, as I am breast feeding, and will try this for two weeks, instead of just three days which I thought was enough last time. Am feeling alot brighter about it as the Aveeno cream has def started to ease the redness and ds is not scratching so much.

Completly can understand what you say contentmum, every time family members phone up the first thing they ask is how is ds excema, drives me mad as (maybe I am over sensitive) but would love them to ask about something positive about ds instead!!

wavingordrowning Thu 16-Feb-06 23:20:29

This might sound facile but have you tried changing your washing powder? Do you use a fabric conditioner? 'Cos that's a very common trigger. ds (now 16 months) went from the homeopathic GP saying "get your GP to prescribe steroid cream" to "blimey, where did that go" in 2 weeks when I cut out fabric conditioner and changed our washing powder (to something called Surcare). Im still v careful to use emollients and to give his clothes an extra rinse but (touching wood) his skin is 99.9% better.

BernieBear Fri 17-Feb-06 09:38:50

Keresley - I don't know where the article is, my doctor when living in London told me to stop using it immediately, and again on moving South my new doctor mentioned it too. It is only recently discovered (in last 12 months).

Mower - you need to go dairy free for six weeks to see the difference. This is what I had to do when I was breastfeeding, not easy to begin with, but I ended up with one hell of a nice waistline!!!!!

Just had allergy results at hospital and my ds now has to carry epipens with him at all times due to extreme reactions to peanuts and eggs. Still has dairy allergy, but to a lesser extent, but it appears it was the eggs and egg protein present in certain types of formula given to him alongside breastfeeding that was causing the ezcema last year.

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