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Has anyone got experience of cutting out food for BF baby with excema?

(8 Posts)
HelloBear Thu 14-Feb-13 16:51:54

hi my DS has been prescribed antibiotics today due to bad infected eczema sad

I spoke to dr about cutting dairy out of my diet as my DS is exclusively bf. But I'm a veggie and the thought of having no dairy is not pleasant however I would do it if it helps.

My question is how long would I see 'results' if it is due to dairy? Also are there any other common foods that might be it other than dairy?


donotshoutatmummy Thu 14-Feb-13 17:55:09

My DD1 has bad eczema and we ended up seeing Dr Adam Fox in London. He is the guy who actually wrote the NICE clinical guidelines for the treatment of eczema. They gave me loads of info but the main bit being that you should not cut out dairy, especially when child is weaned. Cutting out diary has more consequences on health than having it. Usually milk etc doesn't actually have an impact on eczema. Its more about environmental factors. I know loads of people will disagree and tons will swear by drinking goats milk etc, but its not considered scientifically correct...

I could go on for hours!

Can give you summary of things to do. BTW my daughters eczema is LOADS better. smile

HelloBear Fri 15-Feb-13 10:44:37

donot that's interesting to hear. I have to say my instinct says don't, can't say why but I am not convinced it will make a difference (apart from me losing weight!).

A run down of what tO do would be most welcome!!!

donotshoutatmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 14:06:07

How good is your GP? I found that, although mine were understanding, they really only have basic understanding of treating eczema. How old is your little one? I think the eczema nurse at St Thomas' Hospital explained that the younger they are when eczema started the more likely it is that food allergy could be causing it and if you are exclusively bf it's hard to work out what's causing it.

First major recommendation is to stop using fabric conditioner when washing clothes. Highly perfumed stuff is a major trigger. My daughters eczema really improved after this. Use a bath emollient like oilatum (2 capfuls in a bath), wash with a cream emollient like diprobase rather than soap (pat it on baby so you can see the cream then put him in the bath) and then pat dry and cover in an ointment (we use diprobase ointment - it comes in big tubs). Rub gently in direction that hair grows (so running down the leg, not up and down). Wash all clothes at 60 to kill dust mites which is another major trigger. I found stuff like johnsons baby cream etc too perfumed for DD1 and always brought out a reaction.

You will need steroid cream to work on any flare ups. GPs always get upset about the strength they will give you, normally trying to palm you off with 0.5% but you need minimum 1%. Possible stronger depending how bad (like eumovate). Use this in bursts when skin is bad eg morning and night for a week then just night for a week then every third day for a week. The idea is to blast the eczema and allow the skin to recover, then wean the skin off it. This is what dr fox told me. This horrifies gps and pharmacists!

Also people with eczema get hot easily and this also triggers it. Basically their skin is always trying to fix itself so the immune system is running at a heightened level. Don't overdress and in summer let them sleep in vest and nappy, thinner covers etc.

Do you think you an get a referral to see a dermatologist? I have a fact sheet given to me by the hospital. I would happily photocopy and send to you if you like. PM me your address if you would like one.

The good news is if you treat it properly in the first 7 years of life, you 're-educate' your skin to work better and eczema doesn't become such a horrid problem when you are older.

I'm sorry this is sooooo long and hope it helps.

Cydonia Sat 23-Feb-13 07:51:33

Just wanted to say thanks for posting that donotshoutatmummy. I was going to start a thread as looking for tips in dealing with a couple of persistent patches of eczema my 9 month old DS has, but I think you've covered most of it!

He is allergic to dairy and egg, and I was told by the dietician not to cut out dairy from my own diet ( he has about 4/5 BF a day )
I've been using Oilatum bath and cream and the GP gave us some Fucidin H which we used as you described but it doesn't seem to be clearing up. I might ask the HV for some diprobase, she was very helpful and did say to get back in touch if it wasn't clearing up.

I wasn't sure if it had got worse since he's been having soya and he also has about 3 or 4 bottles of Aptamil Pepti formula a week, but I'm not convinced. Is it common for food allergies to trigger eczema?

hopefulgum Sat 23-Feb-13 08:17:15

My DS has eczema and it always flares up when he has too much gluten. I'm also intolerant to gluten and find my dermatitis goes mad if I indulge. The best thing I've done for my skin and DS's is to eat a Paleo(Caveman)style diet, but I can see that would be difficult if you are vegetarian. Fish oil is great for skin, but I'm not sure how you'd feel about taking it.

He still gets flare ups (especially when he gets hot). He seems to tolerate dairy well, but not gluten.

greenbananas Sat 23-Feb-13 11:02:35

Food allergies can cause eczema in breastfed babies, but not all eczema is caused by food allergies.

Some great advice from donotshoutatmummy above. A few GPs do get twitchy about prescribing strong steroid cream for little children, but you might need to use loads of the cream in the short term, just to get on top of the eczema.

Follow your instincts about cutting out dairy. If you don't want to do it, then maybe you shouldn't. In any case, even if your DS's eczema does turn out to be caused by food allergy, it may not be milk that's actually the problem. As I've said on another thread recently, following any food exclusion diet should be done with medical support. (Having said that, I really can't see why not having dairy for a bit would be a problem - many vegans manage just fine without dairy, and vegan websites might be a good place to start looking for recipe ideas and healthy diet advice.)

Infected eczema can be so horrible, and you have my sympathy because I'll never forget how it felt to watch my baby suffering with this. He had it all over his face, and quite a lot on his body too. Hope your DS's eczema gets better soon.

greenbananas Sat 23-Feb-13 11:10:34

Tyring to answer your question about how long it would take to see results if you did cut out dairy - it can take about 2 weeks for a food to leave your system, and then of course it might take a further 2 weeks for it to leave your baby's system as well. However, you may well see results more quickly than that (it takes only about 2 hours for the proteins from what you eat to enter your breastmilk).

If you don't want to cut out dairy or any other foods, it still might be worth keeping a food diary of what you eat, and noting any change in your DS's eczema. For example, if you eat half a cheesecake and there is no susbsequent change in your DS's eczema, you can pretty much eliminate dairy as the culprit.

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