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Dairy Allergy & Eczema Connection ?

(19 Posts)
moonietunes Sat 23-Feb-13 21:33:06


I have just discovered that my 5.5 mth old is allergic to cows milk after giving her 2 spoons of baby rice mixed with Aptamil. Previous to this she has been exclusively breastfed & has suffered from eczema since 3 mths or so. We have been referred to an allergy consultant and await an appointment. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this and thinks that there could be a connection. IE could an allergy (full on allergy not an intolerance) to cows milk cause extensive hives from a tiny amount of formula and eczema from my breast-milk. I have stopped eating dairy since the allergic reaction and the eczema is a lot better and she is hardly scratching at all, but i'm not sure if this might just be effects of the antihistamine she had 2 days ago ? How long do the effects of a dose of antihistamine last ? I don't want to get too hopeful that we may have found the solution to our eczema woes.

eragon Sat 23-Feb-13 23:54:47

I think many other breastfeeding mothers have seen an improvement in their milk allergic infants when they exclude it from their diet.

however, allergies rarely go in although ezcema may improve, it may not clear up completely.

I would try this, but be careful with your diet, and source calcium rich foods for yourself, and perhaps consider to take supplements.

dont start eliminating other foods until you have seen your allergy consultant, who will give you better advice than I could or anyone here, once he/she has seen your child.
write down a list of questions and ask for a dietian to support you both.

good luck.

AltogetherAndrews Sun 24-Feb-13 00:41:59

This sounds like my dd. she had eczema while she was ebf, and then when we were weaning, we discovered that she has a full blown dairy allergy. It was the dairy in my diet that caused the eczema, and it cleared up almost straight away once we had her on a dairy free diet. She is now 2.5 and can tolerate some processed dairy, but nothing raw. If she gets milk on her skin, she developes hives and eczema. Otherwise her skin is pretty clear, but she has to drink oat milk, and doesn't get any butter or cheese. We were advised not to give her egg either.
In my experience, the allergy nurse and the dermatologist didn't test her for allergy, they just looked at her skin, and took my description of her reaction to dairy, and made the diagnosis.

moonietunes Sun 24-Feb-13 09:37:11

Thank you both. Is it likely then that if there is a dairy allergy then there will be an egg allergy also ?

We should be seeing the allergy hospital very soon so i don't think that my elimination diet is going to be a problem for me while we wait. If it means that my breast milk may be lacking in some way though that would be a concern. Ill be sure to eat a lot of Calcium rich foods from now & no eggs just in case. The eczema hasn't completely cleared up, its just a lot better, another few areas have come back up this morning, although less fierce, so i know it has not 'solved' the issue!.. yet anyway, i guess there could still be some hidden dairy in my diet.

Angeoxford Sun 24-Feb-13 18:37:24

Definite link in the case of my DD. she had v bad eczema as a baby from about 3 months. At 5 months she came into contact w some cows milk on her cheek and came up w hives. I eliminated milk from my diet (she was ebf) and it got loads better - but didn't go away completely. When weaning we discovered she's also allergic to wheat. She's 2.5 now still allergic to cmp and wheat but has been discharged from allergist because her reactions much less extreme than when she was tiny.

So do give excluding cows milk from your diet a go. It won't affect your milk bit it might affect you (milk will generate calcium from you if not from your food) so calc rich food or supplement important.

It's stressful but it deffo gets easier and better. Good luck

moonietunes Sun 24-Feb-13 19:09:43

Thanks Angeoxford. That sounds exactly like us. The eczema has got incredibly better just in a few days since i stopped eating dairy but it hasn't completely gone and still some areas have come back up, but not as large an area and not as severe a reaction, so an amazing difference. Ill be off to the health food shop tomorrow for calcium supplements just in case!

OHforDUCKScake Mon 25-Feb-13 12:15:29

The same happened to me when my son was 5.5 months. He went into anaphylactic shock when I gave him yoghurt, he had urtcaria afterwards for weeks on end which left eczema in its wake. It took months for it to go.

Unfortunately its not just milk hes allergic to, but milk, eggs, banana, lentils, soya, peas, pears, raw potato, sharon fruit, nuts, spinach, wool, feathers, all meats, worse with chicken and beef, Aveeno cream, Oilatum, lanolin.

Sometimes eczema doesnt go 100% and you just have to manage it.

Consider that you might find a better cream for her, different creams work for different babies. Im currently using a lovely one called QV cream. They'll send you a free sample.

Also, dont bath her more than 2-3 times a weekand dont use any soap at all.
Allergic babies are sensitive babies, you have to consider everything.

Washing powder is another one, def no conditioner, extra rince. We use soap nuts which helped considerably.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 25-Feb-13 12:18:36

Forgot to add the obvious, I have to avoid everything my son cant have because it'll effect his skin.

When first disgnosed, I ate rice and beans because his skin was so horrific I was scared to eat anything else and make it worse.

MrsMarigold Mon 25-Feb-13 12:29:37

My DS has a dairy allergy and was put on Nutrimigen by the doctor, we manage his skin with Cetraban cream and hardly ever bath him (he is 20 months and has one bath a week). He seems to be outgrowing the allergy and can now have yoghurt and cheese.

I got him tested at the hospital for allergies to:
ground nuts
tree nuts
fish and shellfish

Push for a referral to see an expert - we had coeliac disease in the family and this helped us get to see the experts on the nhs.

MrsMarigold Mon 25-Feb-13 12:35:05

Also be very careful about cutting out diary as it can make you really ill - I have had ridiculously low vitamin D and am on unbelievably strong supplements after the GP sent me for blood tests as I was very achey and kept getting bugs.

Get ProD3

moonietunes Tue 26-Feb-13 17:21:10

Thanks for all your input. We have only used soap flakes for washing clothes since the eczema started and sometimes nothing at all, just 90 degree water wash. Bathing is an interesting one, the eczema education program at St Thomas's recommend bathing every day so that you remove any chance of allergens picked up on the skin from the house or outside (e.g. pollen, dust etc), i'm inclined to go with this as she always seems to feel a bit better after a bath.

Things are still the same today, a little eczema still coming up and going down but much better. We still await the hospital appointment!

harverina Wed 27-Feb-13 08:20:48

Hi, similar story here - my dd developed eczema while ebf, but she was also very sick after I had eaten raw dairy. I worked it out quite quickly and eliminated raw dairy from my diet, replacing it with soya with calcium. We noticed a difference within 24 hours.

My dd is now almost 3 and has confirmed allergies to milk, egg and nuts. Push for allergy testing, you should not be left to wean your baby without testing or support. There is a chance that your baby may have other allergies, though this is not always the case.

Our consultant did not disagree with me eliminating raw dairy from my diet but I was given calcium supplements. If you make sure you are getting a nutritious balanced diet eliminating dairy should not be harmful.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 05-Mar-13 18:02:18

What creams are you using? We bathe our DS everyday too as per the dermatologist. We have steroids and creams to treat. The GP was useless, just told us to moisturise but it's the steroids you need to treat the inflammation. The allergy team at Tommy's are good.

moonietunes Sun 24-Mar-13 11:11:27

We use Epaderm cream to wash with (once a day) and then Epaderm ointment to moisturise (2 or 3 times a day). Ointment is applied then we wait 1/2 hr for it to absorb before applying any hydracortisone (currently using 1%). As it is up and down i dont use the steroid all the time, sometimes just once a day & sometimes not at all. Once the inflammation is under control it is easier to see the flare ups and then act on them when they happen. We found it important to use the steroid cream to get things under control, otherwise you end up using small amounts of the steroid ALL the time which is worse in the long run as you end up using more over a longer period of time. At least, thats how it is for us.

We have our appointments now for the dietician and the allergy clinic so looking forward to getting some confirmation and specialist advice. Some GPS are good with eczema and others just aren't, its got to be hard to be good with everything!

One thing i did find was that washing baby's hair with epaderm cream everyday made a massive difference, she no longer has any redness on her head at all, after months and months of cradle cap and sore weeping eczema on her head this has made a massive difference to her life (and ours!).

We do get some spots (mostly on legs) which i think is blocked pores from the massive amounts of ointment!, they are just small spots though and dont appear to cause any discomfort so they are a small price to pay for soft(er) skin.

moonietunes Sun 05-May-13 19:35:04

Just as an interesting point of note.

I have been weaning off the breast onto Wysoy & each week replacing one feed. The less breast milk she had the better the eczema seemed to get. Today was potentially our last feed & she is better than ever. Its still there, especially on her legs but her face back and tummy are really clear and even the nasty bits on her arms are SO much better. Coincidence or not i do still believe breast is best and wouldn't change that decision but if there is a causal link between breastfeeding and eczema then its got to be worth research hasn't it ?!

piggyboo Tue 07-May-13 17:48:29

wysoy is not ideal for babies under 1, even though it states it is suitable from birth. my dietician said definitely not before 6 months but that might be because my lo is a boy?

moonietunes Tue 07-May-13 20:02:56

Our dietician (@ Kings) said it is absolutely fine. My feeling is that if it wasn't fine then they wouldn't be able to sell it in the UK and certainly not be able to state so on the tin. Im not worried about it grin]

piggyboo Tue 07-May-13 21:23:32

Think it's something to do with the plant hormones causing problems for boys, so no probs if you have a girl smile

narmada Tue 07-May-13 21:33:21

It's got oestrogen-like compounds in it, like piggyboo says. Soya formula has a lot of added milk-extrinsic sugars in it so is sometimes considered bad for that reason.

OP, yes, there is a well-accepted link between cows' milk and eczema - you might also need to cut soy out of your diet if there's a milk allergy, because often CMPI children react to soy, too. But I second what others ahve said about getting dietician advice if you're planning to cut major food groups out of your diet.

To the person who had Vit D3 deficiency, this is common in bfeeding mothers, and not just those who have cut dairy out of their diet. IN fact, it's considered endemic in most populations living at northerly latitudes. For most adults, sunlight is the biggest source of Vit D, not food.

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