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Stopping eczema itch in the daytime

(38 Posts)
FuriousDuckling Mon 12-May-14 14:37:25

3.5yo DD has very itchy spotty eczema. We keep the dryness under control with epaderm and bad patches with eumovate, but it's the all over crazy itchiness we just can't seem to help her with. At night she wears scratchsleeves and seems ok with it, but in the day she can't stop scratching constantly, and sometimes gets totally hysterical. Particularly bad times of day are first thing in the morning and bedtime - just before, during and after bath. She has Oilatum in the bath and we wash her with Dermol.

We've also tried... Aveeno (stings her), Eurax (makes her scream, doesn't seem to help), Clarityn, cutting out dairy and soy, switching to non bio, a whole range of emollients... and nothing has helped. It's worse with bits of skin that are on show so I'm dreading summer sad

Is there anything else I can try?? TIA

OP’s posts: |
threedeer Mon 12-May-14 18:59:01

You could try aqueous cream with calamine, which you can get in big branches of Boots and maybe other places too. It's much better than calamine lotion as it doesn't dry out on the skin.

You could also give her Piritin syrup. That will stop the symptoms of itching but may make her sleepy. Not sure if non-drowsy hayfever treatments work on the itchiness but may be worth a go - they're harmless enough afaik. I dosed up DH with it when he had chicken pox as he was so much more fretful than the DC! And he said it worked brilliantly.

plus2new Mon 12-May-14 19:04:43

Do you bath her every night? My dd has very dry eczema, not prone to infection and bathing too often makes her very itchy.

I give my dd Piriton and it doesn't make her drowsy but I think it's effects vary from person to person.

We have had very good results with La Roche Posay products, particularly the Lipikar and Cicaplast ranges.

FuriousDuckling Mon 12-May-14 19:29:04

Hi both, thanks so much for your replies. I've never heard of aqueous with calamine, but what a great idea. Calamine was the only thing that stopped my stupid hand eczema itching in pregnancy. Will try and hunt it down.

We have tried her on some of the drowsy-making antihistamines including Piriton, but only at night, it had never occurred to me to try them in the day! Some of them we think gave her nightmares but obviously not an issue in the day, so will give that a go.

Baths-wise we currently do every night, but have previously done every other night. So much conflicting advice out there! I can't tell if it made a difference either way but maybe that's one to test again.

I haven't heard of the La Roche products, but will look them up. Lots of idea to try, thanks!

OP’s posts: |
ukey Mon 12-May-14 19:44:46

distraction, keep them busy, ice packs/cool packs can help with itching, not sure how old ur wee one is but try to encourage to rub skin rather than scratch. If things are really bad, e.g clawing and scratching ripping the skin off, making it bleed etc then u may have to physically stop them.

Creams etc, diff ones work for diff kids. so all about finding what works for you.

FuriousDuckling Mon 12-May-14 20:33:22

thanks ukey. She is 3.5 and sometimes will stop scratching when we ask her to but sometimes will say "I can't stop" and makes herself bleed, poor thing. That's when I try and hold her hands and she gets a tad hysterical and she is stronger than me so she gets away
Ice packs are a good idea, she won't usually tolerate them but I have a Peppa Pig one which may do the trick.

OP’s posts: |
ukey Tue 13-May-14 22:30:15

you can also try reward chart with stickers for when she remembers to rub and not scratch

eragon Tue 13-May-14 22:44:49

NO aqueous cream unless used as a soap. It is NOT recommended now as a moisturiser.

Try another antihistamine from gp (it takes about a month to work effectively btw)

ask about possible dust mite allergy/pollen allergy and other environmental allergies. GP can do this by blood test.

how often do you apply the moisturisers that work? 5 times a day? more?

Kundry Tue 13-May-14 23:00:15

Definitely not the aqueous - it is not recommended for ezcema as it is too drying.

How much emollient are you using and reapplying as she should be slippery like an eel? Can you minimize baths as water will be drying her skin out - just when she's obviously dirty rather than every night?

The tch in ezcema doesn't really come from histamine so anti-histaminesonly really work by making her so drowsy she falls asleep and doesn't itch, rather than not actually wanting to itch IYSWIM.

However if she is that itchy it implies her ezcema is undertreated over all as she needs more steroid to calm it down properly (not just on the very bad patches but all the itchy patches) beofre you blitz with emollient to keep it under control. Have you seen a dermatologist or GP? I think you should be seeing them again before spending a fortune at Boots on creams.

AllergyMums Wed 14-May-14 12:01:37

Hi - Couple of other ideas to throw into the mix. She needs to be drinking tonnes of water as she's losing so much from her skin. Also give her a kids vitamin with lots of vitamin D in it - recent research suggests this makes a difference.
When mine flares up I use Sudocream on the really bad/hot/red bits and let is soak in overnight.

carolinementzer Wed 14-May-14 14:02:56

I've had good results with Pure Potions Skin salvations -

FuriousDuckling Wed 14-May-14 15:02:10

Wow, thanks all for the help.

Interesting about aqueous. Maybe I'll just try it as soap then.

We do epaderm loads, probably 4-6 times a day. And use lots at a time (though I can't vouch for how much they use at nursery, they do seem to go through the pot slowly), but I probably do underuse the steroids. The thing that confuses/worries me is that the GP and nurses always say just use steroid on the flare up patches as long as they are red, but the itch is all over, and her flare ups are constant. Surely I can't use steroid all over, all the time?

We have seen GP lots, to the point where they are making me feel like a burden! But it's getting worse not better, so I'll have to go back. Dermatologist and further blood tests for allergies (she has only been tested for the food ones not environmental things) sound like the way to go.

Interesting about vitamin D too. So much I didn't know! She does take a vitamin, but probably doesn't drink nearly enough water, we are both quite bad for that. Lots to try...

OP’s posts: |
Kundry Wed 14-May-14 17:27:30

I think you need the specialist advice of a dermatologist now. My understanding is that you should use lots of steroid to control it - so yes all over - but it would then come under control and only need emollient as the flare ups would be over.

However I am in no way an expert. Seeing as you have been to the GP so many times and it is getting worse rather than better I think you should ask for dermatology review. They will also have specialist nurses to advise and support you on how much steroid when etc.

If you are using Dermol to wash with don't switch to aqueous though as the Dermol is better.

Greenandcabbagelooking Wed 14-May-14 17:37:25

I find the sun helps, which may well be to do with the Vitamin D.

Also not using too much product on my hair in the shower because it runs off down my back and irritates it.

And not wearing clothes with seams that rub on my itchy bits. I have been known to wear things inside out, but only around the house.

Would she wear the scratch sleeves during the day?

FuriousDuckling Thu 15-May-14 10:53:42

Kundry I agree - will get that referral asap. Steroids seem to help but never seem to get it down to zero iyswim, so I never know exactly when to stop using.

Green thanks for sharing your own experiences. Re shampoo, we use the Oilatum one which I hope would irritate her less, but I do struggle to avoid getting it on her skin. Inside out clothes are a good idea! She already looks quite scruffy so it wouldn't look much worse grin
I sometimes put the scratch mitts on her when she's having a bad itching attack, but she won't tolerate them when she's trying to do anything, or eat.

OP’s posts: |
ClaireOB Thu 15-May-14 11:03:26

I think getting to see a paediatric specialist would be a good idea as it sounds like more expert advice and support is needed. The NICE guidance on indications for referral in child atopic dermatitis (eczema) is here. It might be useful when discussing your DD's case with your GP. Good luck, eczema can be utterly miserable. Also, thumbs down to aqueous cream from me too, drives my eczema wild!

FuriousDuckling Thu 15-May-14 14:18:51

That's really helpful, Claire, thank you. She definitely qualifies for referral under those guidelines, in fact has done for a while. I do feel like I've been fobbed off by GPs - they have never said directly but always implied, that childhood eczema is just "one of those things" and we have to put up with it until she grows out of it. But it makes her so unhappy and it breaks my heart for her.

OP’s posts: |
ArtFine Thu 15-May-14 19:18:03

Have you tried cutting out egg and wheat?

xXcandyladyXx Fri 16-May-14 14:47:38

Have you tried Eurax? It stops itching pretty quick, I use it on my kid's itchy skin including mosquito bites! Good luck x

FuriousDuckling Sat 17-May-14 21:14:27

Sorry forgot to keep checking mn!

Art - dd had some blood tests which showed negative for all food allergies, then we saw a dietitian. She told us that some allergies don't show up on blood tests (something about non-ige mediated??) but that egg was unlikely to be one of those. Wheat was a possibility but less likely than dairy and soy (which very often go together). We both agreed that we didn't want to cut out too much, so started on just those 2. So short answer no! My feeling though is that it's an environmental allergy rather than food, as I have never been able to see any food related pattern with her reactions.

Candy - we used Eurax for a bit when her eczema was infected. She loathed it going on, would scream and scream. Can't tell if it worked, it doesn't for me! But clearly it must work for some. Can you use it long term do you know?

She was hysterical again today, both morning and evening, and had to be physically restrained from scratching. We are waiting for a referral to the hospital eczema clinic but it could be weeks sad

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Sat 17-May-14 21:19:51

I would change the emollient. If Dermol works in the bath (oats are also good) then how about Dermol cream as an emollient? Have you tried wet bandaging?

Fairiesdance1 Sat 17-May-14 21:29:46

For my eczema i use aloe vera gel, unrefined shea butter and cold pressed almond oil. The gel is good when it is itching, at night i put on shea butter, which is in blocks, so just a little bit then almond oil on top. I then bind my foot, place where it is very itchy with muslin. Working so far. spent all my childhood using steriod cream so try not to now.

Fairiesdance1 Sat 17-May-14 21:30:59

For my eczema i use aloe vera gel, unrefined shea butter and cold pressed almond oil. The gel is good when it is itching, at night i put on shea butter, which is in blocks, so just a little bit then almond oil on top. I then bind my foot, place where it is very itchy with muslin. Working so far. spent all my childhood using steriod cream so try not to now.

Fairiesdance1 Sat 17-May-14 21:31:59

For my eczema i use aloe vera gel, unrefined shea butter and cold pressed almond oil. The gel is good when it is itching, at night i put on shea butter, which is in blocks, so just a little bit then almond oil on top. I then bind my foot, place where it is very itchy with muslin. Working so far. spent all my childhood using steriod cream so try not to now.

Iwillorderthefood Sat 17-May-14 21:35:09

If you are using ice packs is her skin getting wet? Wet skin is disastrous when combined with severe itching of this kind. It sounds awful, but I try to avoid washing my hands as much at possible, use non latex gloves when I have to do things that could make my hands wet.

Generally getting too hot can trigger itching too. If ice packs remain a no no, what about putting a cold metal pot, or other item on her skin. Sounds odd, but this is not as cold as ice, and used to do the trick me, along with cold glass windows, basically anything cold but dry.

Eumovate is not that strong a steroid, if it is not calming the skin in a few days it's not strong enough. If you can get access to a dermatologist grab it quick, it will be the best thing. Constant applying of a steroid that is not strong enough to do the job you need, can thin the skin, this is where I am, my skin opens up and bleeds really easily in comparison to people without eczema.

When I was small, eczema seemed like a punishment, I was not allowed to do the things I wanted to do, was repeatedly told off for scratching, I think it was through sheer worry on my parents' part. I was different from my peers and hated it. It sounds as though you are doing a great job though so I tell you this to help you understand some of the reactions you may get from your DD not to worry you.

Hope you get answers soon.

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