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Eczema and cloth nappies. Advice please.

(11 Posts)
mymblemummy Fri 31-Oct-08 00:48:26

My almost one-year-old has just had his first top-to-toe eczema flare-up, combined with the nastiest nappy rash I have ever seen.

Normally we use cloth nappies, but at the moment we are using Moltex disposables and plenty of nappy-off time while we try to get the flare-up/rash under control.

Thankfully, it is much better and I am now wondering whether it will be possible to use cloth nappies again once the rash has gone.

One GP thinks I can, two others admit they haven't a clue. Does anyone have any experience/thoughts on this please?

primigravida Fri 31-Oct-08 01:15:06

I find disposables cause nappy rash more than cloth nappies. A friend of mine's baby has eczema and she has found the type of nappy makes no difference. Fortunately most babies outgrow their eczema. Hope someone with more personal experience comes along soon.

MetalMummy Fri 31-Oct-08 14:30:00

We changed from disposable to cloth because disposables made DSs eczema really bad.
What liners did you use with the cloth nappies?
We used fleece liners and they were much better than the diposable liners (bought huge piece of thin fleece, cut liners to fit the whole of inside of the nappy so that only the fleece touched his skin, cost £6 and were reusable) smile

DanB99 Sat 01-Nov-08 21:27:09

I'm 37 and have had eczema all my life. I've been to many doctors and skin specialists throughout my life and none of them offered any decent advice on how to reduce the allergic reaction, only how to treat it once it's arrived, with various steroids and creams.

It took me until I was 32 to fathom out what were the major causes of flare up of my condition, by self testing and diagnosis. None of the facts that I found out were ever suggested as possible causes by doctors or skin specialists.

I have a list of a few things that cause major flare up of my eczema. In the case of Cloth Nappies over Disposable, look at Number 2 in the list.

Things to avoid (in order of severity of reaction, most severe first) :-

1 - Any food with MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), Flavour Enhancer, E621. This is in Flavoured Crisps, Dried soups, Gravy,Some Chinese Food from takeaways etc. This gives me a fairly dramatic, *extremely itchy* allergic reaction between 6 hours - 2 days after eating it. I had it every day for a week once when I regularly visited a chinese restaurant, and was like a lobster from head to foot by the end of the week, with my skin taking another 2 weeks to get back to normal. This is when I discovered that it was MSG that was the problem.

2 - Most Washing Powders, and Softeners. Example, I used Fairy Non-Bio powder, with no problems. I already knew that biological was a no no. Then I changed to Fairy Non-Bio liquid, Bang! terrible eczema, all over my body, but less on my face, however, shortly after, I washed my bed clothes, and pillowcases, and the eczema spread immediately to my face. So.... I now use Ecover washing liquid and Softener. I recently tried Lenor softener, and was back to square 1 again. I can thoroughly recommend Ecover. The only down side is the softener doesn't make the clothes smell as nice for as long, but it's a small price to pay.

3 - Feather Pillows - Nightmare!

4 - Artificial Colours, E100 - E199, although E150 (Caramel) is ok. Similar reaction to MSG, but less severe. If you're gonna give your child sweets, make sure they have natural colours in, more and more do now.

5 - Many Moisturizers and creams. Many moisturizers aggravate my condition (despite many times being prescribed by doctors!) Bad ones include E45 & Diprobase. Lots of them contain Lanolin (extract of Sheep's wax) and that's a no no. Some steroid creams used to treat the eczema, I found contained a cream base that I was allergic to! So I was putting this stuff on to get rid of eczema, the active ingredient was getting rid of it, and the cream base was bringing it back!
It's difficult with creams, because some people are allergic to one, while another person is allergic to another. I find Eucerin good as a moisturiser, and for my steroid creams, I insist on an 'ointment' rather than a 'cream'. It's more greasy, but much less problems with allergy.

6 - Dogs, Cats, Guinea pigs etc. Difficult one this. I grew up with dogs, and if I did it all over again, I would want to have dogs again, I love 'em, and they're great for a child, but......when I left home, to go to university, I became much more healthy. They mainly affect my asthma though, I have to say, the effect on Eczema is much less, although contact with cats can cause me problems.

That's it really, MSG, Washing Powder, Bad Creams. Avoid them, and see what happens.



lankyesme Sat 01-Nov-08 21:34:03

Stick with the cloth, purely because you can control the washing powders etc. I use cloth nappies, fleece and paper liners AND then weleda nappy cream. DS is 19 months and despite bouts of horrific eczema, it has never gone to his bottom. Try dairy free for a while, it has made an great difference. Hope this helps.

Olihan Sat 01-Nov-08 21:58:41

I swapped to cloth a few months back because ds2 had constant nappy rash/fungal rashes/eczema and I eventually realised it was probably something to do with the disposables.

He still gets the odd bout of terrible nappy rash but it is usually linked to teething poos and using bepanthen at every change keeps it under control.

The eczema is far better and he hasn't had a single flare up in his nappy area since we switched.

I only wash them in half a capful of Ecover liquid and do an extra rinse at the end to make sure there is no detergent left in them.

I guess all you can do is try and see what happens. Dan makes a good point about the washing powders - I've always used non-bio powder but using ecover has made a big difference to not only his bottom but the rest of his eczema too.

Maybe have a bit of trial and error with washing powders and using a really good barrier cream alongside plenty of nappy free time before you abandon cloth completely.

PigeonPie Sat 01-Nov-08 22:06:57

When DS2 was a few weeks old his nappy area was really sore. I put it down to what I washed the nappies in so I stopped using any detergent for a while (just washed at 60 degrees to kill the bugs) and his skin improved dramatically. So I bought some EcoBalls and haven't looked back; I use them for everything and his skin is much better than his brother's.

mymblemummy Sun 02-Nov-08 01:41:09

Thank you very much everyone. That's a lot of useful suggestions for me to try out.

I'm heartened no-one thinks cloth is a no-no for babies with eczema. My worry was that as a cloth nappy feels so much wetter than a disposable, it would be more likely to irritate skin that isn't as efficient at producing natural oils.

But I'm not overly happy about the stuff that goes into most disposables, and I feel very guilty when I see how many of them are sitting in the dustbin.

We use TotsBots spun lace paper liners over fleece ones, usually. I wondered about the silk ones but they are hand wash only and I can't see that getting them really clean, or killing bacteria.

Since his eczema was diagnosed (it started off as just a few dry patches) we've gone from Persil to Fairy to Ecover to Sonett to Bio D in search of the perfect washing powder and we're washing at higher temperatures. I can't say I've seen any difference, to tell the truth.

And we've tried Pur, 3 Bees Baby Barrier, Sudocrem, Metanium and Dermol 500 on the nappy rash. Sadly only a blast of steroid (Trimovate) seems to have made a difference. I hate putting steroids on a baby but every nappy change had become a torture session for both of us.

Eczema is a horrible ailment and you have my every sympathy Dan. I don't have it but from seeing the poor baby trying to claw his skin off I can imagine how awful it must feel.

DanB99 Sun 02-Nov-08 16:35:39

You need to stick with something like Ecover for a few washes. When I washed my clothes with Fairy Non-bio liquid and had the problem, it took a good few washes with Ecover to remove the allergen from my clothes.

In my experience, once there is broken skin and a rash, I usually have to blast it once or twice with the steroid cream to get rid. But be very careful with the moisturisers, because, unless you get the right one, you'll only make the problem worse again.

Incidentally, I've been putting steroid cream on my skin for about 35 years (much less often nowadays, because I found the MSG problem) and my skin is ok really, a little bit thin on my hands, but not too bad.

Also fresh flare ups will definitely occur if there's something in the diet causing the reaction. I'm afraid you'll just have to keep treating it with the steroid. Make sure it's the Ointment rather than the cream though.

Good luck. Dan.

mymblemummy Sun 02-Nov-08 22:41:23

Thank you again Dan. I'll definitely run the nappies through the wash a few times before using them again. Coincidentally, the washing machine just died so I'm hoping the replacement will be more efficient at rinsing out detergent.

natasha15 Sat 10-Oct-09 13:52:23

my daughter is three and to cut a long story short,when she was approx 18mts she suffered, firstly from a few dry patches, which then developed into full blown eczema, then followed by allergic reations a few months after. Been to doc tried a variety of creams and medicines, none worked, they worked initially, but as soon as you stop using them, it came back with evengance! Im sure theres other mums out there who know what im talking about! Endless nights of crying, itching and tantrums, joy! Then she had a very severe reaction to egg and now has an anapen. That was the last straw, went to a homeopath and now there treating her, its been a long road, but I finally feel that now we are getting somewhere and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. She still has eczema, but nothing like as bad, the allergic reactions dont seem as severe and certainly not immediate like before. I dread to think where we'd be now if we were still seeing the doctor, we were up and down the hospital all the time when we were seeing the doctors, havent been to the hospital once since she's been seeing the homeopath!!! Doctors suppress the problem, but homeopaths work from the inside out, they eventually cure the problem. Hope this info has been useful! I truely was at my wits end!!

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