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eczema novice - advice please!

(25 Posts)
dot1 Sat 19-Mar-05 22:22:47

Our ds2 (11 months) developed red itchy patches on the backs of his legs a couple of weeks ago, which got a bit worse, but then also developed a really red sore bottom with itchy patches. He's never had nappy rash, but at the same time started doing really runny poos and the poor thing was in real pain every time we had to wipe his bottom.

Took him to the GP who diagnosed eczema and has given us cream for his legs and HC cream for the red patches on his bottom.

Do you think this could be linked to the fact that he switched to normal whole milk about 3 - 4 weeks ago - he had been on Hipp follow on before that.

Bit confused really - it's the first time either dp or I have come across eczema and we're just not sure whether to link the runny poos and sore bum in with the eczema..! He did have a horrible stomach bug a few weeks ago, but had got over it.

When I mentioned the possibility of a milk intolerance to the GP he immediately dismissed it...

Fran1 Sat 19-Mar-05 22:28:15

Can't help with milk intolerance i'm araid.

But a tip for babies with sore bottoms (either excema or nappy rash!) is instead of cleaning with wipes or water, use baby lotion on cotton wool, it is much more soothing for them.

I suffer with excema myself and find Aveeno cream is great, sold in boots, or can be given on prescription (my GP hadn't heard of it before he had to look it up in his book of medication) But it is completely natural and safe to use on babies.

HC - do you mean hydrocortisone? if so, this is a magical cream but do use it sparingly. I have been left with white patches (loss of skin pigments) in areas i used to use steroids frequently as a teenager.

misdee Sat 19-Mar-05 23:14:29

tummy bugs etc can bring on eczema as they upset the gut flora in the body. it could be worth looking into porbiotics to re-address the balance.

Most formulas are cows milk based, so it unlikly (tho not impossible) that switching over had anything to do with it.

You could try switching back over to the follow on formula and trying again in a month or so with the cows milk. if a pattern emerges then ask your gp to refer to a dietician and allergy specialist.


helsi Sat 19-Mar-05 23:17:26

dd suffered with eczema from about 4 months onwards. not as bad now but it does flare up if I cahnge my brand of wshing powder. Have you done that recently?
Dr gave us aquious cream and some infant oilatum for the bath. Both worked wonders. Touch wood she doesn't suffer with it now. I just have to make sure I stick with Fairy powder.

sandycheeks Sat 19-Mar-05 23:26:58

GP's tend to link late developing eczema to being geneting IME. My ds has terrible eczema all over, but especially in the joints. He itches so much that I have resorted to dressing him in dd's tights!!!!!!!! I find that illness tends to irritate the eczema. Personally I think that various things can aggrivate the condition i.e some material, food (beware of citric acid and tomatos), detergent. But basically what effects one child might not effect another. I am taking ds for a food intolerant test on Wednesday, Gp was not very supportive but he does not have to see child scratching himself to shreds. I am just so desprate to keep eczema under controll.
Sorry if I have mis spelled I'm Welsh and we won the six nations, tripple crown and grand slam today wippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! at last something to celebrate.

bobbybob Sun 20-Mar-05 00:13:19

I think it could be the milk, basically the proteins are altered in the making of formula, so even though it was cows milk based it is not the same thing. I would go back to the formula and see if it stays clear. You still have to attack it with the HC cream though.

Have you changed nappies? I find it helpful to change brands every now and then.

dot1 Sun 20-Mar-05 10:08:35

ooh - thanks for the replies! ds2 stayed over at my Mum's last night and this morning she's reporting that his sore bits are starting to look much better - he's had 24 hours without any milk, so I'm wondering if there is a link??

I know this sounds awful, but we're reluctant to go back to formula now we've got all lazy with just using ordinary milk... Might try goat's milk for a week or so to see if he continues to get better. But if not, we probably will bite the bullet and go back to formula.

Haven't changed washing powder or nappies recently - but might swap to a sensitive skin washing powder (using Surf at the moment). We're really happy with his current nappies as he's a big boy (about 30lb and he's only 11 months!) and the Huggies are the only ones which don't seem to leak..!

thanks again - it's weird having to think about all this when ds1's never had an itch in his life and neither have dp or I (or ds's biological father!).

FIMAC1 Sun 20-Mar-05 17:07:51

Doctors are not trained in Allergy problems - you must try to find an alternative source of dairy (not Cows) for your sons sake! If he is like this now, what will he be like in years to come> Most Eczema (80%) is due to Dairy allergies, and Asthma comes a close second. We have come of dairy for both of my children - both had allergy related health probs and now are both 100% healthy. My ds had back to back ear and chest infections and my dd had gastric pain (after and endoscopy they discovered her stomach was ulcerated from the allergy)

Please change him now, poor soul! They do Goats milk formula in Health food shops. The creams are only masking a problem it is not actually treating the problem HC cream thins the skin - not good!

misdee Sun 20-Mar-05 17:14:42

FIMAC, i am not gonna agree with what you say. most eczema cases, you can never pin down the cause of the eczema. i am glad you managed to find out what caused your kids eczema, but its not always diet that causes eczema. My kids are atopic, they react to most things, and even that can change weekly. its a nightmare.

Dot1, if your feel you need to find alternitive sources of dairy for your ds, then please consult a dietician or do so under gp's care. You can get some formulas (soy and goats milks) on perscription.

prolonged use of hydrocortisone does thin the skin. If applied correctly and for the recommended time period, then HC cream is safe to use. its usually only very low % doses given out anyway (0.5% or 1%).

FIMAC1 Sun 20-Mar-05 17:57:28

See this link for certain Eczemas creams side effects though (don't think they are HC)

tigi Sun 20-Mar-05 18:09:34

my son, aged 3, has just been diagnosed wth eczema. He suffers with it on his bottom, and the rest of his skin is very dry, athough never raw. It's settled down in the last few days again. doc gave me hydrocortisone and shower get (oilatum). I dont know what sets it off.

bobbybob Sun 20-Mar-05 19:26:06

It's important FIMAC that the skin is properly treated to avoid damage to his skin from the rash. HC can clear it up quickly, and if milk is the trigger and is avoided then there won't be another rash and so no more HC.

I would personally go back to the formula (okay it's a faff, but worse than the alternative?) and then try goats milk after a month of no symptoms.

princesspeahead Sun 20-Mar-05 19:33:12

goats milk isn't a panacea though - my dd had worse ezcema on goats milk than on cows!

Dot another thing to bear in mind is that ezcema often arrives or worsens if the child is teething. If mine ever got ezcema on their bum, I always looked in their mouth, and found teeth trying to pop through. It was an instant thing - lovely bum one day, horrible poos and ezcema bum the next. The change to milk may therefore just be complete coincidence, and I agree with whoever said that if he was on formula (cow protein) a move to cows milk is unlikely to be a trigger. I'd look in his mouth first!

tigi, I find oilatum very drying (as do many other ezcema mothers on here and elsewhere). If he is still dry with that in his bath maybe you could try diprobath - that works for us. Also you can buy a non-prescription cream at boots called Aveeno (made with oats) which is fantastic on dry ezcema or ezcema-prone skin. Do a search on here and you'll see all the recommendations. Do give it a go!

princesspeahead Sun 20-Mar-05 19:34:52

oh sorry fran, just read back and saw you already suggested aveeno!
it is great though, isn't it?

bobbybob Mon 21-Mar-05 00:54:25

My ds was also shocking on goats milk.

tatt Mon 21-Mar-05 07:13:19

I'd agree with the teething bit but think it wouldn't do any harm to try goats milk if it isn't that. It does help some children, although nothing helps all of them. Children who have had soya milk have a higher level of nut allergy, although that may just be because they were atopic anyway.

Some formulas have more essential fatty acids than normal milk so it may be worth going back to formula, especially if they aren't eating oily fish yet. Organic milk has more fatty acids than non organic milk.

dot1 Thu 07-Apr-05 21:47:08

I just wanted to give an update - we switched to goats milk and ds's eczema gradually cleared up, but we weren't sure if that was just co-incidence, so a few days ago we switched back to cow's milk and guess what's re-occured??!

So goat's milk has been restored and hopefully the eczema will disappear again - poor old ds having his mummies experiment with him!

misdee Thu 07-Apr-05 21:49:44

excellant result. glad the goats milk worked for you.

dot1 Fri 08-Apr-05 08:39:52

and shame on our GP for saying there couldn't possibly be any link and implying we'd be daft to give it a go..!

AndiM Fri 20-May-05 13:43:57

J's had eczema from around 5 months and he's 10.5mths now. Like everyone else, we've tried everything. Homeopathy did not work - very much trial and eror and J got so bad we decided to go the conventional route (could not face him suffering for months until we got the right homeopathic combination). Tried various acqueous creams but liquid paraffin seemed to make him worse. Used green People Baby Salve but results were up and down. GP prescribed hydrocortisone but when I had used it up GP turned round and said I should not use steroids but he could not argue back when I said that he had precribed it in the first place (useless)! He's on Neutramigen formula milk now and some improvement. Have started to use Dermol cream (on prescripion) and had the best improvement so far (fingers crossed). Paediatrician also said hydrocortisone is OK as long as you don't use it constantly. J is off dairy and does not have much wheat at all. Also, boots to Nanny Goat milk formula but you have to get it on prescription via your doctor. Generally though, I have found my GPs to be pretty useless and full on contradictions, but it seems impossible to change GPs where I live as all their books are closed to new patients.
Can't think of anything else so I'll stop rambling!

AndiM Fri 20-May-05 13:44:55

Just had a thought Eczema, Asthma, Hayfever are all linked so could the sudden eczema be linked to something flowering in the garden???

sorrel Fri 20-May-05 14:01:56

A friend of mine who is a consultant once said to me that Dermatology was the worst area of medicine to get into as there are over 1000 known skin conditions and 2 creams.( neither of which work very well)
I have had excema for over 30 years and in that time have tried everything from H/C creams, wet wraps, UV treatment, thalidomide, coal tar to Chinese herbs.
Or thought i had.I changed to Goats milk two years ago and my painful itching raw skin has now almost gone. ( My GP insists that it has nothing to do with it. )I moisturise endlessly with Diprobase ( 5-6 times a day)don't use soap' avoid all cleaning products' avoid all biological washing powders, don't wear any jewelry,or perfume( neither does DH, so we can have a hug!)Only have cotton or linen next to skin and stay away from nylon, wool and manmade fibres. I wore a swimsuit on the beach two weeks ago for the first time since I was 8. Just because there have been no clinical trials done on goats milk v cows milk doesn't mean it doesn't work.

4chimps Fri 20-May-05 20:04:55

Something to try which has helped my son and other Mums I know who have children with eczema is Renew Intensive Skin Therapy, and Renew Oil for the bath. It is based on natural ingredients and has tea-tree oil in it which is antiseptic, antifungal and very soothing.
It absorbs into the skin easily, is long lasting and is not greasy.

I had tried oilatum and did not find it comparable. Plus have had to use other hydrocortisone creams in the past.

Since I switched my household cleaning products soaps and shampoos over to this same manufacturer my son has not had any more ezcema. Their products are based on natural ingredients with no harmful chemicals and are very effective in helping those with sensitive skins and allergies.

CAT me if you would like more info.

franch Fri 20-May-05 20:23:53

Where can you get it, 4chimps?

4chimps Fri 20-May-05 23:29:14

Message withdrawn

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