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Eczema/cradle cap - doublebase or epaderm? Can some creams make it worse?

(29 Posts)
verygreenlawn Wed 14-Jan-09 19:41:32

Ds3 15 weeks has really severe cradle cap - not on his scalp but along his hair line and right down onto his face/cheeks. He also has eczema pretty much all over his body. My GP gave us a prescription for Doublebase, which we tried for about 4 days but it seemed to burn his skin - the scabby cradle cap didn't seem to come off, it just went soggy and the skin underneath went tight and red and very sore.

Different GP has today prescribed Epaderm, but I'm nervous of the same thing happening and it getting worse. He seemed dubious that the Doublebase could've made it worse.

Does anyone have any experience of the two compared? Any advice appreciated.

Salleroo Wed 14-Jan-09 20:06:03

Never used Doublebase, it's not Diprobase is it? Have epaderm and its just like thick vaseline.

To be honest, much as I hoped they would work and my poor dd was slick and greasy till about 9 months, in the end it's only the steroids topically that do the trick.

Mind you we used Dentinox for her cradle cap with no success, then we just washed her hair with aqueas cream (still do) and if the scabs looked like they would lift I would gently lift them off, otherwise I would brush her head with a soft baby brush, gets the blood flowing. It took a long time but was gone at about 6 months.

Sorry to hear about the exzema, its so stressful. DD was covered till about 10 months, it is now under control, but what a stressful time for everyone. You try everything you can in the hope that something will work, it gets a little bit better, then a lot worse. I have to say the first 9 months were not fun, but now she is under control and the most gorgeous happy little toddler (14 months).

I would get your GP to refer you to a Dermatologist now, you could be waiting a while, or if you can afford it, go private. If you are in London and want a private consultant recommendation let me know. In the meantime keep him emoliated all the time, carry a little pot of it with you anc just keep him greased up.Keep his nails as short as you can. Cotton hats only. I use non-bio and no conditioner.

Another thing we have found really works is a bath only once a week or sometimes even longer. It gives her natural oils time to work themselves I think. Now we do sponge her down twice a day with aqueas cream and keep all the little folds clean, before she gets lubed up with steroid cream.

I remember looking at all the little babies with beautiful skin and feeling so sorry for my little dd.

I also was stopped in the street by people to give me advice on what works for them and while I appreciated it all. I noted it down and just tried the ones I knew I could persist with.

I hope some of this is useful

doggiesayswoof Wed 14-Jan-09 20:12:39

My ds is 7 months and has cradle cap (getting better now, was awful) and also eczema on his face, neck and forehead - plus a few patches on legs etc.

We have just yesterday stopped using epaderm because I was sure it was irritating his skin even more. Yesterday and today I put on Napiers Infant Starflower Cream and it looks so much better already.

The Napiers shop person told me that some sensitive skin reacts to any petrochemicals, so that would include doublebase, epaderm, vaseline, E45 - you name it.

I've also nicked some of his epaderm and tried doublebase for my own eczema - and I had a reaction to them.

doggiesayswoof Wed 14-Jan-09 20:16:09

Would add that HCPs do not tend to admit that doublebase or epaderm etc could possibly cause a reaction or make skin conditions worse, IME.

I've tried to tell 4 different doctors that my skin reacts to these things and they all dismissed me. I said the petrochemicals comment to HV today and she practically snorted at me.

But I think they are wrong!

MegBusset Wed 14-Jan-09 20:19:49

Doublebase and Epaderm are very different -- Epaderm is much greasier.

Everyone seems to find that a different emollient works for them -- in DS's case Epaderm made him worse but Doublebase works a treat. You just have to keep trying different emollients til you find the combination that works best. You will probably also need a steroid cream to get the eczema under control.

There are zillions of threads on eczema, have a search and you'll find loads of people suggesting what worked for them.

no5 Wed 14-Jan-09 20:22:23

Ds had severe one, and it took months, people used to give mehmm it made me angryPeople do not understand how hard its  when baby born with one,Hv reassured me to bath ds daily and use detinox cradle cap shampoo on his head, and use  double base on his cheeks. She only recommended to use small amount a few times a day. it seemed to really helped. I used to rub it into skin.
Once gp gave us different cream, could have been epaderm, it made it worse. It actually turned into blisters and HV said it was too strong for baby, and we given doublebase prescription by HV again.
I must say it took about good 5-6m, Hope you find right cream and get rid off it.

verygreenlawn Wed 14-Jan-09 20:24:55

Thank you both for taking the time to reply, I'm pretty certain the doublebase made things worse (I get eczema really mildly, but I react very badly to E45, baby oil, vaseline so I'm not surprised). I haven't got the epaderm yet, its being ordered in but I'll google the ingredients as I'm not convinced it will help. I've heard of Diprobase, I don't know if its similar to doublebase.

I'm dreading weaning him as ds1 and ds2 instantly came up in eczema when I tried formula so we were straight back on the breast full-time.

Oh well, guess I'll give it a go and see.

Salleroo I live just outside London and am happy to pay privately, so if you have someone you'd recommend I'd appreciate it.


verygreenlawn Wed 14-Jan-09 20:31:40

Sorry X-post! I'm not convinced my GP surgery know that much about eczema TBH - they're very kind and sympathetic but I'm already getting conflicting advice about things like how often to wash ... I guess its not an exact science.

MegBusset Wed 14-Jan-09 20:52:59

Get your GP to refer you to a specialist -- they are much more knowledgable.

Current advice is to bathe at least once a day using a special bath oil such as Oilatum or Aveeno. However, as with all things eczema-related there will be exceptions where people find bathing less frequently works better.

lizziejo Wed 14-Jan-09 22:50:00

The really thick creams like epaderm, hydrous ointment, emulsifying ointment, vaseline don't have the additives / fragrances that the other more cosmetic creams have... diprobase/ doublebase etc so you should be safer with them. We use epaderm on DS eczema and find its pretty good.

If you are worried about having a reaction to a cream go with the thick ones as they have very little in them to react to.

Re the cradle cap my DS had horrible CC at about 3 months - HV said olive oil should be rubbed in. But it didn't work and he ended up looking (and smelling) pretty bad! Senior HV then said wash with Dentinox at least one a day and rub in vaseline into scalp and the cc should then just peel off (but be gentle) - and it did... I couldn't believe it. So maybe try that on the CC.

swampster Wed 14-Jan-09 23:16:34

Agree about the petrochemicals. My DS1 suffered from (usually not very bad) eczema on and off until he was about two when I cut out all mineral oil. He's five now and though he has very dry skin that needs regular moisturising, it hasn't flared up since.

I should have realised much earlier because it is one thing that sets off my own skin complaints. Now I use Lansinoh for anything I might otherwise have used vaseline.

Weirdly, oats can help. Stick a few spoons of porridge oats in a pop sock and soak it in the bath.

callmeovercautious Wed 14-Jan-09 23:24:31

Doublebase made DD flare up instantly - I mean screaming in pain! I have Eczema too and I know I am allergic to an additive called ceyrocetolacid (or similar - I can't spell it!) It is in a lot of eczema products - E45 and Eumevate etc.

We use Aqueous cream with water to wash her and oats in the bath. Also a small amount of HC steroid cream for bad patches.

Look at prevention measures rather than the "cures". No baths except once/twice a week then just water and oats. No fabric softner, Surcare washing powder. Natural cotton underwear, and no furry pets! etc etc. Hope lo feels better soon.

smellyeli Wed 14-Jan-09 23:25:04

All babies different - DD - awful with diprobase and E45, Epaderm was fab. DS - awful with everything apart from Aveeno (expensive from Boots, but if it works available on prescription and in a bath wash thing) - trial and error. Creams can definitely make things worse and GP's without children with eczema may not realise this! Dentinox worked for CC but only after about 3 long weeks. DS is now 4 and DD 10 months and both have lovely peachy skin with no eczema or cradle cap - so hang in there grin

treedelivery Wed 14-Jan-09 23:37:32

work through them till you get to one that suits bubbs. Double base burnt our dd, diprobase cured her till recently [now 4yo], now it makes her itch so on the hunt again for a cream that works.

We found literally minimal bathing helped 100%. I mean once a month here. Hard water in my part of world too harsh for me to bath in for long too, and I sure can't use it on my face.

Also love weeleda calendula cream but sadly mega £££

Alo buy chamomile or calendula flowers from an apothacary and put the flowers in water to make top and tail type wash for bubbs - it's very sooting. Also put them in the bath.

Oats brill in old tights, they sort of foam up on the skin to make a cleansing wash.

swampster Wed 14-Jan-09 23:44:40

Hello tree, shouldn't you be busy pushing out a baby right now grin?

treedelivery Wed 14-Jan-09 23:45:50


I really can't understand it. I feel in labour, I'm just not though.

verygreenlawn Thu 15-Jan-09 07:22:12

Thank you so much xx

Salleroo Thu 15-Jan-09 11:19:40

VGL - email me at and I'll mail you back the consultants details.

I'm definately one for the no bathing. And when she has a bath, I make a tea from Calendula, chickweed and Chamomile (Neals Yard - cheap to buy the herbs) and pour this in. Oats are also great, in a sock or muslin though or a bit tricky to clean off, same with tea, use a strainer.

Salleroo Thu 15-Jan-09 11:21:40

PS for weaning you could use Nanny Care Goats milk formula, I did and its great, dd now on full goats milk. Here is a link from last night you may have seen

verygreenlawn Thu 15-Jan-09 12:51:15

Thanks Salleroo, I've e-mailed you. Ds1 was on soya formula for ages but it didn't seem to suit him. He's now fine on normal milk, but ds2 has to have goat or lactofree milk - I didn't know goat formula was now available so I think I'll go for it with ds3 when the time comes, as we do seem to have a problem with milk for some reason.

Salleroo Thu 15-Jan-09 19:57:45

Ive mailed you back all the info. Good Luck!

foxytocin Thu 15-Jan-09 20:08:57

it sounds like he needs a hydrocortisone cream to get control of it first then to continue to use emollients to keep it away.

we used epaderm with dd1 as a soap substitute. read the label.

used aveeo after baths and in the morning. spot treated any breakouts with 1% hydrocortisone.

yes, some eczema creams irritate one sufferer but works like magic on another.

cradlecap is a form of eczema. i got rid of dd2's cradlecap with one application of dd1's cortisone ointment.

verygreenlawn Thu 15-Jan-09 20:16:38

Thanks foxytocin, I'm tempted to try one half of his face with epaderm (still on order from the chemist) and one side with nothing. Bizarrely it has definitely improved over the past few days with no treatment at all!

sparkiestfiend Thu 15-Jan-09 22:03:31

Hi there, I've only just flicked through all of the other replies, so not sure if anyone else has suggested this but.......... my ds (now 14 months) had really really bad excema when he was little and scratched himself raw, we tried lots of different creams, none of which worked, we then discovered Aveeno bath oil and body lotion/cream, it has worked a treat! I still have to bath him in it everyday and put the cream on every morning and evening or else you can feel his skin starting to dry up again, but as long as I do that, it seems to be grand.

I can get it on prescription, but the handy thing is that you can also buy it in boots if you've run out before ordering another script. (Or even just to try it and see if it works). I've recommended this to lots of friends with little one's and they've all said it helps.

Hope this is of some help.


verygreenlawn Thu 15-Jan-09 22:16:24

Wow, there seem to be lots of votes for Aveeno, maybe I will buy some tomorrow when I go to Boots to pick up the Epaderm prescription, and conduct a very non-scientific experiment with each cream. Thanks all.

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