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10 month old with eczema.. should I be worried about our holiday??

(18 Posts)
deepbreaths Mon 03-Aug-09 22:05:03

Hi I'm new on here. My DS is 10 months old now and had severe eczema until we saw a specialist a few months ago. His eczema is under control now and I'm currently weaning him off steroid creams. We're down to hydrocortisone once every 2 days and his skin is the best it's ever been. YAY!!
Anyway.. DH has booked 2 weeks off at the end of August and we're looking at holidays.He's keen to go somewhere in Europe. I have worries though. I'm worried about going somewhere too hot, sand irritating his knees as he's crawling now, suncream (what to use????), what to dress him in as he's still in sleep suits during the day and night to stop itching (which is much better now) and to stop outside irritants causing his skin to flare up, sweating in his buggy which I know isn't good for eczema... the list goes on...
Reading over this I'm thinking am I worrying unnecessarily or are we crazy for even thinking about going abroad??
Thing is.. his skin is soooooo good at the moment and I'm soooo happy.. I'm scared of it all flaring up again. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO???!!!
Tell me that the sun, sea and sand will be good for his skin. I've heard of eczema suits.. anyone used them?
Thanks for any words of wisdom and help

foxinsocks Mon 03-Aug-09 22:10:56

oh it's hard isn't it

a lot of people find coastal weather good for their skin

I would ask the specialist about sun cream tbh. They might prescribe something special or he might suggest something to use. Sun creams are difficult for eczema sufferers as some people are fine with one type but not another and there seems to be no rule!

This is just my very personal opinion but I would avoid the very hot parts of Europe at that time anyway (so say southern Spain where you could hit 40C) just because it's no fun at that temperature anyway, eczema or no eczema tbh.

foxinsocks Mon 03-Aug-09 22:14:15

and I would say, find somewhere you both want to go and enjoy yourself .

I can't help on the suits as mine are well past that age and tbh, I can't remember what we did blush but I'm sure someone else with eczema babies will post on here at some point!

deepbreaths Mon 03-Aug-09 23:07:11

yes.. good advice to stay away from very hot places. I'm pale skinned anyway.. we just want to escape the rain. I'm back at the hospital tomorrow too so I'll ask about creams. Thanks to you both

girlsyearapart Tue 04-Aug-09 22:23:08

Hi pretty much just marking my place on here as dd2 will be nearly 12mo when we go onhols in Sept. She is supremely excema ish and has many food allergies so we will be going self catering. When I asked specialist about suncream they said it's trial and error so buy a few and try before you go. Our dd also trying to crawl and as a result has bad patches on legs and forearms. It has been a bit difficult for her on the beach on days out tbh. We got a pop up sunshade tent thingy which was good also large cotton sheet/sarong for her to sit on. Use Diprobase or similar after swimming and make extra sure you rinse the chlorine off thoroughly. Generally dd2 loves the pool but has an itchathon for a day or so after. Salt water and sun are meant to be very good for it though although the heat makes her more itchy.
Have you got air con or a fan where you're staying?

deepbreaths Tue 04-Aug-09 22:49:45

Well... today we went to the nurse who's been looking after DS's skin. She wasn't happy with the patches on his legs so has upped his steroid applications to once a day again. I put his itchathymol cream on too tonight and his bandages cos he was scratching away at the hospital. After this I made a decision not to go abroad. It's going to be too tricky. All I can think of is DS1 and DH splashing around in the sea having a great time whilst I try to keep DS2 from ripping his skin apart in the heat or trying to keep him from crawling around on the sand which will surely irritate his skin. It's just not worth the possible discomfort for my boy. He has a few weepy patches too today and I'd be worried about them getting infected. I haven't even dared dress him in anything but sleepsuits in this country so I really don't know how his skin would react in less clothing abroad. Yes.. it's good old Blighty for us I think. DH is glad we've made the decision. Hopefully next year his skin'll be even better and we'll plan to go on holiday at a cooler time of the year. It's hard isn't it. Eczema affects everything. Food is another issue. He has a milk allergy amongst other things so i'm not sure how I'd tackle that abroad???
I asked the specialist about suncream and she directed me to the free samples being given away at the dermatology department. It's a cream called Sunsense and there's a sensitive skin one too. Have you seen it? You can buy it in Boots. I've not used any suncream on DS yet so it was good to get a recommendation.
Phew.. so good to talk to someone. I feel my friend's are great listeners and really really care but I feel so alone in our eczema hell!! (Not so hellish now tho.. but still good to talk to someone who knows what we're going through)
Thanks for your thoughts

deepbreaths Tue 04-Aug-09 22:53:42

BTW.. your poor DD. Must be so sore for her to be crawling about on inflamed skin. This is why I daren't put anything other than sleepsuits on my DS. He can't wear them forever tho.. ARGH!! Hope your DD isn't in too much pain. It's not fair is it..

foxinsocks Wed 05-Aug-09 08:23:21

it sounds bad deepbreaths. Have they looked at other allergies? What is he being fed?

Dd had awful eczema as a baby but it got better with nutramigen and even better when all her allergies had been diagnosed.

Re food allergies abroad, I actually found the baby age the easiest age. You have prescription milk or are breast feeding and they don't need much more food than that. If you are giving them proper food, you can take jars with you (if you can find any that suit all the allergies!) or self cater, as girls said. In fact, we almost always self catered as it is so much easier (and fruit and veg and plain staples are easy to get anywhere).

Re the sun suits, was thinking about it now and I did get them those thin suits for the beach. They only went down to their knees and elbows though - don't know if you can get longer ones now. I would think that you are right though and if the eczema is weeping, getting sand in it is the last thing you want.

I have always found sea water v good for my eczema but have always struggled with my skin in the heat but I do know a lot of people love beach holidays for their skin!

Bilbomum Wed 05-Aug-09 12:11:46

I have every sympathy deepbreaths, my ds (nearly 3) has had eczema since birth and food allergies etc... so I know what it's like.

He's always far worse in the heat so we haven't bothered taking him abroad. I also can't get my head round the food allergy problem in another language. I struggle getting the message across over here so trying to tackle the problem in French/Spanish would be a step too far I think. However I do know adults with eczema who say they're much improved in the sun so I think it's a matter of trial & error.

Have you looked at this website
I finally gave in and ordered a couple of pairs of the calico all in one pyjamas and they've been a lifesaver this summer. Expensive I know but ds has been much more comfortable than wearing his usual eczema wraps.

After recommendations on mumsnet, I bought Green People kids suncream which he has tolerated well.

Hope you enjoy your break wherever you choose to go!

Bilbomum Wed 05-Aug-09 12:18:25

Just a quick question deepbreaths, what is the itchathymol cream you mentioned? I've googled it and nothing is coming up. DS's main problem is constant itching (literally from head to toe all the time) so I'm always interested in anything that might help.


girlsyearapart Wed 05-Aug-09 21:41:22

Yes deepbreaths I see where you're coming from but having said that we went to the beach today (Hayling island though hardly Spain!) she had a lovely time wearing shorts with over the knee socks and played with the sand.
She itched all the way home and I had to wet wrap her but as noone knows when or if she'll grow out of the excema I can't keep her (wet) wrapped in cotton wool. She is nearly 11 months now and starting to realise what sister is doing and wanting to join in.

I'm dreading how much stuff we'll have to take with us on hol for her but I think it'll be worth it. We have found two Organix baby foods which she can have and will take cereal, formula and her special pasta and marg. Plus piriton,diprobase,wet wrap stuff etc etc

Also interested in the itchy cream as even when she's clear (ish) she still itches..

deepbreaths Wed 05-Aug-09 22:31:35

Thanks so much for your messages. It's sooo nice to chat to people about eczema issues. I don't feel so alone anymore.
When I went to see the specialist months ago about DS's skin.. she noticed how terribly itchy he was when I took off his clothes.. he was clawing away and I had to dress him quickly. Like your DC his skin was itching even where his skin seemed good quality and pretty soft and moisturised. So she sent us to the dressings department where I was shown how to treat his skin before bed. From that day on his skin made a massive improvement and the nurses really educated me in how to use steroid creams, emollients etc... So after bathing on a night (using oilatum).. (I'm sure you know this but sometimes a new way works) I put on Epiderm all over.. leave for 20 mins (altho this was too long to stop him from itching so I put on the steroid cream first then waited 5 mins.. then I apply Epiderm, then I apply Ichthammol 1% w/w, zinc oxide BP 15% w/w in Yellow soft paraffin (to be exact!!) it's a kind of thick putty.. really smelly (like petrol) and really greasy but it takes away the itch. When he's really bad I have gauze dressings which have been soaked in the Ichthammol and I wrap it around his knees and arms.. it's cooling and soothing.. then I put on his bandage garments. Since I started doing this he doesn't reach for his legs as much when I take off his clothes and he hardly itches his tummy. I find it amazing that I've had access to this and you haven't. Why is this so?? I know that it's quite expensive and some GP's are reluctant to get it. It says on the side that it's from Tayside Pharmaceuticals, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. I really hope you can get your hands on some because it really soothes his itching and his skin is so soft since using it.
Well.. we've definately decided to stay in the UK but mostly because it'll be so hot wherever we go as we stupidly booked time off the last 2 weeks in August. Duh!! We may postpone our holiday and go later in the year so we can enjoy the sun but not BAKE!
I'll have a look at that eczema clothing site. I think 'Water Babies' do a suit for the water too.
What do I do about allergy testing??? I'm going to ask the specialist but I'm soooooo tired of being fobbed off about allergies. My health visitor was really reluctant to talk about the possibility of me maybe passing something on through my breast milk which is cauing his eczema. She just told me that she wouldn't want me to cut out any food group as I must eat a balanced diet whilst feeding my baby. But since then I've found that he is allergic to milk and I'm drinking milk so is he getting eczema from me? Argh.. It's such a tricky subject. Anyway.. thanks so much for your help everyone. It's good to talk

deepbreaths Wed 05-Aug-09 22:39:02

Foxinsocks.. I'm breastfeeding my DS and we stick to Veg, Fruit and chicken at the mo. It's a slow process. He reacted to Gala melons the other day?? Also Mango and I think potatoes are causing problems. I've had no advice about allergy testing apart from the doctor at the hospital suggesting I keep away from egg for a while. I'M TERRIFIED!!! I know very little about allergies and the reaction he had to milk was pretty dramatic. What happens next time?? It's truly scary. Anyway.. we'll see what the specialist says next Wed. Hopefully she'll put him forward for allergy testing.

foxinsocks Thu 06-Aug-09 08:44:55

oh deepbreaths , I'm sorry you've been given crap allergy advice.

I must be honest and say I have no idea about breastfeeding and diet. Dd also had a terrible allergy to milk and eggs (and soya) so I just stopped breastfeeding and put her on Nutramigen (prescribed by the paediatrician) and her eczema quite literally improved by 100% over the next few days. I also went back to work so had to swap to bottle feeding.

If I was you, I would cut dairy out of your diet, just to see what happens. If he is that allergic to it, it is certainly worth trying and seeing what happens. There are plenty other ways to get calcium in your diet (green leafy veg like purple sprouting brocolli etc. - anyway, I'd try it short term and see what happens).

Dd's allergies played a huge role in her eczema and I'm amazed they aren't taking your ds's more seriously. I know they don't like testing babies but if he has shown an allergy, it is definitely worth looking to avoid that substance!

foxinsocks Thu 06-Aug-09 08:45:42

and ps we all use Epaderm and love it!

whoisasking Thu 06-Aug-09 09:03:55

Hello Deepbreaths.

I wanted to just pop by and give you, maybe, some hope WRT your little one.

My DS2 had dreadful, AWFUL, AWFUL eczema as a baby. It started when I stopped breastfeeding and put him onto formula. I switched his milk over to soy, which improved matters; but he would just react to stuff on a really random basis. I remember giving him some kiwi once and he was scratching within moments. sad

ANYWAY, we avoided all obvious triggers, milk, strawberries, eggs etc; and he did improve. He will be 9 next week, and his eczema disappeared when he was about 3. Completely disappeared!

Infantile eczema is strange, and I hope that your experience of this will match mine!

girlsyearapart Thu 06-Aug-09 09:04:36

Yes deepbreaths like you I was pretty clueless about allergies and excema until we had dd2. We were also continually fobbed off until finally referred to a dietitian when she was about 7months and so had already started on solids. Her excema was very bad especially on her face. The dietitian looked at her and said cows milk protein allergy. She is now on Nutramigen AA and had RAST blood tests at 8 months which showed that she is allergic to egg and milk amongst other things.
We noticed a dramatic improvement when we cut out all dairy and soya and also many other things like wheat tomato and banana and can really tell if she gets anything she shouldn't.
If I were you I'd push for a referral to the dietitian and don't give up till you get an apt. If we'd been referred before she started on solids I think it would've been so much easier and her excema wouldn't have got so awful. We have skin prick tests and egg challenge coming up in September.

puffylovett Thu 06-Aug-09 09:17:04

ah deepbreaths, poor you... sounds like you need a holiday but it'll probably be doubly stressfull being away !

When we go away I take all DS own bedclothes (so I know they've been washed without washing powder), we self cater so I can keep an eye on his food intake and we go when it's cool as historically as a baby, heat made his skin much worse.

What was your baby like in the recent heatwave ? Better, worse ? was his skin better after exposure to a bit of sun ? Maybe you could try putting a teaspoon of dead sea salts in his bath and seeing if it makes him more itchy, then you may know if he will be worse in the sea or better. It helps some eczema sufferers. What is he like with chlorine ? If you can answer all these questions maybe it will help you make a decision. How about just going for a week ? would that be a compromise ?

It sounds like you've been given rubbish allergy advice, although TBH I insisted on DS being allergy tested & was assured that the results are never accurate. He did however have a large amount of intolerances that I identified through doing an elimination diet. I did this under the guidance of a naturopath and a nutritional therapist myself, so if you were to go down that route you should get proper advice. Key foods for us have been dairy, goats milk, oranges, strawberries, potatoes and for a LONG time wheat, oats, tomatoes and corn.

He's 2.5 now and his skin is clear, but it's been a long hard slog so i totally sympathise with you.

I did introduce some Eskimo fish oil at 6 months and noticed a significant improvement but ultimately we have treated through diet and homeopathy. I've never used chemical creams so not familiar with any of the stuff you're using, but I can second the recommendation for Green People suncream, it's tolerated very well by DS and several other babies I know !

HTH and good luck with making your decision

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