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DH has terrible excema --- any thoughts on how to manage it?

(21 Posts)
OhBling Tue 25-Aug-09 16:53:19

It's on his body and his face. And it's consistent. He's got steroid creams but the moment he stops using it, it comes right back.

We think he must be allergic to something that's making it flare up and it must be something he eats/touches/uses every day as it's so consistent, but we don't know what. It's really getting him down so any thoughts gratefully appreciated.

<he is on the list to see a dermatologist too but that could take a while>

elmofan Tue 25-Aug-09 17:16:23

hi , i also have eczema , i found getting rid of all the carpets & replacing the sofas with leather ones has really helped me , your dh might be allergy tested when he goes to the dermatologist , they will then be able to give him a list of things to avoid ,
has he tried AVEENO moisturiser , i find it great . also oilatum bath lotion is very soothing , hope he feels better soon .

LadyPinkofPinkerton Tue 25-Aug-09 17:21:23

My DH also has incredibly bad excema. He has been allergy tested but nothing came up for him. It is mainly stress related. He just recently saw a dermatologist again. He goes every so often when his skin gets really bad for oral steroids as the GPs are reluctant to prescribe them.

I hope the dermatologist comes up with something.

EldonAve Tue 25-Aug-09 17:26:15

change shampoo, soap etc
rinse your washing an extra time, use a non bio or perfume free powder

OhBling Wed 26-Aug-09 09:22:42

Thanks everyone. We do use mostly hypo allergenic things around the house and certainy non bio powder etc. We're going to try diary for a bit and hopefully the dermatologist will test him in more detail. We've also got a dodgy plywood cupboard we're going to get rid of this weekend in favour of something a bit more solid as I recall that one of his earliest flare ups happened the day after he put that cupboard up. Hopefully we'll start to see improvement soon.

FairLadyRantALot Wed 26-Aug-09 09:31:46

maybe try cutting out dairy....am sure I have heard somewhere that dairy is the most likelly culprit with eczema...

as for products to use...it is a bit of a trial and error situation, really...what works for one well may cause another one to itch their skin off...

meep Wed 26-Aug-09 09:42:37

I get it on my face - I sport a lovely pair of flakey eyelids! I think shampoo can be a big problem for facial excema. Alas I haven't yet found one that helps.

Would second Aveeno cream as it really doesn't irritate whereas others can sting.

OhBling Wed 26-Aug-09 09:53:55

Meep - that's DH's problem too. We have moved to baby shampoo but so far doesn't have an impact. We've been told the allergen could be touching any part of his body. It's so frustrating for him and makes him so self conscious. How do you deel with it?

Heated Wed 26-Aug-09 09:56:45

Sorry your dh is suffering, and good luck with the specialist about trying to find the trigger/s. Dairy certainly can be a factor or even just certain types of dairy - for instance I can eat mild cheddar by the bucket load but not strong cheddar and definitely not cream cheese; I even think dairy produced in certain parts of the country is more irritating - west country cheeses and cream, whatever type, set my eczema off (it's now disappeared but I can get bad flare ups). But there are others well known triggers too, for instance potato, tomato, pepper, aubergine are from the Solanaceae plant family and can cause severe eczema.

It's good the steroid creams do work on dh but ask the gp if he can use them in combination with Calmurid (contains urea and lactic acid) but be warned it does sting! Apply Calmuirid first then the steroid. Studies have shown good results in some patients, reducing the number and length of time of flare ups.

I take it he washed with Aveeno (oat based creams) or similar? It can be put on prescription.

OhBling Wed 26-Aug-09 09:58:23

No - the Aveeno thing is a new recommendation. I'm going to look into that too. Can I buy it at Boots?

meep Wed 26-Aug-09 10:01:50

I have to use steroid creams sometimes, which I don't really like as it is my eyes.

You can get Aveeno in Boots - also his GP can prescribe it.

Have you got a hypoallergenic pillow? I sleep on my tummy so my face/eyes are mashed into my pillow.

White wine is one of my triggers - makes me itch itch itch!

OhBling Wed 26-Aug-09 10:04:42

He doe shave an hypoallergenic pillow, yes,. But we've been trying to work out how to wash it (it's also one of those chiro pillows).

The problem is that we can't see what's triggering it as it's consistent. It's always there. Doesn't get worse or better unless he uses the steriod creams - which, like you, he's not keen to use too much because it's his eyes. If we could see a definite deterioration or improvement at different times we could try to work out the triggers.

Aaarrrgggh. It's so hard.

FairyLightsForever Wed 26-Aug-09 10:13:51

A friend of mine has very severe eczema, one of the things that sets it off is irnbru, but the eczema flares up 2-3 days after she's drunk it, so don't assume that the reaction is immediate.
Also, my friend's seems to be set off by more than just one thing- it's worse if she's stressed/ unwell, or gets too hot.

elmofan Wed 26-Aug-09 11:57:23

stress plays a huge roll in flare ups , also using steroid creams for long periods of time is not good for his skin , it can cause thinning of the skin & the steroid's stop working after a while because the body becomes immune to steroids , its a vicious circle unfortunately , i would highly recommend AVEENO moisturiser & body wash , you can get it in , boots , tesco's & dunnes
hope he feels better soon

OhBling Wed 26-Aug-09 15:58:20

Thanks Elmo and Fairy. I think the stress is a big contributor so will have a think on that. And will take a little trip past my friendly local Boots tonight or tomorrow to stock up on Aveeno products. Thank you again!

FairLadyRantALot Wed 26-Aug-09 20:22:54

stress definitely impacts...and, of course if you start having it at "on view" places it is stressful in itself...
I started having eczema when I did my nursing training...getting worse and worse over the years...than had a workbreak, all well...than worked again, as an AN, and it started to flair up gain and yet again getting worse, than showing on eyelids and above my lip, makng the cleft lip scars even more visible...i was so horrid . but stopped as soon as I stopped working because of a maternity break...
have been exposed to hospital environment since , at my placement as ot student, but no flare up....maybe because I wasn't stressed out and was able to just enjoy the experience, as ot work so different to nursing....
so...longwinded I am saying that "inner happiness" and stresslevels really influence eczema

ineztamara Fri 28-Aug-09 14:04:57

Hi, I'm 32yrs & have been allergic all my life, to all sorts actually, and it seems to have changed over the years as well. Now my son (who just turned 1) is allergic too. I assume he'll be allergic to similar things, so try to avoid that, some of these I know for sure that he's allergic to, as I see a reaction sometimes instantly or otherwise within 2-4 days, others I'm not certain he is, but still avoid them. So far he's reacted to apples, pears, plums, apricots, peach, kiwi, mandarin, orange, cow's milk, cats, dogs, dust, grass...
My husband is allergic to washing powder, so we use non-bio (cheaper home brand is as good as any), but have no proof of my son being allergic to it too. I don't use soap or shampoo in his bath, but Aqueous cream (very cheap at Savers or even Poundland), which has almost the same ingredients as Bethnovate, but just not the steroids. I use it as cream as well as to wash him with, it helps keep the skin moisturised. By keeping skin moisturised, it'll be less flaky & will also itch less.

BlingLoving Fri 28-Aug-09 20:47:31

Thanks Inez.

I have to tell everyone that he's looking a lot better - we invested in some Aveeno and he's being religious about no diary and is also trying to get a much better selection of fruit and veggies and drinking lots of water.

It's not cured, but it is no longer hugely inflamed so progress is definitely being made. Now we have to figure out what makes it worse.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

sallyjg Sat 29-Aug-09 12:37:56

One of the best creams to help with eczema is Forever's Aloe Propolis Creme. This is even used in Gt Ormond Street Children's Hospital for a rare skin condition in children (EB). It's very soothing, gets rid of itching (which is half the problem) and treats the condition from dermis level. Propolis is what bees line the beehive with. It's naturally sterilising and a very powerful natural antibiotic. Aloe is well known for it's ability to repair human skin. Please get in touch if you would like me to send you a free sample to try.

Trying4Baby1 Sat 29-Aug-09 21:10:04

I suggest trying to cut out wheat and dairy from the diet as both of these can cause an allergic reaction such as eczema. Then slowly introduce different foods into the diet, making sure to keep a food diary and that may help you pinpoint something in particular.

Other than that some sort of emolient, such as diprobase, may help instead of using steroid cream all the time, I know this helped me when I was a child. Also certain barrier creams, emolients may be used instead of soap incase this is causing problems.

And finally have you tried different washing powders etc? I realise that the eczema is on his face but this may also be aggrivating the problem. Hope you get it sorted soon, I've been bothered with eczema off and on and stress aggrivates, also I find that if I make sure I moisturise regularly I can prevent most of the flareups.

Sorry, last point, I realise that it is summer right now but you may find that heating in the winter may worsen the condition due to the air drying out. It's really useful to get moisture back into the air either through containers you can buy that you hang over the heater or have a bowl of water somewhere where DC can't reach.

meep Sat 29-Aug-09 21:11:18

sallyjg - just had a look at it and it contains lanolin which can be one of the major irritants for me?

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