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Eczema and sever itching in 5m old - please help!

(31 Posts)
KatTwam Sun 24-Mar-13 13:05:03

Hi All,

My daughter, who is now 5 months old, has had bad eczema since about 2 months. I have been to the gp sooooo many times, and were given various different emolients. She appeared to take a reaction to the first few and then her skin got infected and she was on antibiotics for 3 weeks.

Finally we started using Sacura gentle dermaspray (reccommended by pharmacist) and diprobase, which improved her skin a bit, but she still has major itching.

The eczema is all over, which led the GP to believe that it's an allergy. The all over nature also means we can't use steroids as it would be too strong. Anyway, we have been referred to a consultant dermatologist but have been waiting since the mid Feb and then first apt is not until mid April! Meanwhile my daughter is going nuts at night. Her skin is less red than before, but still obviously very itchy. I gave up all nuts, which I think improved it a bit and now I am off cows milk, but here are a few questions:

1. How do I know if she is allergic to something? If I eat something for breakfast, will she react the next time I feed her? Or are we talking a few days later??
2. Is there anything ANYTHING that we can use to sooth her skin? We have heard that fresh camomile leaves might help, but we can't seem to find them anywhere. I tried camomile tea leaves and they were no help. Please don't say more emolient - we put it on at least 4 times a day and bathe her in either olive oil, oilatum or with aqueus cream. We have also switched to ecover non-bio liquid and do an extra rinse on all her clothes.

Thanks for any help!


ivegotaniphone Sun 24-Mar-13 13:08:47

An oat bath is incredibly soothing for eczema. Put some oats on a pair of old tights and in the bath water. I would give her a quick bath everyday as well.

princesssmartypantss Sun 24-Mar-13 13:38:40

Ds has eczema, we saw brilliant children's nurse who specialised in treating eczema, your hv might be able to refer you? She suggested using epaderm ointment which i think 'sticks' better to the skin, if skin bad every two hours, and then daily bath in demol bath emollient and dermol lotion as a soap substitute, we had some eumovate ointment which is steroid based but again as the ointment is more sticky you seem to need less.
I have also heard that oats in a sock for a bath is a calming solution.

SimLondon Sun 24-Mar-13 19:02:59

You could always pay for a private referral? Or phone up the consultants secretary and beg to take up any last minute cancellations.

What helped us,
Not using the prescribed diprobase and dermal soap substitute.
Using bert bees hypoallergenic wash
Using surecare washing powder and rinsing clothes twice
Using Aveeno baby emmolient and and also their eczema cream
Not having the room to hot (gro eggs)
Going totally dairy free - we use calcium enriched oat milk and vitalite.

The dermatologist registrar we saw wasn't much use, it was trial and error and seeing an allergies consultant about other allergic reactions who suggested the dairy free route which I think helped, but being totally dairy free is hard and takes a few days to show any effect

KatTwam Sun 24-Mar-13 19:45:30

Thanks for your advice. We gave her an oat bath this evening and I will try those other creams you mention too. I am a vegetarian and really loath avoiding all dairy... What do you think about trying formula? Everyone says stick with bf but if there is something I am eating that us effecting her so bad, surely it's worth switching to a more controlled diet?

We already begged the receptionist (our origingal apt was 26th april!) and we looked into going private but cost £400 per consultation...

Anyway, thanks again and let me know if you think of anything g else!

K x

woopsidaisy Sun 24-Mar-13 19:46:10

My DS1 was as you describe. I was using all sorts of over the counter things- which mad him worse. It was awful.
We saw a consultant. We had to wet bandage him in 2 layers of bandages each night. We used prednisolone steroid cream-very sparingly and Epaderm.
After 6 weeks or so (I think) we could stop the bandaging-thank goodness. I continued with the Prednisolone on any bad areas when required.
All of mine have had these skin problems as babies. I REALLY recommend the Epaderm. Use it in the bath, grab some and hold it under the running tap, it sort if foams. Then rub some on the baby after a bath too. This really helps IMO. I'm not sure whether it is over the counter.
You poor thing, not easy to see them so uncomfortable.

woopsidaisy Sun 24-Mar-13 19:47:25

BTW- insist that your GP refers you to someone. If what he has done hasn't helped you need to see someone else.

Lollydaydream Sun 24-Mar-13 20:00:28

I second the oat baths and would be cautious about using olive oil and aqueous cream neither helped either of my girls and I have read that both can make it worse. It is all trial and error to see what suits your dd which is very tricky when they are so small. Dairy free helped dd2 (she grew out of it) dd1 I ended up smothering her in waitrose baby bottom butter and covering in tubigrip bandages on the affected areas overnight which stopped her scratching and meant cream was sinking in all night long. That same cream didn't suit dd2 and I used cocoa butter. You cannot moisturise too much, every nappy change and any time you see scratching. Google the national ezcema society (and other bany forums)

KatTwam Sun 24-Mar-13 20:15:59

Thanks again. It is so awful to see her suffer, I am in tears here now as I listen to her howl next door with my husband trying to get her to sleep. I guess another sleepless night awaits us all. I feel so helpless...

Anyway, I will try to get the epaderm and will cut out the aqueous and olive oil. The bandages sound like a great idea but the main problem area is her neck and face where she can easily access and scratches and/or rubs on the bed at night.

Lollydaydream Sun 24-Mar-13 20:36:04

oh another thing just popped in my head - if she can get scratch mitts off try putting socks on her hands; they are much harder to get off.
It is a horrible experience to go through flowers

SimLondon Sun 24-Mar-13 21:14:21

aqueous? I thought that wasnt prescribed anymore for eczema. If it's worse on her face oilatum do a special facial repair cream (Boots) which might be good. Worth trying epaderm. Formula contains dairy unless it's one of the hypoallergenic ones, (prescription only) we used Aptamil and lived with a little bit of eczema until LO could change to Oat milk.

I found a website written by a family who discovered that their son had a severe allergy to detergents, they did quite a lot of research into eczema and believe that eczema has 3 causes, an allergy to detergents, a food allergy, and the other one I can't remember.

So did Jennifer Worth (author of call the midwife) she wrote a book about eczema.

MrsFrisbyMouse Sun 24-Mar-13 21:37:35

I know cutting out dairy is hard.
DS had eczema all over face, back of knees, bad cradle cap and silent reflux. Taking out all dairy fom my diet resulted in a different baby within the week. (He is also allergic to wheat and soy).

omama Sun 24-Mar-13 21:49:10

Oh bless her that sounds awful op.

ds had eczema all over, including his face & his also turned out to be dairy intolerance.

To answer your 1st question, my ds reacts within 1-2 days of eating dairy. Usually shows up as a rash on his face the following morning. If he continued to have it the rash & eczema would worsen/spread.

It can take up to a couple of weeks to completely rid your/their system of dairy so if you are doing an elimination diet you really need to give it at least that amount of time to see a real improvement in her skin. I seem to recall My ds's eczema started to improve within 3-4 days & by 2 weeks it had almost gone & he was like a different child.

Wrt trying her on formula, bear in mind that the ones off the shelf contain cows milk too, so your dd would still be exposed to dairy. You can however, get hypo-allergenic formula on prescription from your gp.

If the issue with continuing bfing is just the hassle of doing the elimination diet, are you aware there's loads of dairy free products out there so you dont have to feel like you're missing out. We used tesco free from coconut milk for ages & are now trying Kara coconut milk, or you can use almond milk,oatly oat milk, rice milk or soya (but personally i'd stay clear of that as proteins in soya can behave similarly to those in cows milk & so your dd may still present with symptoms MSPI). We also used Pure dairy free marg, but never found a good substitute for cheese i'm afraid.... all these things are available in the major supermarkets so if you were willing to try them it could mean you could keep bfing.

Hope you manage to see some results from the ed & get some answers from your referral.x

PeggyL Sun 24-Mar-13 21:56:44

About to go to bed so not had a chance to read all posts, your poor dd must be going crazy with itching. I use (and distribute) a very good 'natural' aloe vera cream for eczema & psorasis, not a steroid in sight, I've known adults & kids who have had no change with stuff from docs....sounds like might be linked to allergy too. If you want to know more, can you post your email address & i can email more info x

Runningblue Sun 24-Mar-13 22:05:20

Hi all good ideas above. We used scratchsleeves religiously for ds when he couldnt stop itching - ungett off able stratch mitts.

Do a 60 degree wash with your extra rinse- a wash this hot deals with emollient residue, dust, spores etc which can irritate eczema skin.

If youve found an emollient you like, also use it for bathing in place of soap.
A lot of people react to aquaus cream.

So sorry, it is relentlessly hard going and so upsetting...

OneLieIn Sun 24-Mar-13 22:06:58

Vitamin e capsules from boots, snip open and squeeze the oil out and rub in. It is awesome.

Ds had terrible eczema, raw and broken skin. This was the only thing that consistently worked and it is natural so no skin thinning!

Runningblue Sun 24-Mar-13 22:09:16

Ps i would second the post about being too hot. I know the advice is to have babies in one more layer than you'd wear but it might be that getting too hot- it certainly was in ds's case- made the eczema worse.

Runningblue Sun 24-Mar-13 22:12:49

Re the elimination diet, be kind to yourself - ie dont starve yourself (she speaks from experience)
and, Don't try anything different on your skin in the time you are doing the first trial - otherwise you wont be sure if its diet or something else eg new emollient, an improvement.

Runningblue Sun 24-Mar-13 22:13:20

Sorry, dont try anything different on HER skin...!

KatTwam Mon 25-Mar-13 09:25:51

Hi all,

What a night! Slept two hours in total all night. Had d in my arms all night screaming, poor thing.

I am wondering since the eczema is all over besides her nappy area whether the allergy is to detergent. I myself am allergic to detergent but mildly (only direct contact with detergent such as washing up liquid on my hands, am fine with clothes though my skin is always very dry). Anyway, am giving up dairy from today. If there is an improvement after this and the other suggestions above I will reintroduce it slowly and from there will see if there's a worsening again. So I am vegan from today! :p (no offence to vegans, I admire you greatly but depend heavily on dairy for protein, thus diet will probably do me good.)

Thanks again folks.

K x

KatTwam Mon 25-Mar-13 09:27:12

Ps have also bought soap instead of detergent for clothes (thx for recommending website above - tho its very scary!).

octopal Mon 25-Mar-13 09:41:35

Hi Kat, I went through exactly the same thing with dd1. I was breastfeeding, it started at 2 months old, by 5 months we were barely sleeping. My dd even had the clear nappy area you described.

We were prescribed a low strength steroid cream - Hydrocortisone 0.5% I think to begin with. Are you sure you wouldn't be able to use this on the worst patches?

I was so desperate at the time I spent a fortune on creams and bath products. When she was tiny the best product we used was Epaderm - the thick one in the tub. We used it in the bath and on her skin.

We had no success with oats, Aveeno and lots of other things we were recommended, it varies so much from person to person.

When dd got older we discovered La Roche Posay - there is a range called Lipikar which is great. There is a product that is specifically anti-itch called Lipikar Baume AP. I did a trial for this product and had good results from it.

My dd is nearly 7 now and although her skin is very dry she rarely has a bad flare up these days.

I never cut out dairy from my (breastfeeding) or dd's diet as the paediatrician wouldn't support us to do it as he said eczema can be caused by so many factors and it was unlikely to help. I always regret I didn't just give it a try.

I'm not sure at what age now you can give anti-histamines. We were told by our gp to use a product called Teedex for when dd was really itchy badly but I think it isn't available it the UK. It had paracetamol and an anti-histamine. We used to resort to it as a last measure and it did help a bit. I think these kinds of products are only available for much older children now though but it is worth asking about.

cakehappy Mon 25-Mar-13 11:30:35

Hi OP, sounds so terrible. One thing that might be worth researching for the mad itching is a drop of essential peppermint oil in a carrier oil like sunflower oil and rubbing it on her. The peppermint really sooths and takes itching away. I know many adults use that for relief (myself included and it really reallly works to sooth very itchy skin!!) but I really have no experience with small children so make sure you research it well. If it is okay to use on your baby I think it would really help her. Poor you, poor her!!

cakehappy Mon 25-Mar-13 11:32:44

Just did a bit of googling and they say not to use it on small children. Shame, hope you find out what works!

OmiQueenofTypose Mon 25-Mar-13 11:40:51

SimLondons' advice is good. Ds had eczema from about 3 months, and we found oat baths and aveeno helped greatly, as did cutting out dairy. Our gp prescribed piriton for ds to have at bedtime, which helped with the itching and kept him asleep a little longer at night. But my main strategy was to bf him back to sleep, it seemed to be the only thing to calm him. I bf him for a long time as a result, but it was worth it, imo.

Going dairy free isn't actually too hard - you read labels a lot at first, stock up on Pure and other things, then after a while just keep buying the same things without having to think about it too much.

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