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5 month old with severe eczema - anyone with similiar experience ?

(21 Posts)
Toppy Tue 15-Jul-08 12:07:57

My bf 5mo old son developed eczema at 14 weeks. Its started on his elbows and it now covers 80% of his body and is very red and sore when not under control. It is particularly raw in his neck folds and behind his chubby (fat) thighs where it weeps in hot weather.

I have taken him to see 3 GPs and not one of them took his clothes off to examine him. They did prescribe Canestan H and Daktacort and in addition I have been applying emollients (A-Derma, Aveeno, Diprobase, Epaderm) and using bath additives (Dermol 600 and Oilatum)

Whilst the moisturising is working at eliminating dryness (A-derma has the been the only one to work) the 1% steroids have not touched the eczema so yesterday we went to see a paediatric dermatologist at GOSH.

She has prescribed the following:
- 1% HC ointment for his face
- Synadar 1 in 4 cream - smother his body and scalp twice a day for four days
- Balneum bath oil
- Cetraban cream
- Doublebase cream

I kind of knew that a consultant would up the steroids as a short sharp shock to try and knock it out yet I still feel really uncomfortable applying it in his folds. We are off to the States tomorrow so are having to phone through an update to her on Friday.

Has anyone else had experience of this short, high treatment approach using these products. Whilst the consultant was very reassuring I still feel a bit overwhelmed by my son's eczema. I just want it to go away.

madmarriedNika Tue 15-Jul-08 13:52:23

My DS was older when he development eczema (13 months) but it does have severe flare-ups that cover most of his body and make him very uncomfortable. Over the past 2 years I feel like we've tried every cream known to man but in the end the thing that works best is indeed a short sharp shock via strong steroids. I hate using it too, for the same reasons as you, but the damage the eczema is doing to his skin, or he's doing to it by scratching, is worse than the potential side effects of the steroid cream. If the steroids can break the cycle then the skin gets time to heal a bit before another flare up.

However I do recommend if possible that you push for allergy testing, as all eczema is caused by something...However finding that something can be very hard (we still don't know, although know now he's mildy allergic to pet-hair but none of the other usual allergens)

Plus make sure you are using non-bio washing liquid (not powder) and do an extra rinse on your washing machine.

I didn't find balneum bath oil helped much so we now just use porridge oats (in a muslin cloth, held under running taps) which does seem to help moisturise his skin and reduce inflammation & itching. Make sure baths are only luke warm.

I really feel for you as it really is a miserable condition. Hope the creams help your little man. Enjoy your trip if possible x

girlywhirly Tue 15-Jul-08 14:13:21

Toppy, my DS developed eczema at a similar age. I went through loads of things to find something that worked, if you have to do that, so be it. Do give it the full 4 days before you look for an improvement.

Don't be afraid to apply the steroid cream. 1% is still relatively mild. Eczema causes thickening of the skin, so don't worry that prolonged use will cause thinning damage. Make sure you apply only to the patches of eczema, and then smother the rest of the body in emollient, both work best if you apply immediately after a bath. Using steroids and emollients together is key, after you have healed the weeping patches. Steroids will get the inflammation under control, and when the patches heal, you can reduce the number of applications, but still maintaining the skin with daily emollients. You may need to bath DS daily, make sure he has a good 15 mins soaking in the bath preparation. Then dab him dry before applying all the other creams.

Hot weather, seawater, and the salts in sweat irritate the skin and make it itch beyond belief, I used to dab with a cool damp wash cloth which seemed to soothe as an immediate measure, do not allow him to scratch or he may introduce infection. Keep fingernails short and emery any sharp edges.

It took me until DS was 3 before we found something that worked for him (following infection with impetigo caused by scratching with dirty fingers) 1% HC ointment, Aveeno oilated bath powder, and Aveeno emollient cream. He was never completely eczema free, but it all went a long way to relieving the dryness and discomfort of the condition.

When your LO raw skin has healed, and he's just scaly, you might like to soak him in a tepid bath into which you have soaked some porridge oats, tied in a piece of old muslin.
Very cheap, and very soothing for the itching. Admittedly, the water looks disgusting and cloudy, but for a lot of people it works. The active ingredient in Aveeno is oatmeal!

Toppy Tue 15-Jul-08 15:49:51

Thank you so much girlywhirly & madmarriedNika. Your replies are really helpful. I think the Synalar 1 in 4 is a strong steroid and I have already noticed the difference since the second application. The chemist only had ointment not cream which I had to put in his hair. The consultant said I should wash the cream off at the end of each day before applying the evening dose and I am wondering whether I can use Detinox Cradle cap shampoo as the ointment is really stuck in there and matted. Any ideas ?

I am off now to Holland and Barrett to buy some porridge oats. The fantastic A-Derma cream is based on that and that is the best cream I have found for moisturising. Its only a beauty cream here but like Aveeno here is available on prescription in France. Its costing a fortune !

RubyRioja Tue 15-Jul-08 15:53:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ruddynorah Tue 15-Jul-08 16:01:44

ditto the oats thing too. no need for holland and barrett though, cheapo tesco ones will do fine. i used socks or pop socks to keep them in.

also, we ditched soap powder/tablets etc altogether and used soap nuts. totally natural, no chemicals. just pop them in the washer in their little bag, no hassle.

sarah293 Tue 15-Jul-08 16:04:07

Message withdrawn

MilaMae Tue 15-Jul-08 16:41:55

My son was the same at that age.

Constant(several times a day)of the Diprobase did wonders.

We also had a higher steroid cream(still mild)for when it got infected ie very red.

I found if I avoided contact with chemicals and manmade fibres that really helped. So we've always used organic bubble bath with just a teeny spot or nothing, Ecover products, 100% cotton etc. I also kept baths to just 1 a week.

All of the above really helped to keep it at bay and eventually get rid of it. Still keep to a lot of it.

forevared Wed 16-Jul-08 13:40:23

I'm sure you've been told loads of information by the paedetrician and a lot of the threads on here are great. I definitely recommend the porridge oats thing - 35p for a value bag at Tesco. Don't splash out at H&B.
By the way don't buy any sun screen with METHYLDIBROMOGLUTARONITRILE in it as it's highly irritating to skin. E45 sun lotion and Proderm don't contain it (and probably others too).
I was also advised by our paedatrician to not bath him too often, twice a week only. Don't take him swimming in chlorinated pools, but the sea is great!
Not sure if you're already doing this but smother him in a really thick layer of emollient. Then cover him with a vest or babygrow and lay him on something that doesn't matter if it gets oily. Do this every nappy change for a few days or longer if you can. It's incredibly tedious but it really works. We found Epaderm worked best for the bath, and alternated Epaderm and 50/50 for the technique i just described. I have to say 50/50 is amazing and I would have used it all the time but it's so oily.
We were also prescribed Eumovate. I'm not sure if it's a hydrocortisone base but it worked even when 1% HC cream didn't. It's marvellous and now we only need to use the Emollients for his bath along with porridge oats. Every few weeks we still get a flare up and use the Eumovate for a couple of days and it's gone again.
If lo is really upset by the itching you can also give Piriton. It's not licensed for use under 1 year but only because they've not done official testing. A good paedatrician will be able to tell you more. We were given it by our paed when ds was just 3 months and have used it ever since.

MilaMae Wed 16-Jul-08 13:46:09

You can get the E45 on perscription if it's really bad,sadly it irritated my ds so we can only use chemical free suncream eg Lavera.

TJ1976 Wed 16-Jul-08 19:24:07

My son had bad excema from a very early age at around 5 months old. The doctor and health visitors were useless and nothing they prescribed was working. I never breast fed as it didn't work out for us. But I had a feeling that his formula was causing the excema. I took my son to the doctor and said that I wanted to put him on soya formula. They wouldn't carry out any allergy tests on him until he turned one so I was at the end of my tether! Anyway, the doc agreed to give the soya a go and he went straight on to SMA Soya. Thankkfully my son liked the taste and within 1 week his excema had gone. I continued with the soya up until recently. It's so common for children to be lactose intolerant. Might be something for anyone in this situation to think about.

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Wed 16-Jul-08 19:35:24

Ds2 was like this - we had to use strong steroids and wet wraps - it was hard work.

His eczema was definitely caused by food allergies - I see you are bf. Ds2 was bf too - it could be something in your diet.

zazen Wed 16-Jul-08 23:58:40

That's interesting QueenMedb I kept off dairy when I was b/f (and had lots and lots of oily fish for the Omega 3 oils), and then supplemented with soya formula and then didn't introduce any dairy (I'm allergic) until our DD was 2 - she tolerates it now, but I give her soya milk as a drink.

DD had eczema when she left the hosp, as they snuck a dairy based formula in one night when she was starving, and my milk hadn't come in yet (even though I had told them I didn't want her to have dairy, just soya.. sigh). It was immediate - she instantly flared up.
My sister had really bad eczema as a child and went on to develop really bad asthma.

Homeopathy is a good route also, and has cured my hayfever.

Hope you find a solution, and your little boy's skin clears up soon.

gummybears Thu 17-Jul-08 15:54:09

Possibly also an idea to avoid anything with lanolin (lots creams, bubbles etc) as can trigger it.

Just be careful with quantities of steroids as I have patches which never tan/are different colour from over use of this as an adult.

Scratch mitts at night time good idea to prevent clawing at it in sleep?

Good luck x

Truffy18 Thu 17-Jul-08 20:38:17

My son has this as the same age. Really badly for about 2 months then it just totally disappeared! He is now nearly 2 and apart from a bit of dry skin, he is fine! Fingers crossed this will happen to your son too! I've heard kids can grow out of it quite often.

youngbutnotdumb Thu 17-Jul-08 20:48:00

My 2YO DS was born with ATopic Eczema and still has it but has calmed down alot now although still a few bits here and there mainly on his face.

Main things I would suggest are:
Stay away from anything soapy and try using soap substiyute I found Aqueous was fab still use it now and has a bubble bath once a week using E45 bath milk/foam which is fab too but only use once a week on DS so as too keep it in moderation although is fine with it. And moisturise everytime you change baby and anytime you look at him basically. It was really hard as it meant constant moisturising all over body through day and at one point had 3 steroid creams foir different parts if body.

Surcare washing liquid is great too for clothes and only wearing cotton helps too.

Hope some of this is useful!!!

I get alot of advice from

youngbutnotdumb Thu 17-Jul-08 20:52:01

Also meant to say DS seen HV, doctors and peadietrician 3 times a piece before they would say it was eczema but kept pushing and finally got referred to Dermatologist who took blood tests anbd told me DS was allergic to citrus and eggs. Not the cause but does aggrivate it so keep an eye on diet possibly when starts feeding proper food!

chaos321 Thu 17-Jul-08 21:18:22


My son had severe eczema from 13 months to about 4.5 yrs. No idea why it came or went, not linked to diet, we tried excluding dairy.
Anyway, what helped us was:

1 Referral to dermalogical nurse. She spent ages showing us how to care for his skin. Emusifying cream for bath, then wet wraps.

2 He was on steroid cream permanmently, with stronger cream as required.

3 Special pjyamas with mittens and soxs joined in.

My son's skin was horribly really rough for ages, but now the eczema is all but gone, under control with just epaderm, and you would never know the state it was in.

It was a really difficult time, but has improved so much. Good Luck x

catblack1974 Fri 13-Nov-09 15:42:52

Stay away from wet wipes also. You ca make your own washable ones using peices of fleece soaked in cold cammomile tea. Works wonders for my little boy.

skinsl Fri 13-Nov-09 16:31:45

The only thing that has taken it completely away has been the saltwater at the beach.
Homeopathy helped, sulphur tablets mainly, and calendular lotion.
But the first day on the beach was a nightmare with the sand and suntan lotion and the saltwater stung him. But the next day was better and after a week it was gone completely. Always gets better when we go on holiday.

RegineBroo Sun 02-Jul-17 09:02:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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