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BF/BM and eczema

(18 Posts)
peedieworky Sun 25-Sep-11 08:02:23

Hi all,

My DS is 18 weeks old and has mild/moderate eczema which am desperately trying to keep on top of. He has patches on his cheeks, his shoulders, the insides of his elbows and spread over his legs. He sometimes also gets it on his back. Am trying to keep it under control so am using an endless rotation of lotions and potions doublebase several times a day on dry patches, hydrocortisone very sparingly to treat bad flare ups (never for more than once a day for couple of days) & I add oilatum to his bathwater on the rare occasions he gets bathed. So! A couple of questions.. I have heard (though may baby brain may have invented this!) that breastmilk can be applied topically to treat eczema. Is this true? Does anyone have any experience of this? Also, I had heard of Mums removing dairy from their diet but wondered how I could get through the day without strong, milky tea and chocolate whether this was a bit extreme.

I'd appreciate any advice and experience. Thanks in advance!

lilham Sun 25-Sep-11 08:27:47

Are you bathing your son every day? What are you using in the bath other than oilatum? Bathing, especially in hot water dries out the skin so makes the eczema worse. One thing to try is to skip the bath, and use aqueous cream to clean instead.

I am a sufferer myself and swears by aqueous cream. grin try to use the steroid only sparingly to stop the inflammation and iching. I found it thins the skin.

lilham Sun 25-Sep-11 08:29:38

Oh you did say bathe very rarely. Sorry can't help. sad I usually slaps on a lot of auqueos cream and sometimes antihistamine and steroid cream.

peedieworky Sun 25-Sep-11 08:31:25

Hi - he gets bathed about every 5 days or so and we only use oilatum in the water. Doublebase aqueous cream before and after - makes for a slippery little sucker! Someone suggested putting oats in a muslin and putting that in instead? Not sure if that's an old wives tale so yet to try it. We are very cautious with the HC cream and also dab aqueous cream on top after about 10-20mins. Poor wee toot is constantly greased up!!

peedieworky Sun 25-Sep-11 08:33:17


Conkertree Sun 25-Sep-11 08:40:43

The national eczema society recommend that you dont use acqueous cream as it dries the skin out, rather than helping. Have you tried other emollients like epaderm, or the one that we have found to be the best is Hydromol, but I think it might be more expensive to prescribe as they wanted us to try lots of other emollients first.

Its all about finding the right moisturiser that suits your babies skin - what works for one child will not necessarily work for another.

We were also advised by the dermatologist that when his skin is bad, a bath every day is actually recommended. Just have to use the right moisturiser in the bath etc as you have been doing. We also use Hydromol bath and shower emollient in the bath, but again its trial and error.

I am always amazed by the wonders of breast milk, so I would definitely give it a shot. The dairy one - I guess it could help if your lo is sensitive to dairy (obviously you wont Know yet). My ds1 turned out to be allergic to peanuts, eggs, dairy and shellfish, so with hindsight, me cutting out dairy might have helped him at an early age, but there was no way to know that then. I agree about the chocolate, but maybe you could try it and have dark chocolate for a few weeks to see if it helps?

peedieworky Sun 25-Sep-11 08:45:38

Hmmmm... I fear I may have been guilty of using the terms "aqueous" and "emollient" interchangeably! I take it Doublebase is the former then?

Ellenohara Sun 25-Sep-11 08:50:48

If it is just mild/moderate I wouldn't go down the dairy elimination route. I had to do this with my DD when she was diagnosed with cmp allergy but her eczema was very bad on her face (she used to wake screaming in the night with blood on the sheets from scratching sad)

Oats in a muslin or in an old pair of tights are fantastic in the bath. We much preferred this to anything we had prescribed. I would also suggest not being scared of using the hydrocortisone cream. Twice a day until the flare up has cleared is absolutely fine. When we went to the dermatology clinic, the nurse showed us a list of creams that could be used in order of strength - hydrocortisone was right at the bottom! We felt a lot better about using it after that!

Can't help with whether bm will help though sorry.

hazchem Sun 25-Sep-11 08:51:28

My DS also has eczema. we have been doing much the same as you. (including infrequent baths oh the shame of not doing bath book bed every night) the only additional thing is a really lovely GP said that babies with eczema often prefer not to be too hot. so i've been under dressing him and also having loads of only nappy or totally naked time. he seams happier and the patches seam less red.

peedieworky Sun 25-Sep-11 09:05:14

Thanks for all the replies so far (& the reassurance re HC cream). Interesting point re temperature hazchem. We did baby massage & I know if they had the room really hot his skin totally flared up. Ellenohara - blood on sheets sounds awful. That's why am obsessively trying to prevent it escalating trying to keep on top of it while it is still on the moderate/mild side. I have the least sensitive skin in the world - could wash my face in Flash I reckon and nowt would happen - so am feeling very clueless about it all. Think I will dab on some EBM too. What's the worst that can happen??

Oh - and one vote for keeping chocolate in my diet? That's what I wanted to hear wink

LadyInPink Sun 25-Sep-11 09:08:09

My DD had eczema from a very early age too and was exclusively breast fed. Saw a skin specialist in the end as it was getting infected and she was swelling up. They recommended daily baths but the GP said once a week so i compromised and bathed her every other day. I found lanolin to be a culprit and tried several types of emolients. I now find Dermol 600 bath emolient and Dermol 500 soap substitute the best and cream her all over with diprobase after a bath and use Epaderm on the sore patches as a barrier when she goes swimming (all these contain liquid paraffin) and her skin is so soft. She is 7 now and i still keep up the same routine and use steroids on occasion when it flares up and her skin is pretty good thankfully.

I hope you find what is best for your DS soon but do insist on seeing a skin specialist if it gets bad (via your HV) as my GP's refused to give steroids as she was too young - we only caught her in time before she got septicemia so have the skin specialist to thank for that.


LadyInPink Sun 25-Sep-11 09:14:04

I second what Ellen said about using steroids too. I used them on DD 3x a day when she was bad (16wks) and after a day i could see an improvement. Putting aqueous on after only dilutes it so not much good imo. Hydrocortisone is the mildest so don't worry unduly - we have now gone up to Eumovate as her skin got used to the Hydrocortisone after a while and this works for her and there is no sign she has thin skin.


PrimaBallerina Sun 25-Sep-11 09:37:03

No idea about bm but try aveeno cream as a moisturiser. It's better than an emollient as it sinks in, something to do with the oatmeal ingredient. I use it on me and on DS since he was born. His skin is lovely and any little red patches seem soothed by it.

KyNa Sun 02-Oct-11 07:53:25

My Ds was diagnosed with eczema when he was 3 months, although the cream seemed to help a little i did a bit more research and changed the clothing he was wearing to Organic cotton or Bamboo cotton clothing - it made a real difference. I especially the Bamboo stuff cos it was so soft and let the skin breathe. It made such a difference to his skin smile

peedieworky Sun 02-Oct-11 19:42:38

That's interesting as I've noticed his cheeks are getting worse and i wondered if was due to his face being against my wooly sleeve when feeding (rather than bare arms when better weather)?

TheLaineyWayIsEssex Sun 02-Oct-11 23:06:19

Ime anythingwater based such as aqueous cream makes it worse.
I have used diprobase (cream and emolient) on my ds ad was the only thing that worked, plus i think once he was weaned and having less milk it improved too.

TastyMuffins Sun 02-Oct-11 23:17:29

I read something the other day about the dairy free diet. Apparently you need to try it for a week or two then try having a glass of milk every other day or something like that to see if it has any effect.

What do you wash his clothes in? Do you use baby wipes?

peedieworky Mon 03-Oct-11 21:17:47

Thanks for replying. Started with diprobase but moved to doublebase which seems to sink in far easier. Use non-bio liquid to was his clothes (and ours!) and only plain water to clean his bum.

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