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Eczema - any advice?

(166 Posts)
HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 07:21:37

My DD (5 months) has terrible eczema on her face - it's like an open wound, all raw and weepy, with crusty and flaky patches. It's so sore poor baby. We have had antibiotics, steroid cream, use emollient in the bath and apply Aveeno moisturiser often throughout the day but nothing has helped. We've been referred to a dermatologist, but in the meantime does anyone have any advice or suggestions for how to help?

melonribena Wed 23-Jan-13 07:25:35

Oh that sounds awful, poor thing and poor you. My 6 month old has it but just a mild dose.
The best I found was diprobase, aqueous cream irritated it and made it much much worse.
Is it worth investigating a food allergy? Are you breastfeeding? I am and was advised to cut dairy from my diet. It didn't help us but might help you?
Also, what washing powder do you use? The ecoballs were recommended to me.
I'm sorry if they are obvious answers, I hope someone who knows more than me comes along soon

TwoFacedCows Wed 23-Jan-13 07:30:43

I know it doesnt help everyone, but sudocreme is my saviour! I layer it on until i resemble a snowman and the put long sleeve top and bottoms on and sleep like that, in the morning my skin is miles better. I do have to then make sure to really moisturise as it can make skin a bit dryer.

I have also heard that oats wrapped in a muslin and put in the bath can help.

TwoFacedCows Wed 23-Jan-13 07:35:00

Moisturising creams aree key, but I find that i can use one for months and months and then suddenly it will stop helping. So then I have to try and find another! Aveeno has been the best so far. Diprobase is also very good.

HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 07:39:12

Thanks, melon yes I'm breastfeeding, and I did ask the GP if it was worth cutting anything out to check for allergies, but he said no as it's so incredibly rare to actually find the cause of it that it isn't worth it! I'd be tempted to do it myself anyway, but would worry about not giving my LO enough calcium, as everyone told me to eat extra dairy when bf-ing! We use persil non bio and comfort pure, but have done for years so wouldn't have thought that would do it.

TwoFaced that's interesting about sudocrem, the HV told me not to use it as it would dry it out too much, but might be worth a try anyway! Can you put it I've broken skin? I don't want to make it more sore obviously! It would be so much easier if not on the face, it's the one area we can't cover!

ComradeJing Wed 23-Jan-13 07:42:30

Oh your poor wee one sad

Dd doesn't have it anywhere as bad but NOT bathing her helped massively. I would give her one bath a week and that was it and even then I put lots of oil in.

Also no fabric softener and switching to a sensitive powder.

ComradeJing Wed 23-Jan-13 07:47:04

Actually, thinking about it. Since we switched to no fabric softener and a sensitive powder dd's only flare up was when we visited PIL and used their normal powder. She is bathed every day now too.

If its on her face and she's bf I would think about what's on your skin too. Are you using perfume? Anything else on your skin? <clutches straws>

My dr also told me that an allergy is very unlikely and you would see an allergic reaction in other ways before eczema.

HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 07:47:50

Thanks comrade, we have tried only bathing once week but it actually seemed worse! I will try cutting out softener for a while though.

SuiGeneris Wed 23-Jan-13 07:48:34

Try 50/50: it is white paraffin in soft paraffin, same as diprobase, but cheaper. Apply very often (DS had bad eczema all over his body and we used to strip and moisturise with 50/50 at every nappy change or every 3 hours, whichever came sooner) instead of aveeno.

Also really push to see the dermatologist quickly: ours prescribed a special steroid cream that cleared 90 per cent of the eczema in the first 48 hours. It was amazing and I kicked myself for not getting seen sooner.
What do you put in the bath? We found Oilatum made things much worse while Epaderm worked better. Also, short bath but every day, pat dry and moisturise with longish massage... Good luck!

HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 07:50:46

I don't use anything other than sanex shower gel, as I am prone to eczema too, nothing like as bad as dd though! I'll def give the washing powder/no softener a go this week.

SuiGeneris Wed 23-Jan-13 07:51:41

Personally I would avoid sudocrem: have tried it on my own broken skin and it stung so much I had to wash it off straight away

HouseOfBears Wed 23-Jan-13 07:55:26

Thanks Sui, the magic cream sounds great! Did your dd have the broken/weepy skin? I'd worry about putting something like that on top of it but guess i can check that with the dermatologist. We use oilatum in the bath and it does seem to help a bit at the moment, after a bath a good smothering in cream is the only time her skin looks at all better!

GirlOutNumbered Wed 23-Jan-13 08:02:05

houseofbares sorry, but I think your doctor is wrong. Both my sons have cows milk protein allergy. Both had exzema and it cleared up for both of them when giving up dairy. It's was on the advice of the paediatrician in the hospital.

There are plenty of other ways to get calcium.

If you do decide to give up dairy, it would take a couple of weeks for it to be out of yours and babies system.

K2ZJH Wed 23-Jan-13 08:02:53

I suffer really bad with dry skin always have nothing that the doctor gives me helps the only thing I find helps is rapeseed oil massaged in to the skin(also great for stretch marks) ive used it on all 4 of my DC I put it in cotton wool an wipe it around there faces.

SuiGeneris Wed 23-Jan-13 08:20:32

HouseOfBears: DS did not have much broken skin but was 3 months and had eczema everywhere except soles, palms and nappy area. The dermatologist said the steroid cream was safe to use all over his body twice a day (in the beginning) and it would not matter if he licked it off his hands etc. He was head of dermatology at GOSH, so we trusted him.
DS was fully breastfed and I asked about changing my diet, he said no need and that it was a common mistake (among doctors too) to think it helped.
On washing, we already used non-bio powder and no softener and he suggested washing DS's stuff at higher temp (60) when possible, with an extra rinse cycle.

Babybeargrylls Wed 23-Jan-13 08:28:02

your poor daughter, I do feel for you. Is she too little for scratch/patch testing? I found out through patch testing that I was allergic to one of the ingredients in some hydrocortisone creams so once I switched things got better. Is she too little for antihistamines? My DS was prescribed some when he developed patches of eczema when he was about one as it helped him to sleep without scratching too much. Have you any pets? Sometimes pet dander or dust can exacerbate- at least it does with me.

ladybyron Wed 23-Jan-13 08:30:19

I can get terrible eczema, which can flare up at any time particularly in this cold weather. Use non- bio washing powder for sensitive skins and I find Lenor allergy controlled conditioner ok. I always swear by an extra rinse plus on the washing cycle as well for everything, towels, bedding etc...
With moisturisers it's trial and error and finds one that suits you. Acqueous cream and E45 gives me an allergic reaction.

djenner Wed 23-Jan-13 08:31:46

Speizia are an organic company based in Falmouth & their baby products are fab! The baby salve is great for excema, diaper rash etc.

alcazar Wed 23-Jan-13 08:49:10

My daughter developed eczema as you describe at 6 months, it was awful. We tried many different things but the 3 things that have worked for us are doublebase gel used with eczemol as an emoliant. we also use fungiderm for any spot that look inflamed. Her skin is almost perfect now but we still used the first two creams twice everyday or it does come back. Its keeping the skin moisturised that is important. I would particularly recommend the eczemol, it is quite new and is a miracle cream! Also absolutely nothing except water in the bath and try to get washing powder like surcare or we use aldi non bio.
Changing washing powder to anything else results in my daughters skin coming out in bright red welts. It takes a while but hopefully you will find a system that will work for your dd smile

MrsLionHeart Wed 23-Jan-13 09:29:11

Try Salcura. They have both a spray and a cream. Worked wonders for us when DS was very bad. A bit expensive, but worth every pennny, and we stopped it and switched to other things when he was over the worst of it. You can probably get some free samples from their website - I even got samples from the pharmacy at the time, but was a couple years ago. Hope you find something that works.

travellingtime Wed 23-Jan-13 09:50:53

I wouldnt use sanex or any other conventional shower/bath stuff.
Look for stuff without SLES in it (more widely available now - halos and horns is one brand). This made a huge difference to me.
Also maybe look at switching to an 'Eco' wash powder
Only have pure cotton sheets/blankets - this may make a difference.
Also some of the emolient creams aggravated me more than helping. Aqueous cream taht lots of people find amazing was a nightmare for me as it contained lanolin, which lots of the creams and things go and it seems my skin wouldnt tolerate it.
Olive oil in the bath ? Also directly on teh skin or other 'pure' oils.
Godo luck

MostlyLovingLurchers Wed 23-Jan-13 09:55:29

I think it has to be trial and error. A lot of the things that work for one person will exacerbate the situation for another - 50/50 cream for example was absolutely terrible for my baby and made a mild flare up quite horrendous, but i know it works for others.

Aveeno cream has been the best thing for us - i don't know which one you've tried - if it isn't the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturising Cream then give that a go. They also do a bath wash as well which helped, though now i just make little bath puffs using rolled oats wrapped in muslin. We also switched to using ecoballs, and lather on the moisturiser if going out in the cold.

I also think it may be worth eliminating dairy from your diet for a little while and see if it makes a difference. I agree it is unlikely but does no harm to make sure. Ds does have a dairy allergy as well as eczema but i'm not sure the two are directly linked - his eczema appeared while he was still being ebf and i have very little dairy in my diet and no cows milk at all. There are plenty of other sources of calcium - soya or oat milk have exactly the same amount of calcium as cows milk, and other good sources are tofu, green leafy veg, almonds, brazil nuts and sesame seeds. If you're still concerned about calcium you can always take a pregnancy/bf supplement (if you're not already).

12ylnon Wed 23-Jan-13 10:03:35

I've had eczema ever since i was a child. First of all, DON'T let the dermatologist fob you off. Do get her allergy tested- there is no point in treating it if it's going to keep coming back because of an allergy.
I use oilatum cream- i found aveeno irritated my skin. Avoid any soap with sulphates in- it's basically a very strong detergent. It's also in some toothpastes so it's something to bare in mind for when she's a bit older. There is a company called 'naked' who sell their stuff in Boots and everything of theirs is lovely and 97% natural. They do lovely kids stuff. Oilatum also do an emollient for the bath which is great and smells quite nice too. Putting oats in the bath is quite soothing on the skin, but in my experience, doesn't improve the skin itself. I have weepy eczema on my hands and i find putting a Zinc and Castor oil cream (nappy cream, pref. uncented) on it and putting on a cotton glove helps to dry out the weepiness.
I use Method washing detergent and nothing else (no fabric softeners). It's a bit pricey, but you don't need very much and i know sainsburys and waitrose sell it in bulk.
Apart from that, i'm afraid steroids are generally the way to go and obvs. antibiotics if it's infected.
I do home the dermatologist is fruitful.

alittleteapot Wed 23-Jan-13 10:05:44

my dd had eczema as a baby and now at 5 gets very dry skin but only eczema on her hands. Normal soap especially liquid soaps are a disaster for her. I have recently started her on Aleppo soap (pure olive and laurel oil) and it's a revelation - her skin has cleared up SO much. As for creams, Aveeno is the only one that's ever fitted her - others don't seem to soak into the skin.

rockinhippy Wed 23-Jan-13 10:19:48

I had a similar problem with my own DD when she was tiny & I was stumped as I was EBF too, she had the allergy tests & all clear - nothing the doctors gave worked & nothing else we did worked enough, I feel for you, as it was really awful as you just feel so totally helpless when they look so sore & nothing you or the doctors do really helps sad - in fact in my DDs case the creams the Doctor prescribed would often make it worse

Thankfully I have an old friend who works in alternative medicine, specialising in DCs, I don't see her often, but when I spoke with her she suggested it was something I was eating & DD was getting it through EBF - I eat a healthy process food free diet, but we worked out that my monthly cravings for cheap jelly sweets was the cause -

Turned my DD is intolerant to chemical food additives - - google Azo Dyes & Benzoate preservatives, & read the list of chemical additives/E numbers & the effects they can have - you'll be surprised - these can also be found in soaps, shampoos, & even medicines & creams aimed at kids - my DD can't have Calpol for example & the reason the GPs cream made things worse, was the preservative in it - my own DD is also intolerant to artificial sweeteners, they affect her stomach badly, so something to bare in mind if any tummy upsets too.

Intolerance doesn't show up in any tests, medical or otherwise, but is usually easily pin pointed with an exclusion diet. Thankfully these days ( my DD is now 10) it's much easier to find foods that don't contain these chemicals, it's just about reading labels & learning what brands are okay & not all E numbers are bad, many are natural & perfectly safe & many are labelled not artificial additives, though take care, some that advertise no artificial colours, still contain benzoate preservatives or sweeteners, which is a big bug bear of minehmm

As for soothing the sore rash, I've found adding Epsom salts, lavender aromatherapy oil, manuka honey & oats (tied up in a Muslim bag to prevent mess) to her bath helped a lot , or as its her face mix up a small amount to dponge her face & I even made up a lotion using the same that helped, though you can buy * Pure Potions* in health shops, which is similar & we find good, though Derma Spray is better but not until 12 months plus. & Sausage Tree cream - aka Zambesi Botanicus is a natural steroid cream that works better than the GP one, without the additives.

My own DD is still intolerant, but her skin is beautiful - unless she eats something she shouldn't of course & then she will have a sore rash flare up within 20 minutes.


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