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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

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?

CarolynLiddell Thu 24-Jan-13 11:47:49

You could try acupuncture. I went for a bad back a few years ago and had terrible eczema at the time on my hands and wrists. Asked the acupuncturist if there was anything he could do about that, thinking there wouldn't be, and he said yes, they often treat eczema with great success. After one session my eczema disappeared and never came back! Amazing. I had tried everything. I am about to book my 2 year ld in as he has begun to suffer mildly on his eye and backs of his legs. I would really recommend this. Certain acupuncturists can treat children from 6 months old.

specialmagiclady Thu 24-Jan-13 11:57:00

Just to add I gave up wheat and dairy when DS1 had eczema as a small BF baby. I replaced wheat with almond flour rather a lot and used Brazil nuts as a snack.

Hey? Guess what? He has a nut allergy.... So be very careful before you exclude food.

awaywiththepixies Thu 24-Jan-13 13:29:14

Once I stopped using anything with Sls my daughters skin went from broken and sore to healed, although still roughish to the touch, within days. We also started using burts bees baby products instead following a recommendation. Don't know if the improvement was the lack of SLS, which is a bit like washing your skin n hair in washing up liquid, it's that harsh, or the burts products. But, who cares, it works.

mumat39 Thu 24-Jan-13 13:40:07

Specialmagiclady, sorry to hear that your DS has a nut allergy.

I think the advice to pregnant women and nursing mums has changed in the last few years to eat what you usually eat, including peanuts and nuts etc.

My Dd has lots of allergies and very itchy skin, when I was pregnant i had a peanut butter sandwich once i think, before i realised that the advice was not to eat peanuts or nuts so I didn't. i worried the whole way through the pregnancy that dd would have allergies and at 6.5 months old we realised she did have an anaphylactic reaction to wheat. she is also allergic to nuts and peanuts plus other foods. I often wonder if it was because of that one peanut butter sandwich!

mumat39 Thu 24-Jan-13 13:41:36

Carolyn, that's brilliant! Did they explain what they were doing and how it works? I genuinely fascinated by alternative therapies.

spudpudding Thu 24-Jan-13 14:46:20

My son had discoid ex as a baby - small round patches on his face and body - looks a bit like ring worm apparently. It was weeepy too and was given antibiotics but didn't work but finally saw another GP who subscribed diprobase. I used this as soap in the bath and again afterwards as a mousturiser. Also given Fucibet and Fucidin steroids one for body and one for face until the sore breakouts went. My son is now six and other than the occasional dry patch is a lot better. I did a bath every other day and also avoid anything with SLS in. Now just use Lavender Oil in the bath. Hopefully will grow out of this - a lot of babies have excema. - Good Luck xx Also -Excema society has some factsheets about applying emolient creams.

BadMissM Thu 24-Jan-13 15:36:02

mumat Had DD in France, where no advice re:nuts. Had such bad MS that peanut butter was one of few things I could keep down. DD doesn't have eczema, even though Ex-H and I both do, and she is allergic to NOTHING!

cheapandchic Thu 24-Jan-13 15:52:13

what do you all think about parabens?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 24-Jan-13 16:05:52

Pure virgin coconut oil is meant to be fabulous for skin complaints, it has made my skin and hair lovely but I am not a child and I don't have a skin complaint. Google it first and read some of the things people with more experience say then decide if it is worth a try. good luck it sounds a nightmare.

nellyjelly Thu 24-Jan-13 16:12:40

Re washing powder and conditioner. The usual stuff, Ariel, Persill etc non-bio is not pure enough. Only Ecover worked for us and don't use conditioner.

Don't be afraid of steroid cream. Apply as directed and it will clear it up quickly. Use it for flare ups.

Hydromol ointment works best for DS as a moisturiser but it can be a bit hit and miss until you find a cream that works.

honeybeeplusone Thu 24-Jan-13 16:17:59

There is a good book on Amazon for about £7 about eczma and what really helps. I'd recommend it! For us it was a blessing when we were finally sent to see a specialist dermatological nurse at the local childrens hospital. She explained things so well and since then we've been keeping my daughters eczma under control. Epaderm ointment works the best for us but it's different for everyone. My daughter had horrible eczma on her cheeks when she was 6 months old so I can imagine how upsetting that is. Good luck!

specialknickers Thu 24-Jan-13 16:41:22

Oh poor wee mite. Eczema is horrible. All of my family have it and when ds had it too at 6 months I feared for the worst. Luckily we lived overseas at the time and the doctor told me not to bath him (the bath then bed routine seems to be a quite a British thing) and with some paraffin based moisturisers (cetraben type stuff, not medicated) it eventually cleared up. He's three now and touch wood he's been clear for over a year. We still only bath him once or twice a week max and never use soap.

mumat39 Thu 24-Jan-13 17:20:25

BadMissM, it's funny isn't it that in this country we were all advised to stop eating peanuts, when there really wasn't any evidence to suggest the link between eating them in pregnancy and have an allergic child.

loueyt Thu 24-Jan-13 21:20:20

Dont know if anyone else has mentioned this as havent read whole thread but Waitroses Bottom Butter is fabulous for excema. My son had terrible skin right from being born with a particularly nasty open wound on his shoulder and behind his knees. Loads of stuff from HV and Doc but nothing helped until the Bottom Butter. Its cheap as chips and smells lush - in their baby section. We still use it now to keep things at bay.

neolara Thu 24-Jan-13 22:27:34

spudpudding - Can I ask how long it took your for ds's discoid eczema to clear? I'm pretty sure my dd has got this now. I've been putting betnovate on it from about 24 hours after it appeared so it never got really bad. I appled it twice a day for 10 days, stopped for 24 hours and it was very noticeably back. Having googled, it looks like it's a bugger to get rid of.

Re allergies and peanut butter, an anecdote. My SIL has 4 kids. She ate peanut butter when pregnant with 3 of them. When pregnant with the other child, she scrupulously avoided peanuts but it was this child who went on to develop a peanut allergy. I, on the other hand, have 3 kids. I avoided peanut butter when pregnant with two of them and ate peanut butter sandwiches obsessively with the other. The one who got peanuts in utero ended up with a peanut allergy. I think it's mostly just genetics as I have other family members with nut and other allergies. I suspect people are much more aware these days and get proper diagnosis and that accounts for a lot of the increase incidence of allergies. For example, I recently discovered a cousin had a peanut allergy, although she wouldn't describe it as such. She says peanut just make her mouth itch and throat swell so she avoids them. She hasn't seen a doctor about it and doesn't carry an epipen. My SIL also won't eat hazelnuts for the same reason and she hasn't seen a doctor.

imsorryihaventaclue Thu 24-Jan-13 23:46:51

I would echo what many other posters have said - it seems that you just have to work through until you find products and a regime that work for you. You will find this eventually...

My dd, now 4, had terrible eczema, exacerbated by warm weather but is now much better. Bathing less often really helped her and aveeno works well for her (tried a lot of others and can't get aveeno on prescription here as too expensive apparently).

When my ds (now 1) also developed eczema aged about 4 months I thought I would know exactly what to do but what worked on dd did not work for him. I was at my wits end until I finally found a helpful GP who took an interest. A regime of frequent applications of double base (surely one of the nicest to use emollients ever) With occasional hydrocortisone to bring it back under control when he gets an occasional flare up has pretty much cleared his skin (although I am dreading the warmer weather). Whilst I think the food argument is interesting, both mine developed eczema when they were being totally breast-fed.

BoffinMum Thu 24-Jan-13 23:46:54

My DD had terrible eczema and we saw David Atherton at GOSH. He suggested a low dose steroid in vaseline (Pharmacist makes it up according to a prescription). You put it on a nighttime, with a hot wet bandage on top and a dry one on top of that and it works fantastically well. She healed and there was no scarring.

Now she is an adult so she controls it all via diet - basically a vegan diet plus the odd steak works to keep the eczema at bay.

VenusRising Thu 24-Jan-13 23:51:20

Our experience was that it was diet related.

Calcium is best absorbed from green vegetables, not dairy.

Why don't you try an dairy free diet and then see?

So sorry your GP isn't more with it and helpful for you. Push for a paediatric dietitian and testing as well as the dermo.

Rockinhippy and girlsoutnumbered have some very good tips, as have others. We useMooGoo and it works very well.

Best of luck with it, sometimes after the damage is done, the excema "disappears" only to present as asthma later on, so best to nip this as soon as possible.

VenusRising Thu 24-Jan-13 23:53:21

Sorry should have said 'diet related' refers to me as the breast feeding mother - my diet made a difference to the ebf babe's skin.

FrameyMcFrame Fri 25-Jan-13 00:29:14

porridge oats in the tied up tights into the bath was a tip I got from MN in the first place. It works amazingly well!

Eggsmummy Fri 25-Jan-13 01:25:57

I know you've already had lots of advice but I thought I'd throw my experience in too! My eldest has always suffered with excema but developed really bad dermatitus on her hand duringbher first year at school. Nothing prescription helped it and it was cracked, weeping and painful. I came across a product called BRIA that is available online from the lady that makes it (give it a google). It's quite expensive, about £12 for a small jar I think, but my daughters hands were clear after 2weeks after nearly a year of suffering! We've cut any contact with SLS and it's currently not returned :-) Hope your little one gets better soon x

liveinazoo Fri 25-Jan-13 09:02:07

ive not had time to read the whole thread and i apologise in advance if these ideas have already been suggested
take a cloth and ad handful porridge them in with an elastic warm bath,no products in it and swish the cloth in it til water turns opaque.squeeze cloth and then dab gently to wash your little one
this helped my eldest dd when her eczema was horrendous.wet wraps are amazing on severe body eczema.if its any consolation hers has improved dramatically as she has got older

funwithgrandma Fri 25-Jan-13 09:52:39

My DD who is now 31 had eczema as a baby, so I really appreciate how stressful this is for you and how helpless and frustrated you can feel. What worked for us was homeopathic treatment. Our GP agreed to refer us to the Royal Homeopathic Hospital in London - now called the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, you can google RLHIM. They have a skin clinic and it's staffed by doctors and registered complementary pracititioners. If you don't live near London or would prefer it you can see a homeopath near you privately. Please make sure you see someone who is qualified and registered with a professional body - I suggest the website of the Society of Homeopaths, or the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths.This isn't something you would hope to treat from a self-help book. Personally I was so impressed with homeopathy that I trained and qualified as a homeopath myself. Good luck, I hope this helps.

zeetaj Fri 25-Jan-13 10:33:30

I have seen some fab results using the arbonne abc baby range in children and adults. I have a personal testimonal from a mum who tried everything for her DD and was amazed at the results. The products are free of mineral oil and chemical nasties and are available on a try before you buy and also a 45day money back guarantee. PM me if you would like any more info.

spudpudding Fri 25-Jan-13 11:24:13

yes discoid excema appeared at approx 6 months really bad and weepy on face and body very uosetting. Once I got the crem that worked for us and saw a fab dermatologist we got in under control, as has been said find what works for you. The patches move around the body and he would very often got bad ones on his shoulder blades and shins. Started to clear at around age 4 and as I said is now almost non existent. At it's worst we had to give oral antihistamine just so he could get some sleep as he wanted to scratch. The antibiotics made things worse as this just gave him a runny tummy. I think avoiding parabens and SLS helps - I use natural stuff from the health food store - good luck and keep on until you get the right help and find what works.

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