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Eczema in babies - rule out allergy to dairy first

(4 Posts)
SallyJune75 Thu 21-Jan-16 12:06:35

I just wanted to post this to save someone else going through the stress we faced. My son (no 22 m/o) had eczema very early on. Nothing major at first but then became worse at 3 months and dreadful by 5 months. Mostly on his face but patches everywhere.

He would scratch and scratch and it was unbearable (for all of us). After weeks of creams (cetraben, oilatum, aveeno, hydrocortisone. Best for us was Aveeno Eczema Therapy cream from the States and Aveeno bath oil), we discovered he was allergic to dairy. I removed it from my diet (I breastfed) and like magic, his eczema began to clear.

We maintained the cream (twice a day, morning and evening) and bath oil regime, which we still do three times a week. He still gets the old patch (when teething or run down) but you would never know he has eczema.

Turns out he's allergic to dairy, eggs, some nuts and chickpeas, all of which he was getting through my milk. We're now with an allergy professor and nutritionist.

I'm not saying all babies with eczema have allergies but if you have a young baby (under 5 months) and he/she has bad eczema, there is a high chance they're allergic/intolerant to dairy. It is so much easier to remove it from their diet and see if it works than it is to persist with creams and steroids and still nothing changes. Or remove entirely from your diet if breast feeding and see what happens. Take a calcium supplement though- you'll need it!

You can get special milk powder from your GP and you can start on a fortified milk substitute in a carton from a year (younger in some exceptional circumstances).

I found doctors and dermatologists were pretty dismissive of the idea of allergy (and very dismissive of idea that by removing something from my diet, my son's skin would improve despite the fact I was exclusively breast feeding..). We went private and paid a lot of money to be told it was highly unlikely and that we must persist with the steroid and creams. It was a soul destroying time.

Now we're all doing great and are very used to having oat milk and non dairy butter etc. It's the new normal.
Anyway, I hope this post is helpful to someone, somewhere, googling at 3am in the morning and worrying about what to do!

crackedphone Thu 21-Jan-16 13:28:38

I would say 'think food allergies' first with the early symptoms of allergy in a baby. Although milk is common, it isn't always one of the allergens.

I wish we had better nhs care and get a referral before we as mothers start removing food groups from our diet, or from our child without decent medical support.

ShowMeTheWonder Thu 21-Jan-16 13:40:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crackedphone Thu 21-Jan-16 15:04:34

and for us, milk wasn't the allergen, but LOTS of other food was, food that I would never have thought at the time to avoid.
Also, eczema on its own is not the only symptom, and agree, a lot of eczema doesn't respond to removing food for many.

It is a crying shame that we don't have the help country wide for those with severe conditions like this, and leaving mothers to search for alternative help or paying for decent medical support that they should get via NHS.

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