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

(13 Posts)
Toppy Tue 15-Jul-08 15:55:59

I have posted this in behaviour before realising there was a health section...

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
- Synalar 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.

FrazzledFairyFay Tue 15-Jul-08 16:03:35

I am not a medic - but a good friend found that her baby DS's excema calmed down significantly when she eliminated all dairy and soya products from his diet, on medical advice - has your son been weaned? I obviously wouldn't recommend you just elminate things from his diet as you need to make sure that he's getting the right nutrients, but could you maybe ask your gp to refer you to a nutritionist or similar in case that's the problem?

AnnieAreYouOkAreYouOkAnnie Tue 15-Jul-08 16:05:15

Toppy, sympathies.
DD has eczema too, and in the beginning we tried all the different creams including steroids. In the end what really helped was changing her milk, from cow's milk to lactose free milk. As your DS is only 5 months, I assume he is still on only breastmilk or formula. If it's formula it may be worth looking into changing to a different one.
For flare-ups we did use steroid creams in the short term, to clear the flare and we also had month of night-time wet-wrapping.
But ultimately it was the change in milk that made a huge difference.
There are a number of different things it could be, it's all trial and error.
Best of luck though, I know how frustrating and how heart-breaking it is.

littlewoman Tue 15-Jul-08 16:08:17

my nephew had similar after his first mmr. He had to avoid eggs afterwards (because vaccine is bred (?) on eggs or something).

He has outgrown it now.

RedFraggle Tue 15-Jul-08 16:13:42

My Dd has had eczema since she was a baby. I saw a locum GP with her quite early on and he was (by chance) a specialist in dermatology! He recommended using a good amount of hydrocortisone when it was bad to clear it up fast and decrease the chance of it getting infected. MOst GP's say to use HC very sparingly but his advice was the opposite. Use from the tip of your finger to the first joint of cream, for each arm or leg and do it twice a day. We found this really worked. The other important thing is to keep using the general moisturisers even once the flare up has gone. If it shows sign of being infected (oozing and yellowy scabs) get to the GPs for some antibiotics.

Hope this helps

BarbadosMama Tue 15-Jul-08 16:15:25

Oh Toppy - how awful for you and your son. I remember when DS1 was a baby and how distressing the raw skin was. I can't remember the precise dose but my doctor prescribed steroids for the weeping skin. I held off and held off using it and then when I did I kicked myself for holding off. It really did knock it on the head. After that I learnt that for my son anyway any return of his eczema could be dealt with quickly with steroids and we never looked back. DS1's eczema was always made worse by the DTP vaccine so I was particularly careful and watchful for his repeats.

I know the 1% steroids haven't worked for you and I don't know what dose the consultant prescribed for my son but I guess what I'm trying to say is that short sharp doses can work. You also need to make sure you are slapping on the moisturising cream really thickly. My doctor quipped that if you can pick him up afterwards without him shooting out from your grip across the room(cartoon style) you probably haven't put enough on! It took me a while to realise that the eczema spots are where you most need the emollients rather than the dry spots (the eczema stuff always looked so wet I found it hard to believe they lacked moisture)

Every child is different but I am relieved to say that eczema is now a distant memory for my son (though I still religiously moisturise him once a day from head to foot).

Amani Tue 15-Jul-08 16:19:52

Hi Toppy,

I tried to start a support thread a while back for parents of babies with eczema, but think it quitened down.

My DD2 (7 mths nearly) has had eczema since she was about 2 months and she has been in and out of GP and hospitals countless time because of it. The main treatment that has helped is wet wraps which intensly moisturised the skin and then after that I've been using 50-50 White Liquid Paraffin which is one of the most hydrating creams around. Since then her eczema has calmed down and has eliminated most, though not all, dryness and itchiness on her body. However on occasions she does get flare up in the neck region and have been advised to use Fucinde H which helps.

With regards to bath - have you tried bathing your DD in oats? I give her a bath in oats (fill a sock up with oats and let it soak in the bath water until it becomes all creamy to indicate the nutrients have come out of the oats). This natural method also helps moisurise my DD2 skin.

We also use Natramigen (sp?) formula milk available on prescription, which cuts out dairy from her diet and noticed an improvement in her condition.

Good luck and hope the above helps. I know it's hard - I've been up many,many nights crying and feeling so helpless, but it has got better now and I hope the same for you too.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 15-Jul-08 16:26:27

ds1 had very severe eczema as a baby. The best thing was wet wrapping. Initially he was wet wrapped with strong steroids (under the care of a dermatologist) and then I switched to wet wrapping with 50:50.

He has very little eczema now (he's 9).

He's been on a gluten free diet since he was 2 (not for the eczema for other reasons) and has limited cows milk (again not for the eczema). I have no idea whether the special diets have helped.

If you use steroids you must taper when you stop them. When ds1 was on the strong stuff. We went from strong stuff several times a day, to strong stuff once a day and 1% HC in between, then strong stuff every other day and 1% the rest of the time, then 1% then tapering onto 0.5% HC, then 0.5% every other day etc until we stopped. If you don't taper you'll get a rebound.

geekgirl Tue 15-Jul-08 16:27:03

I second wet wrapping. It was the only thing that really worked on dd1's eczema. Did the consultant not suggest it?

girlnextdoor Tue 15-Jul-08 17:03:35

have you considered diet?

My son had eczema at 9 weeks despite being breast fed. he was then weened onto baby formula soya milk at 6 months. This did help.

He is now in his 20s and still has eczema.
He has seen some excellent consultants and had all kinds of skin prick tests which show allergy to dairy, dust mites and fish.
He uses non-steriod creams- Protopic is one- but I suspect it is not given to babies.

Steroids might hep, but you can also get the rebound effect when the skin flares up again after they are stopped.

Has diet and allergy screening been considered>

Sunflower100 Tue 15-Jul-08 20:25:17

How rotten for you and your dd. Lots of good advice already been given. Our dd had very severe eczema from around 3 months and it has got better as she has grown up- the most useful thing for her is to be ultra vigilant about keeping her cool (lots of disapproving looks from older generation as she runs round the park in a t-shirt when they are wrapped up!!) and keeping on top of dust mites as much as possible (daily vacuum and boil washing bedding). Also (somewhat controversially as bf is supposed to be best for allergies) dd's eczema improved as she moved onto formula - she has got some food allergies so I think she was probably reacting to something in my milk - so you might want to think about your own diet while bfing. Be wary trying formula tho as others have said theres a chance she may be allergic/intolerant to dairy.
Id add that its worth being careful with weaning and get some advice about how to reduce the chances of food allergies from specialist/clinic.
You might want to try posting under the allergies topic as there I have found a lot of helpful advice about eczema on there. If the scratching is a problem there are some practical suggestions about clothing etc.
Good luck!

Toppy Tue 15-Jul-08 20:56:06

Thank you all so much for your advice and support - BarbadosMama, I am so glad you also found it odd to be slapping moisturiser on wet creases.

DS has been exclusively BF but I am planning to replace with formula one feed per week when we get back from this trip and he will have hit 6 months so all the advice on food stuffs and formula is really really useful. I do feel guilty about the peanut M&M habit I had in the first 3 months. However, DH has terrible hayfever and I was born with asthma and had allergies and eczema as a child so poor little DS was always going to be a candidate.

Thank you once again. It never fails to amaze me how warm MN can make one feel.

Sunflower100 Wed 16-Jul-08 08:35:58

Had to reply quickly - absolutely don't feel guilty about peanut M and M habit- the food allergy specialist (very well respected in his field- I googled him!!) my dd sees says that the correct thing to do to avoid peanut allergies in kids is to eat as many peanuts as possible while pregnant!! They've changed the guidance now anyway I think!! Its all very confusing and I don't think anyone really knows what cause these things. Anyway its completely possible that your ds won't have any food allergies (fingers firmly crossed here) and if you are armed with help when weaning you will reduce any risks even more.

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