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Baby with eczema- what can help?

(31 Posts)
littlelamb Thu 31-Jul-08 21:03:08

Ds is 7 weeks old and I am pretty sure he has eczema. He has had a rash all over his body since he was a few days old. It started on his hands and looked red and sore like nettle stings, but has gradually spread all over his body and he now has an all over covering of spots, even on his scalp. They feel bumpy but very dry to the touch. I am not using any products on him and am only bathing him, in plain water, every few days. As far as possible I am keeping him without clothes. We have his 8 week check next week and I really would like some advice from the doctor but so far all the health visitors have been rubbish. He is breastfed, so I was wondering if maybe a change in my diet would improve things? Apart from that, I would really like to know if there is anything I can put on his skin that would help? Also, how is eczema diagnosed? I am still not sure if this is what it is, so will there be tests or anything, or will the doctor be able to do what the health visitors have so far been unable to do and give me a diagnosis just by looking at him?

Allwayslateofearley Thu 31-Jul-08 21:09:01

Congrats ! & hope the bf is going well.

Sounds like it might be the little rash they get as a result of your hormones coming out of his system. My DD's had it & then it just goes.

Get the midwife to check it over, but DON'T put anything on his skin like aqueous creams.

When my DD's skin was dry I just gently rubbed in virgin olive oil.


RedHead81 Thu 31-Jul-08 21:12:49

i do baby massage and like alwayslate, i just use extra virgin olive oil - completely natural - and don'y use anything in the bathwater - just plain water and only bath twice a week to avoid washing natural oils off

littlelamb Thu 31-Jul-08 21:12:57

Allwayslateofearley my health visitors had said it was hormonal but were concerned that it hadn't cleared up already and so have referred it to the doctors. Maybe they are getting a little premature about it? Ds did have very swollen nipples when he was born and we had to squeeze the milk out shock and that was down to hormones, so maybe there is something in that theory? The bf is going incredibly well, but it is extremely difficult to get sensible advice here from anyone who is clued up about it. If there is anything I can do in my diet that would help I would like to know about it. All I get is a quick shrug and a mumble about breast being best

RedHead81 Thu 31-Jul-08 21:14:34

oh and RE: HV - they mostly tend to be rubbish, its in their job description! some are very good, but they tend to be rare IMO.

Pinkveto Thu 31-Jul-08 21:16:25

No tests, except if older and with a strong food trigger history, its a spot diagnosis.

Your diet will not be anything to do with it, don't stress about that, it will not be affecting his skin, and if you start fannying about excluding stuff you'll get seriously fed up.

Olive oil, or a very simple moisturiser after bath - aqeueous, e45, oilatum, or twice a day if dry.

No perfumed or coloured products on skin, in bath or on clothes.

Non bio washing powder, and if possible an extra rinse cycle for his clothes.

All cotton clothing.

It may not be excema, just dry skin, in which case a moisturiser will be all he needs.

Speak to GP. HV will not pass comment as not in a position to diagnose.

Heathcliffscathy Thu 31-Jul-08 21:17:23

cut all dairy out of your diet. ime

littlelamb Thu 31-Jul-08 21:28:25

I will try the olive oil thank you. A quick (stupid) question though. Pinkveto, you say it could just be dry skin. I was under the impression that eczema was just dry skin blush What is the difference between very dry skin and eczema? Is there some hormonal aspect to it?

thisisyesterday Thu 31-Jul-08 21:33:10

hope's relief cream.
it's fantastic

Janni Thu 31-Jul-08 21:37:42

Almond oil is lovely too for exzema and dry skin and smells better grin

Short fingernails/scratch mitts if the baby is scratching

LaTrucha Thu 31-Jul-08 21:37:46

calendula cream can help. And a cream called Aveeno(or soemthing similar).

emma1977 Thu 31-Jul-08 21:38:41

Interesting question littlelamb. Eczema is a dry skin condition for sure, but also tends to have components of inflammation and itchiness which straightforward dry skin doesn't have.

The diagnosis is made by what it looks like and where on the body is affected.

First-line treatments are all about adding moisture back into the skin using something greasy, e.g. olive oil, aqueous cream, doublebase, epaderm, etc. I would also echo what others have said about cotton clothing, no bath additives. Also avoids using baby wipes, as these can be very irritant.

Pinkveto Thu 31-Jul-08 21:39:35

No, excema is more than just dry skin, it is a type of inflammatory reaction which is why steroids are first line to treat it.

Am unsure about hormonal elements in babies, no real hormonal aspect in older babies upwards. Certainly babies get those funny spots etc as a result of withdrawal of maternal hormones, but by 8 weeks I would expect them to be gone.

Pinkveto Thu 31-Jul-08 21:40:42

Oh I have been recommended the Aveeno for my LO with excema, but havent been able to find it. Any reliable internet supplier?

emma1977 Thu 31-Jul-08 21:41:00

Sorry, to correct you pinkveto, but steroids are not first-line treatment.

emma1977 Thu 31-Jul-08 21:42:02

Aveeno is available on prescription, which would be free for children.

They also make a bath additive.

mad4mybaby Thu 31-Jul-08 21:44:34

my ds now 2 had it very bad from about 1 week old. gp diagnosed it and gave me doublebase to use as an all over moisterisor as often as i changed him and also oilatum to put in the bath. He was also given a cream,,,,what do you call them? hydrocortisone? The cream you should use thinly and not for very long?

Any that cream was put on bad patches as they came and went. There is no harm in using creams on a baby that is nearly 2 months old when gp has advised it as you dont want the baby to suffer as it can hurt them or drive them crazy itching! Also ended up with antihistamine to make help him sleep at night due to itching!

With regard to your diet, the only thing i will say is that ds is allergic to dairy and intollerant to egg and soya so once all of that was irradicated it was alot better. Now at the age of 2 i bath him in infaderm and still use the doublebase every day after his bath and this keeps it at bay unless hes eaten something he shouldnt or bizarely if he gets stressed (like dh working away)instead of the that cream i mentioned above i use a completely natural cream for dry skin from the health shop called relief and it is fab. Made from a particular type of honey. VV good and pot lasts ages

mad4mybaby Thu 31-Jul-08 21:45:44

you can buy aveeno from boots aswell

Pinkveto Thu 31-Jul-08 21:49:29

Well yes emma, moisterisers are the first thing to try, the first medication is then steroid creams, of interest what proportion of proper excema patients do get better with just moisteriser?

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Thu 31-Jul-08 21:49:31

don't have time for whole thread so forgive if it's been said already - organic milk in your diet. dunno why. just remember reading that it was one of few organic myths that had solid scientific backup. hth

Pinkveto Thu 31-Jul-08 21:51:54

Tried my massive boots, no aveeno - should I be looking in baby section or adult section?

Am currently on unguentum M, having tried various others on script - am I likely to get aveeno if I request it or will there be a practice formulary list that will restrict their prescribing?

babyOcho Thu 31-Jul-08 21:53:26

DD at around 3months got red patches and then a rash on her chest and tum.
We only ever used olive oil and calendula oil, and only a bit of olive oil in the bath.

The first doc took one look and said excema. (She is excl. BF and I was really upset). She gave E45 and oilatum. The E45 made it worse and I tried aveeno. The aveeno didnt work either. I think that deep down I didnt trust the docs diagnosis, so I went back to see another doc a few days later. She said that it was due to the fact that DD had been in amniotic fluid for months and this was a reaction to the outside world. She said dont use any creams that were white, eg E45, aqueous, as they dont provide enough moisture or protection. She also said dont bath her that often and when I do only use water. She prescribed emulsifying ointment (which I wasn't sure about). We applied the emulsifying ointment after each nappy change and within a week it cleared up.

I am not sure whether this helps, but I know how upsetting it is, especially if you're excl. BFing.

Sometimes its trial and error, but good luck.

babyOcho Thu 31-Jul-08 21:55:43

And try and keep nails short.

When I was changing DD and just before she was getting in the bath I would put socks over her hands to stop the scratching. She loved to chew on the socks, so it worked out quite well!

emma1977 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:00:04

About half of patients with eczema only need emollients. Of the remainder, most will need occasional topical hydrocortisone and only a few need anything stronger.

I don't see why they should refuse to prescribe aveeno- its not that expensive on the scale of things and if its what works, then its money well-spent in my opinion (I'm not a fan of prescribing budgets or restrictions).

I agree with the trial and error thing with emollients. You may have to try several before you find something that works well. E45 and aqueous cream are good starters, but can make eczema worse in about 10%. I also love emusifying ointment but find a lot of parents don't like it as it makes the children very slippy!

babyOcho Thu 31-Jul-08 22:05:17

I agree that emusifying ointment is really slippy gets all over your hands... but a top tip is to put the excess on your elbows. My hands and elbows are all now nice and soft!

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