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Excema - how should I treat it?

(197 Posts)
AngieL Thu 30-Jan-03 22:09:30

My 15 mo daughter has got quite a lot of excema at the moment. She has got a large patch on the side of her face near her eye and it has become infected. She has an immune deficiency and the doctor has now given her oral antibiotics.

He hasn't really told me how I should be treating the excema though and it is weeping and bleeding. Do I put any cream or anything on - I can't use the hydrocortisone at the moment. Should I cover it up, to stop dd scratching it?

Any advice would be great. TIA.

Podmog Fri 31-Jan-03 08:21:18

Message withdrawn

batey Fri 31-Jan-03 08:23:55

We use Dermol 600 in the bath, it keeps their skin really clean, it's anti-bac so really helps stop infections coming/getting worse. On prescription from the Dr. HTH.

hmb Fri 31-Jan-03 08:29:55

Oilatum in the bath and aqueous cream afterwards, and also as a washing aid works for us. And ban biological washing powders, and fabric conditioners. We use hydrocortisone when there is a flare up, but don't use it on the face without the docs say so.
If it helps any I had *awful* eczema as a child, weeping, bleeding , the works, and I grew out of it. And the moisturisers used now are a *huge* improvement on the treatment I had.

mollipops Fri 31-Jan-03 08:39:54

Agree with all the things already recommended - also try oatmeal in a stocking in the bath. Aqueous is good I find. You can use chickweed cream or pawpaw ointment from your pharmacy or health food store - natural and worth a try.

And yes, change your washing powder and don't use shampoo on her. Soap-free PH balanced in the bath... HTH

AngieL Fri 31-Jan-03 11:02:11

Thanks for your suggestions. At the moment I use emulsiderm in the bath and then aqueous cream. I had been using hydrocortisone on the bad patches but obviously I don't want to do this long term, especially on her face.

I use non bio powder and pure conditioner and I have tried putting gloves on her but she just gets them off.

I did have some antibacterial cream for it but this had hydorcortisone in as well so I've had to stop using that.

Is it really alright to continue to moisturise it when it is infected, I'm scared I will spread the infection around?

Mommymommy Fri 31-Jan-03 11:12:44

I have suffered from Psoriasis all my life, which, in itself is a form of Excema and find that keep it in the fresh air and sun (not that we are going to have much in the next few months) help alot. I've got a friend whose son has been hospitalised a few times with it (he's 9) I'll ask her what tips she has and I'll let u know later. I personally would not moisturize the infected bits, but let it breathe and keep very clean but on the other patches have you tried putting the cream on using a Q-tip, that way it's easier to target smaller areas.

Hebe Fri 31-Jan-03 11:49:47

Hi, I developed eczema on my hands after my first baby was born 4 years ago. I didn't like using the cortisone cream all the time but nothing seemed to work until I discovered SK Cream. It did not work overnight but after a few daysI noticed an improvement. I have not used cortisone cream since. I moisturise regularly with E45 cream and use SK Cream when I get an 'attack'. My 16 week old baby now has eczema in patches over most of his body. I treat him in the same way as I do myself but have not noticed much improvement yet although it hasn't worsened.

LIZS Fri 31-Jan-03 13:27:25

We use a bath called Balneum Hermal plus which is definitely available in large Tescos and probably UK pharmacists too. In addition we have a preparation called Dermed for her scalp (dd's cradle cap often breaks out)and use an Almond Oil-based cream on dry patches(not for the nut allergic) and creams called Dr Beckmanns/APP and Triderm (an antifungal too)on red patches which may not be readily available, or perhaps known under another name, in UK.

I don't understand why you cannot use the Hydocortisone cream at the moment as I thought we were advised to use it on broken patches - was this not right ?

Apparently here in CH there is a cream due to be licensed which acts like cortisone but without the side effects. I am not sure whether this is also true of UK although I thought I saw mention of something sounding similar in a recent Practical Parenting or Mother and Baby(why can you never find these things when you need them ?!!).

hope this helps ,I hadn't realised we had accumulated such a number of creams until I wrote this but we find it is very much a case of trial and error.


AngieL Fri 31-Jan-03 16:30:37

Lizs - I had been told by my doctor not to apply hydrocortisone cream in the same area for more than a week as it can thin the skin. I also read that topical steroids should not be used on broken or infected skin.

Hebe - what is SK cream?

I've been told to soak the crusts on her excema with saline solution and gauze as the bacteria forms underneath the crust. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon and it will start to heal. It looks really sore at the moment.

megg Fri 31-Jan-03 17:03:11

I have a 3.2 yr ds and we've put Allergenics from the health food shop on it. His was weeping from all his scratting and it practically cleared up within a week. Its got no steroids in it, fantastic stuff. Someone else I know swears by Junior E45 cream with a drop of pure lavender oil in it. HTH.

Hebe Sat 01-Feb-03 13:20:46

Hi AngieL

SK Cream is a totally natural product (and organic I think). It is not any one of the ingredients in it that do the trick but rather the specific combination of all of them. It is available from this Website: The lady who runs this business is very helpful so you could drop her an e-mail and ask her advice. If you decide to give it a try do let me know if it works for your daughter. Is her face healing yet?

AngieL Sat 01-Feb-03 16:18:23

Thanks for that Hebe. I think I will definitely try some of the more natural creams and hopefully will find one that works.

Unfortunately, her face doesn't look any better. She is such a pretty little thing and at the moment she just looks horrible. She has got more and more red patches coming on her face and I'm worried that the infection is going to spread. I would have thought that the antibiotics would have started working now, but there doesn't seem to have been much improvement.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I'll let you know what our miracle cure is.

lorne Mon 03-Feb-03 18:04:18

Hi Angiel
My little boy had bad excema too. His started at about 12 weeks. Anyway I tried all the creams etc but it didn't really work. I was then advised to go to a homiepathic doctor. We had a consultation with him and he prescribed sulphate tablets. They were fantastic and my ds has been excema free for over 2 years now. They took a little while to work but when they did work what a difference in his skin. I know how terrible I use to feel for my little boy as it looked so itchy and soare so as you can imagine I was so happy when the sulphate tablets worked.

You can maybe give this a try as it certainly worked for us.

Good luck

Podmog Tue 04-Feb-03 08:19:55

Message withdrawn

AngieL Tue 04-Feb-03 23:39:21

It's not going to well actually, but thanks for asking.

My dd has been back to the doctors today and is on her second course of antibiotics to try and clear up the infection. She now has excema over most of her face but so far the infection hasn't spread too much. The doctor took a swab and hopefully this will help him prescribe something that will work.

He also gave me some different things to try - Oilatum Plus for bath and Aveeno cream, hopefully these might make a difference.

Thanks for the phone number of the excema society, I might give them a ring to see what they think. It is difficult to know how big a role the immune deficiency is playing this or whether it is just a bad flare up.

hmb Wed 05-Feb-03 07:08:30

I hope things improve. We found oilatum very good in the bath....but it is hell on rubber bath mats! It is all a case of trying lots of things until you find what works for your Dd. Good luck!

SoupDragon Wed 05-Feb-03 08:22:51

DS2 had excema like patches (I'd not call it "proper" excema though). Oilatum made it much worse and the best thing was some left over Kamillosan cream I put on in desperation.

Hope you find the right solution for your DD soon.

marz Wed 05-Feb-03 08:30:29

I am sorry I do not know anything about immune deficiency, but does that rule out the option that the excema could be due to a food allergy?

katierocket Wed 05-Feb-03 09:58:15

Hiya, sorry I've not read all the other messages so apologies if someone has already suggested this.
We use Allergenics cream - I bought it after reading an article in the Guardian about effective non-steroidal (sp!) creams. It's very good - you can get it from Boots.

CER Wed 05-Feb-03 23:17:09

AngieL, I really feel for you as my 18 month old ds has been covered in eczema since he was born. We have only got it under control in the last month or so after being on steroids on a daily basis for about 11 months.

I would definately agree with Podmog, in that no two eczema sufferers are the same and what works for others may not be helpful for your daughter. After spending a fortune on creams, alternative practitioners, and everything and anything that people suggested to us we have found that the "Elenas collection" range at "" has worked wonders. It's very expensive but for us it has been worth it. Once his skin began to improve it was clear that the emollients and bath oils that we were getting on prescription were just aggrevating his skin so I would watch out for that.

Other things that have made a difference for us are diet, even though the dermatologists kept insisting that it shouldn't.

We also took him for spa treatment in France which I think was the real turning point, but that was just because his eczema was so bad and not responding.

The eczema society is really helpful, as was my health visitor, who was one of the wonderful ones. They see lots of children with eczema and mine always asks the mums what they've been using so she can pass tips onto others.

Hope things start getting better soon.

katierocket Thu 06-Feb-03 08:42:26

There was a feature all about this on Radio 4 yesterday - they were talking about steroids and how everyone avoids them (for usual reasons) but that actually if used spareingly under medical supervision they can work wonders (you probably know all this). They had Fiona Phillips on, the GMTV presenter - she was saying that her 8 month old suffers terribly and she tried everything, all the creams, reflexology, chinese medicine etc etc eventually she was refered to a dematologist peadeatrician (spelling!) and he gave them this steroid cream - she said she was reluctant to use it but after much discussion with the consultant they gave it a go - she said it was a miracle and gave him total relief from the scrathing. She was very well informed and seemed to know all about the possible risks etc but overall she said it has made her baby so much happier and that obivously she only uses it when absolutely necessary. why not ask the doctor for more information.

AngieL Thu 06-Feb-03 11:32:30

Thanks again for your suggestions. To be honest the patches she has got on her arms and legs etc aren't that bad although she has got a lot more than she used to have.

It's the infection on her face that is causing all the problems. She has had 2 lots of antibiotics now and they just haven't worked. I'm waiting for the Doctor to ring now to decide what will happen next. Dd can't stop scratching at it though and the infection has spread from the side of her face and goes right across her eyebrows as well now.

The doctor has said that putting steroids on an open wound will just prolong the healing, at the moment I can't put anything on it at all.

CER - We're supposed to be going to France in May on holiday and I'm trying to get the passport photos taken. I don't want to take them like this though as the photo is going to be around for a while. If things continue like this perhaps you could tell me where you took your ds.

Jimjams Thu 06-Feb-03 12:07:36

DS1 had severe eczema for a while following eczema herpeticum. It would probably be worth asking about fucidin-h. This contains an antibiotic and 0.1% hydrocortisone. It helped (together with the correct oral antibiotic) to bring the infection under control. Once the infection is clear you can do usual things like wetwrap (even the head!! although Ive only ever done body and limbs!) and find an emollient that suits. Different people seem to prefer different ones. We use diprobase, or dermol if the skin is getting infected. if his skin is pretty good I use hemp oil, or just aqueous cream.

AngieL Thu 06-Feb-03 13:11:15

We've already tried the Fucidin H and unfortunately it hasn't worked, which is why we've moved on to oral antibiotics. I'm assuming this is because of the immune deficiency and dd is having trouble fighting the infection.

What is eczema herpeticum? Out of interest how to you spell excema/eczema?

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