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Allergies and intolerances

Another Eczema question

19 replies

julesgs · 09/09/2005 09:37

DD is 7 months and has had eczema behind her knees, inside of elbows and top of her legs at the front just beneath the elastic bits of her nappy. Funnily enough, nappy area is absolutely free of eczema as is her back. This really took off when the Summer began.

I'm using diprobase every nappy change and other specialist creams twice a day and she has a cool oatmeal bath in the evening.

I've been prescribed the usual hydrocortisone cream which I am loath to use as I've heard it thins skin if usage is prolonged. However, following a rather horrible flare up, HV insisted I use it.

Question is, how long is a prolonged usage ? I tend to use it for a few days until it has cleared up but inevitably the red sore patches come back. Any

Secondly, is eczema linked to teething. DD's first tooth broke through on Monday and that's when her eczema really flared up?

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks
Jules

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rickman · 09/09/2005 09:43

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Anchovy · 09/09/2005 09:54

My very first posts were all about eczema and I now feel like answering any and all questions as DH and I have now officially pronounced DD (23 months - diagnosed at 4 months) ECZEMA FREE!!!!!

I think you do have to use h/c, to be honest, if the situation warrants it. Some people gave me advice about various chinese medicines and homepathic remedies and my view was always good for them if it worked for them, but DDs eczema at several stages, was at a place where only serious stuff could work. My doctor said that although you spread it thinly, you shouldn't be scared of using it when necessary. He thought that people tended to under-use it (and noted that many of the concerns came from old studies of prolonged use of high percentage steroids). He said it was very important to completely clear the skin of the eczema whenever a flare up ocurred as it was important for the skin to "know" what a normal state was (I'm pretty sure he put it quite a bit more eloquently than that!)

Over time, you get to recognise triggers. DD's was definitely worse when she was teething, and also when she had a cold - it was almost as if as soon as her immune system had something else to deal with, it stopped fighting off the excema IYSWIM.

By the way, did I mention that DD is now ECZEMA FREE

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maretta · 09/09/2005 10:02

I agree with anchovy. Also I've been told that if you're going to use hydrocortisone it is best to use it until the redness subsides and then carry on for a couple of days after that.

I've found this to be good advice as it seems better to use it continually for a week than to use it for three days, stop for two and then start again.

I think also you have to experiment with creams until you find what's best for you. Personally I like epaderm. It's very greasy, makes ds look like a cross channel swimmer.

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mumtosomeone · 09/09/2005 10:04

I always used it when there was a flair up, seemed to clear in a couple of days!
I also found good old sudocreme worked a treat!

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julesgs · 09/09/2005 10:19

Anchovy, your post is a godsend to me. DD also has a cold so again that could account for her flare ups. So pleased to hear your DD is eczema free, can't wait for that feeling myself.

Rickman, what suncream, if any, would you recommend ? I have E45 for babies - we are off to the Algarve soon so I'll have to put some on her ?

Thanks again

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alexsmum · 09/09/2005 10:20

our son had a community paediatric nurse who told us loads of stuff nobody else did.She said that you should use hydrocortisone for 2 weeks after the redness has subsided i know it sounds mad doesn't it, but apparently if you don't the skin doesn't actually heal properly making the flare up more likely to come back quickly.
we were also told by the paediatrician that the skin is more damaged by the scratching than by the hc. he was saying this in reply to my worries about the hc thinning the skin. i think the .5% and 1% is fine really, and it the big guns of the like of betnovate that would be the prob.

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alexsmum · 09/09/2005 10:21

oh and our ds ALWAYS has a flare up when teething and like yours always seems better when ill. weird isn't it?

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kcemum · 09/09/2005 10:30

My DD3 reacts to suncream, this summer we've been using nivea kids which she hasn't reacted to.

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rickman · 09/09/2005 10:35

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bobbybob · 09/09/2005 11:14

Get rid of the eczema - use the cream you have to. Sometimes we have to use the strongest one you can put on outside of a hospital - but it's important to nuke the rash.

Then wean off the cream to stop a sudden comeback, gradually go to less strong ones (if there are any) and then moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

Try probiotics - I found they really helped at teething time especially.

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julesgs · 09/09/2005 12:14

Alexsmum, really helpful - thanks. I must say I thought that it would take a long period of using hydrocortisone cream to start thinning the skin, so will def use for 2 weeks after redness has subsided. At the moment its taking longer for the redness to go away and it's worse at the top of her legs where her nappy must rub.

I'm also feeling a bit "why me" when I look at other friends' babies who have perfectly clear skin and are wearing pretty summer clothes rather than being covered up to stop them scratching - selfish I know as it is really dd who is suffering - and then I think of other children who are seriously ill and feel guilty for not being such a drama queen. Right I'm going to start crying in a minute (dammed hormones), so I better go and make dd's lunch.

This is my first post on mumsnet and I'm so impressed with the level of response and support. Thanks again everyone.

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dramaqueen72 · 09/09/2005 12:21

just wanted to add piz buin do an allergy sun cream which is expensive but worked wondefully on dd2 (who gets terrible eczema) and dh who has always been prone to prickly heat/sun cream rash type thing. you can get it in two strengths and we used factor 30 in the algrave, in august, with great success.
hth!

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Eaney · 09/09/2005 12:36

My DS had horendous eczema for the first year. We had to wet wrap to get in under control. Like you I was afraid to us too much HC but over time I realised that if you use it as soon as you see the first signs of a rash you end up using less overall - A stitch in time.....

When you have the rash under control you need to wean your child off the HC gradually otherwise you risk a rebound reaction.

Other things which helped me were:
1.Tea tree oil for wet eczema and/or infected eczema
2.Reducing bathing to the bare minimal (once a week)
3.Dry Tubigrip on his elbows. I have eczema and a tight bandage seems to help with the itching.

I wouldn't reccomend wet wrapping but if you have to it does get a situation under control.

Anything that has an impact on the immune system is likely to cause a flare up e.g. theeting, colds and flus.

BTW I tried everything, chinese herbal, homeopathic treatment and all manner of creams but it was the steroids that were the only things I could rely on.

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spidermama · 09/09/2005 12:45

I had eczema in the same places as a kid. It was horrible. I also had asthma (was using drugs every day to control it and had several episodes of hospitalisation).
Then last year I cut out wheat and dairy (under advice from naturopath) and I've never had any asthma or eczema since. I'm still pinching myself as I never thought it could be so simple.

Obviously it doesn't work for everyone, but it has to be worth a go. I'm almost evangelical about this as I suffered needlessly for so many years and took all sorts of drugs and creams when all I needed to do was change my diet.

In my case it was the combination of wheat and dairy in the diet, plus allergens like dust, dog fur and pollen. Although I'm still exposed to the allergens, they no longer bother me now I've changed my diet.

I only with the doctors would have the vision to try this method with more people. I'm by no means the only one for whom this has worked.

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blossomgirl · 09/09/2005 13:39

Hi thanks for this thread Jules, great first post. My experiences are very typical but we have not seen a connection with teething, only crawling about in grass.

My ds has fiery ankles and inside knees and although i've been hissing about the GP prescribing hs i can see now i've been using it wrong.. never actually had a clear skin day since diagnosis as we stop using the hs in a panic when the redness was down to two thin lines. We also use aveeno and have changed fron Aptamil to Nanny milk, but are reeling at the cost. Truth is we know the hs is the key, and ill do a better job of using it now.

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Chandra · 09/09/2005 13:54

I'm sorry to contradict the advice of the paediatric nurse, but using HC for two weeks after the flare has disapeared is not exactly sensible. HC is there to eliminate the inflamation of the skin, once that's gone no need to continue. However, in cases of HC mixed with antibiotics (like Fucidin H) you are expected to apply it for a couple of days longer just to be sure that the infection is gone.

HC is not bad and won't damage the skin if you use it correctly, actually, more dermatologists will tell you that the damage caused to the skin by un-attended eczema is worse than that caused by HC. Obviously, there are different degrees of eczema, some cases could be easily solved with very mild treatments while others will require more dramatic measures. DS, as an example, was irresponsive to HC, he went from HC 0.5 to 2.5 in the space of a few months without any improvement. Finally, the dermatologist went for a different treatment that broke the cycle and gave DS and us a bit of peace. DS is now 2.7 and have to say that as long as we apply Aveeno or Eucerin once a day the skin will be fine. We have not had a bad flare episode in months. So, there's hope

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julesgs · 09/09/2005 14:07

Ohh bumflaps, now I am in a quandry. Well I will carry on using the HC until the redness has cleared and a bit after just to be safe. Thanks Chandra

One more thing, did any of you see an improvement with cooler weather, or am I looking forward to Winter unnecessarily???

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kcemum · 09/09/2005 14:14

Mine gets worse in the winter,especially if it's raining for some reason. I can alweays tell when the weather is changing as all my excema sites start to tingle and become sore.

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Chandra · 09/09/2005 21:04

It depends in many factors, ie if the house is very dry due to central heating eczema can get a bit worse. Out of that DS was better in cool wheather.

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