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Allergies and intolerances

Formula and eczema/rash

39 replies

Myfairone · 28/01/2008 16:21

Hi ladies,

Can anyone help me please?

I have just introduced formula to my 6 month old. I made his baby porridge with it last week and noticed a slight rash. Left it for a few days and gave him a formula bottle last night before bed. Today the rash (Across his chest) is bright red,very angry and raised up.
I took him to the doctor who said it was eczema and prescribed a steroid cream (which I really do not want to use!)

I asked if it could be a reaction to the formula and he said unlikely...

Can I have some opinions please? I am lactose intolerant but the doctor said that its unlikely he would be!


OP posts:
meep · 28/01/2008 16:30

Hi MFO, how are you?
It does sound like excema - minimeep has had it since she was about 4mo - I have used steroid cream on bad flare ups (if you do use it don't just stop when the rash goes - keep using for a few days after or it just comes back.
Daily I use Epaderm on her at least 2x a day and Oilatum+ in the bath. No bubbles in the bath and Surcare washing powder.
The worst thing is she gets it on her head and scratches it in her sleep - at the moment it looks like Freddie Kruger had a go at her forehead
It could be the formula or it could just be a reaction to new food/ new washing powder - but out of my ante natal group 3 babies have excema - one is formula fed (minimeep), one is mixed fed, and the one with the worst skin has been exclusively bf!
Out of the 3 with perfect skin - 2 of them have been formula fed since around 2 weeks old.
But every baby is different.
You wil get lots of advice about things to try - and you will eventually find something that suits your ds - or he will just grow out of it hopefully
If it gets worse - try and get a referral to a dermatologist.
Good luck - I know how horrid it is.

Myfairone · 28/01/2008 17:30

oh meep thank you so much..ive been really upset today about it and have been blaming myself for giving him the formula.

sorry to hear mini meep suffers...hope she is feeling better now too.

thanks again

OP posts:
Karen999 · 28/01/2008 17:39

Hi, my dd developed excema at around 4 months, by which time I was mixed feeding. The doctor precribed soya milk and this has helped although she still has it - just not as bad...

pointydog · 28/01/2008 17:44

It will be almost impossible for anyone to tell you what has caused it. That's the nature of eczema, often a reaction against several 'normal' things in teh environment.

If it's any consolation, dd2 developed terrible eczema when she was 5 weeks old (although very unusual spotty, rashy skin from birth) and she was only breastfed at that point.

meep · 28/01/2008 19:55

mfo don't blame yourself - I know how the formula guilt feels - mine started when minmeep was 4 weeks old and lasted until I started weaning her!
As pontydog says, excema can be caused by any number of things - it is not necessarily the formula.
Keep smiling mfo you sound like a lovely caring mum

soph28 · 28/01/2008 20:01

Just to be contrary, my neice had a reaction to formula when she was about 4mths old.

They were advised to leave it a while then introduce a different formula a teaspoon at a time, increasing by a teaspoon everyday for a week. Oh and also to do a skin test first- rub a bit on her skin and monitor for a reaction.

They did this and she was fine and has never had the rash again.

If everyone else thinks excema, I'm not disagreeing, just saying that it is possible to have a reaction to the formula.

MommaFeelgood · 28/01/2008 20:08

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soph28 · 28/01/2008 20:13

I second that, my ds had blocked tear ducts as a baby and always had sticky, running eyes. By about 8wks old the constant runny eyes had dried the skin on his cheeks and around his eyes and he had started to scratch it so I asked GP if I could do anything for his eyes and she said it wasn't that but he had excema. He didn't.

kiskidee · 28/01/2008 20:15

he could be allergic to cow's milk protein which is different from being lactose intolerant. Yes, your GP is probably right that it is unlikely that he is lactose intolerant. Lactose is a milk sugar which is also in human milk.

Yes, you may be right that he is cow's milk protein intolerant. You can insist that he is tested for this intolerance for your knowledge. I would take him off the formula if you can. It can take eczema up to 3 wks to see significant improvement after it is removed from the diet.

kiskidee · 28/01/2008 20:16

oh, yes as said below, many GP's are woefully ignorant about formula and bfing.

Myfairone · 28/01/2008 21:32

Thank you ladies this has really helped.

I have a ton of food allergies (lactose intolerance being one of them) which is the reason why I have been so careful at introducing foods slowly. Last week I made his porridge with some formula (2oz) and noticed the rash two days later but it was only mild and dissapeared..

Yesterday he had the formula in a bottle and the rash is really angry today...

I think im going with an allergy and am going to continue breast feeding until the rash clears up and then will take Soph28's advice and try a skin test with a different formula.

Thanks again for all your advice, this has really put my mind at rest. DH seems to think im panicking because I have allergies but it makes sense to me that if anyone is going to be susceptible to them it would be the child of someone who already has them...if that makes sense!

OP posts:
Myfairone · 28/01/2008 21:34

mommafeelgood - Which formula did you give to dc2 and 3?

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MommaFeelgood · 28/01/2008 22:32

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Balthamos · 28/01/2008 22:35

Hi there. Just read this as it is something key to our lives at the moment...I think you need to go with your gut feeling about what is causing the reaction. My DD developed ezcema AFTER i tried to introduce a night time FF at a couple of weeks old...i think it was the formula that caused it and regret giving it to her (really don't want to start a BF / FF war here, just talking about my baby and my experience - please don't get annoyed anyone! I've had enough tears over my DD's ezcema as it is).I was exhausted and couldn't cope with the constant BF and tried to give her a formula feed last thing at night. Luckily she pretty much refused it but the rash and then ezcema followed... I was gutted and blame myself entirely for her ezcema (for being 'weak' and giving her F when i should have been 'stronger' and BF - silly i know!).

Anyway, I really pushed on with BF and held back on weaning and am really careful about what i feed her (sticking with low allergy risk foods).

She has now been totally ezcema free since just before New Yearn (yay!!!). I am still really careful about what i feed her and won't give her any food with formula in it. I express for all of her food and check the ingredients of everything. It took lots of hard work (and very little sleep) to get her back on track.

But i guess what i am trying to say is this, if your instinct is that it was formula, then work around that. It may not have been (just as it may not have been in my DD's case) but just do what makes you feel comfortable.

MommaFeelgood · 28/01/2008 23:00

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Balthamos · 28/01/2008 23:24

Thanks MommaFeelgood... i know i shouldn't blame myself - as you know you shouldn't either (you listened to your GP - what else are you supposed to do?) - but it is just SO hard not to.

Anyway, i am in total awe just having re-read this thread and realised that you have excl BF 5 month old twins!

Full respect! i have found it hard enough with one! I bow down.... .
However, having said that, i do love BFing my DD and don't know when i am ever going to be able to stop!

Anyway, sorry to hijack - Myfairone, huge hugs to you. I know that rashes and eczema are hard to deal with and make you very sad for your LO. You should maybe check out - that site has wonderful info.

MommaFeelgood · 28/01/2008 23:38

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MommaFeelgood · 28/01/2008 23:45

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Myfairone · 29/01/2008 07:45

Ladies, what can I say! Thank you so much for all of the advice.

I just feel so angry with myself over this (although wouldn't have known until I tried anyway). I have exclusively bf for 27 weeks and with the introduction of food (made all my own!) I thought it would be nice to get him onto a bottle of formula in the day so that I can avoid expressing at work (something I will be unable to do!) and then this happens...

Okay, (puts down sharp stick she has been beating herself with!) now I need to just get him better and continue doing what I'm doing....Im so glad that I'm not alone in all this and I wouldnt wish it on anyones child to have allergies but its nice to know that its not just my LO.

Mommafeelgood, I too bow down to you! BF twins...oh my!

Thanks again ladies.
big hugs

OP posts:
WaynettaSlob · 29/01/2008 07:51

Myfairone - what formula are you using? Just wondering because Aptamil contains egg, so it may be that.

MommaFeelgood · 29/01/2008 08:52

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MommaFeelgood · 29/01/2008 09:01

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Myfairone · 29/01/2008 13:38

Mommafeelgood - I have a non dairy diet because of my allergies so this would have been his first introduction to milk of any kind.
The formula I used was aptamil.

Armed with your advice I went back to the doctors today (there was a clinic being held by the health visitor).

HV took one look at the rash and said that it was an obvious allergic reaction (she is aware of my allergies). I told her the doctor had very little time for me and sent me away with a cream and she went and talked to him.
5 minutes later he was in the room apologising and saying that he hadn't listened to me properly and that now he thinks about it, its probably an allergy to the formula!

Anyway, the upshot is that he has prescribed me a formula which is free of milk protein and lactose (don't have the name to hand because the chemist have kept the prescription to order it).

I feel exhausted and have to admit I've had a little cry to myself because I feel this is my fault. I know deep down that its not really but can't help feeling that way. I just don't want my DS to go through what I did with all my allergies.

So, thanks for all the advice ladies, you gave me what I needed to get back to the doctor and 'give him what for'!!!!

Big hugs

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MommaFeelgood · 29/01/2008 16:40

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meep · 29/01/2008 19:11

hooray for mumsnet
ladies - we are all burdened with mothers guilt over something - every time I feel like that I just look at dd and she is a happy wee bouncy thing, rashes and all (latest one is rife under her chin )and that kind of makes it go away.
MFO - good to hear about the formula - let us know how your ds gets on.
Balthamos - hi - you are fab and your dd is fab!
Momma - I bow down also to you bf twins - wow!

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