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Not to bath ds?

89 replies

humanoctopus · 27/03/2011 23:36

Ds,aged 2 gets horrible eczema flare ups a number of times a year so far.

We have about 3 months of normality, then the horrid red, sore bits start. GP doesn't think its allergy related, as its so infrequent. He has had some infected weeping bits whenever its gotten infected, really rotten for him.

My observation is that whenever he has a bath (just warm water, no detergent), which we did about 3 times weekly, until about 4 monts ago, he has had pre-eczema looking bits, which I blast with tons of aqueous cream, etc.

I am now using plain oil or lotions to massage him, then a soft muslin cloth of wipe him all over. We are 4 months into this regime, without a flare up, so that's good, right?

He doesn't smell, his skin is lovely and soft, and he is happy, without the disturbed sleep that the flare ups bring.

I said this to the HV when she called to do a developmental check. She was asking about his daily routine, etc. She was visibly horrified at his lack of bathing, I was Blush at her reaction. I explained about the eczema and how it was working out so well at the moment.

She phoned me at work on Friday and said that she would like to visit to discuss how I was handling ds. I wouldn't agree to setting a date/time on the spot, as I wanted to get my head around this.

Is is so unreasonable not to bathe him given how it affects him. I really do keep him clean and lovely looking, just feeling worried now.

OP posts:
Tanith · 28/03/2011 00:08

Oh dear! I've just revised my opinion of your HV, reading what you just said.

Avoid the woman!!!

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 28/03/2011 00:08

look up "aquagenic pruritis", DH has it...

basically, its dermatitis that is brought on by contact with water. Hang on, I'll find the wiki link for you...

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 28/03/2011 00:09
Feelingsadandguilty · 28/03/2011 00:12

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, you're clearly acting for him perfectly well. I would say ask the gp about a bath lotion called oilatum though. You put a few capfuls in the bath and it stops the water drying their skin. Kind of coats them in a layer of moisturising lotion then you pat them dry. I have had to start bathing ds2 less as his excema was getting bad. Cut down from daily to every other day and now sometimes once every 3 days.

We're also using epiderm as soap (looks like chip fat and dissolves in the water) and epiderm cream after his bath.

I agree re the hv, don't have to see her. Tell her you've seen gp and to sod off!

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 28/03/2011 00:12

Just read what your wrote about the HV! Shock

Complain and avoid!

humanoctopus · 28/03/2011 00:12


I try to be open minded where she is concerned, but think she is very judgemental about me 'wanting' a career. Has said at every visit that she is amazed that I can want to work when there is so much work needing doing re ds aged 7 with aspergers!

I need to work. Not just for financial reasons. I like being with other adults.

OP posts:
WMDinthekitchen · 28/03/2011 00:12

Octopus, only yesterday a pharmacist advised my 16 year old daughter who has (admittedly) mild eczema that research has shown that aqueous cream can cause discomfort. Maybe it is that and not the bathing at all?? See link. She recommended E45. Sorry, don't want to make things more complicated & it may not apply in your son's case. Think seeing a dermatologist would be a good idea.

lunar1 · 28/03/2011 00:13

My Ds is 2.5, he had terrible exczema at 2 and I have just figured out a routine that works for him.

the GP prescribed polytar shampoo, epaderm cream to use all over, oilatum for the bath and betnovate 0.25mg for the bad patches when they flair up.

I take him swimming twice a week, and i take all his lotions with us and use them for his shower after. he then has one bath a week. on the other 4 days he has a good wash and i just use a drop of the oilatum in the water.

He hardly has any problems now even after swimming. For bed I still use the baby grows with the feet in so he cant pull his clothes up and scratch, and i make sure to clip his nails twice a week while he is sleeping.

I dont know if any part of this is helpful to you but is has made our life so much easier. I hardly have to use any betnovate now, once a month at the most.

vintageteacups · 28/03/2011 00:13

allsquare I think aquagenic pruritis is what I have - I limit the itching by having extremely hot baths and showers (obviously a child cannot do that) and by handwashing in either very cold or very hot water; tepid water drives my eczema nutty.

I cannot touch raw meat or potaotes without my hands going mental within seconds.

If this is what your DS OP, then you are doing the right thing not to bath him often.

mathanxiety · 28/03/2011 00:14

Don't bother with bathing. Mine all had baths that were few and far between and no skin problems.

vintageteacups · 28/03/2011 00:15

Oh yes - forgot to say that as soon as I stopped slathering on aqueous cream, my eczema got so much better. I now only use vaseline on my body and hands and even sometimes on my face. I cannot go 30 mins without it on my lips - otherwise they dry out so much that they sting and go bright red.

I would try not to use aqueous cream if you don't have to OP.

lunar1 · 28/03/2011 00:16

I also ment to add he has horrible reactions if i use aqueous creams. I had even had to take him for out of hours treatment when i used e45 as his reaction was so bad

humanoctopus · 28/03/2011 00:16

lunar1 That sounds like a great routine. Did it take long to work?

OP posts:
Supermoo · 28/03/2011 00:17

It is all natural, not specific for eczema (I use it too, it's lovely), but works a treat. The shop makes my sinuses sting though! Dd get patches of dry, scaly skin (especially after bathing/swimming) which go red and sore if left untreated. I've tried other creams and stuff for the bath from our GP, but nothing has worked as well as Dream Cream. It was recommended to me by a friend whose ds has eczema, not sure where she found it!

lunar1 · 28/03/2011 00:21

I noticed a difference after a week, after a month it had almost all gone. I did try to reduce the amount of lotions i used last month, but after about 4 days i could see patches coming back. so it looks like he will be sticking to this routine for the foreseeable future. It did take a couple of weeks for him not to run away when i got the box out though, now he loves it!

Thingiebob · 28/03/2011 00:23


I agree with the other posters, tell her you are bathing him a few times a week, but then continue with your routine.
You're keeping him clean and clearly doing a good job keeping him free from unpleasant eczema.

humanoctopus · 28/03/2011 00:24

My guy absolutely loves having lotions massaged into him (typical man, already Grin, so wouldn't be a problem adding different ones to his current routine.

OP posts:
Feelingsadandguilty · 28/03/2011 00:27

Acting for him?! That was supposed to say Caring for him!

humanoctopus · 28/03/2011 00:31

Thanks all. Great support on here, and lots of useful ideas and advice.

I seriously need to grow a pair and deal with this hv before she wears me down!

OP posts:
ChunkyPickle · 28/03/2011 00:43

TBH it sounds lovely - although maybe expensive on the oils as he gets bigger.

Wasn't there some ancient lot that cleaned themselves that way? Oil rubbed in all over, then scraped off?

Or how about those threads I see going on about that facial oil cleansing method.

People in lots of places go a lot longer between washing than we're used to these days.

It's a lot more work for you though, so if his skin could cope with the occasional bath when particularly grubby your life would be easier

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 28/03/2011 00:53

roman I think chunky (will google....)

Rosmarin · 28/03/2011 00:58

Sounds like your ds has it pretty tough with the flare ups. :-/ Poor little guy!

Here are some things which worked for my mild eczema and some that worked for friends, if you decide you want to start baths again.

A muslin cloth filled with oats, run under bath water.
Dermol - a non-soap soap replacement (I have to use it all the time)
Dermol also do bath oil which is a bit greasy but better than painful flare ups.
It's great you've been able to go without steroidal creams (?) because he's so young still!
And of course lots of moisturizing - and wrapping up the moisturized areas with clothes so it doesn't rub off (e.g. long sleeve vests if arms get affected).

On the other hand, washing is a good habit to give him as long as you can maintain his skin. And as he gets older there are the sweaty parts that really do need a bit of a clean.

Best of luck!

TinaSpoon · 28/03/2011 01:00

This is coming from someone who suffers from severe eczema, even now at blah blah year old. Grin and with children prone to it. Although I can see where you're coming from, as people with eczema prone skin do better without baths, it is better to bathe them every now and again.
If you are eczema prone it is not good to bath every day or two, as it can strip the skin of its natural oils. Once or twice week will do fine.

TinaSpoon · 28/03/2011 01:02

Forgot to say, ask your GP for Balneum in the bath, that's what mine use and it is lovely. Smile

Rosmarin · 28/03/2011 01:03

Ah! Just remembered something else:

When I go abroad to certain places (Germany, especially) my eczema clears up and I can use soaps and even wash dishes without gloves... Perhaps the water is exacerbating his skin? Perhaps there are systems to change the water type as it goes into the tap?

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