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Hi! My name is Shannon and I'm active in the July 2010 PR but my oldest dd is Kaitlyn and she just turned 4! OK, so she has had severe eczema since she was about 6 months old. She couldn't tolerate regular formula but soy she did. Although she did have Severs GERD she finally outgrew that about 1 1/2. But eczema has only gotten worse over the years. We use hypoallergenic EVERYTHING, and yes I mean everything. We've tried oatmeal baths, every lotion on the market, etc. She scratches her back and arms and sometimes so much that she bleeds. BUT maybe 2x a week she will have a good day with no scratching, bleeding, and seems normal. Took her for her 4 yr check up today and he's concerned it may be a milk allergy so we have to do a milk free including whey and casein for 2 weeks. If that doesn't help he wants to do a blood test. Everything in our house has milk in it, every recipe I have has to do with milk. I'm at a loss on how to do this. Any advice?
Why does he want to wait on the blood test? For me, I think I'd want to do a blood test and test for all the common food allergens. I'd also ask to be tested for celiac antibodies as well since gluten intolerance isn't always an allergy. I did a search for eczema causes as I suspected gluten might be on the list of things as well as dairy.
We are gluten free in our house, but I have done dairy elimination as well. Dairy is in lots of things, but not everything. There are a lot of good dairy replacements - almond milk is my favorite, but if you have a nut issue that might not be a good choice for you. You will have to be really careful about reading labels though and it also depends on how intolerant your child is to the triggering food.
I would ask for the blood work myself, but I don't think it would be bad to do dairy elimination in the mean time to see if you see improvement.
Also, does she have any other symptoms besides eczema. You mentioned the GERD when she was younger. Is there any other symptoms you notice?
I have no idea why we wants to wait other then he wants to not have to traumatize her and send her for blood work. She is frightened by needles, etc so if it can be ruled out by diet he'd rather do that, but he said he's only giving 2 weeks of trial and he wants labs done. Then we will go from there. The only other problem is she is constipated a lot but usually( from what goggle says) milk allergy creates diarrhea and she is having opposite. She does have seasonal allergies and she is on zyrtec for that. I'm going to start this tomorrow since she's already has milk today with breakfast. I plan on getting almond milk and giving her that, and just adjusting what she eats to something different. Seems like everything Ive looked at here has milk in it, so I'm just going to go to the store and make a list and begin this journey I guess. Thanks for responding!
Hmm, well I'm ultra paranoid with celiac disease (gluten issues), but I'd keep that in the back burner for now. Constipation can be a symptom of celiac that and diarrhea. I think I'd start with the dairy elimination and see how it goes. I have gotten really good at reading labels. When you first go to the store it will take you forever because everything you pick up will have dairy in it. But after a few trips you start figuring out which stuff is okay and which isn't.
Not sure how strict they want you to be with this, but you also have to be on the lookout for hidden names for dairy.
Hi! My daughter with autism had horrible eczema issues. It's now under control, but I can completely understand the scratching to the point of bleeding. At one point, our school made me take her home until our pediatrician called them to tell them they could not do that. She scratched until we were worried she would have scars.
Here's what we did that helped a lot. All cotton clothing - with hypoallergenic (sensitive skin, whatver) detergents and fabric softener. My daughter was young (like yours) and we were able to send her to school in pajamas (top/bottom) because they were the most comfortable. We also sent a change of clothes to school and had her change clothes after playing outside at recess.
We removed milk from her diet (we did allow cheese on her pizza). We replaced it with soy, almond or rice milk. (Removing as much milk as possible I think would be worth trying).
We gave her benadryl at night - it helped with the itching and with sleeping (without being awake all night itching).
We did lots of cool baths and let her soak as long as she wanted.
The only thing that finally made it go away was to see a pediatric dermatologist (no needles!). She prescribed a very complicated variety of things (salve on the spots twice a day for ten days, then a lotion - not to be confused with the cream or the ointment, etc). It was a bit hard so I wrote it all down at the time. She had a special soap she suggested, even lip balm (my daughter gets chapped lips but wipes it off, so it has to moisturize and sink in almost immediately). That helped clear it up.
Regarding Celiac Disease, there is a form of it called Dermatitis Herpetiformas which is basically a skin rash whenever someone ingests gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats).
I'd suggest a dermatologist who will probably also suggest an allergist. But the derm can give you some quick relief from the itching (and also diagnose the DH if it is Celiac).
All the best!
Oops, forgot to say...I love natural treatments and I promote them over all others, however, oatmeal baths would make things worse if your child has Celiac or a food allergy to oats (same thing with coconut oil - bad if your child is allergic to coconuts). Just something to keep in mind.
Thanks so much. I guess this is all pretty confusing to me because when she has good days they are AWESOME! but the bad days make me want to cry so thats why I think he's getting pretty serious about this. Plus today was one of the 1st times he has seen her at her worst. He did mention seeing a dermatologist at some point but he'd like to do as much as possible before going that route. We do use all the hypoallergenic items, and at one point I thought maybe her bed sheets were irritating her, so I bought flannel since its not as rough but I never thought about the actual kind it is. I'm just trying to pinpoint when its awful compared to when its not so bad. I started a food journal today, and bought almond milk for her, and bought her some snacks then didn't have milk listed under allergy warning or whey or casein (thats how he explained me to look for it), hope I understood right. All our dinners are planned to either be made with her milk (if needed) or just not contain any. Some meals we have a special meal planned for her if we will have something with milk in it. I never thought Id have to do all this. Her pedi has given the creams, and they don't help, in fact her says they all burn her skin when applied to where she scratches most. He said to stop all the lotions and use Vaseline for a few days just to keep it hydrated for now. I recently started giving benadryl on bad days because she'll lay in bed at night and scratch herself to sleep, and wake up with blood on her. Thanks so much for helping. Hopefully I can get an answer soon. I will talk to him about the possibility of Celiac Disease. Ive never heard of it until now.
Pediatricians are great people - I love mine. But they are not specialists. The creams that our ped gave us also burned and hurt my daughter's skin (if skin is broken open, then it WILL sting - try it on yourself and you'll see). I'd push for a derm referral, but obviously, it's your choice. Regardless, try to take pictures of the problem areas for when you do see a dermatologist. Sometimes appointments can take weeks and then there's no flare up. A photo shows locations, type of rash, severity, etc. If you can hold up items next to it (ruler, quarter, your hand, etc) to show how big it is, that helps. (Plus, if you walk into a derm office with a binder full of pics, they know you mean business .)
If you don't mind my making a suggestion, try some type of moisturizing wash (like dove) for soap in the tub (I think they make a liquid). Look for a moisturizing cream (Eucerin makes one, it comes in a white tub, it looks like something your grandmother would use on her face at night!) to put all over the body (EXCEPT where the skin is broken). Use an ointment (like neosporin) on the broken areas. Use benadryl at night. Use really comfy cotton clothes (big tshirts and such) wherever possible. Lots of baths, but do not let her sit in the tub after you have used shampoo or soap (sometimes that can be irritating in "sensitive" areas). (And make sure your tub is clean). After she falls asleep, put more medicine on the areas that she has rubbed off. Make sure she is using a sheet as blankets can scratch the skin and no electric blankets. Though it sounds funny, make sure that your carpet cleaner is just dish soap, nothing with any scents to it (I'm guessing you have carpet). If she lays on the floor a lot, try to have her lay on a blanket, rather than straight on the carpet. Chemicals/cleaners in the carpet drove my daughter up a wall.
Luckily, with all the food allergies out there, you shouldn't have trouble finding plenty of dairy free alternatives. If you get in a bind or need to know how to modify a recipe, just post.
Just wanted to add that Vanicream is also what our dermatologist told us (I had forgotten the name so thank you!). If it's not on the shelf at your drugstore, they can order it for you. Just talk to the pharmacy.
Hi Shannon! We use crisco vegetable shortening as a lotion on our boys bad spots, and it works awesome as well. Lots of baths are great, and you could add a cup or so of bleach to the water to help her skin fight off bacteria. Good luck as you figure out what is going on! And ditto to the just post if you need some help with modifying a recipe etc., and one other thing-it does get easier! I promise!
Just though I'd come by to tell you ladies how it worked. We did as the Dr advised and did the elimination diet. We did the no items for 2 weeks. We noticed a HUGH improvement. We went back to the Dr, and he still wanted to draw labs but I denied having them done. Just donít feel like the torture of that would have helped since the elimination diet worked. He then said we could try to introduce items with milk in the ingredients and see how she does. I kept a list, and found that she only has a severe reaction with cows milk. She does fine with cheese, yogurt, etc. She getís her own special milk now. Iím hoping that she grows out of it eventually but we'll just have to wait and see I guess. I also ordered some of the Vanicream off amazon, and I love it! Thanks for that recommendation.