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My Baby's Eczema



If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me talk about my baby boy’s eczema. Although his eczema isn’t cured, I have done a LOT of research, spent countless hours, and huge amount of money, on many things that have helped (and possibly hindered) his recovery. I’m often asked what's worked for us, so I thought it may be helpful to write a little about our journey, in case you’re a parent, are pregnant and may find this useful in the future (if you or your partner have suffered with eczema, asthma or hayfever your baby is more likely to have eczema) or perhaps just interested to know.

 

C’s eczema started to appear from 3 months old, and became worse at 4/5 months onwards (as I write this blog he is 9 months old). Since 4 months we have never, ever, had clear skin on his face. His eczema is consistently severe, regularly weeps, looks very sore almost like a chemical burn I’d describe it. Luckily, C is a very happy boy, and just itchy when tired or during the night (we use prescribed piriton to help with this). Originally it affected his left cheek, both cheeks are now severely affected. In the past, he had an eczema rash on his back, neck, back of legs – this is pretty much clear currently, Elidel (I’ll explain this cream later) appears to keep it under control.

 

Perhaps I’ll show the full extent of the eczema with photographs when I feel mentally able too. Although I’m sure people mean well, it breaks my heart when I get comments that say things like ‘wow his skins looks so sore’, and the photo isn’t even half the extent of it. I never post the worst pics or true reflection of just how bad it is.  

 

My baby’s eczema is so severe, when I leave him for a brief moment, or drive in the car, I have then found him covered in blood from scratching (yes,I screamed). We now have an abundance of scratchsleeves (I highly recommend them!) to counteract this as much as possible for those moments I can’t consistently keep an eye on him, and I’m constantly washing blood stained sheets, so that’s another thing to add to the maternal load.

 

If you’re a parent who’s little one is suffering with eczema, my heart goes out to you. It’s really debilitating when caring for a child who has severe eczema, I have been totally distraught, stressed ,and (still) hugely sleep deprived, so I am always here to  support, listen, answer questions or if you simply just want to rant to someone who understands.

 

So, what have I discovered…

 

Healing Internally

Eczema is linked to the gut, so, as well as working out how to cure, and care, topically, you also need to work on healing your baby’s gut too. One of the easiest way’s to do this is through probiotics – we give C daily Biogaia drops, and have used Optibac drops in the past. I’d highly recommend you do this for your baby even if they don’t suffer from eczema, and especially recommend if your baby was born via caesarean and didn’t have full exposure to mother’s microbiome.

 

We have also tried homeopathy. If you’re local to Northamptonshire, we saw Shusha, who was very kind and supportive. Although C’s eczema isn’t cured, I’m hopeful the homeopathic medicine has helped with healing somewhat.

 

You can also help correct any gut imbalances through food following a more natural diet. The most helpful group I have found that lists all of the foods to eliminate, and to include can be found on Erasing  Eczema (naturally) group. Which also provides a huge step by step guide on how to naturally stop Staph bacteria (often present on the skin with eczema)

 

Allergies

If your little one is suffering from eczema, they are likely to also suffer with allergies. The most common allergy amongst little ones is CMPA cows milk protein allergy. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to eliminate from your diet too (and probably, soya as the proteins are so closely linked, so that will hopefully save you a lot of time), here's a fantastic CMPA for Breastfeeding Facebook support group.

 

We had Private allergy testing at the Orchard clinic, Thrapston, using Bio-Electronic Regulatory Medicine (BER) is a non-invasive painless diagnostic method of measuring the body’s resistance to allergens and intolerances.

 

Initial testing recommended me to eliminate from my diet: cows milk, peanuts, tomatoes - this made no difference to the eczema, and continued to get worse.

Repeat testing 10 weeks later (with extra direction from me on my own suspicions) further recommended me to eliminate: cows milk, soya, egg, coconut, peanuts, coffee from my diet , and stop using ecover fragrance free wash powder – however these eliminations  made no difference to eczema, and continue to get worse (we now use the eco egg fragrance free, it is allergy uk approved).

 

I feel as this private allergy testing was ultimately wasn’t too helpful for us – however, it was recommended to us by many people so it has clearly been helpful for many other parents in my network.

 

Allergies & starting solids

Through weaning at 6 months, C had a visible red rash appear on face after eating: egg (most severe), goats milk(I was advised this was safe from private allergy testing), coconut yogurt, soya yogurt. We have continued to keep these out of HIS diet, I have slowly started to reintroduce cows milk and soya to MY diet, especially peanuts off recommendation from private dermatologist that excluding them could cause more harm.

Through weaning at 7/8 months I noticed an immediate extension of his eczema rash from eating homous, so I have avoided chickpeas since

Through recent weaning 8/9 months, I strongly suspect: tomatoes; beans; and peas aggravate his eczema the following day.

After eating baby corn he was itchy and his breathing was strange.

 

We await an appointment with the hospital for an NHS skin prick test. I’ll update the blog when we have had the appointment and results.

 

Topical skin solutions

 

What I’ve come to realise through the MANY tried and tested creams, that there really is no ‘magic cream’, and often when it’s marketed that way it’s a load of rubbish, it’s just about finding something that doesn’t aggravate the eczema and the skin can tolerate.

 

Coconut oil and tallow, are the two most natural products that are often recommended. Organic tallow (so sorry not one for you if you’re a vegan), has worked best for us out of the two and we used ‘Ossa organic’.

 

The MOST important thing though with using tubs like this is to use a clean spoon every single time you take some to apply onto baby. If you use your hands they must be cleaned impeccably, otherwise you run risk of introducing bacteria into the tub.

 

would say tread with caution using food products on the skin, some schools of thought suggest early use (before 6 months) can then lead to allergies. I do wonder whether C’s sensitivity to coconut is due to using coconut oil on his skin as a young baby.

 

Baths

We use childs farm dermexa and dead sea salt in his baths – this works well and doesn’t aggravate his skin.

 

Creams we have tried:

Sudocrem – I this a hugely underated option, this actually works fairly well at drying out bad flares and is a good barrier cream

Out of all the emollients we’ve tried, ALL the GP prescribed ones are rubbish, and Baby Aveeno dermexa is the best moisturiser on body and Dexyane also works well for us.

Elidel – we had to pay for a £200 private dermatologist to suggest this cream and we now have on prescription from the GP, (if his flare is not severe, the elidel works well)

 

Fucidic acid & hydrocortisone (GP prescribed) only seem to have limited use for a few days for us, then eczema gets worse. This makes sense if you understand about topical steroid withdrawal.

 

Creams that DON’T work for us:

Zoe bee oat & charcoal cream - bad reaction. My experience with Zoe Bee reaffirmed to me that ‘miracle cream’s you see online, can often get your hopes up, empty your pockets and still sadly not work. I kept missing out on product drops, set an alarm to buy the products just after midnight before it sold out, only to realise he had a bad reaction. That’s not to knock Zoe Bee, they seem like a wonderful small company, just sadly didn’t work for us.

Cetraban - bad reaction for us

Roche posay lipikar -this was recommended by two dermatology nurser and a dermatologist -  did this work for us? well it didn’t make it worse but didn’t make it better, for the price tag I’ve opted to stick with Baby aveeno

Hydromol - eczema looked slightly worse after; didn’t help

Double base - eczema looked slightly worse after; didn’t help

 

 

The GP’s advise was to moisturise multiple times throughout the day to help the fucidic acid & hydrocortisone, or elidel products to work, however if we do this on C’s bad flares, it actually makes the eczema WORSE. For him, it’s better for his skin to dry out, in order to heal. Eczema is SO individual, and a total minefield. What works for one, doesn’t for another.

 

 I hope that this post has been helpful to read! If you’ve tried anything with success, that I haven’t mentioned during the post, I’d love for you to comment below.

 

We’ve recently had an appointment at our local hospital, we’re awaiting a new prescription of cream, and have been referred to the allergy clinic.

I’m hopeful one day I’ll be able to update this blog to say it’s under control. Wish us luck!

 

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