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Is there anyway I can stop the spreading of eczema on a constantly scratching baby and allow it to heal?

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Offline HiveMama

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Suffering infant with eczema
« on: Sunday March 04, 2007, 06:26:04 PM »
My 5 month old has been suffering with eczema since early 07 :'(.  The dermatologist keeps prescribing stronger medications but nothing seems to help, actually it seems worse.  He has been on antibiotics for 2 months now, I think that is ridiculous but he keeps on weeping and infecting the area on his cheeks.  The redness spreads as he scratches more, now it is all around his eyes.  I don't want him to suffer anymore or use any chemicals that may cause more harm than good....Are there any natural oils that might help? ??? ??? ???

We have been using Aquaphor but it seem to irritate him.  Vaseline has a new lotion out that helps but only when he is sleeping.  I just ordered Freederm but it has cortisone in it so I may not try it at all.  

I just want him to be able to play, crawl and learn without being distracted with the bloody mess and itching of eczema.  Anything info at all with put us at ease.

Thank you....

Offline itchychick

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #1 on: Sunday March 04, 2007, 08:16:38 PM »
Hi Mama,

I'm so sorry to hear that your baby is suffering so badly.  You didn't mention how old he is?  I ask because you mention antibiotics, and given the history of e, I'm wondering if the doctor has mentioned the recent findings between antibiotic use and the increased incidence of asthma?  I certainly don't want to alarm you, but it might bear mentioning and investigating alternatives.

With my own e, I've had a bit of success in "drying up" the oozing bits with zinc oxide cream.  I use one from a company called Avene (the cream is called "Cicalfate"), but I know a few of the members here have also used regular diaper rash cream, such as Sudacrem.  As far as his discomfort with the Aquaphor, my little one also hates the thick, oily preparations, as they make him itchier.  I use plain coconut oil on him and myself, as it provides some moisturizing, but is extremely bland and soothing on irritated bits.  It's not as heavy as conventional moisturizers, so it may need to be reapplied frequently.

It must be so dificult to deal with his discomfort!  A friend of my son had terrible eczema as an infant, but his mum told me that it is becoming less severe (he's 5 now), so there is hope that your little one will improve as he gets a little older.  I wish I could offer you more concrete suggestions... hang in there!

Best of luck :hugs:

Offline HiveMama

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #2 on: Sunday March 04, 2007, 09:24:02 PM »
 :D Thanks for the advice itchychick.  I was really concerned about the use if antibiotics but when they told me my 5 month old had a staph infection I threw caution to the wind.  I want to stop using them, he has started coughing more since we started the antibio's.  I will definitely try zinc oxide on him.  Is there a particular brand that is perfume free?  Have you tried shea butter as an oil?

Offline babyskin

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #3 on: Monday March 05, 2007, 03:28:37 AM »
Hi HiveMama,
I know the pain of watching your infant suffer from eczema. I had two infants with the same thing.  My children are now 3 and 5 and I am able to control the eczema through diet. At 3 months my daughter presented with her eczema and my son at 4 months. The red, weeping, itchy cheeks and wrists, inside the elbows and legs. I did take them to the dermatologist but did not use the prescriptions since the inserts said they were not for infant use. I did a lot of research and began doing the following: infant probiotics to make sure the gut is filled with beneficial bacteria (esp. important since your baby has been on antibiotics), borage oil (high in gla essential fatty acids), taken internally and put on the skin. It is important to treat any topical infection before the skin can heal. I used Bacetracin on the weepy areas and then used a natural product called Florasone and the borage oil. For both of my children, their eczema began clearing immediatley and this regimin keeps it at bay.
Make sure you find a probiotic that says it is for infant use, the bacteria is different for different ages. You can also use primrose oil if you can't find borage. The important thing is that it have the gla form of the fatty acids.
Best wishes to you... I hope this helps you as it did me.

Offline itchychick

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #4 on: Monday March 05, 2007, 03:34:04 PM »
Hi Mama and babyskin...

Babyskin's advice is sound... I too have supplemented with borage oil and evening primrose, and found it to be somewhat helpful,  although I have cut back on the omega 6's in favour of omega 3's and have not had any worsening of my own e, but nor have I had as clear success as babyskin with her little ones.   The probiotics are an excellent idea.  There has been quite a lot of evidence showing links between use of probiotics to improvement of some skin conditions, so it's definately worth a try.

HiveMama, I have tried shea butter, but I didn't find it to be more or less helpful than any other moisturizer.  It's far heavier than say coconut oil, so it occasionally made me feel "goopy".  I also didn't like the smell of it, and the type that I found that was odourless is quite expensive.  As far as an scent-free zinc cream, the one I use is scent free, but I'm sure there are others.  I'm pretty sure that Sudacrem is scent free also, and probably less expensive.

Offline HiveMama

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #5 on: Monday March 05, 2007, 09:58:22 PM »
Hi Babyskin and itchychick,
  First, thank you both for your advice.  It has truly been a blessing to know that infants can be relieved of the symptoms of eczema. 

I have looked in my local drugstores for the products you both mentioned but I have been unable to find any.  I am not sure if the probiotic I found is okay to use on infants it doesn't say an age requirement on the packaging.   

Does the borage oil come in a capsule that you would then sprinkle on food and then apply to the face?  Most of the oils that I found are in the capsule form, what are the specific brands that are safe to use on infants?

I cannot express in your words how grateful I am to have a forum available that actually cares enough to help my child's skin issue.

Thank you all so much!!!! ;D

Offline babyskin

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday March 06, 2007, 03:59:25 AM »
Hi HiveMama,
The probiotics that I used for my children were Udo's Choice Infant's Blend Probiotic and Primadophilus Bifidobacterium for Children by Nature's Way.  They are both formulated for infants and children 5 and younger.  I use a liquid organic borage/flax oil by Barlean's.  It must be kept refrigerated, but it is the one that has always worked for me.  You can get these at a health food store, on-line, or place like Vitamin Shoppe. Since I was nursing, I took a Tablespoon of the oil myself and gave my baby 1/4 teaspoon of the oil in his cereal or off the spoon. If you put it in food or cereal, it has to be cold or room temp. You cannot heat the oil.  Also, you can rub the borage oil right on the eczema to help with the healing.  Does your son have any infection topically? If so, treat it first so the topical treatments can help. I had no luck with my son until after I used the Bacetracin a few times on the weepy areas.

ItchiChick,
You may want to try adding some extra zinc to your diet. Even mild zinc deficencies can cause eczema.  The last time my 5 year old got a patch of eczema, the borage oil did not work for her. I was a little surprised by this, but since her diet is rich in essential fatty acids I wondered what the new reason was. After some reading, I tried adding a zinc supplement to her diet. She takes a multi, but had been sick recently.  After two days on the zinc, the eczema cleared.  For my two, diet plays a HUGE role. They do not drink cow's milk since it aggrevated the eczema, so they drink goat milk. 

I hope some of this info helps you...best wishes and have a great day!

Offline itchychick

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday March 06, 2007, 05:07:13 PM »
Hey babyskin,
That's interesting... I hadn't heard anything about zinc deficiency and eczema.  It's definately worth trying.  Do you remember where you read about it?  As I mentioned above, the topical zinc seems to be helpful in drying up weepy areas, but I put it down to the antibacterial properties in it.  I'll be doing some googling about zinc later! ;)

Offline babyskin

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday March 06, 2007, 07:42:30 PM »
Hey ItchyChick,
There is a lot of info if you google zinc and eczema. I came across it at DiagnoseMe.com on the eczema page. They also give other nutritional recommendations if fatty acids and zinc do not work. I will be interested to know what you do and how it works for you.
Take care,
Babyskin

Offline HiveMama

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #9 on: Thursday March 15, 2007, 09:52:48 PM »
Hi!

There was a remarkable improvement in my son's skin.  Unfortunately a few days later his skin was just as red and itchy as before.  Does this mean that he is still in contact with his irritant or because he scratches the rash appears?  I got my baby back for awhile, I know he enjoyed playing without stopping to itch.

I went to the dermatologist and he basically rushed us out without answering half of my questions. 

Does it matter how often I moisturize his skin? 

Once you see the rash spreading is there anyway to stop it?

Thank you!!


Offline itchychick

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Re: Suffering infant with eczema
« Reply #10 on: Monday March 19, 2007, 04:36:24 PM »
Hi HiveMama,
Sorry I didn't see this earlier!

Fantastic that your son had an improvement.  It's difficult to say whether the triggers/irritants are still there or whether his scratching caused the relapse.  Do you have any thoughts as to what the trigger might be?  My best advice on this is to be vigilant and creative, and just try to observe patterns in his scratching (ie, what time of day, what he's wearing, how soon after eating, etc.)  That might give you a clue as to whether there is an allergy or an irritant involved.

As far as moisturizing, I would go by his own response to it.  If he feels better after a bath and moisturizing, do it as often as necessary (keep them short though).  I personally think that the moisture from a quick, lukewarm bath is important.  Moisturizing on dry, flakey skin just isn't as helpful for me.  The trick is to seal in the water as quickly as possible.

My derms have told me that the key to stopping the worsening of the rash is to apply the cortisone ointments as soon as the skin becomes even slightly irritated, and keep applying until it is clear.  This doesn't always work for me, but that's really all I can suggest that you try. 

Good luck, and keep us posted!