Have you considered food allergies or product sensitivities might be contributing to your child’s eczema?
My second son is just under one-year-old. It has been a long year – let me tell you.
At barely 2 months old we were admitted to the hospital for 3 days while my son got over some serious RSV. He happened to catch a little winter cold from his older brother (just a cough and a sniffle really) and being so young at the time- the cold had turned into a much more serious sickness for my newborn.
During this time in our lives, my breastfeeding supply and his demand got super off sync and I lost my supply and we had to begin drinking formula in the hospital. This is where I think the eczema started.
It seems like a large amount of babies are seen with rashes, skin patches and areas of irritation- it’s apparently super common in infants and toddlers and research likes to say that these experiences are just phases and most kids grow out of them. My son- Lincoln’s eczema seemed to steadily grow and even began to effect his sleeping patterns. I began wondering if he was allergic to something in his formula and I decided to take him to his pediatrician.
If you want to learn more about eczema or other skin rashes you can learn about them here at the:
My son’s doctor didn’t seem to be concerned much about his “dry patches” as he called them and said it could be something as simple as a irritant in our laundry detergents. He also encouraged me to continue on a milk-based formula as soy based are usually more expensive and smell bad. He instead, prescribed a topical steroid and we hoped that might take care of the problem. Easy as that right? Maybe I will get more than 6 hours of sleep now…
I began applying this cream to his elbows, backs of the knees, tops of the feet… and though his eczema healed slightly, it continued to show up in other places. I also continued to use milk-based formula and began working on other possible things that might be bothering my son’s skin.
I tried a new detergent without borax (why not?) – I only made a month’s worth and unfortunately his eczema still never ceased- even with the steroid creams! I tried several different lotions and creams specifically meant for extra dry skin and/or eczema related. Oatmeal baths, coconut oil, any natural lotion or cream on the shelf honestly. I needed something I could apply multiple times a day to his dry little skin on top of the super bad areas that the steroid was supposed to treat.
Nothing was working and this was months of waking up 4-5 times per night and dealing with a really irritated baby who can’t fall asleep because he itches so badly. I needed answers!
It is a long, tough battle to pin-point the cause or direct link to eczema as every case is different.
We had finally gotten to point where I felt this wasn’t ‘just a phase‘ – I requested a referral from his pediatrician to have an allergy screening done and see someone specifically in dermatology. Getting an appointment and having all the information sent over to the correct clinic was a whole other battle… After finally getting into the Allergy Clinic, we have a specific declaration of true eczema (atopic dermatitus as well as nummular dermatitus). We also had him tested for cows milk, cats, dogs, nuts and the other most common allergies seen in the United States. The same day we left the clinic, I began switching my son to a soy-based formula and we received a topical steroid ointment rather than a cream and also a prescription for claritin to hopefully help his irritation and sleeping at night.
Within two weeks, his skin looked amazing!!! It virtually cleared up in a matter of 5 days with his worst spots only being minor on his elbows and tops of the feet (from what I can see is from crawling across our floors). Those worst spots however, slowly grew back as I began increasing his variety in food purees and realizing that this might not be over yet- I called and requested his allergy test results and they shocked me!
Through blood-work, we have found that my son is positive in being allergic to:
CATS: We do have one cat who honestly just avoids the boys (I think they are too unpredictable for my kitty) so she mainly stays in our bedroom. Though there has to be dander on the floors in reality – this could be contributing to those tougher spots on his feet and elbows.
PEANUTS: They weren’t offered yet though he did get into his brother’s peanut noodles and didn’t die so that one was lucky I guess.
EGG WHITES: Which haven’t really been offered to him directly, though they would be in the freezer pancakes I offered as finger foods.
WHEAT: Crap crap crap, never given much thought to what exactly he’s been eating that has wheat – besides the obvious.
SOY: Soy?? When I switched him to soy milk – the original eczema seemed to clear up so this was baffling to me…
Allergies and food sensitivities can be the trigger to your child’s eczema flare-ups.
Guess what he tested negative to? Cow’s milk. Interesting….and I got these results a month after he has his test, and in that month I had began him on finger foods – included chicken and brown rice. I feed him purees less often so I like to bulk them up with oatmeal or rice cereal.
I decided to take him to my naturopath. With the results of his allergies – we formed a plan to hopefully overcome these allergies and beat this eczema.
For his diet we will completely be avoiding eggs, all gluten/wheat/grains, and dairy products. He will only be allowed to eat purees and finger foods of fruits, vegetables and meats. This means no more little puffs or pancakes for my lovebug.
Apparently, eczema and respiratory issues are related and to help boost his immune system we are going to add fish oil gummies, vitamin c chewies and continue him on his generic claritin at night time.
We also hope to increase his tolerance to his stomach sensitivities by boosting his good bacteria with a series of probiotic capsules within his new diet. All his allergies were considered low and we might be able to reverse these issues before they become routine in his system forever.
Reducing exposure to irritants and his triggers while boosting his immune system should help significantly reduce issues with eczema.
It’s been a full week and Lincoln is still continuing soy formula, uses claritin at night (still wakes up at least once), and hasn’t eaten anything but fruit, vegetables, chicken and turkey. His skin does look much better overall aside from his worst little area on the top of this foot. I feel like we finally have a light at the end of the tunnel and plan of action for the rest of the route. I am so confident in the choices we have made for his diet plan specifically and I really hope we won’t be dealing with a lifetime of food allergies.
I only dipped my toes into the research of what is and what is not allowed in a wheat-free diet and I am so surprised to learn how prevalent these particular food sensitivities are being experienced. To the families who completely changed their eating habits to avoid more serious food allergies: You are champions. This is a long road of tough discipline, especially with children and young kids that are learning about foods and what they like or do not like to eat.
This is going to be a continuing situation for me as we deal with these allergies and eczema. I would like to keep people informed about this experience and hopefully pass along any information that might help another mommy in my situation. I know a lot of girls personally who have had their fair share of skin related issues among themselves or their children and hopefully our story can point other mother’s into a new direction in their own battle with eczema.
Please share this story with the people searching for these answer’s in their lives!