View Full Version : Breastfed baby and eczema
Hi all! :wave:
I have read the information thread, but would just like a bit of extra advice, if possible!
I have an 11 week old fully breastfed boy who has developed eczema. It started on his face (which has cleared up), his scalp (which has also cleared up not before taking half a head of hair!!), and is now happily creeping down his arms. Today it is looking angrier than ever before.
I have booked him into the GP on Sunday, but would like advice from people who have experienced this, so I know what has worked for others, and what products to ask about and which to avoid at all costs.
My almost 2yo DD has only had the odd spot and we were told just to put on some 1% sigmacort sparingly, but this eczema is a lot more serious, and I want to nip it in the bud if I can.
Up until the other day, I was daily moisturising with Sorbolene, unknowingly making things worse!! A couple of friends put me right on that front, and I have now started bathing and moisturising in Cetaphil. Is this right?
I would love to avoid steroid creams if I can, but I would love to hear from anyone who has been breastfeeding and their baby has developed eczema WHILE being breasfed, not just later down the track. What are the triggers from OUR diets that people have noticed and personally experienced?? I hate to think that I am causing this. :( All the info says that breastfeeding reduces the chances of eczema down the track, so I feel like all the hard work we have put into feeding is becoming a waste. Sad, really. I won't stop because of all the other good benefits, but it is kinda a kick in the guts.
Anyway, would love to hear from anyone and everyone, particularly those who have had troubles early on like me! Help! :hissy:
Have a great day... :sunshine:
I can't help you, sorry
just wanted to give you and little L a :hugs:
Thanks Kazza! :kiss:
Yeah, it is a pain in the neck, poor little Lad. His is mild, though, compared to other kids. But, I don't want it to take over!!
Love to you all, catch up VERY soon on Facebook, promise!!
Hi, a friend of mine had this problem with her fully breastfed bub. It was really awful, all over him and so itchy and angry. She went to loads of doctors who couldn't help. Then she decided to stop eating dairy products. Eczema cleared up, problem solved. So, it might be something you're eating. Perhaps you might want to see a dietician about going on an elimination diet to see if it helps.
Dairy, hey? I do have cereal in the morning, and about 6 cups of Decaf coffee with milk during the day. Maybe I do overdo it a little.
Thank you, will take that on board, and cut that back!! Thanks for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. It is heartbreaking to see a perfect little boy turn into a red, itchy mess. As I said, his is minor at the moment, but it has developed very quickly, and another week and he could be covered, like I was as a baby.
I just spoke to my Mum, and she said that when I was a baby and in the same situation, she was told that if she wasn't breastfeeding it would be so much worse. So the breastfeeding maybe doing some good after all!!
Thanks again for taking the time to reply :shakehands:, anyone else?
I had the same problem, all of mine had eczema but he was the worst but the only breastfeed (long story) We had to go to the paed, it was so bad, not much the only thing I did with him was switch to cloth nappies and not bathe him as often and cover him in cream all the time.
DD1 (bf for 14 months) - had one spot of eczema appear on her cheek and no matter what it wouldn't go away. It was there from about 4 months old until she had an allergic reaction to baby yoghurt at 9 1/2 months. I cut dairy out of my diet and it cleared up instantly.
DD2 (EBF at 5 months) - started to come out with eczema on her face, chest and back at about 4 months. I have cut out dairy, egg, fish and ham (and haven't had nuts for ages....DD1 is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts and we get obvious eczema flare ups after fish and ham) and it has improved heaps but is still here. I spoke to my paed about her eczema and because it is not bad now and she isn't bothered by it we are just treating it externally.
Bf'ing is the best thing you can do for a baby with intolerances/allergies. My paed is hopeful that DD2 will simply outgrow these intolerances (won't call them allergies just yet) and we can safely challenge her every month by me having fish for dinner and then waiting to see what happens. We're not trying to eliminate her eczema completely cause whilst she's not bothered by it and we can treat it externally the small exposure to the food that she is intolerant to will hopefully help build up resistance. We would not be able to do this if she was formula fed.
Altering your diet isn't the easiest thing ever but it is worthwhile! And I know it's really easy to beat yourself up but don't! If it is a food allergy that is causing this and dairy is the biggest trigger imagine how much pain he would be in if he was on formula, which is cow's milk based!
Some doctor's like to think that food allergies don't show up like that but it does happen so if your GP tells you to not worry about altering your diet find another GP! It isn't going to hurt and you should notice improvements in about a weeks time.
Dairy, egg and nut allergies often go together. Vitasoy and Smooth white are (IMO) the best tasting soy milks on the market. If you haven't had soy it will take a bit to get used to it (in your coffee etc.) but I have found that you can not taste vita-soy or smooth white in cooking. You can buy dairy free butter (nuttelex is one brand) from your supermarket and you can get egg replacer (if you need it) from health food shops! Makes cooking easier!
I aboslutely hated soy milk....it's now my milk of choice (and not because it has to be!)
Oh and So Good chocolate ice-cream is delicious!!!! Let it melt a little and get past the first couple of mouthfuls (they taste like straight soy)....it's really yummy!
ETA - It may not be food allergies at all but it's an easy thing to test out by elimination. At 11 weeks old don't bath him every day. He doesn't need it and it just dries their skin out.
I agree with the above :)
I would also write down everything you use, from washing detergent to food. I agree with the dairy though try eliminate that and then gradually build it up again. My middle two get it horribly :( even just cuddling someone they flare up its like Dont cuddle please!! We dont use sorbolene either it just makes things worse, the only thing i use is either hamiltons or qv oil, moisturisor and wash. For washing clothes we use amolin or soap nuts. We have had to resort to cold wraps and the steroid cream use but usually if we keep on top of things we can get away with not using it dd3 is the worst and is constantly breaking out in it its horrible. My little black book i started with ds has been a bible to me and its also handy to take along to the doctors as well so they can take a look.
I would spend a week writing down everything that you eat and everything you use and then eliminate a few things that have the same ingredients each week and see if it makes things better, then you have something to pin point as well too. Its finding the triggers that are the hardest once you find that it makes it so much easier, not that it gets easier but a little relief fora few days is heaven around here :)
My advice is to cut out all the guesswork, trialling creams and restrictive diets etc. Get a referral to a paed allergist and get some testing done. Having said that, in the meantime you can try an elimination diet - dairy, eggs, nuts, wheat, fish. But please get some advice from a dietician before doing this. It is very hard and you will need to take some supplements.
I suspected dairy with my son but he actually has an egg allergy with intolerances to chemicals. I eliminated dairy with no improvement. I too was BFing and had to go on a strict diet to accomodate all of his issues. It may not be diet related at all but an environmental trigger.
DS developed eczema while breastfed at 3.5 months and I fed him till 9 months. BFing is not always the best thing you can do for bubs with allergies/intolerances - esp if there are multiple ones. You end up making yourself ill and run down with the restrictions. But you really need to know what you are dealing with first. The eczema may not necessarily be worse if you were not BFing. Depends on what the triggers are.
Cortisone creams are useful tools to help reduce suffering. Eczema is itchy. Don't avoid because of scare tactics. Other over the counter 'miracle' creams are a waste of money. I moisturise with emulsifying ointment.
Yep, I agree with the dairy comments.
Also, if you can cast your mind back, if you noticed it get worse after the baby's vaccinations then you might want to consider delaying the next lot. My friend's baby has eczema and she noticed that it would get worse after each lot of shots.
I too know how heartbreaking it is to see one's beautiful baby get all red and splotchy. :( My fully BF DS has had eczema on and off since around 3 months. It was mainly on his legs and cheeks. He is now 7 months, still BF, and still gets small patches on his face occasionally, and sometimes under his chin, but it usually clears pretty quickly.
Something you may not have considered is humidity. My DS seems to get his eczema in reaction to dry air. It often comes back after he has been in air conditioning for half a day or more. When we were in QLD over christmas - with all that humid air - it completely cleared up! - except for once when we were in an airconditioned room overnight!
Things that I find help:
not bathing him often - only a couple of times per week and putting a little bit of olive oil in the water and absolutely nothing else;
drying him well and using a good gentle moisturiser (or more olive oil) straight after the bath to lock in the moisturiser; and
regularly moisturising his skin, especially if in air conditioning.Prior to finding Gaia baby moisturiser which has been wonderful, most things I tried just made things worse. However, one thing that always helped was olive oil. I used to apply olive oil to all his eczema prone spots several times a day. It really helped.
Early this year, he got some eczema under his chin (well he has a couple of chins at the moment!) and it was weeping and awful so I took him to the drs who prescribed Elidel cream which is a new non-steriod eczema cream. I use the teeny-tinyist amount first thing in the morning and last thing at night and it clears up straight away. I don't really like using it as I like to keep things as natural as possible, and being a new product it is hard to be sure of the risks, etc., but when it is really bad, a couple of tiny applications of this really helps.
I really hope this helps you and your little one!
Yep, even breastfed babies can get eczema. DD had eczema pretty much from the day she came out and she was breastfed for 6 weeks. DD's triggers are dustmites and animal dander. They are almost impossible to completely avoid. If you rule out food allergy and other possible environmental factors, look at dustmites as a possible cause.
Thank you girls for all those very helpful replies! I have taken them all on board, and will hopefully see some improvement very soon.
It is so hard seeing him look so.... itchy-looking, but with all your suggestions he'll soon be feeling much..... less itchy!!
Thanks again, and hope you and all your little ones are happy and healthy!
Hi again girls! :wave:
After all your helpful posts, I saw the GP and he decided it was an allergy. So, removed what we thought was the problem, and things settled slightly.
Until now. DS got a cold (not much fun for a 3 month old!) and his skin dried out a lot. Today there are small patches near the main ones that I thought were on their way out, and saw the GP again, a different one. My normal one.
He diagnosed Eczema, and told me NOT to use Cetaphil (I was using the wash and moisturiser) and to get the Sigmacort and Sorbolene on to it.
This goes against everything you girls and everyone else I know have told me, so just don't know what to do. My gorgeous DS is my prime concern, so want to sort these nasty patches before he is overrun, but don't want to do the wrong thing. Seeing GP again in 2 weeks for immunisations, but really don't know what to do in the meantime.
I'm thinking of calling DS's Paediatrician tomorrow to see what he normally recommends, as we are seeing him again for the 6 month check in May, but the GP told me he would say the same thing. (20 bucks says he doesn't....!) Just want to do the right thing by my boy.
Don't you hate conflicting advice??!!!
What do you think I should do, follow the GP's recommendation, or go with my gut and stick with the Cetaphil? Seems I did the wrong thing believing the other GP a few weeks ago with the allergy thing (although it probably did start that way..) and I just feel so bad that I let it go thinking it would go away (as per GP's advice). Feel I have let my little lad down, big time.
Thanks girls, will await some voices of experience!!
I wouldn't be satisfied until I had a diagnosis from a pediatric dermatologist myself.
Don't feel bad, it can take a while to find to individual trigger and what method of treatment works for your child. We didn't get a hold on DD's eczema until she was almost 3.
You poor thing, eczema is hard enough to manage without getting conflicting advice.
From my experience with DS most GP's will spout what's written (an what they're probably taught) on the official fact sheet regarding eczema.
The general gist of it being that paediatric eczema is rarely due to "allergy".
This is true in the sense that most medico's will consider an allergic reaction to be along the lines of anaphylaxis (before I gave birth to my brain I remember something along the lines of histamines and Ige mediated responses - great reading if you want to go to sleep in a hurry :))
Having said that (this is per our paed who's speciality is food allergy/intolerance - good source but I'm not saying it's gospel), the vast majority of paediatric ezcema is related to intolerances. These can be anything, if all of us got together I'm sure we could come up with hundreds of things that our bubs are intolerant to and that triggers their eczema.
The bottom line is that something, or possibly a few somethings are triggering your little guy's eczema.
Management is highly individual. Sorbolene is great for some, worsens things for others, same for most other topical treatments. Unfortunately we've found it's trial and error as far as creams go.
The hard part may be finding out what those triggers/intolerances are (having said that it might be quite simple :)). We had DS skin prick tested and then played around with a few environmental factors like cothing material and washing detergent.
Hope my waffle helped a little bit, as far as the GP saying use sorbolene, if you think it didn't work or worsened things I'd ignore that, your paed should be the more informed source.
Hope things go well and your bub is itch-free fast :).
Also, if you can cast your mind back, if you noticed it get worse after the baby's vaccinations then you might want to consider delaying the next lot. My friend's baby has eczema and she noticed that it would get worse after each lot of shots.
I agree with this. My Bub had really bad eczema on about 90% of her body which appeared after her first vaccinations. I never made the connection until after her 6mth needles and decided not to get her vaccinated again. She now only has eczema on her wrists and behind her knees. I wish I had made the connection earlier, it may have saved lots of heartache.
JMO, but something for you to ponder.
Don't use sorbolene, it stings and makes it worse, use dermeze.
My niece gets really bad exzema so I have done a little bit of research on it.
What I have found is that there are 3 reasons why they come up
1) Allergic reaction to chemicals like washing detergent and soaps.
2) Allergic reactions to food. If BF, then it could be the food that the mother eats.
3) Hereditary. If there is a family history of Asthma, Hayfever or Exzema then your child is likely to inherit it.
Unfortunately for my niece, hers was hereditry so it is not as easy as cutting out foods or chemicals.
As for treating it, it is a matter of trial and error. I have had a few people swear by Luca's PawPaw cream that you can buy at most chemist.
If I was you, I would probably try to see the pediatrition (sp?). They could probably do an allergy test to see what exactly is causing it.
For many children eczema is a very complex issue and finding the trigger can be difficult. My DD1 self weaned from breastfeeding at 18months when I fell pregnant and developed eczema at 2yrs4mths, DD2 is still currently breastfeeding at 2yrs4mths and developed ezcema around 2yo. Personally I think the medical profession have little advice and direction in supporting parents to deal with their children's eczema and I would suggest visiting your GP is a waist of time. There only solutions will be a referral to a dermatologist or paed, give a steroid cream and maybe suggest a skin prick test (which only shows up nervous system allergies and there are lots of other systems in our bodies) - none of which will actually help you to address your childs eczema only manage the symptoms. I was at my wits end with DD1 who's ezcema was very distressing for her and took a long time to get under control, luckily I was much wiser with DD2 and have been able to manage it much better. I have used steriod cream on DD1 but have managed to avoid it with DD2, fortunately both my children's eczema is only mild now but it has taken a long time for this to happen.
REMEMBER, that eczema is closely linked to the gut and addressing the health of your child's gut is usually the key to unlocking your child's eczema, the theory being that when the gut is overgrowing with unhealthy bacteria and fugus then this toxic waste needs to spill out somewhere and this usually occurs in the skin. So treating your skin with creams is not going to address the underlying cause of the eczema, but it will help to relieve the itchiness but it won't make it go away. We did this with homeopathics and it took quite a long time but we are now seeing a lot of improvement, you just need to find the treatment that is right for your child.
Breastfeeding is the best thing you can be doing for your child right now. Do not give your child solids until at least 6 months and then avoid wheat and dairy until 12 months. Aviod giving your baby any formula as this will unbalance your babies gut flora and exaserbate thier eczema.
My exclusively BF DD developed eczema around 5 or 6 wks of age. There have been many threads here on how to manage - check them out, as there are some great tips.
The best one I can offer is when you see the GP, ask for a referral to a paediatric allergist and get on track to find out what is causing it, or at the very least, get some reassurance about using antihistamines or topical steroids.
Honestly, we have tried pretty much every single (and concurrently multiple) 'natural' treatment and not a single one of them has made any long term difference. There is a lot of fear associated with using some products long term, but the alternative for us is a miserable life with a DD who will end up horribly scarred - we use both antihistamines and an over the counter strength steroid daily with her and both have excellent long-term data.
We take extra care in the sun and if we think we can get away with it, miss a dose, but on the whole, her life and ours is a lot better using treatments that are relatively gentle. We're very lucky we haven't had to go to a prescription strength steroid, but a combination of a whole host of different things, including restrictive diets, keeping dust mites to a minimum and a night time routine that takes longer than dinner to prepare sometimes is how we manage to keep away from the strong stuff.
Another tip - try not bathing your bub. I have stopped bathing DD almost completely. I top and tail her every two or three days, she swims in our pH balanced spa once or twice a week with DH and other than that, the only water is a trip to the beach every couple of weeks, which amazingly helps her skin a whole lot.
Good luck, its a tough road.
Sometimes my BF 3.5 month old daughter actually gets the eczema were my milk gets on her skin:hair:.She was only diagnosed on wednesday as having eczema with a secondary infection.She smelt so bad by the time they figured it out.Now she is on ergocourt which is helping a little and trying Alpha Keri oil in her bath.I really need to figure out what it is that I am eating that is effecting her.I am sure it is something in my diet.
WOW. This is all fantastic information. My second daughter is 6 months old, exclusively breastfed and has horrible eczema that keeps flaring up.
Coming into winter I'm hoping it will be easier to manage as you can keep them covered a little better. Reading all this, I'm obviously going to have to watch my diet.
Having said that. I use that 1% cream stuff for when her skin is red, irritated or getting cuts. Just recently I was at swimming lessons with my 2 year old and asked the swimming teacher if there is anything I can do if I want to try swimming lessons for my younger daughter. This is what we now do:
1) Bath in Hamilton Oil
2) Keep her covered in clothes as often as we possibly can
3) Use this Hemp Body Butter stuff from the Body Shop - I can't believe the difference this made (swimming teacher told me about it). Her skin literally went from horrible and dry feeling to being exceptionally soft)
4) Dermeze when we want a barrier (this also worked wonders for her craddle cap - which also removed her hair!)
I've been using the Body Butter for about 3 weeks now. The eczema is obviously still there and it gets red in the usual spots still often (ie: behind knees, in elbows etc) but now the rest of her skin feels wonderful and I'm finding the eczema so much easier to keep under control.
I hope this helps.
My 3 month old, BF DS has just developed severe eczema all over his head and cheeks, eyebrows and now starting on his body. My DP apparently had it bad as a baby/child so he's inherited it. I've been to the Dr today for a prescription but would really like to stick to natural remedies....
Thanks for everyone's advice, I've been talking to diff people and reading so many things that once this bout is a bit less severe, I will trial and error all the different suggestions.
It seems that different bubs respond to different treatments.
I just feel helpless that I can't do more to help the little man out...:gloomy:
My DD is fully BF..and has eczema inherited it from her fathers side.
Dairy i my diet tend to set her off..
i bath her in alpha keri oil and moisturise her straight after the bath to keep it under control
sensitive washing powders i also use and give the clothes and extra rinse cycle just to make sure all the powder is out
Our doc has perscribed her Elocon ointment to use sparingly but am going to have to take her back to doc and look at another treatment.. when it was first given to her she only had it around wrist back knees inside elbows and tiny bit on leg and tum.. As she is getting older she is also getting it more on her tum, her back and her face...which i hate putting the cream on as i dont want it to be rubbed into her eyes.
hi there, my DS who is fully BF too is nearly 5 months old and just developed nasty eczema on his face on Monday :(
we don't know what's caused it because we can't pinpoint anything different, except perhaps the weather but i dunno, the weather has been cooler and drier lately but we almost always sleep at night with the aircon on
i don't think its due to his clothing or washing powder since we're using the same one for months now without problems and wouldn't he have it on his body if that was it?
same with diet, i can't see any major changes there, i have always eaten dairy and he hasn't had any eczema until now so wouldn't it be unlikely that my diet is the cause??
at the moment i'm just using the gaia baby moisturiser and skin soothing lotion which i'm not sure is helping, i'm keen to try the body shop hemp butter so hope to get up to the shops tomorrow
i agree it's awful to see him like this, i just wish i could have it instead of him!
DS has had eczema since birth (overcooked for a week), GP & CHN advised to use Ego QV Bath Oil & Skin Lotion. Haven't had any probs with QV Products, if you want to trial them email Ego Pharmaceuticals for sample, website address below
Good Luck Kelly :wave:
Hi! I do agree and strongly encourage parents to find out what are the triggers for the eczema. You can bring your child for a skin prick test (http://eczemablues.com/2011/04/taking-the-fear-out-of-the-skin-prick-test/) and even if there is no trigger identified like my baby, at least you can eliminate a whole host of items such as egg, cow's milk, cat's, dog's hair, dust mites from your list of things to watch out for and spend time to manage. (Imagine the time saved by not having to change the sheets everyday or vacuuming every day for fear of dust mite.)
You can refer to the common triggers in the link below, as well as tips on managing your child's eczema.
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