View Full Version : Eczema??
My son has extremely dry skin. He's 3 months old and all across his tummy, his upper thighs, back and head (where his hair is) is so so dry, he has skin peeling/flaking off constantly. Creams can sometimes stop it temporarily, but at the moment Im putting moisturiser (aloe vera gel atm, have found it to work the best so far!!), probably about 4-5 times a day, I usually do it at every nappy change. I dont use soap on him etc, but nothing I can do will stop it! Does this sound like eczema or just really bad skin?? (For his head Ive used all the cradle cap lotions and potions, and it will not budge!)
We're in the same Nov thread. My little girl Lily has severe eczema pretty much all over her. The community health nurse, nurse at the chemist and two gps could only offer 'gee, her skin is really dry, isn't it?' and I was at my wits end. Her little knees were cracking and she was waking up scratching at night.
After talking to a colleague, we are now seeing a GP who is great and diagnosed her eczema. We also got a referral to a paed allergist (you will find that dermatologists will just try to get you to use steroid cream to manage). Not sure how many paed allergists there are in syd, but we only have 2 in QLD. If you do decide to go down this route (to find out what is causing it), when you call to make the apt, let them know your baby's age, how widespread it is and how long it has been going on. Our allergist's waiting list was 12mths long (!!) but he brought us forward because Lily was only 4wks when it started and it is from head to toe.
We too have tried every cream and emollient known to man. The best I've found so far is Avene from the pharmacy (there is an emollient bath liquid and a cream emollient and we also use the water spray, as it has silica in it and provides some protection). It is a French product and looks like what you might buy yourself and i was most sceptical at first, but so far it seems to be doing a good job of keeping it under control.
I know how frustrating it is. Lily was 2wks late, so was going to be prone to dry skin anyway, but we also have a family history of allergies (though no eczema). I've also heard recently about using antihistamines, but I'm not sure what, if any are safe for infants. A couple of days ago I was suffering from really bad hayfever and ended up desperate, so I took 1/2 a 2mg polaramine (which isn't recommended, but I was desperate and couldn't sleep). I ended up not sleeping much anyway, because I was worried it would depress Lily's respiration (dose via my milk), but the following day, her skin was markedly better - so I guess at least we know it is an allergic reaction, rather than just very dry skin.
Tomorrow night we are going to a chinese herbalist who lectures to med students on the use of herbs to treat childhood eczema, so will let you know how that goes. The allergist apt is next week.
The only other thing I've done is a complete elimination of dairy and egg for 10 days, followed by a slow reintroduction. Her skin seems a little better, but who knows? It could be due to the other stuff I'm doing for her.
I've been keeping a photo diary of her age and various treatments etc to take to the allergist too. Each thing I've tried for a minimum of 10 days to give it a real chance to work.
I'm sorry to say we haven't found any miracle creams or cures, but I hope this helps a bit.
Sorry - one other thing I forgot to mention. If a doc or anyone else suggests using the 'new' eczema treatments (immunosuppressants) like elidel (sp?) be very cautious. In USA, these drugs now have to carry a black box warning that they might increase the likelyhood of developing sarcoma. As yet, there is no warning in Australia, but it is probably only a matter of time. Also, with a much smaller population, we tend to cotton on to these things later than the yanks.
Yes i know what eczema is like very itchy.
The only ointment that helps me is Elocon.
I found it better than the cream and it does work.
Thanks for that, ill have to give it a go. I find around his creases he's always dry, cracked and bleeding - get accused of not drying him properly - but I know to dry in there! His back is soo soo dry the poor bugger. Will see the dr on wednesday. Where are the paed allergists in QLD? We are moving to northern nsw in a week, and the QLD ones would probably be closer.
Pete Smith would probably be closest for you, as he's actually on the Gold Coast. Be prepared though - his waiting list is about 12mths. How we got bumped forward was that I literally started crying when the receptionist told me that. I said that there is no way we could put our baby through a year of this misery waiting to see someone and that all the paed derms were not taking new patients at all. It also helped that our GP said that her eczema was severe and all over in the referral. So we've only had to wait 6wks.
Get a referral as quickly as you can and call straight away to make the apt.
Good luck and let me know how you go.
Sorry - also mention that he is only a few months old and has been like this for a while. Lily's skin also bleeds when she scratches and I told them that too. Pete is apparently really good and he prioritises the really little ones, particularly if they develop eczema before 12wks of age, as it usually doesn't appear until about 4mths+. The more widespread and unresponsive to treatment it is, the more readily he'll see you. Several of my work mates have taken their kids to him and they say he is terrific. The only other paed allergist in Qld is at RBH and I don't know her name.
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