Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the eczema battle

For the last few months Noah has had these horrible red patchy rashes all over his body (namely back/stomach/groin/legs) and at first because it was mostly in the diaper area I thought it was some kind of diaper rash - even though he had just been potty trained.
But then it spread. And I thought that maybe it was viral. It wasn't pretty. And still isn't.
But after two visits to the doctor I am convinced it is eczema. I just didn't believe that eczema could look so terrible. But it does. And the poor kid just itches all day long.
So now we've got a strict skincare regimen and we'll see how he's doing in a week or two.
Right now (as of tonight) we're doing the following:
Homemade Oatmeal Bath (10-15 mins long)
Pat dry with towel
Put 1% hydrocortisone cream on the worst affected areas (right now it's belly/back/groin)
Slather on a pharmacy mixed combination of Glaxal Base moisturizer (hypo allergenic cream) and glycerin all over his entire body.

I'm also going to purchase either Vitamin E/Omega 3's to help keep his skin soft and moisturized.
If this continues until and through the first few weeks of considerably warmer weather then I will (reluctantly) look at changing his diet to eliminate possible causes of eczema. (the main two being dairy and wheat.)
Blech. I'm so not into all that diet change stuff, but if it's not changing I will totally do it for my kiddo.
Personally I'm fairly certain it's the weather as it's ridiculously dry and has been since his eczema flared up.
But we'll see.

Oh and here's a quick (and cheap) tutorial on how to make your own Oatmeal bath (great for eczema, chicken pox, poison ivy skin conditions):
You will need:
oats (I just used up what I had left which was large flake quaker oats)
a blender

Put about a cup (if you can fit that in your blenders - some are smaller) of oats into your blender and blend until you have a consistently fine powder.
Add the powder into a warm bath (not too hot as that will dry out skin even more) and mix around to break up any clumps.
Sit in the bath for anywhere from 10-20 minutes and then quickly rinse and pat dry.
Alternatively, you can put the powder in the foot of pantyhose and tie it off. Then let the water run through the  oatmeal sack and let it float in the water when you're done filling the bath. You can even squeeze the oat goop out onto affected areas while in the bath too.

Anyway, so we'll see where we're at in the next few weeks and hopefully he improves.
He's so cute, though when he talks about his rashes.
He says,
Yeah. I have rashes all over me. 
When I see an especially "angry" flare up I say,
Oh Noah. I'm so sorry that you have rashes.
And he usually says something like,
My rashes make you sad? 
And I say,
Yeah. It makes me sad that you have rashes that hurt you and that I can't make them go away.
He was especially cute for the doctor when we saw her yesterday telling her about his rashes and beforehand telling me that he would "try to be brave".
This kid. So cute.


  1. :(

    Calli and Lizzi both have eczema really bad. I find that Calli's flares up after swimming in the pool, or if she has had a couple of really busy days (like when the Grandparents visit). I am convinced that stress and chlorine are also factors. Poor Noah... It can't be fun to be itchy all the time... Keep us posted if your remedies work... I will use them with the girls! We have just been using Aveeno baby eczema cream.

  2. Vanessa, you probably remember the posts I would make about Henrik's skin issues during his first 6-8 months. It was HORRIBLE. His skin has improved dramatically since then, but it's still very sensitive and he has rough areas all the time.

    The dermatologist that we saw for him as a baby recommended "Lipikar" cream as a daily (or twice daily) overall mousterizer. It is also recommended by the Eczema Society/Association of Canada. We were a bit skeptical, and it is expensive ($30 for a pump size one), but it works AMAZINGLY well and fast in smoothing out rough skin and in keeping the skin super mosturized and preventing flareups. You can buy it at Shopper's Drug Mart in the beauty section with the skin care products. It is made by "La Roche Posay" and the best one for young children is "Lipikar Baume AP".

    Also, I went through the diet changes myself as I was strictly breastfeeding Henrik when we were trying to determine the cause(s) of his skin flare ups. Three months of eliminating dairy, wheat, soy, tree nuts and peanuts did not improve his skin (although it did lead to me losing 25 lbs...which sadly I gained back so quickly). I was still suspicious of dairy and wheat when he started solids, so I avoided those, but it didn't seem to have any effect.

    The interesting thing about ezcema and food is that the skin will react to food if there is an allergy, but it can react very randomly as well (to stress, weather, other irritants) and it can be sooo difficult to know with certainty if the food is the culprit. Before you consider drastically changing Noah's diet, perhaps arrange for an allergy test by getting a referral through your GP. It's quick and painless, and you'll have the results within 10 minutes. At Noah's age, the test is more reliable than for younger children.

    Good Luck with the eczema battle!!!

  3. Poor Noah - as a recent eczema sufferer, I feel for him!

    I use Glaxal Base on my legs regularly now and that makes a huge difference in prevention. For my eye lids though prevention is no make up. Treatment is always prescription creams. Soap is a huge trigger for me as is weather. And pregnancy, but Noah's probably not suffering from that ;)

    There are so many options for what could be causing it, and I hope you determine the cause quickly! All the best to your little guy.

    Oh, and thanks for the oatmeal bath "recipe". Good to know!

  4. sad sad sad! Have they tested for any allergies with Noah at the doctors?

  5. Thanks, friends. After one day his rashes looked less angry today. We'll see how they look tomorrow.
    I'm slathering on cream so we'll see. :)
    And another oatmeal bath tonight. I need to go buy more oats!


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