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Thread: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    My DS has has skin irritations for the past couple of weeks. At the first sight I had the feeling it was eczema from the start. I was watching it close. Last week or so it flared up and hasn't really gone down. I took him into the Dr. yesterday to make sure it wasn't something else. The Dr. did say it was eczema.

    I use a homemade oatmeal soap in his baths and a gentle dye and fragrance free lotion everyday. I use a dye and fragrance free detergent on all of our clothes, no softener or dryer sheets.

    I am looking for some help? I know very few people who have eczema and fewer still who have breastfed children with it. I am wondering if it's something I'm eating? I have read the big triggers are dairy, eggs and soy. Has anyone had luck with eliminating gluten?

    Should I try one at a time, for how long, a week or two then trying the next on the list? He is doing okay so far but I've been finding he's trying to scratch at his legs and getting fussy every now and again, waking up crying. I want to nip this in the bud before he gets into the habit of scratching when I can't be there to stop him and figure out a diet before he starts eating solids.

    If anyone could give me insight I would greatly appreciate it!!

  2. #2
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    How often do you bath him? When we cut back on baths it made a huge difference. We would keep him clean by wiping up dirty parts of him with plain water then give a full bath with soap maybe once a week, using gentle fragrance free soap.

    I am not discrediting the possibility of food allergy or intolerance, but I would start with something more simple, like cutting back on baths, before changing your diet.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    Hi there. I've got a kiddo with chronic severe eczema. He's had it since about 2 mos old. One of the first things his dermatologist told me was NOT to use oatmeal in his baths. Oatmeal is very drying to the skin and is great for wet rashes like poison ivy or chicken pox, but for eczema, which is a result of/causes dry skin, it can actually make things worse.

    It could potentially be something in your diet, but without other signs of a food allergy (gastro issues, tummy upsets, congestion, redness around the anus, etc) I would look at environmental triggers first. Think about the soap you use, your perfumes, shampoos, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, anything scented or chemical that he might be coming into contact with.

    As I said, this is something we've been battling for years and the absolute BEST thing for us as far as getting his skin healed up has been daily soak and seal baths. I would start with that and see if it helps you before starting to eliminate foods. Put baby in the bath for 15-20 minutes (at this age, it might be easier to get in with him, but whatever works for you). Put a wet towel or washcloth over his head and shoulders to make sure his entire body stays damp. The key is to NOT let the skin get dry. After the bath, pat him dry (don't rub) and within 3 minutes, while the skin is still damp, get him covered head to toe in moisturizer. The one that has worked best for us, recommended buy the hospital I took my son to for eczema treatment, is Vanicream. It is relatively light, doesn't sting on open areas (for the most part), and it comes with a pump top so you aren't contaminating the lotion with bacteria from your hands (particularly important for kids with sensitive skin!). We've also used Eucerin in the past and that works well too. Both are dye and fragrance free. You cannot put too much lotion on. You want to be able to SEE it on the skin. Then put baby in thin, 100% cotton long sleeve, long leg jammies or footies. Put little cotton socks on his hands too, if there is eczema on his hands (or even if there isn't- it can help keep him from damaging when he scratches). And a cotton hat if dry skin on his head is an issue. Start with doing it before bed and see if it helps. If you feel you need to do it more than once a day, that's okay too. We started off doing it 3x/day and cut back as he healed up.

    Other things you can do are keeping his fingernails trimmed really close so he does less damage when he scratches and generally keeping his skin covered in long clothes, socks, hats, etc.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    I bathe him every three days or so with fragrance and dye free soap. It seems after 2 days his skin starts to look like "acne" flare ups on his face and dry. After bathing, especially the day after his skin looks SO much better. That being said it is winter and I've been trying not to bathe him so often thinking it was contributing to his dry skin. His father has certain food allergies/sensitivities and has had acid reflux since he was an infant, but no eczema or skin problems. I have adapted to eating what DH can eat I don't see them having the same allergies being the culprit.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    I thought for YEARS that frequent bathing would make my son's eczema worse. It's only since we've started doing the daily baths, with the correct technique (NOT letting the skin get dry during the bath and getting lotion on while it's still damp) that he's healed. I don't use any soap on him at all, just gentle washing with a soft cotton washcloth.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    Thanks for your input still.here! I have chronic migraines so I try not to get anything with harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances. I was really misinformed about the oatmeal! I was hoping it would take the itch away! He LOVES baths. No problems to get him in one everyday. I rest his head on my arm and have the water high enough to pretty much cover him. When I first started bathing him he would scoot and squirm until he was laying on his back. He completely relaxes lets his arms and legs float! I guess he knows what makes him feel better! He is in the stage of sucking and chewing on his hands. He refuses paci's teething rings, he will chew on my hands for a couple minutes but goes right back to his hands. I've been putting loads of Eucerine on his hands and putting his "spa mittens" on when he sleeps. It is really helping the chapping. I will have to start doing that everywhere!
    He does have cradle scalp. Did you put lotion through your son's hair also?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    Yes, if the eczema's on his scalp, I'd moisturize there too.

    And of course, a little 'baby acne' and cradle cap is perfectly normal and should go away on its own. But if it's disrupting sleep and making baby unhappy, baths and moisturizer is something you can try that might help and won't hurt.

    I probably don't need to mention it, but cigarette smoke can also be a big environmental trigger for eczema.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    I just want to chime in here and say that whatever Still.here recommends, that's the way to go. She is the expert on eczema.

    Both my daughters had cradle cap. What worked for us was a small amount of olive oil, which was allowed to soak in. Then I combed her hair (what there was of it), and the cradle cap came right off. IDK if olive oil would be recommended for a kid with suspected allergic tendencies, but that's what we used.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    Oh, and if he's putting his hands in his mouth a lot, I'd put vaseline on them. I know, sounds gross, but it's not going to hurt him if he ingests it. We have to use it around my son's mouth sometimes.

    Ha! Mommal, I'm an expert on my own kid's eczema anyway! There are so many kinds and causes though. All I can really tell you is what has worked for us and what the docs we've seen have said.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breast Feeding and Eczema Problems

    La la la, I can't hear you.

    Accept the compliment, woman! You are an expert. Wish you didn't have to be. But you are!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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