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Thread: sensitive skin or allergies?

  1. #1

    Default sensitive skin or allergies?

    Does anyone know of a good online resource to help me identify my baby's skin issue? A site with pictures would be helpful.

    DS is 9 mos and for the past month he's had patches on the underside of his arms that are sort of circular, raised, slightly rough in texture, and transiently reddened. They vary in size from 1-4 cm in diameter. They never seem to fully disappear, just sort of fade to a more flesh-toned color. He also gets one above his upper lip from time to time, but it does diasappear completely. The patches don't seem itchy. One friend who's a physician's assistant thought it might be ringworm, but thought the borders weren't circular enough. They became very red after eating bananas one day, but he'd had bananas before without any reaction. Then last night they were red again, but he hadn't eaten anything new yesterday at all. He had corn for the first time on Sunday, but wouldn't we have seen a reaction much sooner? Isn't a food reaction generally within a few hours? Also, the fact that these patches are so localized to his arms and nowhere else isn't typical of food allergies, is it? Don't kids usually get a more generalized reaction? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to start introducing wheat soon, but if this is a food reaction, I'm a little leary to start.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    Hi there, I might also think about what the clothes have been washed in, maybe there's a reaction to the detergent. What about bathing soap? Are you using a cream afterwards? If you're still breastfeeding, have you introduced anything new into your diet? Take a measurement of the areas so you know if they spread, a digi cam is good for this then you won't second guess yourself. I wouldn't hesitate to go to the doc if it persists for a long time and also appears in other areas. If you think it's a food, back track and go plain and then start to introduce again...I know that sounds lengthy.
    Good luck

  3. #3

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    Thanks for your suggestions. We use unscented detergent, and he's been in shorts sleeves mostly, so I'd be surprised if it was that. I know it sounds weird, but we don't use soap in the bath, and just a little organic baby shampoo as needed. I've stopped paying attention to what I eat because he seemed to have outgrown sensitivity to my diet, but maybe I need to re-examine that. I have been eating a lot more dairy lately. I guess if all alse fails, I could do as you suggested, an elimination diet, and careful reintroduction. Do you have any experience with how long it takes for a typical reaction to food to occur? I know they say to wait a week in between foods, but how long does it usually take?

    Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    heres some pictures of ring worm...
    might be worth a trip to the doctor.

    http://www.dermnet.com/thumbnailInde...ex=0&numcols=0

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    10

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    Hi
    I really do think that the reaction depends on the source and then the severity of the allergy. I would think anywhere from immediately, to 3 to 4 days... I realize this doesn't help much, but it really depends on the body just like adults. Some people get stuffed up noses days after eating something, others cramps immediately etc etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    48

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    DD, who is 7 months, had a similar sounding rash, but on the back of her legs. She has sensitive skin so I know it's not a food allergy (she's not eating solids yet). 2 pediatricians ruled out ringworm, and said it's more than likely granuloma annulare which is often mistaken for ringworm. It's a skin condition not caused by anything and not really treatable. It affects young kids and older adults more often. We made an appointment with a dermatologist to get a second opinion. Unfortunately, we couldn't get in earlier that Sept. 10th so we'll need to wait a little longer to see what he says. Per instructions from her ped, we were to put regular, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream on it with lots of lotion each day...which we've been doing, and it went away within a couple of weeks so we stopped treating it. Well, the other day I noticed it is starting to come back. I just can't wait to hear what the dermatologist says.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    14

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    My son had bad eczema on his face starting around 4 mo that I was able to clear with an elimination diet (eventually figured out that it was fish that I was eating). When I took him to a pediatric dermatologist/allergist, he said that eczema is basically just sensitive skin, and not a true allergic reaction. Hives are a true reaction, and do happen fairly quickly after the food is consumed. When the doc skin tested him for fish, the test was negative. He said that some skin conditions such as eczema are triggered by foods, but this is not an immune system reaction. Avoiding the food does help you control the skin condition. When it is a food sensitivity or intolerance, reactions can take a number of hours or days to show up.

    Over time (my son is now 2.5) we discovered that numerous things cause eczema in addition to fish - soy and all other legumes, dairy, etc. It now appears mostly on his arms and legs rather than his face. Interestingly, there is a connection between soy/legume sensitivity and peanuts - my son does have true peanut allergy. So it makes sense to me to avoid these foods even if the soy and legumes don't cause a *true* reaction.

    If you are interested in doing an elimination diet, you may wish to start with dairy first (at least two weeks), and then gluten. These are the two main culprits for food sensitivities. If you keep a detailed food diary, you may also be able to identify other sensitivities while doing this diet. It is also really great for "cleaning up" your diet, because it is difficult to eat processed/packaged foods and you end up with a fairly basic diet.

    HTH!
    Last edited by @llli*deedee.0; August 21st, 2008 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    Thanks everyone for your responses. After some searching and looking at pictures, I think what DS has is most likely a generic type of hives. Although I do have a pretty clean diet already- mostly organic, lots of fruits and veggies, little meat, practically no processed food- I probably should still try an elimination diet, especially the dairy. I did try going gluten-free for 2 weeks, because my father has true gluten intolerance, and I wanted to see if I did, so that I know what degree of risk DS is at for this. I had no noticable reaction when I reintroduced gluten. Now I guess I'd better try dairy.

    By the way, when I do introduce wheat to DS, does anyone have any suggestions for some simple things to start with? I'd rather not give him anything with added sugar, like Cheerios. I've thought about giving him some Ezekial- sprouted grain bread, because that's what I eat, but it has more than just wheat (also millet, sesame, spelt, soybeans etc). Any ideas?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: sensitive skin or allergies?

    How about a homemade tortilla? Just google for a recipe, they are very easy (just flour, water and a bit of oil - salt is optional). I'd give you my recipe but don't want to infringe any copyright... They may turn out a bit crispy, but if so they will make nice crackers!

    btw, you can do this with any flour. I made my son some nice oat teething crackers (oat has a natural sweetness) before he was eating any wheat.

    HTH!

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