My first inkling that something was wrong with Tyler was when he was six weeks old. He has a rash that was alarming to anyone who saw it. Our pediatrician was not really helpful at all. He did suggest different eliminations from my diet (I was nursing) but never seemed to consider the possibility we were dealing with multiple food allergies. When I requested allergy testing, he refused.
I continued to eat peanut butter (as well as milk and eggs - his other allergies until early this year). I had no idea I was making a bad situation worse.
Tyler suffered for 4 more months until we got the opinion of a dermatologist. (Note: We should have visited an allergist.) By this time, his skin was terribly infected and antibiotics did nothing. The dermatologist told us we were on the road to a staph infection. She gave us some strong steroids that were like a miracle drug. Within 24 hours of using it, he looked like a different child.
Since that time, I have kept his eczema under control. Obviously it is much better now that he is not ingesting foods he is allergic to. We know now so much better how to keep him and his skin healthy.
Yet, a rash appeared early last month that I could never completely get rid of. It was by his mouth. When it first appeared, I was so happy that he had not just eaten something because it looked like hives. Last week, I took him to his pediatrician (a different one than we had when he was a baby). I felt like maybe I should be visiting the allergist but we needed a flu shot anyway. I go to a practice with several doctors and saw one we had never seen before.
This doctor was great and started to question food allergies right away. I realized she must not have noticed his peanut allergy in his file. I then went into a very LONG discussion of his history. I was happy to see a doctor that seemed to really understand the connection of food allergy and eczema.
In the end, the rash on his face was a yeast infection (I know, that's weird). It started out as eczema. Since it is by his mouth, he kept licking it. That created the secondary issue.
The rest of his eczema is also flared up (that happens in the fall) so she switched us to a very strong cream for a week. If this does not go away relatively soon, we will visit the allergist. But this just reminded me how far we have come from three and a half years ago when I had no idea what was happening and he was being exposed repeatedly to peanut butter.
What a difference time makes!!
I would love to hear from some of you. Do you deal with eczema, too? Was it your first sign like ours? Please leave a comment or send an e-mail.