In anticipation of a series of posts starting tomorrow on eczema, I thought I would share our story.
Tyler's eczema at 5 months
When Tyler was 6 weeks old, he developed a strange "crusty" rash on his face. At first I just thought it was normal baby stuff. After all, he was my first child and I was clueless on so many things. After a week or so, I finally called the pediatrician. They told me I did not need to come in, only to put A&D ointment on it.
Still, the rash persisted. By the time he was 3 or 4 months old, the rash had only worsened. We had a pediatrician that did not take it very seriously. By 6 months of age, it had spread all over his head and his scalp was frequently infected. When antibiotics stopped clearing up the infection, we sought out the second opinion of a dermatologist.
Finally, I had someone who seemed to think a bleeding, oozing scalp was not normal on a baby! She also said he was on the road to a staph infection. (That one really freaked me out!) She gave us topical steroids and sent us on our way. Within 48 hours of using the drugs, Tyler looked like a different child. I am not exaggerating a bit when I say this. For the first time since he was a newborn, his face was not dealing with some sort of inflammation. He looked "normal" for the first time.
I asked the dermatologist about the cause of the rash on the re-check. I asked if food allergies might be behind it. She told me not to worry, just use the steroids. I went back to our unconcerned pediatrician. He told me not to worry about the cause or to even use the steroids! So, I continued to treat him with the steroids (since they did work).
The cause continued to linger in the back of my mind so it was no surprise when we discovered he had 3 food allergies (milk, eggs & peanuts) when he turned a year old. When we eliminated the milk and eggs from his diet, the eczema did improve some. (He had recently stopped nursing so he was no longer receiving peanuts from my diet. *gasp*)
At that time he was put on Zyrtec. This drug helped the lingering eczema that the dietary changes did not clear up. It also allowed us to not use quite as many steroids. These, thankfully, were only reserved for the bad flare ups.
This was in February 2006. And really not much changed. We had flare ups. I would struggle to get it under control. Until I made more changes this summer, we were still using Zyrtec and the topical steroids. Zyrtec was daily and steroids averaged a few times every week or two.
I often wondered how long Tyler would be forced to take a medication daily. I asked our allergist at our last appointment about alternatives. He did point me in the direction of a few things that were drug free. That began my quest to find a more natural alternative to not only "treat" his eczema but clear it up entirely.
Check back tomorrow to find out one of the first steps I took that I saw immediate results.