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Eczema, Allergy, Rash or Extreme Dry Weather??

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    miriam228's Avatar
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    Eczema, Allergy, Rash or Extreme Dry Weather??

    Hi,

    How do I differentiate Eczema, allergy (wool maybe?), rash or extreme dry weather??

    4-month old has extreme red and chapped cheeks since last week. Thought it was due to the low humidity and 2-days heater. 3 days ago, noticed 2 patches of red skin on each side of neck, around the neckline, and small red dots behind the neck & ear lobes area. Thought it maybe due to the reaction of 100% wool undergarment (though we have a layer of cotton bodysuit underneath the wool garment). Vaseline, zinc cream and Chicco moisturizing creams were all applied, but doesn't seem to work.

    Then reading through the forum here about "Eczema," which seems to be my case (?).

    How do I know what my baby is suffering from? Must we visit the Pd or can we just let it heal naturally?


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    yonge is offline Registered User
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    Eczema, allergy, rash, even asthma are all related according to my paediatrician. There's a number of different "patterns" that eczema can take - raised, not raised, weeping, etc. - but the treatment is generally the same. (1) Stay moisturized - use comfortably warm water, non-soap cleansers such as Cetaphil, and moisturize with a non-allergenic moisturizer such as aqueous cream immediately after the bath and throughout the day. We tend not to use the name-brand creams because sometmes the culprit is the fragrance! You can also try using a heater with a humidifier or using a humidifier whenever you have the heater on to increase the moisture content in the air; (2) Remove potential allergens, including clothing, food, etc. Are you still breastfeeding? I breastfed for 17 months for my first and am still breastfeeding my second who's 18 months, mainly because my husband suffered terrible childhood eczema. The upside is that breastfeeding strengthens the child immune system and reduces eczema and asthma episodes. The downside is that your child, if he/she (sorry, I couldn't tell from your posting if you have a son or daughter) has a predisposition to eczema, could get a flare up from something you ate. Did you recently resume eating things like seafood, peanuts, orange juice, or eggs? Has the child recently been introduced to formula - he/she may have a milk allergy; and (3) Treat the rashes with topical steroids. Although you generally don't want to administer steroids to so young a child, it's better to treat eczema rather than to have the child so irritated that he/she scratches him/herself until she's bleeding, resulting in possible infections, such as impetigo. Just a thin layer of topical steroids is usually sufficient to bring it under control.

    Not being a fan of steroids myself, I did look for alternative remedies. There's one that seems to work for my children. Take a piece of bittermelon/bittergourd (the smaller and more bitter, the better), mash with a mortar and pestle, add a little water water and nuke in the microwave for about 15 seconds to kill any bacteria. Allow to cool until comfortable and apply with a clean cotton pad. Please don't ask me how it works; it just does. You can keep a small amount in the fridge for a few days; the coolness also seems to help. We have friends who make pot-loads for children who have full-body eczema and just add it to their baths. It's best to treat as soon as you see any redness rather than to wait until the eczema is raised and weeping (by that time, only steroids will help). In my experience, once eczema is flaring, it doesn't go away by itself - it needs to be addressed with creams, bittergourd, etc. However, over time, most children's immunity to mature and learn not to be quite so hypersensitive. Good luck!

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    Appreciate your very detailed explanation Yonge!!

    In response to your questions: my daughter is 4.5 months now. I am part-time bf'ing (morning & night) her and other times she is on Japanese formula. I have been eating eggs every since pregnancy. I'm not a peanuts/seafood person. As of this moment, she isn't scratching her face.

    Will we require to see a pd?

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    Aava.Wong is offline Registered User
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    it sure is frustrating to see your child suffering from any allergies/eczema. my doc in my country gave topical steroid cream for his eczema when he was 3 months and it was clear overnight but i have read that steriod creams aren't good for a baby's skin so i stopped using it.

    when i came to hk, i did more research online and settled for QV branded bathgel and moisturiser for my son and it is working (so far!). as yonge mentioned, the same brand might not be suitable for your baby so you have to buy it and test it first.

    i am part-time BF as i am back at work now so what you eat DOES affect the baby so i would like to suggest you to stop eating eggs and other foods mentioned by yonge.

    i really hope that his allergy/eczema clears up soon!

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    Thanks Aava.Wong.

    Exactly what foods should I avoid when I BF? Does that mean my baby is allergic to those foods and should never eat it?

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    eggs, seafood, peanuts, red meat, etc. it is better to avoid these foods when you are BF and also once you start introducing her to solids. the eczema might slow down as your baby grows older but it is case by case.

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    Oic, Aava.....

    Thanks.

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    VERY VERY useful info/website here:
    Milk allergies and Intolerances - Cow & Gate

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