BABY ECZEMA - October is eczema awareness month

by - October 07, 2016

Hi, today's blog is about our journey so far with baby eczema.

Babies do get dry skin and it's common for this to be around the wrists and ankles and knees when babies are new born / few weeks old and with moisturising these areas this dry skin does improve. 
At first this is what happened to Thea in those areas and it did improve but I she was around 6 to 8 weeks old and I started to notice her skin wasn't what I thought normal for a baby.
Being a first time parent something didn't feel right but was it new mum fear or actually an issue?!?!

Thea had cradle cap at the time so her face we put down to cradle cap this had spread onto her eyes, cheeks and sides of her face, cradle cap can spread but again with treatment improves. Thea's older half brother had bad eczema as a baby so we  thought ok maybe this in some way could be related to this as her body started being flaky and extremely dry Dom as a baby had also had some eczema. 

I thought it had to be something else but what?! At first burt's bees seemed to work but even that now wasn't cutting it and Most people seeing Thea or when I posted about it said its normal don't worry all babies have dry skin it will go in time and that her head was cradle cap -now to be fair occasionally yes it looked a bit better but In no way normal !
As the weeks went on and her head and face getting worse along with her body being so dry she was itching making her skin so sore it would bleed I did what every new mum does Google remedies and ask my friends on Facebook who gave me some advice, for most babies these remedies work I was so desperate I tried a few suggestions, little did I know this was going to cause a major flare up the first we tried olive oil on her head with a rub while in the bath to help her scalp. next one was the one that made me really consider something else was going on I tried Vaseline.

Olive oil - made her skin red and inflamed
Vaseline - Skin weeping and inflammation

At this point I was going crazy seeing her skin weeping as obviously Vaseline is shiny ! But to the touch her skin was so weepy and sticky and stuck to any fabric causing irritation to Thea I had to wash my hands every time I touched her.

 Thea was due jabs and I was getting anxious that the nurse would take one look at Thea and say I wasn't looking after her properly in some places her skin almost looked burnt.
before the jabs I got desperate things getting worse and my anxiety increasing thinking about having to take Thea to see the nurse looking like she did I got talking to our friend who at the time was struggling with her daughter and re-flux and what she thought was a lactose intolerance, now after chatting about Thea that she could also be suffering from re-flux and sickness from a few weeks old, we assumed colic as Thea would cry for hours and hours most days all day. People kept advising us it's normal for a baby to cry and have colic and the health visitor had suggest to try comfort milk to help with the re flux which should help the colic.
Now yes it could have been colic - Dom researched the cause of colic a lot of info suggested that it is caused by the babies not being able to digest lactose in their milk. We tried Thea on the comfort milk and this did not agree with her, so we went with lactose free milk ?! Based on research ?!

Before using lactose free our friend mentioned she had tried her baby on soya milk and for her this was working and helping to improve her daughters problems. I know all babies are different and yes maybe this was just working for her baby and may not for Thea but I was so desperate to find anything to help we gave it ago I would like to add  I didn't consult anyone about switching formula which raised a few eyebrows when explaining the situation to my GP and the HV later down the road. 

To my amazement within a day Thea's skin was better and she was happier less crying and barely any re-flux fluke ?!?! Maybe?! So for a few days we kept her on the soya now the crying started to creep back but on a much easier level and her stomach seemed better and her nappies improved. I can't remember why but I had rung the health visitor and got talking about Thea's skin and the soya she said I was to take Thea off soya and not use it as there was no way it would be better for her and no way would it be the reason her skin was better.

Soya Milk - HV said soya is linked to growth issues and development issues and is to be only used under the advice and guidance of a medical professional
Colic and the Lactose - HV, no the amounts of lactose in the milk will not be enough to cause colic in her opinion
Lactose free Milk - HV said f we wanted to try it and see we were welcome to as long as Thea was off soya milk, she recommended SMA gold

SMA Gold didn't help the colic and Thea's skin was still bad after it had cleared up using the soya.

Injection day comes around and we continued with SMA but she now had bad weeping skin and an upset stomach so the nurse gave Thea her injections but we couldn't do the rota virus because of her stomach. The nurse asked us to come back in a 2 weeks, we continued using the SMA, when we returned Thea's skin was worse on her face the nurse said look I can see there is an issue with her skin what formula is she on ?! I explain about SMA and the Soya she says she was a HV for a long time and thought as we did the skin was in relation to her formula and I was to book and see the GP she also said if the Soya works then that could be the way forward but to see the GP as it does have side effects.

Finally someone agrees it's the formula not just bad baby eczema I don't feel
So crazy about how her skin improved on soya and I don't feel bad for trying it as it did point towards the milk being the issue we see the GP in the next few days.

I have to hand it to our GP he listened and agreed and really thought about the cause and treatment, he has from then until today been so helpful with his knowledge and as a parent of a 1 year old he listened and didn't judge he really investigated formulas and what it could be.

 Firstly he says soya is not the best but if we try a few things for a longer period and they do not work he would consider Thea remaining on it,

He then suggests organic formula explaining how they are made and why it will suit her better, it was something along the lines of how the burn down the ingredients so we were to look for a hydrolysed formula but suggested HIPP ORGANIC because of the way it was made.

Now he also gave us what I always call lotions and potions to try a few of which didn't work (listed at the bottom of the blog) but again he was very kind and considerate and would see us regularly that it wasn't to much of an issue as we quickly found one cream combo with a bath oil that worked surprisingly coconut was a good thing on her skin ?! Weird considering the olive oil issue !

Although an improvement her skin still wasn't great and the re-flux still there so we went back and we talked about what we think it is. Dom and I had been leaning towards a milk protein and lactose intolerance which are rare and normally run in the family so we thought maybe that's not it.

 We look this up and Google allergy's related to eczema, lactose comes up as well as, dairy, gluten, wheat, but most common of all was milk protein so we investigate Thea's issues and we figure maybe that it is ?!

When searching I found many a great blog and mum web pages that also sounded like Thea and how their doctors thought they were mental for leaning towards the formulas! Finally we don't feel alone! So I explain what we found and he agrees that could be the cause as it wasn't healing tho improved so he gets his little medical book out - he often uses this as a reference point  because there are so many options!

He gives us a new formula that is completely free from its a medical amino acid formula called Neocate
He says try this with the creams and come back in 2 weeks.

We google the Formula and some parents found it didn't work but others did a lot of people say it can cause sickness which we were still getting and although Thea was itching it began to work slowly her sickness was ok but her skin did start to heal bingo we are on a roll !

Theas formula 

Then the hot weather comes things go down hill and Thea gets a bad patch again and we notice around the sunshine her skin is worse and she is itchy we also noted that my sisters dog could also be a cause of an allergy After we had been away and she stayed with my sister and her skin flared up again so off we go back and he seems really impressed with the progress I guess from the outside you can see it I can't as I see her everyday ?!

So he gives us body suits and medicine to give her twice a day and we continue the routine we cream her all the time and at every nappy change we cover her Head toToe at night we use the suits and medicine including Piriton and slowly we get to her Today.

 Her skin is smooth and good for the most part still a few areas around her face and stomach but good and getting better everyday the only down side is she has started teething and all the dribble is causing her face to get bad but no where near the same level as before.

Thanks for reading, hope to write again soon

Hannah & Thea
thea's skin when it was worse

What worked  
Balneum Plus Cream- (contains urea which is effective at stopping itching)
Piriton - used at night (for any allergies)
Daktacort Ointment - Mix of Miconazole nitrate 2% & Hydrocortisone 1% (used on her scalp)
Nizoral - Anti Fungal cream was used before Daktacort Ointment 2%
Hydrocortisone 1% - (used on bad patches around face and body)
Clotrimazole cream 1% - (we used this for skin folds but have stopped using as they have healed)
Euciren - Bath oil (used once a day)
 Coconut oil - we used this before getting Euciren, it helped ease the itching

Didn't Work
 Epiderm - (caused inflammation and pain when applying)
Diprobase - (made skin real dry and itchy)
Oilatum - Bath oil (made condition worse)
Bria Organics Balm - (didn't work on this occasion)
Johnson & Johnson Night Time bath & Baby Lotion - (Caused redness and irritation)

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