and it’s not even mine!
DC2 had a good month or two with perfect skin, and then eczema hit again. Ze is finally old enough to get allergy testing done, so we got it done, and ze came up clear. Ze can still have food intolerances, but we don’t have to worry about anaphylactic shock. The internet (including more reputable places like webmd) notes that age 3-4 is when food allergies stop leading to eczema. So wheat should be fine now.
The allergist gave the same advice the pedi had given– bathe or shower once a day, lather with lotion or creme (preferable aquifor or aveeno) 3-4 times per day. The problem is that when we do that, DC2 gets big flare-ups and ze hates hates hates the lotion and says it itches… which makes us suspect that some of these lotions are part of the problem not the solution. Ze seems better with aquifor and hydrolatum.
So the day after the allergist, we gave hir wheat-based lasagna (to eat) and Aveeno (topically), and had hir take a bath in the tub. Ze had a HUGE flare-up. On the plus side, coconut no longer makes hir throw up and seems to have zero ill effects.
We switched out regular sunblock with Badger Zinc Oxide sunblock. We got rid of the Aveeno and switched to different supposedly-eczema-friendly lotions and cremes. We had several meals without wheat. We switched from baths in the DCs’ bathtub to showers using my special shower filter (the water here gives me hives sometimes). It didn’t clear up but seemed to be doing somewhat better.
Then it got worse and DC2 started tantruming when it was time to put on lotion. Then it got worse than we’d ever seen it before, turning an angry red with bumps. So we stopped the daily baths and didn’t put on lotion unless DC2 was willing and it stopped getting worse, though didn’t get much better. We went to the doctor again and he said that even though it was now “moderate” rather than “mild” that we should continue doing what he told us to do and he was sure that the flare-ups that happened after we followed his instructions were entirely coincidental. He also suggested oral steroids. We called DH’s mom who is both a nurse and has had the experience of dealing with DH’s siblings’ eczema. She suggested different lotions, a different anti-histimine, and fewer rather than more baths (an internet search suggests that more baths are what is en vogue but 5 years ago they were suggesting fewer, which suggests to me that they really don’t know). She nixed the oral steroid and suggested a topical steroid.
After a lot of looking online and comparing and contrasting the ingredients of different lotions, we noticed that the ones that caused obvious flare-ups all have alcohol as an ingredient, and given that DC2 couldn’t handle wipes with alcohol and I used to have a topical allergy to rubbing alcohol, we thought maybe that might be contributing to the problem. We noticed that the first two ingredients in one baby lotion formula were water and sunflower oil, and figured, maybe #2 has a point and we should just use oil (crazy online sites all recommend coconut oil or complicated mixtures of essential oils, but we’re not totally on board with coconut yet and both too lazy and too skeptical to combine oils that come with warning labels about overuse). DC2 hasn’t complained at all about getting olive oil– no screams or tantrums– and it didn’t seem to be making anything worse, which, while not the same as making something better, is better than the alternative. One application of the topical steroid before bed combined with benedryl completely cleared up one of DC2’s arms and made the other three limbs look markedly better.
#2 has topical allergies too, and eczema for the rest of my life. There’s nothing like grad school for giving you a lifelong medical condition! I had a conversation with #1 about my allergies (which is a boring conversation but maybe helpful if DC2 gets more topical allergy tests). I have an ointment now that works, but big flares are only controlled with Prednisone. Hopefully baby won’t need that.
My eczema is exacerbated by water sitting on my skin, which means that I can’t use most lotions (creams, gels, anything you leave on) because they have water in them. You can always buy cheap olive oil and use that, but then people might try to lick you.
#1 notes that DC2 smells delicious after being coated in olive oil.
Isn’t this fun??!?!?