Cowart's Common Room
Can you help with advice?

It just dawned on me that this site may be the very place to get some help with a health question - yes, I'll post in the forum too, but thought this might get to the most people in the speediest way.
My wee grandson - he of the red-haired Mummy and porcelain-fair Daddy (a red haired baby himself) - has a terrible, terrible case of exzema. He has had some patches since shortly after his birth, but it is getting worse and worse. There is not a soft patch of skin on him - and some patches are raw.
He is a breast-fed baby and the solid foods that he has started are organic and have each passed the elimination test. His mum has exzema as well, but never anything like this, apparently. It is affecting his sleep - such a good-natured little fellow, but obviously itchy to the point of pain. He will see a dermatologist on May 7 - a wait of over two months by the time he gets in. Does anyone have any suggestions for relief until that time? The GP has recommended Benedryl at night, but they are concerned about extended antihistamine use. They use the mildest laundry soap, not perfumes, no creams etc
The kids are hopeful that one of you may have some experience/knowledge.
Many thanks and xoxox from Declan and his Nana

Posted at 26th Apr 2008 - 11:24PM   Posted by Pondside   Can you help with advice? Comments: 20

Westerwitch's Avatar Oh Pondside I am so sorry that must be such a worry for all of you and so uncomfortable for wee Declan. I am lucky in that neither I nor the kids are sufferers. I hope you get plenty of help from other members though and you will have support from all of us.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 26th Apr 2008 at 11:27PM

Toady's Avatar Sounds just like my nephew when he was tiny. My brother is a redhead and it appears to go with territory. I wont offer any adice as this was 40 years ago-blimey! Just sympathy for the poor little chap. You could try PMing Exmoor Jane. She hasn't been about much for the last few days though.

Posted by: Toady on 26th Apr 2008 at 11:29PM

Poor little thing. My brother has red hair and had exzema from birth. The only thing that helped other than the steroid creams he was given was cutting out dairy products and citrus fruits. It didn't get rid of it completely but it did make it better. Have you tried the health food shops for some cream. There was a lotion that my brother used for a while as a teenager that helped a bit. I will try and call him tomorrow (if he is about) and see if he remembers the name of it. x

Posted by: HimalayanBlue on 26th Apr 2008 at 11:30PM

Patsy's Avatar When my son was little he suffered from horrible cracked skin behind his knees and at his elbows. He was greatly helped by this cream developed at the world reknowned dermatology unit at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

"THE BENEFITS OF EPADERM Epaderm is a pale yellow ointment containing two active ingredients, Emulsifying Wax and Yellow Soft Paraffin. It also contains Liquid Paraffin. Epaderm’s unique formulation contains no fragrances, colourings or additives. Epaderm provides a film barrier which aids moisture retention within the skin. It is highly versatile – Epader can be used on the skin, in the bath or as a skin cleanser. It therefore offers the three stages of atopic eczema treatment, as suggested for complete emollient therapy (1)

Developed by doctors at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne specifically for eczema sufferers, Epaderm can be used on a wide range of dry skin conditions and is ideal for use in wrapping. Convenient 125g and 500g tubs are available in hospitals, on Drug Tariff and can be prescribed by nurses (2)."

I don't know if it is available with you Pondside but I am sure we could find a supplier and get it sent to you. Atopic dermatitis "eczema" is multifactorial- genetic, environmental, seasonal and immune systen related. It will wax and wane whatever treatment is tried but fortunately many children do grow out of it. I do hope the wee lad gets some relief soon. Don't be afraid of short term steroids (a few months) to break the itch scratch, self trauma cycle.

Good Luck xx

Posted by: Patsy on 26th Apr 2008 at 11:47PM

Poor chap. Eldest used to make himself bleed, also totally breast fed. In desperation I took him to a homeopath after all conventional stuff had failed. He recommended 'Hewlets Cream' which was wonderful, sponge him down with milk - yes it really soothed - but most effective of all was boil potatoes with their skins on and keep the water. When it's cooled bathe him in it. I think it's something to do with the starch. Best cure for eldest was sunshine and now he's a surf bum his skin is great.
I would recommend not using any soap powders or detergents at all - just wash things on a slightly hotter cycle. You may still get a few stains on clothes, but rather that than a fractious child, in pain.
Good luck x

Posted by: @themill on 27th Apr 2008 at 12:14AM

Frances's Avatar Pondside, you clearly have come to a good source of info for poor little Declan. I have no info to add, but surely do hope that the wee fellow will soon have peaceful days and nights.

Posted by: Frances on 27th Apr 2008 at 12:21AM

Kat's Avatar I wonder if oatmeal baths would give him any relief.

Posted by: Kat on 27th Apr 2008 at 12:35AM

Kat's Avatar Some wisdom from herbalist Susun Weed's people here

Posted by: Kat on 27th Apr 2008 at 12:44AM

Camilla's Avatar Hello Pondside,
Declan may need a cortisone cream, but best to ask GP for advice though first. There is a product on the market called Pro Ecza, not sure if it can be used on babies though. Also there is a product called PURE BABY Hypoallergenic Moisterising Cream for babies. My grandson who 8 years has had Psoriasis since birth, only on some parts of his skin, this is heridatory from his father. My daughter I think uses a Emulsifying Cream I think on grandson's skin. I will ask my daughter when I see her on Monday Pondside.


Posted by: Camilla on 27th Apr 2008 at 12:55AM

Pondside's Avatar Thank you everyone! I knew that I'd get some help here. I'm copying all the suggestions into an email for son and DIL. When I told them about all the answers so far they were very, very grateful.

Posted by: Pondside on 27th Apr 2008 at 12:58AM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar from another family of red heads .....Toby went into this about 2 months ago and was covered...the GP recommended something that went in the bath that looked like an emulsifying milk ...cleared itself withn a month and fingers crossed no return yet. It runs in our family ..I had it for a while when young and my eldest, Toby's dad, still gets the odd flare up!

Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 27th Apr 2008 at 07:42AM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Ok we use an natural paste made from Pawpaw ruit, we buy it from Queensland where we used to live, and haveit shipped. Works great on everythign and it is what cured our neighbours sons exma(sorry too early to spell that ) and he had spent most of his chidlhoosd swaddled it was so bad. I am not swearing it would work but see link below. Ozzies swear by it and hispitals use it I reckon that and Udder cream in yoru first aid kit is all you need. Works on animals too.

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 27th Apr 2008 at 08:35AM

Wizzard's Avatar My brother and I suffer from eczema. He is really bad, and I used to be (to the point that the skin on my face used to fall off whilst trying to take my HND exams). Mine cleared up when I moved to Scotland - the water might have something to do with it. I remember when I was little having to put on black coal tar cream then loads of bandages - who knows if they helped or not! Anyway, I do get patches now - I found that the washing detergent I was using for coloured washes caused the problem, so I stopped using it. I wonder if Soap Nuts would help?

I do feel for him as I know only too well what it can be like to be a sufferer, it must be really bad for a baby who cannot understand.



Posted by: Wizzard on 27th Apr 2008 at 08:51AM

Jackofall's Avatar I was going to mention the Udder Cream that Blossomcottage put up in her post the other day Hands that do dishes, and UPL did a search for me and found a version on eBay - read the description at the bottom of the page. Any dairy farmers out there might be able to help with sourcing it your side of the pond.

Posted by: Jackofall on 27th Apr 2008 at 08:55AM

Faith's Avatar I wish I'd had this site when Em was young - she suffered dreadfully - also breast fed baby. I never found anything that worked satisfactorily. I do hope you find something for poor little Declan. Em used to be awake much of the night scratching. Yet my redhead Cee was totally free of it.

Good luck with all the treatments

Posted by: Faith on 27th Apr 2008 at 09:17AM

LittleBrownDog's Avatar I wonder whether the eczema was present before he was weaned? Could it be a food intolerance perhaps (I know you say you've done an elimination check, but I understand lactose intolerance is quite a common cause of eczema)? I remember when I used to work for a baby magazine the 'experts' recommended not using organic baby massage oil for the very reason that organic products cannot be ensured to be free of trace irritants, although this advice apparently goes against the commonsense of organic usually being best.

I do hope you get it sorted - must be so distressing to watch.

Posted by: LittleBrownDog on 27th Apr 2008 at 10:45AM

Suffolkmum's Avatar Poor little mite, and poor Mum and Dad. Neither of mine have suffered badly from this, though K gets some occasional flare ups. Oatmeal baths work for her and I've used the water from cooked potatoes - as @themill said, i think it's to do with the starch. Personally I would recommend a herbalist for something very gentle. Good luck. x

Posted by: Suffolkmum on 27th Apr 2008 at 11:21AM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Just come to this. Ditto to LBD's thought. james had appalling eczema as a baby - profound lactose intolerance was the cause. Had to have a lacto-free milk and avoid all dairy products (he can still get a flare-up now if he has an overdose of dairy). Otherwise, yes to homeopathy and also Chinese herbalism (fi and only if you can get a really good practitioner).
be very careful with creams for eczema as many can - unbelievably - actually make it worse! We found less was more with James. he had never had soap or shampoo on him..... Even natural products can cause problems - ie aromatherapy oils can be tricky for some people.
Do hope you find out the cause (from another blighted by redhead, difficult skin syndrome). jx

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 27th Apr 2008 at 04:24PM

Lawyerlady's Avatar Evening primrose oil capsules cured my daughter and several friends children, not taken orally but popped and gently rubbed in. might work for your little one too.

Posted by: Lawyerlady on 27th Apr 2008 at 05:19PM

Cait's Avatar My daughter and granddaughters all suffer with eczema and so do I but mine only started later in life, my hay fever has lessened but eczema now can be more of a problem (on my hands and neck). I am off the fair skinned variety and red hair is in my line.

Before I go on can I just mention that our dear Pipany's husband has sent me a wonderful cream which touch wood seems to have done wonders for my eczema. My daughter tried it too and was similarly enamoured.

The main cause in the girls is dairy produce and chocolate. all have been breast fed as was my daughter whose eczema started at about two months with little patches on her cheeks and arms. Animals can also trigger it unfortunately as they live on a farm.

V and the girls have goats milk, cow's milk is a no-no.

Wool next to my skin gives it to me and contact with the cat or dog can do it sometimes. The hand thing is affected by unlined rubber gloves or any chemical contact.

Fresh air on the skin works wonders, I hope you can get plenty for the baby?

We are allergic to the emulsifying ointment that GP's always prescribe to protect the skin's surface. As Jane says, not all creams suit everyone.

Oatmeal baths are a good idea. UPL's cream sounds really good too.

I would not use soap and I would avoid any dodgy washing powders.

There is a lot of good advice in the comments here, if you combine it all I think you could help the problem. It does come and go with us. Chocolate will bring it on quickly with the 3 girls which is a shame.

Cotton next to the skin is soothing, I would always have that for the baby.

The potato water is a new one on me I will try that.

But as I say since using Pipany's cream I have seen a great improvement. M has too, forgot to mention he also gets eczema on his ankles. We are a right lot!

I hope this jumbled advice is of use and hope it makes sense. I am very tired as had visitors for the weekend, too many late nights etc.Smile

Posted by: Cait on 27th Apr 2008 at 09:03PM

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