Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eczema - some success

My brother and sister had bad eczema when they were growing up so I was used to it and not alarmed when my baby got a little. It was barely anything and didn't itch him so I just left it alone. Then it flared up and I made an appt with our ped who is also an ND and we went last week. That wasn't helpful at all as all she did was ask me a little bit about his diet and tell me to put on a cream like Eucerin.

What I knew from my brother and sister is that eczema:
* is related to food allergies
* can be hard to treat
* oil of primrose and vitamin E can help sometimes
* hydrocortisone is often prescribed (but didn't seem to be an answer in itself)

I went home and read up all my alternative medicine books and looked at some links as well, guided in part by a report from someone on my neighborhood parenting list (elsewhere) about probiotics helping her little one with eczema.

What I learned from reading was that eczema:
* has been linked with a reaction to an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the gut
* is often found in individuals who later go on to have allergies such as hay fever (nothing more serious than that)
* can be related to zinc deficiency sometimes
* is often related to common allergies -- peanuts, eggs, milk, orange juice, etc.
* can have some improvement from increasing omega-3 intake
* that promoting good bacteria (through injesting certain strains and helper strains) can help readjust the gut flora
* can improve when you eliminate simple carbs (refined wheat products, sugar, juices)
* can benefit from diet changes similar to what one does to try to heal from yeast infections (stay away from sugar, fermented foods, etc.)

I stumbled a little with the diet, so my sitter and I started keeping a log and I helped give her more direction on what to feed him so he wasn't just eating carbs with her. We also cut back on juice and dairy some. I also bought some fish oil, probiotic meant for children 0-5 years, and sunflower seeds.

I also tried putting a lotion on his rash that he was fine with previously on winter dry skin but on the eczema it made the rash get worse. Eczema is akin to broken skin so don't make that mistake. You can use Eucerin, Aquaphor, Vasoline, or even lanolin to help keep it covered.

After a week of treatment it is finally starting to heal up. I've been thinking about what caused it to flare and I think it was related to his love of gorgonzola cheese. He had some earlier in the month and it was a particularly bloomy one and I think it threw things off in his system a little.

I just wanted to share in case this helps anyone else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi honey it's Moxie here (remember me from Ovu?) I lost all my links when my puter when down and have only just managed to remember your blog name. Hope you don't mind me stopping by. How are you and yours?

We have skin probs here too and we are pretty sure cows milk is the culprit so are eliminating it too.

You mentioned lanolin to help treat eczema but in fact research has found that products containing it make eczema worse. They used to suggest E45 cream over here but soon found the lanolin in it exacerbated the problem rather than relieving it. They are reluctant to prescribe steroid creams here too but it is the only thing we have found that works sadly.

Hope that helps and much love to you.