Eczema Tips

Marcie’s Mom Top 10 Eczema Tips

People often ask me how I manage Marcie’s eczema. Marcie has eczema from 2 weeks old and she still gets rashes/scratches on and off. So I can’t profess to have ‘cured’ her eczema, just able to manage to the level that our family is enjoying our time together (as opposed to constantly stopping her scratch/ losing sleep). What I do profess is that I believe in my heart that I am doing what is right for her, being confident rather than guilty or fearful.

1. Most important, Moisturize. Moisturizing keeps the skin from being dry, which leads to scratching, which in turn leads to inflammation, scars and more. I apply for Marcie about every alternate diaper change and definitely within 3 minutes after shower. Be generous with it, slather it on.

2. Apply steroid sparingly, but apply. Steroid cream/lotion causes skin thinning thus it’s not recommended for heavy use. Marcie is prescribed a 0.1% Elomet cream for application twice a day. I use it only when the eczema rash doesn’t go away after 2 days. Usually, after applying 2-3 times, the rash will disappear.

3. Know the triggers in order to control them. I strongly urge you to bring your child for an allergy test. Knowing what are/are not the triggers will remove a great deal of stress and unnecessary treatment. Marcie was given a skin prick test at 7 month old as I got paranoid guessing what food triggered her eczema. Turned out she isn’t allergic to anything – not dust mites, dog’s hair, egg or milk. Her condition is intrinsic and the trigger is mainly hot weather, whenever she starts to sweat.

4. See a specialist and stick to one you can trust. Tell someone of your kid’s eczema condition and chances are they will recommend you a doctor they know or that their friend knows. It is very tempting to switch doctors to find a quick solution especially when taking care of your kid is so stressful.Β  I brought Marcie to see 4 doctors who are not specialist and then decided to find a specialist in a child clinic and stuck with the same doctor.

5. Follow through on the treatment from that specialist. Marcie’s condition is intrinsic and severe; at 7 month old, she was prescribed oral steroid course which I worried about the side effects. The steroid course was one time for 3 weeks with reducing dosage. Her specialist reassured me that it’s 100% safe and I am thankful that I have followed through rather than given up halfway (It is easy to give up due to fear of all that it is written on steroids and also rashes started appearing once the dosage was reduced). The oral steroid course really helped her skin and subsequent rashes became manageable.

Next 5 tips on daily care

6. Use bath oil, not soap. Marcie uses oatmeal bath oil and soaked in it for about 10-15 minutes while playing with her bath toys! Bath oil leaves a layer of oil that keeps the skin from drying. Do not shower with hot water.

7. Pat dry, not rub after shower. Again, to retain moisture and keep the skin from drying.

8. Wear light cotton clothes. Think cool. Baby doesn’t need to wear more or thicker clothes compared to adults.

9. Wash off detergent thoroughly from the clothes. It is good to invest in a washing machine. We spent S$1300 to buy a washing machine with steam wash and allergy cycle. Baby’s clothes are washed separately from adult’s and the allergy+steam function gives me comfort that my baby clothes are rid of dust mites and has no chemical residue.

10. Keep nails smooth and short. Jagged nails cause the most damage when scratching, wear mittens if your baby is willing.

Taking care of a child with eczema takes lots of efforts. I sleep with my baby so that she doesn’t get to scratch at night, which also means that I don’t get to sleep well. It is all worth it though when I see how beautiful my baby is and that her eczema is under control.

Update 2017: The above was written when I first started this blog in 2011, but the principles of skincare for eczema kids remained unchanged. Do refer to the drop-down list on menu bar, Eczema Tips,Β the interviews done with various Featured Guests, the search box (at top right) and keyword tags (at bottom right) to find what you need.

82 thoughts on “Eczema Tips

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  4. I’m happy to have found your blog!

    My little girl has extensive eczema and it does not seem to subside. She is still on breastmilk and my PD said I should avoid dairy, seafood, wheat, egg, berries, nuts. I have tried to avoid all but still take the occasional bread, and sometimes my food may contain traces of eggs, dairy (e.g. the bread roll that I took may have butter in it). I dont know if that is causing her ezcema.

    And I notice her eczema worsening each time I bring her for her vaccination, is this normal? Sometimes her skin is not red, but just very dry and extremely scaly (on both arms and both legs). I have tried applying California baby, Aveeno, Cetaphil, Atopiclair, Physiogel creams and natural oils such as Evening Primrose oil, Coconut oil. Doesnt seem to do much. And I switch around the creams very often, is this right?

    What milk do you feed Marcie? Is eczema linked to cow’s milk allergy since some literature tells me that food allergies is not a common cause of eczema?

  5. Hi Lush,

    Thanks for writing to me! Is your little girl above 6 months old? She can take a skin prick test/ blood test to see if she’s indeed allergic to the foods. Marcie’s PD also suggested it’s formula milk and we switched her to hypoallergenic. But when she’s 7 month old, we got her tested and realized she’s not allergic to anything. I do recommend kids taking the allergy test so that parents won’t need to worry that it may be this/that. More info on the allergy test:
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/05/friday-dr-qa-with-dr-liew-allergy-tests/
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/05/friday-dr-qa-with-dr-liew-elimination-diet-and-allergy-test/
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/03/friday-dr-qa-with-prof-hugo-skin-prick-test/
    http://eczemablues.com/2011/04/taking-the-fear-out-of-the-skin-prick-test/

    No allergy test is 100% accurate, but I always feel it’s better to have a guideline rather than none.
    http://eczemablues.com/2011/08/is-your-eczema-child-wrongly-avoiding-a-tested-positive-food-in-spt/

    As for vaccination, I don’t think it’s related to eczema but eczema can flare when the little one is having a temperature (as a result of the vaccination).

    As for switching creams, I think that’s ok as someone also asked in one of the eczema events about this and the doc didn’t object to it. However, it’d be good to limit the brands and use those without the top allergens, For more on this:
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/02/sensitive-skin-product-series-what-ingredient-to-avoid/

    Marcie doesn’t drink milk – only fresh or UHT milk. And her eczema is diagnosed intrinsic, not due to any allergy. And yes, food is more commonly thought to be triggering the eczema than in reality. So, it’s always best to have your child tested. Once I found out that Marcie’s eczema is not caused by anything, I can feed her healthily without worrying about any food being a trigger.

    Eczema comes and goes, sometimes we think it’s this or that when it’s not.. I was very paranoid at one time when Marcie started solids. So do get allergy test and at least ‘regain’ back some peace of mind πŸ™‚

    All the best!
    Mei

  6. My five year old suffers from eczema and his dishidrotic eczema on his hands is so severe that it is hard for me to look at. I feel so bad for him, can you think of any treatments that has been successful for children?

  7. Hi Mei, thanks for your reply. My girl is 6.5mths. I brought her to see Prof Hugo and did a skin prick test too, after reading your blog. πŸ™‚ It turns out that she is allergic to eggs! So since Marcie tested negative for all these, how do you keep a lid on her eczema? Her skin looks so good now. πŸ™‚

    I realised that the prick test only tests for Dust, Cows Milk, Soy Milk and Eggs. Hmmm… what about other food (nuts, seafood, berries, wheat??) I forgot to ask Prof Hugo that.. would you know since you have visited him a few times? :p

  8. Prof Hugo also recommended that I bring her to swim. Since the cholrine in water is supposed to keep the germs in check. πŸ™‚

  9. Hi. My baby’s 10 months old. She also started having eczema since she’s 2 weeks. And it never subsides longer than one day . Moisturising every diaper changing is just not enough, though I use the very oily ointment. It seems her skin dries out again in merely 5 minutes afterward. We’ve been using steroid almost everyday! Feel unsafe and concern much, but could not afford to stop using it. My baby’s skin would be all inflammated and so red and itchy very soon. We had her tested the allergens, oh, she’s allergic to so many things, eggs, cow’s milk, soy, wheat, peanuts, shrimp, fish.. Have cut all these out, but not improve much. Sometimes just feel so desperate, any suggestion is very appreciated!

  10. Oh dear Tracy, sorry to hear that she has so many allergies! I can only think of using chlorexidine or explore bleach bath with the specialist to see if they have a way to review the effectiveness of bleach bath for your baby.
    http://eczemablues.com/2011/10/do-you-dare-to-let-your-eczema-child-try-a-bleach-bath/
    On the ointment, if the very oily one isn’t working, you may want to consider moisturizing more often with a lotion/cream that can be absorbed faster into the skin.
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/06/combined-approach-series-topical-treatment/
    Also look at the ingredients of the ointment you’re using, best remove the top allergens listed here
    http://eczemablues.com/2012/02/sensitive-skin-product-series-what-ingredient-to-avoid/

    Hope I’ve helped somewhat, take care!
    Mei

  11. Hi Marcie’s mom,
    I too am a mum with atopic little ones. I have 2 boys aged 3.5 and 2 who flare up constantly. We moisturise like crazy, have been using topical cortisone for over 2 years. We use it for when the flare ups occur and have gone through at least 20 tubes of mild (sigmacort) and stronger ones (advantan + diprosone), with the latter being the more as the eczema is widespread on their bodies. I’m hopeful they would grow out of this, even though at times i can’t really see it seeing how vicious and widespread the attacks could be. I was wondering have you seen itsan.org.au? I saw that the other day and i’m so worried abt using the topical cortisone now…what if the attacks are caused by addiction to the treatment?! Just a thought, as a parent I get paranoid about everything when it comes to the kids!

    Jules

  12. Hi Jules,

    Keep moisturizing like crazy! Dr Jeff Bernadio just shared in a video the amount to moisturize (http://eczemablues.com/2012/08/reinforcing-amount-to-moisturize-eczema-child-dr-jeff-benabios-video/) & you can refer to the link I’ve provided in above comment on avoiding the top allergens in your moisturizers.
    On use of topical creams, it’s safe but I suggest
    1. read up to know the potency http://eczemablues.com/2011/04/is-steroid-cream-safe/
    2. If you’re using so much (I use about once/week, and 3 emolet tubes lasted for 2 years), you should see a good child specialist (in dermatology/allergy/immunology) and get the doc to monitor your child’s condition as you note the steroid dosage. Some Singapore docs mentioned here
    http://eczemablues.com/2011/11/recommend-your-babys-eczema-doctor-singapore/
    3.Like I mention to Tracy above, I actively use chlorhexidine to remove the staph bacteria, ow. the steroid application isn’t effective.
    http://eczemablues.com/2011/10/4-part-series-on-what-causes-your-child-eczema-staph/
    4.And please don’t be scared by websites that’s against steroids – often, they focus it as the only treatment and over-state the negatives without explaining how these ‘steroid addicts’ have been using steroids. No good doc would prescribe steroid as the only treatment, it’s always holistic – moisturizing, steroid, swimming, lifestyle, reducing stress & scratching. Pls ignore these sites and focus on positively managing the eczema, rather than fearing/being paranoid (which happened to me but the more I learnt, the more I know I needn’t be scared!)
    xoxo
    Mei

  13. Hi everyone, im here to update ever since I did the skin prick for my daughter about 2mths ago. She is now 8mths. Her skin does not seem to improve even though we have removed all eggs fr the house. It flared up again on her face (all over!) and scalp. It makes me so sad. I have been using steriod once a week but am worried that it would be too often for such a young girl.
    My PD (not the skin specialist) prescribed Zaditen for her. She asked her to take it everyday, cannot stop, for a month. It is an oral medication to reduce allergic reaction. I’m not sure if I should do that? Letting a 8mth old take oral medication for 1 full mth sounds really potent.

    Im also contemplating bringing her to chinese Tuina as I heard it’s supposed to boost one’s immune system. Really tearing my hair out on what to do next.

    My next appoint with Prof Hugo is only in early Oct.. sighh.. πŸ™

  14. Hi Lush,

    How about asking for an earlier appointment with Prof Hugo?

    Also, once a week steroid is definitely ok! Up to twice/day is ok and sparingly. Check the potency of the steroid http://eczemablues.com/2011/04/is-steroid-cream-safe/ and I think it’s ok so long as you’re not using a high potency on eyelids or face or areas where skin is thinner.

    I’ve not heard about Zaditen, so no comment. But I do think it’s better to see a specialist than a pd if you’re really concerned with the skin condition.

    Take care,
    Mei

  15. Hi mums! just wanted to say, hang in there! esp to tracy. my one year old has had really severe eczema since he was 3 weeks old. when he was about 5 months old, we did a blood test (coz his back was too spotchy to do skin prick test) and found out he was allergic to egg whites. I was still breastfeeding then so i tried to avoid eggs but his eczema persisted. we did skin prick on him when he was around 7 months – turned out he was allergic to almost everything from peanuts to cow’s milk to white rice! so i stopped bf-ing coz i figured i can’t avoid ALL food, and we only fed him white porridge (coz where got chinese don’t eat rice one?!) and started cow’s milk formula. his eczema got a little better but still had persistent lesions (one was the size of 50cents coin!) on his arms and legs. we moisturised like crazy, use steroids when necessary, and gave him zyrtec to help with the itch. we also wrapped him up – long sleeves, long pants, socks, socks on his hands coz he figured out how to pull off mittens; and got air con in our room. We were getting so frustrated seeing him always covered in “wounds”. finally, at the persistent advice of our pd, we switched to soy milk formula and viola! eczema cleared up by a lot! i also felt swimming helped a little so at persistent advice of our pd, we tried wet wraps. we resisted initially coz my in-laws didn’t approve but things got to a stage where i was desperate so just heck care and tried. i did it in the day though. and left the wet layer on him for only about 1 plus hour. after just one time, i could see the difference. i think it may also work if you just used whatever long sleeve/footed pants that you have at home since the idea is to keep the skin wet to encourage better absorption of the moisturizer. tubifast is tight so maybe the effect is better, but it does cost quite a bit. my baby’s a lot better now – actually, i would say he has cleared up 95% – i think due to the switch to soy milk formula and a few times of wet wraps. and we are still feeding him white rice! so skin prick may not be that good an indicator after all. we tested for carrots at that time and the test came back negative, but whenever he eats carrots he will get a flare-up.
    @mei – thanks for setting up this blog. ur tips have been most helpful!

    • Hi, may i know if your kif fell sick or catch cold after doing wet wraps? My boy’s body is covered with eczema, like a red lobster, rough, warm.. Pity him so much.. Im gving myself this week, if no improvement, want to change his milk to soy or Nan ha..

      • Hi Pinkshadow,
        I’ll ask Charmaine and see if she can reply to this thread. On your question, I’ve heard many moms ask and quite a few replied there’s no catching cold. It’s up to your child’s preference on the temperature of water to soak the wrap in (except hot). As the next layer on top of the wet is dry, and the material is thin, it’s not the same as being soaked in rain.
        May want to book appointment with pediatric specialist? My personal experience is that milk didn’t help, and it wouldn’t if it isn’t an allergic reaction to milk (mine tested to be not allergic to anything).
        Take care,
        Mei

      • Hi pinkshadow! No my kid didn’t fall Ill from the wet wrap. But we usually did it in the afternoons when it is hot since my in laws were also worried he would catch a cold. Btw sleeping in air conditioning at night helped my son’s condition too. Certainly worth changing formula if u suspect allergy to cow’s milk – u could try the HA one although we just stuck to isomil. My son, who is 2.5 yrs old now, is still on isomil.

  16. Thanks Charmaine for taking time to write this comment! I’m so glad, I can feel your liveliness that your son’s eczema is finally manageable! And your thank you to me is just what I needed now, running a little out of steam.. πŸ™ Btw, I’m not on FB, so help me spread my blog? xoxo Mei

  17. Is it any help to anyone if I tell them that I had a child who had eczema that caused her problems as a toddler. Now she has grown up although she still has to be careful what make up and shampoo she uses, but she has a beautiful skin. None of the medical people would say she would grow out of it and get better as she got older but she did.

  18. Great news Sue, and yes, eczema can be outgrown though sometimes recur later in adult life or triggered by puberty hormone changes. Keeping fingers crossed that all our children’s eczema will not recur πŸ™‚
    Mei

  19. Hi Everyone,
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I am 32 and have had eczema all my life and my two boys now have it and I would NEVER use steroid creams on them. I used them all my life up until a few years ago because I got really bad stretch marks all over my neck and chest from using them. It is bad enough to have had to suffer from eczema all my life and now to have these permanent marks all over my neck and chest for ever…. please stop using them! They also make eczema worse and cause the skin to get worse.

  20. Hi Lily,

    Thanks for your sharing πŸ™‚ I do hope your boys’ eczema can be well-treated without using steroid. I’ve been using mild steroid for my girl, and so far so good as we didn’t need to use it frequently, and always within prescription limit. The risk for not treating eczema flare is infection that can escalate due to intense scratching of inflamed skin.

    Take care!
    Mei

  21. Hi Mei,

    Great blog.

    My 6 month old has had eczema which started when she was about 2 months old. We’ve seen 3 different doctors and a dermatologist.

    She flares up when she sweats, so we really try to keep her cool at all times. Also if we don’t moisturize her often enough, she flares up.

    I’ve found bathing her every other day, and putting nothing in the bath water, helps. We’ve tried every hypoallergenic, fragrance free moisturizer on the market, but the one that really works for her is Eucerin Original Creme, in the big tub. We slather it on every time we change her. That, with steroid cream used sparingly when needed, seems to control it.

    Also, we recently rehomed our dog, because of his dander. She was too young to do the skin prick test, but I was convinced the dog dander aggravated her skin. I was the same as a child (the dermatologist disagreed but call it mother’s intuition). Coincidentally we were going away for a month, and would be staying at my parents’ pet dander-free home so it was a good experiment. Sure enough, her skin vastly improved. So, we made the extremely tough decision to rehome our dog (it was heartbreaking but he’s gone to a wonderful home!).

    Anyway – I have a question – just today, I’ve noticed she has a large white patch on her cheek…I’m assuming it’s from using the hydrocortisone on her cheek as I put some on last night (she has a constant small patch of eczema on her cheek which got infected months ago and it just will not go away). I’ve been applying Fucidin H on the patch when it flares up, as instructed by my doctor. Anyway now she has this large light patch on her cheek ABOVE where I’ve been applying the steroid! Have you ever experienced this? I’m concerned that it’s permanent!

    Thanks a lot!
    Sophie

    • Hi Sophie,

      I understand your concern, but I haven’t come across it and doubt it has to do with the steroid cream. Fucidin H has hydrocortisone acetate and fusidic acid, the former is mild while the latter is to control the bacteria on eczema skin. Wait a while to see if anything, does it itch?

      There’s this post on different skin conditions, http://eczemablues.com/2012/10/facial-eczema-with-dr-lynn-chiam-rashes-on-face-rosacea-psoriasis-part-3/

      And are you living in Singapore? If yes, want to come to the support group on 23 March? It’s a special one with a nurse explaining skin care step by step.

      Hugs,
      Mei

      • Thanks a lot Mei πŸ™‚ I’m SO happy to have found your blog! It can be quite lonely to be a stressed out mum of an eczema sufferer.
        We’re in Toronto, Canada.

  22. Thanks for this blog. My husband and I love your cartoons. It could be us. I wanted to tell you all that much like your babies, my baby boy had eczema all over his body from practically birth and as soon as we tested him for allergies, and found out he is allergic to many foods and started avoiding them, his skin has cleared up almost completely! His body is like new, no itching, he only has eczema on his face, around his mouth and chin. Still a pain, but much much better, another world from where we started. If it is food allergies that cause the eczema, which persists, chances are that all his allergens have not all been identified. Keep at it and eliminate more foods, do more tests etc. We are working to isolate the last few food items with an elimination diet under the advice of a pediatric nutritionist.. Skin and blood test are not as accurate as food challenges. We have had false negatives with horrible consequences before. His almost gone eczema came at the price of avoiding the following: diary, wheat, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, sesame seed, sunflower seed, lentil, pea, beans, chickpea, chicken, avocado, citrus, tomato, kiwi, mango and blueberries. Hard but who am i kidding? to spare my baby of eczema I would only rice for the rest of my life. Do I miss food? I don’t miss eczema more.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for your sharing, and agree that we’d do anything not to have that constant itch and inflamed skin! I co-sleep, and miss my bed but I never have to worry that she’d wake up with scratched skin πŸ™‚

      Hugs!
      Mei

  23. Hi, I’m 13 years old this year and I’m not a mother. How can I hide my disease at school? I always watch my friends’ palm and I always feel jealous at their healthy skin. Can you help me?

    • Hi Nurul,

      Thanks for connecting with me πŸ™‚ While I don’t have experience being a teen with eczema, I’ve interviewed experts who work with teens as well as talk to parents with teens. What you’re facing is not unusual and eczema affects about 20% of children worldwide, so it’s also not unusual. From what I understand from experts who work with teens, it’s best not to try to cover it up and cause undue stress for yourself (which may worsen the eczema). You can read Annie Fox’s journey in the link below, a journey of teen eczema.
      http://eczemablues.com/2013/02/someone-has-eczema-and-managed-her-teenage-years/
      Also, if you’d like to join the face to face support group, let me know and I’ll add your email to the mailing list maintained by National Skin Centre Singapore.

      Don’t let eczema ruin your teen years, it’s a peer pressury period of life but heh, it’s also a fun part! Hugs!
      Mei

  24. Hello Mei.

    My family n I are currently staying at Johor. My 2nd son. 6month old this month has eczema. Drove me crazy trying to stop him fr scratching when he had his first flare up when he was 2 months old. Things r more manageable now wf the help of a lot of moisturizers n mild steroid cream when neccessary. I am keen to join any talks, forums, newsletters on eczema. If u knoe of any, cud u link me to them? Thanks a bunch.

    • Hi Yiyann,
      Thanks for dropping by my blog! There is a support group I’m organizing, now tentatively scheduled on 27 April Sat 10am-11am at National Skin Centre, Singapore. Details be out tomorrow or so.
      Also, you can sign up for my newsletter, at the top right.
      Also, there will be a public forum by NSC in September.
      Cheers!
      Mei

  25. Hi, my baby gal has been having eczema on and off since she was a month old (she’s now 7.5mo). I wanted to ask you if there’s any moisturizer which is all natural and organic that i can use on her and also mosquito repellent lotion (because we travel to Malaysia alot, and the mosquitoes there are nasty!) which is also organic (if possible).

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  26. Thanks so much for your detailed reply. A friend recommended a mosquito repellent in spray form. It does say DEET free but not sure about fragrance. Will try to do more research on this.

    There were some cases of dengue too at my neighborhood, so i’m thinking to actually use it every time i bring her down which is more likely in daily base.

    Really appreciate your prompt reply and attention.. πŸ™‚

      • Hi there, my baby boy is 5 months old and suffering for atopic eczema we tried a lot of doctor here in uae and no result, we even switch his milk to nan ha and did bleach bath to but no improvement it seems to come and go, his derma give also cetaphil restoraderm but no improvement, feelin helpless…jenny

        • Hi Jenny!

          Sorry to hear that you’re having difficulty with the eczema.. 5 months is a little young for allergy test (do try it from 6 month old) and moisturizing should be done often, say at diaper change and after shower. If the skin is very dry, try wet wrap? Also, did the doc you see prescribe any cream? If yes, do check the potency and ask about the frequency of use. Mild potency is ok for infants. Hope to hear from you soon and that things will get better!
          Mei

  27. Hi Everyone,

    I want to share with you all that we found a cream that (believe it or not!) that actually made my daughters eczema go away! We struggled hard with a very itchy baby, tried everything and a didn’t believe this day would come. It’s called magicream123. You can only get it online from the UK. The website is magicream123.com. Its all natural. A combination of Chinese herbs and Vaseline. We heard about it from my Chiropractor whose son also had bad eczema. We still can’t believe our daughter isn’t itching constantly. She plays unbothered and I cry whenever I put her to bed because my baby falls asleep easily and without being all wrapped up tight. We have told everyone we know it hopes it can help another family too.

    Emily

  28. I am an eczema mom. My son had it when he was 3 months old and still has it a year later. The best thing for me was to buy larger long sleeve shirts. I sewed the cuffs shut and we slip the t-shirts over his clothes when he sleeps, rides in the car seat or when he scratches. It really helped to keep him from scratching and breaking his skin open. Plus lots and lots of moisturizers.

    • Thanks Stacey! Recently I got long sleeve that are two sizes bigger, and with tight fitting sleeves, turned out my toddler couldn’t find her arm at night to scratch, a bonus on top of the pj can last longer cos it’s 2 sizes larger! :)) Thanks for sharing your tips!

  29. My eczema has got worse yet so I have been doing a lot of research and have improved my diet. Allergies trigger the eczema and give the liver more to do. In my case I realise I have a sluggish liver
    Depleted fatty acids on the skin
    Too much cortisol and adrenaline ( coffee and stress)
    Gut problems

    These are all common reasons for eczema but everyone is different. That’s why someone tries something simple and it works for them but not someone else.

    So how is my diet helping?
    Well eating organic, doing an extended fast test to find out a whole range of foods, including whether I can eat egg in a cake but not by itself. This is far more extensive than the Prick test.

    Also bear in mind that food intolerances are not the same as allergies, and Will only cause a reaction after a certain time and amount of them ( think of it as a bucket slowly getting full then overflowing).

    I haven’t got the results back yet, but have cut out the Main triggers: dairy, shellfish, nightshade vegetables, beef( inflammatory). Check out paleo because grains can be a problem for the gut if it is imbalancedI have Cut them out apart from a little rice.

    This has helped enormously as has exercising every day( should be morning to help the liver).

    I have the steroids and sure they work, but they clog up the liver, and give you more to detox so apart from extreme situations I would not use them. Frankly wet flannels and ice packs work better to stop the Itch( cold is anti- histamine).

    I am a student osteopath, and the importance of getting ones spine aligned should not be overlooked for babies, birth can be traumatic for some of them structurally! If vertebrae are not aligned the nerves don’ t get the best circulation, or the muscles, and their lymph and detoxication pathways may not be working Optimally. Bodywork treatments also people relax which will also help eczema.

    One last thing, I am using msm which is a great detoxifier and builder of collagen and keratin. Check it out online, because it is inexpensive and safe. It is best taken with vitamin c. I know it works, because before I got my dosages right ( and twice a day is best cos it onoy works for 12 hours) took a huge amount and made my eczema worse because I detoxed massively!

    Check out earth clinic for other advice. One last tip, raw cacao butter is a great inexpensive moisturiser for eczema, you can add msm to it. Shea butter is very good too, although more expensive. But msm 100% pure and distiller method and buy it in bulk, too expensive To buy in pills.

    • Thanks Kate for your sharing πŸ™‚ Good to hear that you’ve found ways to control your eczema. I’m looking forward to more research and studies/trials conducted on alternative treatments, otherwise, it is difficult to prove that they improve eczema. It’d certainly be good for more treatment options as every individual respond differently. Have a fab weekend!
      Mei

  30. Hey ladies,

    My daughter had eczema when she was 3 months! It was just mild but still very distressing and I felt helpless! She had it on her legs, arm, tummy, back and face. She’s 10 months now and it’s basically has all cleared. She still has a little flare up on her cheeks due to drooling and food! I used calendula lotion 3 times a day! When the flare up was bad then I would use steriod dermaide soft! But the one thing I think helped my daughter was giving her probiotics called eczema shield! Maybe you guys can look into it!

    Good luck!

    • Hi Mai! Good to hear that her eczema has cleared – probiotics so far studied to help when given prenatal and also in early months, amazing that yours helped even at older months! Really look forward to more studies in this area, but unfortunately, I think such trials are difficult to conduct.. in any case, always glad to hear that you found something that worked!
      Have a fab weekend!
      Mei

  31. My son has eczema since 2 months old. He just turned 1 year old but his conditions dont seem to get better but worsen. We went to KKH and the steroid cream they gave dont work but the one gave by my PD actually worked on him and cleared up the next day. I was told by the doctor that the steroid cream gave by my PD was higher. This is a big concern to me as Im very reluctant to give steroid cream. But the moment he recovered and I stopped the steroid cream it came back on the next day. Its so distressing and the rashes are on his arm, leg, tummy, neck and back. I was wondering if its due to the food he ate since it never seem to recover. He did a prick test but was tested negative. I just requested for a blood test to retest on the allergy again as its more accurate. when he sweat he will flare up also. Im just so lost what to do now.
    Btw I just filled up the contact me form. Do I get a copy of the A to Z animals books? Thanks

    • Hi Shenice!

      Steroid cream do have side effects, but has also been studied to not have side effects when used appropriately. See this post on the potency class, and generally, no more than twice a day. For children, a mid potency may be prescribed for a week/two use to reduce a flare-up and followed by mild potency.

      When applying steroid cream, it actually should not be stopped immediately when the rash gets visibly better. Instead, to continue for a few days to ensure that the inflammation in the skin layers underneath had also subsided. Otherwise, the rash will come back soon and kinda make the earlier steroid cream application fruitless.

      Food doesn’t affect many children with eczema, so don’t be over suspicious that it’s linked to food. By all means, take an alternative allergy test for corroborating the results.

      My girl’s eczema flare up due to sweat too, I always have change of clothes to keep her fresh – baby bag is heavy even though she’s turning 4!

      As for the A to Z book, I’ve run out of printed copy but I can send you an ebook version if you like or borrow from libraries the hard copy, let me know!
      Mei

      • KKH prescribed hydroderm cream(hydrocortisone) and dermasone(steroid cream) but it doesnt work. My PD prescribed combidern and the rashes were gone the next day but when we went back to KKH for review I was told by the allergy doctor that this is a higher potency steroid cream and it contains antibiotic and anti-fugal so she gave me elomet instead which is similar strength to combiderm but without antibiotic and anti-fungal. Which do you think is better?
        You mentioned that for children a mid potency should be used first followed by a low potency. So should i use elomet/combiderm first and once the rashes are reduced i changed to a lower potency such as hydroderm/dermasone?
        Im quite curious with tubifast. Any idea if the wet wrap is recommended overnight? Where can I find it and how much?
        Just to share with everyone I find that oatmeal bath is really very good. My son soaked in the bath tub for 10-15mins everyday and I noticed his skin is much softer and moisturizing. Even when there is a flare up its just red patches of rashes but its not dry so it doesnt cause itchiness to him. Its worth trying anyway.

        • Hi Shenice!

          Sometimes steroid cream prescription is a bit like trial and error, and whether anti-fungal is required depends on whether the skin’s inflammation is due/partly due by fungus. I’m not sure if dermatologist can tell from the rash whether there is fungus, but if one without the extra ‘anti’ can work, then go with that, ie elomet. If it doesn’t, then can try the ones with ‘anti’ but these usually can’t be used for long-term.
          Also, if you see a GP, they may not have the milder potency for children, so tend to prescribe a stronger one.

          And I do think if the flare-up is ‘serious’, use a higher potency one to get it under control fast, then use a milder one and persist a few days after no visible rash. As children scratch, the longer the rash is untreated, the more scratching and more chances of infection.

          On Tubifast, yes, can be used overnight if your child can tolerate it. If not, a few hours during day time will be good too. For more on Tubifast, see my interview with them.
          http://eczemablues.com/2011/12/easy-to-use-wet-wrapping-to-keep-childs-skin-hydrated/
          Where to buy in Singapore, see:
          http://eczemablues.com/2013/04/eczema-support-group-for-children-6th-sharing-on-wet-wraps/

          Take care,
          Mei

          • Hi Mei,
            Thanks for your reply. Also regarding allergy, my son did a blood test and he was tested negative. So i thought why not try to feed him a sachet of milk sample spread over two feeds so its a little at a time since his body did not have any rashes for 2 weeks. But i noticed there are rashes appearing on his body and legs. Im back to square one again with the steroid creams and excessive moisturising. Is the blood test accurate? Or he is not allergy to the milk protein but due to other components in the formula?

  32. Facial eczema is the worst! Try Made from Earth’s Three Berry Face Serum. I used to have it all over my face, and its the only face serum that when i applied it would take away the eczema. . .face saver

  33. I think my 6 week old has eczema. His regular pediatrician took a quick look and said dry skin. However, my baby is so miserable and inflammed. He uses his little mittens to rub his face frantically and rubs his face against anyone holding him. I use a clean towel and Cetaphil to clean his face in the morning and evening and I slather Vaseline on his face at every diaper change. The skin that had turned brown, dry and flaky healed quickly by doing this. However, the red raised inflammed areas seem to still give him problems. His sister had a severe case that bled so I want to prevent that with him.

    He is exclusively breastfed. 6 weeks old. Can he get an allergy test? What treatments are there for facial acne in infants?

    • Hi Tamira, thanks for dropping a comment and it does sound like eczema from the itchiness. I think 6 weeks old may be too young to do an accurate allergy test. Continue breastfeeding though, as it’s still the best nutrition. Unless there’s clear flare-up after you’ve consumed certain foods, otherwise, don’t restrict your diet.
      Continue moisturizing – studies show that that would help protect the child’s skin barrier, which is also thinner than adults and if he has eczema, then it would be defective (i.e. structurally more prone to moisture and oil loss and allows more irritants to penetrate).
      Would be good idea to see a specialist/pediatrician who is experienced with eczema kids and have the mild potency creams that can be used on infants. My experience is that if you see one who doesn’t carry the mild potency, you may be prescribed a cream that is too potent or not be diagnosed properly.

      Take care, blessed year,
      Mei

  34. My two boys had very bad eczema/dry skin when they were babies as well. We tried all sorts of creams, to no avail. I am very wary of steroid creams since I used them myself for over 9 years, and they thinned my skin until it was very cracked and couldn’t heal. My friend recommended me Pure Emu Oil, which I tried out of desperation to help my boys, and their eczema started getting better and eventually cleared up completely! Now they are 4 and 2, and only have a patch of dry skin once in a while, and when I apply the Emu Oil, it goes away by the next morning. If you want to read more about it or try it for your baby, you can check it out here: http://emuseemuoil.blogspot.sg/

  35. Yikes! The Baby Wipe Ingredient That’s Triggering Nasty Rashes | Parenting – Yahoo Shine

    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/yikes-baby-wipe-ingredient-39-triggering-nasty-rashes-195800660.html

    Any parent knows how convenient baby wipes are, and not just for diaper changes. Moist wipes are great for cleaning up older kids’ dirty hands and faces, and they are increasingly being marketed to adults as toilet paper and facial cleansers. While they’re usually labeled safe for sensitive skin, a study published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday has linked a preservative found in many brands of wipes to itchy, scaly, and painful rashes – even some wipes touted as hypoallergenic. It’s the first time that the chemical methylisothiazolinone (MI) has been reported to cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) in children in the United States.
    More on Yahoo: Food Allergies Rising in Kids
    The authors, Dr. Mary Wu Chang, a dermatologist and professor at the University of Connecticut, and one of her medical students, Radhika Nakrani, looked at the cases of six children, ages 3 to 8, who suffered from persistent rashes that did not respond to topical and oral antibiotics and steroids. Since the rashes were located on the children’s hands, faces, and bottoms, Chang asked their parents about exposure to wipes. The parents all confirmed that they regularly used two brands of moist wipes on their children: Huggies and Cottonelle, both produced by Kimberly-Clark. Patch tests revealed that the kids were allergic to MI. Their skin cleared up within days of discontinuing use of the wipes, and the rashes did not come back.
    More on Yahoo: ‘Baboon Syndrome’: An Unusual Complication of Antibiotics
    “This preservative is not new,” Chang told HealthDay. “But it was used as a combination preservative [with methylchloroisothiazolinone/MCI] for many years. To try to minimize allergic reactions, it is now being used as a single preservative but in higher concentrations, and now people are developing allergic rashes to the new formulation.” According to Chang’s study, the amount of MI in some products has been increased from 3.7 parts per million to as much as 100 parts per million, the maximum allowed by the FDA, since 2006 when the MI-MCI combination was phased out. In addition to wipes, according to Skin and Allergy News, MI is found in at least 2,600 personal care products sold in the United States, including shampoo, lotion, sunblock, and shower gel.
    In December 2013, Cosmetics Europe, the trade commission that oversees the personal care product industry in the European Union, told its members to voluntarily stop using MI in the products they manufacture. According to the U.K Telegraph, the British Association of Dermatologists first raised the alarm six months earlier, reporting that about one in 10 patients showing up at its members’ offices plagued by skin rashes such as eczema and ACD was, in fact, allergic to the preservative. MI is currently banned from cosmetics in Canada and Japan.
    A spokesperson for Kimberly-Clark provided a statement to Yahoo Shine by email that said, “Kimberly-Clark has a long history of providing products that improve the health, hygiene, and well-being of families everywhere and is constantly striving to identify and develop new solutions that respond to our consumers’ needs. While our wipe products remain safe for use, we recognize that recent studies have raised concerns about the use of MI as a preservative ingredient.” It continued, “We have been evaluating alternative preservative options over the past few years and are now ready to confirm that, beginning this month, Kimberly-Clark will start introducing new wet wipes that are MI-free across its entire product range in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other global markets.”
    If you or your children experience skin rashes, it makes sense to read labels and avoid purchasing personal care products and cosmetics containing MI. Even if you aren’t allergic, regular exposure can cause allergies to develop over time. “More and more people are using these products and becoming sensitized to the preservative,” said Chang.

  36. Hello,

    My baby has horrible eczema since he was 3 months old!

    Back then, I wasn’t sure it was eczema because he used to have baby acnes on his face/neck as well as cradle cap since 3 weeks old, and it subsided by the 3rd month. However when his cheeks started flare up and the folds of his skin started to become red, the doctor at polyclinic said it was due to heat rash. Nothing was prescribed to us, and was told to only keep the area dry.

    The following month (4 month old) during his vaccination, I highlighted the issue to the doctor again because there was no improvement at all. My baby started to scratch his knees until some ‘liquid’ oozes out of it. He also scratches his face until it bleeds. This time the doctor said his skin is very dry, and probably it is eczema on his face as well as knees. So a 1% steroid cream and moisturizer was prescribed to us.

    Nothing improved by the next month (5 month old). It hurts me so much to see him that way, so I brought him to KKH. The doctor mentioned that the rashes on his cheeks are eczema, but those on his knees are ringworm. So, we were prescribed 1% steroid and a moisturizer (again), together with some sort of cream to treat ring worm.

    By the time he was due for his next vaccination on the following month (6 month old), things got worse still – NO improvements AT ALL, in fact, the rashes spread all over his body, arms, back, thighs, ankles! Again, I highlighted my concern to the doctor at Polyclinic. We were told that the rashes on his knees are not ringworm, but eczema. We were advised to continue the applying the cream.

    So in conclusion, I have been applying the steroid cream ALMOST all over his body, since my poor baby was 3 months old! Our last visit to the doctor said there isn’t much that we can do other than to consistently applying it. Sometimes I wonder whether there is such thing as “withdrawal symptoms” because there were few occasions that his skin did not flare up anymore, and we stopped applying the steroid but still continue with the moisturizer. One or two days later, the whole thing came back!

    Just few weeks ago, I brought him to the Polyclinic again because my baby was crying due to the itchiness. He scratched his face until it was raw. This time, the doctor said those on the face is definitely eczema, but those on his body/knees/arms/ etc does not look like eczema. So since he wasn’t sure what it was, he referred me to a skin specialist at KKH. My earliest appointment is only on end February. πŸ™

    So for the time being, I was wondering, are there any methods that can prevent them from scratching their skin raw? I have put on mittens on my baby, and let him wear cotton long pants. But he still can scratch until traces of blood can be seen on his pants! Night time, I STILL swaddle my boy despite he knows how to roll around. I have also trim and file his nails every 3-4 days!

    Much help needed, please! Thank you.

    • Hi Chloe,

      Sorry to hear, sounds like the eczema didn’t get diagnose quickly.. what is the potency of steroid cream you’re using. I don’t believe in withdrawal symptoms but infants shouldn’t be using more than mild for more than twice/day. You can check on steroid potency but clicking on the relevant tags/search box.

      I do believe you may be able to get an earlier appointment if you go private, versus public or simply calling up to arrange for an earlier date. Visiting a clinic that specializes in children with access to allergy testing is important, testing is usually recommended from about 6 months, younger the child, the less accurate.

      Meanwhile, try wet wrap (again, search within my site and I’m also organizing a wet wrap session at National Skin Centre next month), moisturize after shower. I keep my child cool, and yes totally understand about the swaddling, we went as far as tie-ing just to be able to pee/poo/grab food for that few minutes. Finally, my baby slept on my tummy from about 3 months (when too big to swaddle) till like forever! (2 years old or so, and we’re still sleeping together).

      Hope the info here can help, and hope you get to see a doc soon, take care,
      Mei

    • Hi Chloe,

      Sounds very much like my two boys when they were babies. Please read my post above and give emu oil a try…it works so much better than those steroid creams!

  37. Have you had any allergy testing? Your baby’s history sounds exactly like my baby!!! I finally thought to bring him to an allergist and he tested positive to many foods. As soon as I removed his allergens from my diet ( I was breastfeeding) and his diet, his skin was completely clear!!!! I went from crying in the nights from all the scratching to crying of happiness staring at his perfect skin!!! The creams only treat the immediate problem but don’t address the cause. Find an allergist and I bet you will have answers!!!! Hugs

    • Thanks Barbara! And yes, I agree to go for allergy testing. Not 100% accurate, but gives a good direction as to what to avoid.
      Happy to hear that removing foods help with your child’s eczema!
      Good weekend!
      Mei

  38. Dear Mei,
    Thank God I found your blog that helped me a lot with my boy’s battle with eczema.. 3 weeks of desperation.. I cant imagine to go on with this for months.. Is it really necessary to apply the steroid? After I applied to my 3 mon old son, his skin became red and looked like the meds s quite strong for him.. Im interested to try wet wrap but how to do it?

  39. Hi

    This is my experience and the most recent triump with my 6month old eczema, before this I was using Ceradan, prescribed by her PD, there were days it seemed to get better and days it got worse and of course clear days. The worse times were when I stayed awake at night to hold her hands so she would not scratch her self. Mittens were helpless she would somehow manage to take them off. There were nights and days I would wet her skin n moisturise every 2-3 hours.

    I avoided sugar and sweet stuffs, beef, diary and eggs. And slowly eliminate to see if it’s food allergy.

    Her most recent flare up had her scratching till red patches and small puncture wounds and a girlfriend shared an ointment with me that she used for her own daughter when she had eczema. I started to use it and her skin very quickly looked less red. Land in a week it was looking almost clear. The improvement was a huge relief for me.

    The ointment is from Young Living USA. It’s been about 6 days. And her skin is looking clearer everyday.

    I will post updates again on the results.
    Fingers crossed. That it will keep her skin clear.

    • Thanks Adrina for the share! Yes, been seeing quite a few have success with essential oils – which is the ointment that you’re using? And yes, do keep us updated. Maybe also consider the possibility that your child may actually be sensitive to one of the ingredients of common skincare products.. that may be a reason why switching to something else works.

      My fingers crossed for you too!
      Mei

  40. Pingback: New Sail for Marcie’s Family | Eczema Blues

    • Thanks for dropping by my blog and haven’t tried any “specialty” water.
      I looked up at Pubmed and there was no research of hydrogen water and eczema –
      Only found this article in 1997 that soaking the feet in carbon dioxide-enriched water improves blood circulation, but not sure how that would improve eczema since its condition does not relate to lack of oxygen/ blood circulation.

      I’d think regularly cleaning the skin of staph bacteria would be a more direct and medically proven measure for eczema skin.
      More on staph bacteria here
      http://eczemablues.com/2012/11/staph-bacteria-series-with-dr-clay-cockerell-prevention-of-staph-infection/

      Take care and keep us posted if you’ve found something that works!
      Mei

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