The Trouble With Eczema
I've started off writing this post so many times. I was having such a hard time writing this post because it was so painful watching Odette scratch her skin till it bleed. If you know anyone with eczema you know how difficult it can be to deal with and treat. Most medical professionals have no real idea what causes eczema but a lot of new research has shown that allergies can be the main aggravator of eczema. In fact roughly 15 million people are affected by food allergies in the United States alone! That number is astounding to me, and with all the research on the crap that's going in our food it's no wonder our children have so many allergies.
Odette's eczema started when she was only 5 months old. My husband and I took her to the doctor who prescribed her an antifungal because she thought it could be a fungal infection. Flash forward a week and it was 10x worse with the medication. We took her back and the doctor then prescribed an antibiotic for the rash. This helped for maybe a day or two and then came back with a vengeance!
Right around that time we took a family trip to Hawaii and the rash got progressively worse. Everywhere we went people would comment and my heart bleed because I didn't want people to focus on her eczema :( When we got back I scheduled another appointment with another doctor, who finally told us it was eczema and prescribed her a hydrocortisone cream. I hated the thought of putting steroids on our sweet baby but it was the only thing that helped. I still try not to use it very often though because steroids are awful for a growing babe.
It's been 10 months since her eczema first appeared and we are finally starting to get it under control. Here's a list of things that have helped Odette's eczema:
- No shampoo, soap, etc. of any kind! I don't wash her hair with shampoo and all of her laundry is done separately in plain old water.
- Odette takes this probiotic daily and I feel that it really is starting to help.
- Acupuncture! The needles don't hurt at all and I believe it is really aligning her system. If you live in Arizona I highly recommend going to see Dr. Ahn! Since becoming a nurse I've become a huge believer in homeopathic medicine!
- As much as it killed me, I finally stopped breastfeeding her at 11 months and put her on a hypoallergenic formula called Nutramigen. She didn't like the taste at first but soon after she was excited when she saw me making a bottle! I wasn't really a fan of the corn so I switched her to Toddler Supreme and she really liked it too. Now that she's older I alternate between almond milk and rice milk.
- We also purchased a chlorine filter for Odette's tub, so that she has as little chemicals touching her body as possible.
- Get a blood allergy test. We got one when we went in for her 12 month checkup and we found out she is allergic to peanuts. (The doctor prescribed an epi pen to carry with us in case she comes in contact with any peanuts.)
- Get a skin prick test. This is something that we need to do in the future because it is a lot more accurate than a blood test. Hopefully we will get this done soon and it will pinpoint Odette's allergies even more!
- Last but not least we've eliminated all dairy and gluten from her diet as these are the two most prone allergens in children. Her eczema is A LOT better without these two in her diet!
These are just the things that have worked for us. Some other things you might want to try are coconut oil, Doterra lavender and melaleuca oil and pure aloe vera. These didn't work for Odette but I've read about a lot of people it has worked for. Most importantly I wanted to write this post for people struggling with eczema so they don't give up hope. It took us forever to get this problem under control and it was so frustrating! Even now, we deal with fare ups and we have no idea where they've come from. Hopefully, you're reading this and you can try a few of these tips or pass them along to someone you know. Just don't give up hope! You will eventually find the trigger to your little one's eczema, even if it is a lot of trial and error.