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Eczema in Babies and Toddler Eczema: My Son's Story of Treatment for Baby Eczema

Updated on September 24, 2009

Eczema in babies and toddlers

At about 3.5 months of age developed severe eczema. For a few agonizing months I was trying to figure out how to treat it effectively. I tried just about everything I could find on the Internet and what my doctor recommended.

If your baby is suffering from this condition, then you should know that eczema is one of the most common skin complaints in infants, toddlers and small children. It can affect children of any age, starting with newborns. Most cases of baby eczema are mild and can be relieved with mild skin ointments. However some children do have serious and chronic eczema, and it occurs along with other kinds of conditions such as allergies, hay fever and asthma. Such children need special care, making sure that the environment they live in is clean and healthy.

I tried creams, lotions, oils, baths, even the steroid hydro-cortisone cream that my doctor prescribed. The cream helped, but I did not want to use it as the side effects could be serious, and it only really treats the symptoms without getting to the reason of the problem.

It was heartbreaking to see him with these red splotches all over... on his head, face legs, back, arms...everywhere. Even now I cannot look at his pictures from that period of his life without getting upset...

Finally, with the help of one wise doctor - allergy specialist - I was able to help my son with one simple change in his diet...

Looking for Answers and Treatment: My son's story

For medical reasons that I do not want discuss at this time I was unable to breastfeed my son. He was drinking formula from birth, and although this did not seem to be a problem initially, it turned out he had a severe milk allergy that was causing skin eczema all over his body.

Even my son's pediatrician and two dermatologists I went to could not help. These doctors prescribed a variety of different pills, lotions and potions.

And you want to know what they also prescribed?

Steroids!

Yes, steroids for a 4 month old baby! And although steroids can sometimes ease the itching, there are far too many side effects for them to be seriously considered as long term cures. Besides, as soon as you discontinue applying the steroid cream or ointment, the skin problems immediately return.

The truth is they did not know what was causing the eczema, and told me it could be anything in his environment causing this condition. They were also telling me that it is not easy to cure, I could just wait it out or search for clues in my son's environment that are causing the skin outbreaks.

I was trying to find the possible solution, but getting nowhere...

Then my mother convinced me to go to one more doctor for another consultation. After just glancing at my son, the doctor asked me about his diet, and said:

"The first thing we should try is to change his milk - he may be allergic to the milk you are feeding him."

She also strongly advised against any cortisone and steroid creams.

Now, you may ask, didn't the other doctors tell you that? Well not really... One doctor sort of mentioned that it could be something in his diet, but since I was never allergic to anything it did not occur to me that my son could be allergic to MILK!

I guess I needed clear instructions - and when I finally got them, I changed his formula and within 24 hours my son's eczema was completely GONE!

Just in time for his baptism ceremony!

Treating eczema in babies and toddlers: Lessons learned

As I said I was never allergic to anything, and I never gave much thought to what causes allergies and how they are cured - but this case of my son's eczema taught me a powerful lesson how our diet can have a profound effect on our health.

It also taught me that sometimes the simplest answer is the right answer, and that I cannot trust my instincts 100%. Because I dismissed the fact that my son may be allergic to milk, I was looking for some obscure culprits - ingredients in detergents, creams, etc.

For me the solution turned out to be very simple. If your baby or toddler suffers from eczema I urge you to look at your child's diet or - if you are breastfeeding - at your own diet FIRST.

Since then I educated myself about the allergies and diet, and although I cannot always stick to healthy choices, at least I'm trying to move in that direction.

Later on, I also discovered the importance of fresh RAW fruits and vegetables and juicing in our diet. (See also my hub about juicing and my best juicer recipes website). If I could do it all over again - the first foods that I would introduce to my son would be fresh sweet fruits eaten RAW - and not the processed cereals and fruits found in boxes and jars on the supermarket shelves.

But that is a subject for a separate hub...

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    • adrienne7777 profile image

      Adrienne Russell 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      My oldest son had eczema very bad, I found out later that he was allergic to over 30 different foods. I didn't realize allergies was such a big component in this condition at the time. I also start using detoxing clay baths with him, and it totally cleared it up he hasn't had an outbreak in over five years now.

    • profile image

      brandy 6 years ago

      Thanks for posting! My son is 3.5 months old. He has bad eczema on his face under his neck on his arms legs back and stomach. He did not have this when he was born. He was on similac soy and it made hi have bad diahrea he was then put on similac advance and it made him puke after every feeding. At around 2 weeks old he started having respatory problems and was put on breathing mmedicine. That was when we put him on similac sensitive. Since then he has had the eczema, I just barley put him on enfimile soy, he didn't poop for 6 days and today he did and it was so hard that it made a tear on his but and made him cry in pain. It has done nothing for the eczema. Today we also went to see a dermatoglist and they care me 2 different creams to try and an oral medicine cause the eczema on his face iss infected. My debate is should I try one last time and put him on nutrimigine or just go ahead with the creams? I hate being confused. What formula did ur son get put on. Hope to see you post soon! Sorry about the spelling errors! Thanks

    • gracekeys profile image

      gracekeys 6 years ago from Newcastle, WA

      Hi, great article. Appreciate you sharing your story. Seeing the timing, it's possible that our sons are nearly the same age today. My 2 1/2 year old son is still suffering from eczema; sometimes it subsides, but it does flare up on his hands and on his legs.

      I wonder if it will help if I stop giving him milk. He still drinks whole milk because his weight is low. What kind of milk do you give your son now? Soy milk? I'm curious how he's doing now as a toddler. Is the eczema totally gone? Thank you!

    • profile image

      debie 6 years ago

      wow i am going through the same thing with my boy now, he has had eczema since birth and i have been to dr after dr and they told me that the formula wouldn't be causing his eczema as it would be all over his body not just his face... i have since changed his formula to a hypo allergy one but don't think its making a difference :( what formula would you recommend??? so glad you found the problem with your baby :D... sometimes mothers no best.

    • vphomma1 profile image

      vphomma1 7 years ago

      I really feel your pain as a mother. Eczema could be caused by many things we don't know. It could be a genetic problem and so forth. My first child was diagnosed with eczema since 5 months old and still suffering from this disease and she is 2 1/2 years old. She was a breastfeed baby up until she was 2 years old so don't feel like you failed your child because you couldn't breastfeed. My second child was only breastfeed for 4 months and continued on formula and he turned out great! You did your best as a mom and you should be proud of yourself.

    • real zee profile image

      real zee 8 years ago from Canada

      I am going through this exact thing right now! What did the allergist dr. tell you? Glad you helped your child!

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