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