Severe Baby Eczema

Anyone have experience with sustained solutions for baby eczema?  Our little one, who is almost 8 months now has moderate to severe eczema on most of his body - he's constantly itchy and crys/upset when it gets flared.  We have gone do a pediatric dermatologist and have been treating with prescription topical steroid (desonide) for over 2 months now.  It works great when we apply 1-2 times per day, but have tapered to every other day and want to taper more, but it consistently comes back.  We are worried about long term use of topical steroids, but also our boy is so miserable, scratching everywhere and upset with flares.

Things we do now outside of the rx steroid cream: Daily lukewarm baths (without soap). Sometimes with a tiny bit of bleach - as he gets cyst/acne spots and this helps minimize those (I wasn’t too keen on the idea of bleach, but was recommended a lot and can help as the broken skin from eczema can lead to inflection); Immediately slather him down 2x a day with moisturizers - use both creams like Vanicream/Cetaphil as well as jelly, like Aquaphor to lock in moisture (and coconut oil for scalp which he still scratches all night long); We keep him all cotton - long sleeves/pants as he itches a lot when his skin is exposed; Sleep sack with arms (zippity zip) since he scratches his head A LOT at nighttime; Cut his nails multiple times a week. 

Have any others successfully weaned their LO off of a topical steroid and kept eczema under control using non-steroid creams? If so any tips? 

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RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

https://skinfriend.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-eczema-detox 
Highly recommend this book and protocol to solve it once and for all. It’s intense, very rigorous but eye opening. Best of luck 

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

We found baths with baking soda to be really helpful for our baby when she she had eczema. We had our baby sleep with socks on their hands, to prevent itching. Also--quit with the daily baths! There is absolutely no reason a baby needs to be bathed that often. Start doing every other day. Then stretch it out. You can do it only once a week! Seriously. His skin will thank you so much for it. I realize that it is a cultural norm to do a nighttime bath for babies and young children, but it's a cultural ritual, it's not something that is needed for health. His body will thank you for letting it have the chance to develop its own protective layer. Also, make sure you don't use any products with fragrances. Good luck! This can be overcome.

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

This is so difficult -- my heart goes out to your poor little one!  My solution is Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Cream.  I have been able to take child off steroids once I found this.  I re-apply after washing face or hands.  I use it for entire body & scalp. 

I have found Aquaphor less helpful, because it is oil-based.  Also dairy seems to be our biggest culprit in causing the eczema.  Except for yogurt. 

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

Sorry if this isn’t exactly answering your question, but we struggled with this as well starting around 6 months and only recently discovered (at one years old) that our little one had several food allergies: milk, tree nut/peanut, and egg. Once we cut these foods the eczema disappeared. Have you tried food allergy testing at all? Sometimes that is the only symptom (vs more severe reactions) 

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

You didn’t mention laundry detergent that you have tried. I had eczema as a child and adult. The best “non chemical “ detergent I found has been Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder. Dryer sheets and even  the “clean and clear” detergents make my skin react. 

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

I’m not quite answering your question but I was an eczema kiddo and it’s quite awful. I grew out of skin issues but now have three different autoimmune disorders. Diet and lifestyle changes have reduced my symptoms 90%. 
My recommendation is to work with a pediatric naturopath or functional medicine practitioner to address your baby’s microbiome. Dairy, soy and gluten elimination may turn the eczema around! Best of Luck to you and your family. 

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

My kid got eczema at about 5 months.  We took him off wheat for about a year and that cleared him up.  I hate to say that, because everyone things gluten is responsible for everything, but in this case it was true.  His little body wasn't ready for it. Nowadays he eats whatever, pizza mostly.

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

Your poor baby!  My daughter also had horrible eczema when she was a baby.   We tried all kinds of things and what seemed to help the most was bathing in Dead Sea salts-  I think the salts may have had a disinfectant quality like the bleach bath does, but supposedly the minerals in there (magnesium?) are good for the skin.  I bought them in bulk and put them in her bath every night.  It was one of the few things we did that seemed to help.  We also used non-steroidal Protopic off-label (I don't think it is indicated for little kids) which seemed to help a bit but I wasn't super comfortable with that since she had eczema on her face too.  Dead Sea salt baths are probably worth trying since you're bathing your baby anyway.   Ultimately the terrible eczema went away by the time she was about 2 and it just turned into "normal" eczema (back of knees and elbows, and if skin gets too dry) which she still has at age 12.  

As a side note, my daughter ended up with a severe peanut allergy -but this was before the protocols about the allergic march, etc..  Hopefully you can avoid seasonal and / or food allergies down the road!  

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

My heart goes out to you, baby eczema is the worst. It took me so long to figure out what was going on with my daughter (now 3 1/2 yo) and even once I figured it out, it took forever to find the right solutions. I tried everything. The turning point was when I started giving her oatmeal baths. It was a game changer. Aveeno makes an oatmeal bath powder, though I actually made my own by putting rolled oats in a food processor and blending it into a fine powder. I put a lot of the powder in the bath and really let every inch (neck down) soak for at least 10 minutes. Water needs to be warm enough to dissolve the powder. Only caution is that putting oatmeal bath down the drain can cause problems! You may want to pour it down the kitchen drain instead (with a garbage disposal).  

With help from my acupuncturist, I also learned that my daughter has several food sensitivities which enflame her eczema. She can't eat any dairy, gluten or eggs. Several vegetables - especially tomatoes - cause a skin reaction too. My acupuncturist recommended simply eliminating those foods and seeing if the condition improved. For us, it drastically solved things within a matter of days. 

I'm happy to say, eczema is no longer constant issue for us. It's a very occasional issue that predictably pops up if my daughter eats something she's not supposed to.

Best wishes to you, I know how all-consuming this issue is. I felt so helpless watching how miserable my daughter was and feeling like I couldn't reliably help her. Life changing to be able to move past that.   

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

Have you tried dietary changes? The most common offender is dairy. If he's breastfeeding you would have to cut dairy out of your diet too. If he's formula fed you could try a hypoallergenic formula. Keep in mind that it can take 1-6 weeks to show improvement so you really need to commit to it in order to rule it out,  but generally you'll get some clue that it's helping within the first week or 2.

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

I'm so sorry to hear about your family's struggle with your little one's eczema! I can relate, as my older son had severe baby eczema as well. Your regimen sounds almost identical to what we were doing for our guy. We did this for nearly a year under the guidance of our pediatrician. When we tried to ease off the rx steroid creams, it would lead to him developing a gross and unrelenting case of impetigo almost every time. We also struggled with a fungal infection on his cheeks once as a result of the eczema flaring. As much as I hated it, we kept the steroids going even on his face :(

I mostly wanted to reply to you though that the baby eczema did improve significantly just like our pediatrician suspected that he would likely grow out of it. We were able to gradually lessen the number of steroid applications and only use triamcinolone when we had flares, and by 18 months we no longer needed daily applications as long as we were diligent about Aquaphor. Now he's 3.5, and we haven't used rx creams in over a year. He does still suffer from dry skin, which he'll need to learn to live with, but a good slathering of lotion has been sufficient.

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

Just a thought… have you tried anything diet related? In some people, gluten and dairy are majorly inflammatory and cause eczema. If you’re breastfeeding, you could try removing those things from your own diet. If you’re using formula and it is cows milk dairy, that may be the culprit. Just a thought, and good luck!

RE: Severe Baby Eczema ()

Your situation is unlikely to be similar to ours, but my LO was getting eczema from a severe egg allergy and my breastmilk. His eczema cleared up when we stopped breastmilk. If it is from an egg or other food allergy, one option is to cut the food out of your diet. I would've needed to stop eating eggs, including eggs in baked goods.