25 May 2010


one of the hardest things i'm finding in the vast expanse of the parent-galaxy is the feeling of helplessness when it comes to your little one's health. the sheer responsibility of making decisions on what to do and what not to do in order to keep your precious baby content and comfortable is downright hard.

here is my latest quandry. baby eczema.

when elsa was born she had the most perfect soft skin. rubbing the little bridge of her nose was {and still is} an addiction. so seeing it change over recent weeks to being dry and rashy and obviously irritating has left me desperate to make it better. poor sweet e has had many trips to the doctors and potions and lotions applied...she is just finishing a course of antibiotics to clear up an infection where she'd broken her skin from rubbing it. the mention of steroids and antibiotics freaks me out quite frankly when it comes to such a tiny new body...but i feel compelled to take the advice of the experts and try to help her feel soothed whatever it takes.

this time last year we had just come to the end of our 4th round of ivf. and you know how the story ended of course. but thinking back to that whole build up to the miracle of a positive we got i very much remember how controlled i felt in the process. not at that moment when we were placed in the hands of the laboratory but in the days when i could eat well...have accupucture...take supplements...sleep!..knowing that i was doing the right thing to help. now i am struggling with direction.

we have a skin specialist nurse booked to come and see the girl. in the meantime i am trying skin food from weleda...baby salve from organic babies...sos cream from barefoot botanicals...{all suggested via various forums and friends} having already gone down the path of aqueous creams and bath emolients that made the problem worse. hydrocotisone has been prescribed. today it was suggested that we try switching to dairy-free formula. i use surcare for all our laundry. the heat doesn't help...water turns her skin to flakes and nightime is when it's worse. it is on my mind but i can't bear to think it could be mr bosco.

fresh air is good. that i know. but i can't keep her al fresco all the time...so i'd be grateful of any ideas or experiences you have dear readers.

p.s. i have to add a footnote to say that elsa is actually very happy and chubby and drooly and coo-y too...and this time next week she is off across the sea to meet her relatives in ireland!


  1. So sorry to hear about little Elsa. I'm sorry I don't have any advice to give at all. And I can imagine how lost you must feel in the mindfield of info thats out there. Hope you find something to help your sweetie soon.

  2. Oh poor little Elsa!

    It sounds like you're trying everything already, but definitely try an eCover washing powder or even just soap flakes to see if that helps. No synthetic fibres also helped a friend's little boy. My biggest rec. though would be nature's wonder drug, Aloe Vera. It not only cures burns, spots, rashes and irritations but it cleared up my Dad's eczma on his head.

    You can get 99.9% pure Aloe Vera in a tube from Holland & Barrett and also buy the plants to snap of a leaf and use when needed. I swear by it.

  3. oh poor Elsa (& you) we went through the same with little Olive (it probably started at around the same age too), it really was trial & error, we eventually discovered it was reaction to external things rather than something she was eating/drinking, some washing powders really would cause it to flair up & so would anyone wearing perfume hugging or carring her , the biggest problem was & still is wool! (which is a pain when i knit so much) i found that the basic aveeno cream was also the best for her & we would just pop a sock full of oats into her bath & didn't use any products on her,
    a year on & we have it well under control, although having had to use sun-cream over the last few days does seem to be irritating her,
    i really hope you can find what will work for Elsa, so you won't all have to be suffering with it for too long,

  4. How frustrating for you. I know you may have tried this but I'd had eczema on and off for twenty years (since childhood) before my doctor told me about 'emulsifying ointment' which I'd never heard of till then. It's a greasy paraffin-based emollient (similar in appearance to Vaseline though the latter only made my eczema worse) which acts as barrier/moisturiser. I think you can get over the counter at most chemists' too. Anything cream-based - E45 etc and even hydrocortisone cream - always made my eczema much worse but the emulsifying ointment in conjunction with hydrocortisone ointment for bad patches (on prescription) has totally sorted the problem for me and I haven't used either for ages. I really hope you and Elsa will have similar success soon.

  5. My recommendation is to only bath her once a week and to use extra virgin olive oil on her skin.

    I know it is tempting to do the whole bathtime/bedtime routine but I think it really is the worst thing for their delicate skin. Ivan would go weeks without a bath in the early days and yes he always smelt like a salad!

  6. We've got the same problem with our One Foot Guru - he's coming up to six months now. His gets worse if I have cleaned the bath and even if we don't use any products in his bath (he just has a play in the water each night) the cleaning products were setting it off. I try and use very gentle cleaning and laundry products and every time we change his bum we just rub some sorbolene into the patches (it isn't on his bum it is just a time when he is lying down and able to be got at lol). My doc is very much apt to do everything BUT meds and steroids luckily and she has told me that 9 out of 10 people are actually allergic to SLS's (check toiletry labels and usually there is one or more appearing) and that you can get SLS free products - I found this set mine off so I switched to SLS free stuff and it's done the trick for me.
    The only other thing I was told but haven't tried is giving macrobiotics. One Chemist told me that skin conditions are often a sign of an inbalance in the gut and that you can buy baby macrobiotics to help them out - I don't know if it works though as I am still b/feeding and didn't want to mess with that.
    Hope some of those help out and good luck - try not to stress too much....I know it seems disasterous but they are tough little critters who are essentially happy. I've a baby book that points out that whomever came up with the sayings, "smooth as a baby's bum" and "sleeps like a baby" never, obviously, met a real baby :) TC

  7. Anonymous26.5.10

    I just found your blog and wanted to tell you how lovely it is. nice and calm.

    virgin coconut oil really helps our daughter,18, when hers flares up. We also use Shi Kai skin therapy with Borage oil in it.

    It is never fun when your little one is dealing with something you have no real control over. Been there. This too will get easier.
    Blessings, Wendy

  8. Mother Hen26.5.10

    Hmm I know it was a long time ago but I had similar things with the girls. Started when I stopped feeding, tried goats milk to no avail, turned out to be milk fat allergy. Had to use a milk with vegetable fat which did the trick. Also had the steroidal creams angst and found that good old Nivea cream worked just as well.
    Hope all works out for you and the little darling E xxx

  9. Anonymous27.5.10

    You might want to read this blog:

    She's still going through these skin issues with her daughter.

    Best wishes...


  10. So sorry to hear about elsa having to go through this and you as well. Just a thought but sometimes a skin condition can be a secondary condition. You mentioned that they think a dairy free formula might help. One other thought is maybe making sure she has a wheat free formula as well. Often wheat allergy or celiacs disease can show up in children as skin irritation or eczema. I have celiacs and one of the first signs I had was skin irritation. There is a very simple blood test to find out. just a thought. I hope Elsa and you feel better soon!

  11. So sorry to hear about Elsa. We went through the same thing with our oldest daughter. It's better now, but she still flares up on occasion. I learned to give her fewer baths and to use a soap with as few chemicals as possible. Cutting back on the chemicals that touched her skin (through soap, washing detergents, etc) really seemed to help.

  12. I am sorry to hear about little Elsa... It is awful I know, seeing your little one with eczema. My son Rufus developed eczema on the top of his foot and the back of his knees when he was about one.

    I tried all types of cream, which just kept it moist but not ridding it. I saw a nutritionist who recommended I cut out all dairy.

    So he went onto Rice Milk, Soya Yoghurts and Goats Cheese, it took nearly a year but it has now gone.

    He is still on these non dairy products as he prefers them...its funny it was like he knew they were wrong for him.

    Good luck in finding what triggers Elsa's reaction. Big hugs to you and her. Lou

  13. Anonymous15.6.10

    our 2 girls both have eczema. having been through loads of creams, lotions, potions etc, i can recommend - always use non-bio powder; avoid acidic fruit and veg (rasberries, strawberries, tomatoes are the worst offenders); for the bath -which we do ever other day - aveeno bath oil followed by epaderm (nhs will prescribe all). when outbreaks are really bad, we use hydrocortizone. the real bummer is that they can't go in chlorinated pools. my 3.5 year old started to clear it around 2, but it comes back with pollen is bad (so weird!)

    i hope this helps. hang in there!!!

  14. I've just read this post and I must say I can understand your frustrations. Both my boys have had eczema starting at around 7 months and we have tried most of what the docs have thrown at us and then gave up. I found with my oldest that I went back through his diet and found that certain fruits made it worse. I also found that Hemp cream from the body shop worked quite well. You can buy clothes for children with eczema that have all the seams on the outside and also have the hands covered which helped as how do you stop a baby from scratching. With my 2nd it was his face that was his worst area. I found bathing him in porridge oats soothed it and also aveeno. Earth friendly baby do a calendula cream and also use to do a red clover cream which were quite good.
    On a positive note my oldest now nearly 5 has ok skin unfortunately bad asthma but that's another story!
    My other son's skin is still not great we seem to get on top of it and then it flairs back up and I do think it's got a lot to do with the weather. We now bath every other night in oats and are using aveeno daily. I really hope you find some relief soon for your little un as it really does make for unhappy babies and stressed parents which probably doesn't help.
    I hope you have a great hol and if you find something that works for you I'd be really interested to know.
    Sorry about the ramble!


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