Monday, March 21, 2011

Child Allergy Topics-Eczema

Mondays I have decided will be devoted to Allergy Topics because both of our children have allergies to some extent. So mondays will be a time I research and talk about topics I have discussed with other parents and if you have any questions or topics you would like me to explore please send me a message.
 Allergies is our life. If you know our family or have met us, you know we face this issue moment to moment at our house and have been doing so since our son was 5 months old. I have decided to explore Eczema as my first topic this week because it was the first sign for both of our children and I know it is the first sign in many children. When our son was born, he had so many newborn skin issues. As an OB nurse I know that newborns have skin issues because they are going from a wet environment to a dry one. Their skin is adjusting. But after time they will start to have that sweet soft smooth baby skin. Our Seth did have that sweet soft smooth baby skin for about 2 weeks. Then I noticed a patch of dry red skin on the middle of his chest. Then it was his cheeks. Then all of his body. When we saw our pediatrician she said it was "just" eczema and just to lotion him up. But that was no comfort as he just got worse and worse. My sister-in-law was dealing with the same thing in her son who was 2 months older. Consequently we were seeing the same pediatrician but they decided to take our nephew to a new provider and he was diagnosed with allergies. 
  I have met several people who say about their child's eczema "They just have eczema" (and I am primarily writing this because a dear friend is starting to think her daughter may have allergies and you know who you are. I have heard her say this to me.) So I did some research because our allergist has said to me that there is a huge correlation between eczema and allergies but I wanted to know what other parents have been told about eczema.
  I have seen multiple chat forums where exactly what I am talking about has occurred. Where a mother was told by her pediatrician that her child "just" had eczema but then saw a allergist and they said there was a huge correlation between the two. I have read and heard time after time that allergists will tell you there is a huge correlation between onset of eczema and allergies. I have also read and seen that this is particularly true with egg, milk and peanut allergies.
  This was true for us. We finally saw a pediatrician who knew about allergies and when we finally did our son was extremely sick. He was 4 months old and he had an infection of his skin all over his body. Severe eczema and little crusty areas in the crevices of his elbows, behind his knees, around his ankles and behind his ears. We established care with an allergist and it was determined that Seth was highly allergic to Eggs, Milk, and Peanuts. He was mild to moderately allergic to wheat and Soy. This list has expanded to 25 foods, drugs and environmental things that he is allergic to. Once we started taking the things he was allergic to out of his body (unfortunately because his list was so extensive I had to stop breastfeeding) his skin immediately starting looking better and better. Is it that cut and dry? No. Seth still has flare ups especially when the seasons change. He gets patches behind his knees. But I know how he would look if he ate whatever he wanted. It makes a huge difference.
 What does this mean for you and your child? I think if your kiddo has eczema, it is definitely worth the testing. Because the more a child is exposed to what they are allergic to the worse the reaction is going to get. If you get testing and find out that it is "just" eczema, and no they don't have allergies, Yeah!! But if they do, then this means you can help them. 


Karen said...

Very good post...

Most conditions that start with "A" can be linked to allergies, in one way or another...Allergies, Atopic Dermatitis (or "excema"), Asthma, ADHD, Autism, Arthritis (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, that is...), Auto-Immune disorders such as Adolescent Diabetes (type 1 Diabetes Mellitus).

I think that it is God's grace that you found out about your son's allergies as early as you did (due to his ecxema). While excema does not seem like a blessing, the fact that you were able to begin changing his diet/environment from such an early age has undoubtedly greatly benefitted him in so many ways.

Our son never had ecxema; so we were unaware of his many allergies until age 4. I wish we had known much sooner... We saw GREAT improvement in his behavior with elimination of allergens; wish we had known sooner.

Thank you for this great post!

zelma32 said...

This was most definitely true with our nephew. He never had anaphylaxis and his skin problems from infancy were pretty much gone. But he was being seen for behavioral issues. As soon as they changed his diet. New kid over night. This was also true with our son and a particular drug. He was on this drug for 2 years and they were the 2 most difficult years of his life. His preschool teacher recommended I look into the side effects and sure enough, excitability in children. Within a few days of taking him off we had a new kid. So many factors to look into. Thanks!!