At first, we thought it was just severe baby acne and we left it alone thinking it would just go. Darren took Joshua to the chemist for their opinion and they suggested eczema and got him to buy a really expensive cream. I was in disbelief that it was eczema as it was spotty rather than a dry rash, so I got Darren to take the cream back and continued using breast milk. Little did I know just how right she was!
A few weeks later I admitted defeat and we went to the doctors where it was diagnosed that it was indeed eczema. Not only was it on his face; but under his chin, on his chest, legs, arms, belly, back and on his scalp. We were prescribed cetraben to try and after a while we realised that it wasn’t helping. So I tried some of Keira’s diprobase cream and that too wasn’t helping his poor skin. He had to have his hands covered at all times and I felt so sorry for him! His face was always red and sore looking so it must have been so uncomfortable for him.
After another 2 trips to the doctors we were given epaderm and aveeno to try, neither helped. On the last trip we were given oilatum cream, bath additive and hydrocortisone. I’d always washed both Keira and Joshua in plain water and used the oilatum bath wash so I was using that on Joshua. Using all 3 of these we had some success and I was beginning to think that we would be able to manage nicely with these creams.
At 6 months old we started weaning. One day I made scrambled eggs for Joshua to try but almost immediately he broke out in hives all over his body, he got red patches around his eyes and his face had swelled ever so slightly. We took him to a GP walk in centre where they confirmed it was an allergic reaction to eggs and we were prescribed piriton. I went to see our usual GP the following Monday and they too confirmed the egg allergy and checked him over with his eczema. All was okay and we were on our way.
Joshua decided he no longer wanted to try food, I guess the ordeal had put him off, so it wasn’t until he was 7 months old that he showed an interest again. I noticed that since weaning his eczema was getting worse again and I couldn’t control it was either the topical or the steroid cream, I did notice that if he was given piriton that his eczema would significantly reduce. So I took another trip to the GP and asked for an allergy test. The GP said he would write to the hospital and request one.
I decided to start a food diary of what he was eating and if he was reacting to anything. It was soon apparent that he was reacting to tomatoes as well as bananas. We received a letter from the hospital with an appointment for an allergy test! I was delighted but it was short lived because a few days later we were sent another letter explaining that the appointment had been cancelled due to insufficient evidence that his eczema was caused from something he was eating. A few weeks later we were sent an appointment to see a dietitian.
On 27th April 2016 we saw a dietitan, after months of waiting it was here. She confirmed that his symptoms and reactions to eggs, tomatoes and bananas were consistent with signs of an allergy. So we were advised to cut out everything that contained these products, including anything pre-made (like frozen chips, pre-battered foods etc) and to check the labels of everything we bought. There were so many foods we had been giving that contained egg, foods that you wouldn’t associate egg with like chocolate!
The changes in his eczema have been fantastic and I honestly can’t believe that by changing his diet has had such a huge effect on his skin! It’s really frustrating having to make everything from scratch and having to search the internet for recipes that don’t contain egg or tomato but we’re getting there and I find the vegan websites are a great help!
You’ll see from the photos just how better his eczema is getting! There aren’t any from when he was a tiny baby as I don’t have access to the hard drive to retrieve them, but you get the idea!
These are just some examples of how bad it got! Now he looks like a completely different child! His eczema really has calmed down and he is much happier in himself!
These ones were taken the day after our appointment with the dietitian. It was the first day that I had excluded everything from his diet.
And these are the most recent photos (excuse the food covered clothes, babies can be very messy!) The transformation are incredible. His eczema is almost gone and his skin is so smooth!
I still keep his hands covered at night, maybe its habit or worry that he’ll still scratch himself, but he looks like a different baby altogether! I haven’t even put any cream on him for a few days now!
I have loads of advice for parents who has a baby suffering with eczema and lots of great products to share with you! But I’ll save that for another post!