Marino started having a bad skin reaction to pollen a few weeks ago. I am *almost* ashamed to complain about it, since I realize we are so fortunate he is not having a respiratory reaction. But this skin problem...it's brutal. His skin is already so sensitive because of the atopic dermatitis, and he is incapable of not scratching right now. We started him on Zyrtec a few weeks ago and that seemed to help but Monday it flared up terribly (maybe something new bloomed?). I bought Eucerin Calming Creme *, but that only helps for a few minutes. I started giving him Atarax to help with the itching, but he's still woken up at 4 or 5am every day this week complaining of "itching."
I took him to the doctor today to try and get a better handle on this. She recommended adding 1/2 a cup of bleach to one of his baths a week to prevent infection (bleach kills the bacteria...a pool would have the same effect), using the Aveeno Oatmeal Bath packets, alternating his medicines (Zyrtec in the morning, Atarax in the evening), and keeping him in long sleeves and pants (I highly recommend American Apparel leggings and karate pants and long sleeve tees for this purpose - they are amazing quality and lightweight). While we were talking, Marino scratched open his knee and started bleeding, so, experiencing first hand his discomfort, she recommended using an oral steroid for a few days to try and get ahead of the inflammation.
If anyone is curious, here's what we use to treat Marino's (severe) eczema daily:
Evening Primrose Oil (1.25ml liquid in his morning bottle) - homeopathic remedy for skin inflammation
EpiCeram twice a day (non-steroidal)
Prescription hydrocortisone for a flare-up, no more than 4 days a month
Fragrance free bath products and lotion: Aquaphor*, Aveeno (fragrance-free) and Cetaphil
Fragrance-free wipes: Pampers Sensitive
and here's what we're doing for this flare-up/allergic reaction:
Zyrtec - 4ml once a day
Atarax - 4ml once a day
Eucerin Calming Creme for temporary relief of itching*
once or twice a week bleach bath
oatmeal baths when possible
keeping his arms and legs covered
* added bonus - these lotions are covered under Flexible Spending Accounts, if you have a healthcare FSA