Friday, April 23, 2010

I Hate Eczema (and allergies)

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'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


  1. It's so hard to deal with these things when they're so little. Thanks for listing out the products you use...I got some ideas for Katie's super sensitive skin!

  2. Oh, yeah, Kristine! I can't wait until I can reason with him, and barter for compliance;)

  3. Cai has pretty bad eczema (gets it from me I guess? I have severe eczema myself, and switching between Protopic and Elidel is the only thing that works... obviously not going to work for a little one). Your list of what you're doing with Marino gave me some ideas to talk to Cai's pediatrician about. Right now, I'm adding 1 capful of unscented baby oil to her bath, and applying Aveeno fragrance-free lotion immediately afterward, not even really drying her off much. That seems to keep it from getting worse, at least. I hope Marino's eczema eases up soon - it's a frustrating thing to deal with. :(

  4. Incredibly frustrating!! Giving Hayden a thing of yogurt everyday helped for quite a bit, but now he's flaring up again. We're now giving him extra probiotics and omega oils to help, as well as rubbing coconut oil all over with aveeno lotion to seal it all in. Seems to be helping quite a bit, but we'll see if it lasts. When I read the 1/2 of bleach idea, I wanted to pass along some info that might be less harsh on his skin - putting a cup of peroxide in the tub does wonders for killing bacteria, and it also creates great oxygen flow (which also kills bacteria in other forms). Since the water will get in his ears, this also aids in preventing colds and sinus type colds. We usually alternate a cup of peroxide, and a cup of vinegar (white) every other day/bath time. White vinegar kills bacteria in amazing ways(helps with any diaper rashes too!!). And lastly.. we've been mixing apple cider vinegar (Braggs brand that has the "Mother" in it - which means you need to shake it b/c it wasn't filtered) in with his apple juice for allergy stuff. Just a tsp or even half a tsp with each "cup" of juice (what are they.. about 10 oz cups?). Sorry.. that's a lot of info, but I know how much I appreciated you listing out all those things (am anxious to try the ones we hadn't heard of yet!), so I thought I'd do the same!

    Miss you guys!