27 answers

Almost 2 Year Old with Intermittant Diarrhea Causing LARGE Blisters

I apologize in advance for the long post, but I'm really hoping to draw on the mamasource wisdom. My 23 month old girl has being experiencing diarrhea about four times a month for several months now. She has always had frequent, soft stools, but nothing that caused any problems. Recently, she will wake up screaming after having diarrhea with large blisters (some as big as 1/2 inch high and several inches across) all over her bottom. When this happens she is in a ton of pain, can't sit down and can barely walk.

So far, we've seen her family doctor several times, another family physician in the practice once, a pediatric gastroenterologist several times and a dermatologist several times. They've tested her for several bacterial infections and a zinc deficiency. All were normal. We've tried lidocaine to numb her bottom, steriod cream, Butt Paste, Triple Paste, a prescription wound cream and Sulfadine. Her bottom heals well each time, but it never has a chance to completely heal before the next bout hits. We've also cut out dairy and fructose (separately) with no change. We can't trace it to any change in her diet and she has no known allergies.

Right now we're using vaseline and an antifungal prescribed by the dermatologist, even though he said he doesn't think that there's any yeast infection! I started her back on Culturelle (a probiotic) yesterday, because that has helped with other types of diarrhea in the past. We're also waiting for the next bout to get a stool sample to check the pH, but the diarrhea happens only once, then it's non-blistering stools for about a week afterward.

So, has anyone even heard of anything like this? I've read the information on "Toddler's Diarrhea", but nothing that causes such huge blisters. At this point my poor little girl is starting to have nightmares about pooping! At this point I'm willing to do almost anything to stop this. Thanks in advance for your thoughts...

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have you had her tested for celiac disease? That is the major symptom.

It really sounds like allergies of some sort.

As far as the diaper rash - coat her butt with liquid mylanta after each diaper change. First do whatever diaper rash cream you like, then cover the area with mylanta. The mylanta makes the acids neutralized so they don't cause the blisters.

Both my kids had "allergies" to milk protein. This caused loose stools and very red irritated bums. Be careful though, traditional allergy testing only shows a positive if you have a 100% intolerance to a food. If you have a 70% intolerance you will test negative. In the absence of hives and other allergic reactions I would guess the test would be negative.

Take a look at eliminating the 8 common allergens for several weeks then slowly add them back a week at a time to find the culprit. I have to believe this is related to diet. There's no other explanation.

Have you tried Benadryl immediately after getting the blisters?

And yes, I know it's hard but no wipes ever on her poor sensitive skin. Warm water and kleenex or washcloths.

Good luck!

More Answers

Hi J.-
I am not sure how to help with the blister but when my daughter gets diarrhea bad.I use Lactinex it is a dietary supplement you might have already used but if not it is worth a try.It is granules that you can put in milk or we usually use pudding. My mother-in- law told me about it and I asked our ped. and he said we could use and it worked when she had diarrhea bad .
Well good Luck I hope I helped
mama H.

One of my tots has acid reflux that caused him to develop severe diaper rash( the type that bleeds) the day after he has eaten acidic food (tomato,oranges, etc) He takes Zantac (a RX) and it helps a great deal. This might help but Based on her age, perhaps it is time to toilet train her. this won't be the answer to stop whatever is going on with her bowel movement, but would keep most of it off her skin and offer some relief. (In the meantime, I'd keep searching for the cause) yes, its time. anywhere from 18 months to age 3 is a normal potty training window. Her condition will encourage her to want to use the toilet. Best wishes to you both....its hard to imagine the amount of pain she must be suffering.

Look into Florastor for Kids. http://www.florastor.com/
Florastor is the most widely used probiotic in Europe and available locally at Osco. It's generally behind the pharmacy counter and you have to ask for it or order it. About two weeks after starting use, the digestive track should show marked improvement, and hopefully eliminate the cycle. As the good bugs (flora) multiply in the gut, the loose stools should subside.

I have successfully used this product and wholeheartedly recommend it. Best of luck with your beautiful daughter.

I would take her to an Allergist & have her tested for food, yeast & mold allergies. I would also keep her from drinking fruit juices (they are very acidic). Make sure she is drinking lots of water.

I'm sorry your little one is going through this! My son had the same problem when he was 2. It lasted about 6 months and we saw every specialist possible. He tested negative for everything and nothing seemed to help. Finally, someone told me about Florastor. It helps restore the bacteria balance in the system. It comes in a powered, fruity-flavored, form for kids. It's the only thing that seemed to help. Also, we stopped using almost all cleaning chemicals in our home. We use only natural cleaners now.
Those two things really seemed to help. It may be a fluke that his problems cleared up when we added Florastor and stopped using chemicals. But I think the whole family is healthier now anyway.
Good luck! And congrats on #2!

Both my kids had "allergies" to milk protein. This caused loose stools and very red irritated bums. Be careful though, traditional allergy testing only shows a positive if you have a 100% intolerance to a food. If you have a 70% intolerance you will test negative. In the absence of hives and other allergic reactions I would guess the test would be negative.

Take a look at eliminating the 8 common allergens for several weeks then slowly add them back a week at a time to find the culprit. I have to believe this is related to diet. There's no other explanation.

Have you tried Benadryl immediately after getting the blisters?

And yes, I know it's hard but no wipes ever on her poor sensitive skin. Warm water and kleenex or washcloths.

Good luck!

Has any doctor tested her for food allergies? I would do the blood draw and test for IgG mediated food sensitivities (IgG is tested in the lab by an ELISA, not a back-scratch test on the kiddo which only looks at IgE mediated allergies). I would definitely take her off of dairy for a month and see if the stools improve. May also want to do a trial of eliminating gluten (wheat) and other commen food triggers that you notice your daughter consuming. A good probiotic (lactobacillus and other bifidobacter and other species) should be given once a day. Good luck!
B.
P.S. It is not normal to have diarrhea 4 times a month. Don't buy into the bull of normal "toddler" diarrhea unless you are giving her 16 oz or more of store-bought juice a day. There is something imbalanced or deficient in here sytem that, once corrected, should enable this problem to slowly improve. May want to seek help from nutritionist or physician who recognizes both pharmeceutical AND non-pharmeceutical methods to maintain or restore health.

Ouch....the poor baby!

Remove all dairy from her diet (i.e. butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, goldfish crackers, etc.). Try this for a minimum of three weeks (it takes two weeks to be completely eliminated.

For a doctor, contact Dr. Josephine Polich (a Homeopathic Doctor). Her number is ###-###-#### and website is www.dupagehomeopathic.com.

Like another user said, throw out all wipes, etc. Use warm washcloths.

J.,
I feel sorry for you and her. How horrible. It sounds so painful. My 6 year old son had "toddler tummy" when he was around 2 as well. He almost never had a hard stool. I tried to change his diet, but it did not matter. I would use warm washcloths instead of wipes to clean him. The wipes burned him. I also used and still use, Flanders Buttocks Ointment...it comes in a 4 oz. tube, and I have to have a pharmacy order it for me(I use Target). It includes Peruvian balsam My sister turned me on to it when my babies were little. I put it on even when they are just a little red and irritated to keep it from getting worse. It clears up a diaper rash in one thick application. It is probably similiar to the Butt Paste you mentioned..not sure. I know how frustrating it can be when even your doctor(s) cannot figure it out. Eventually, things were better. I almost want to say that maybe you should start trying to keep a diaper off and potty train her early. Or if that is not possible, than put underwear/or nothing at all on her after a wet/messy diaper and clean her with washclothes instead of wipes. You may have already been doing this. Well, I hope it gets better for everyone's sake.

Have you tried cutting out all citric acid? My daughter would get blisters and always had lose stools...still does really but she's not in diapers anymore so no blisters.

I could not give her any juice or anything with high acidity. Very little sauce on pasta. So forth. I also had to put baby powder (making sure not to get dust floating around for her to breath) in her diaper every change.

She never got blisters that big, but she did get them about the size of the end of my pinkie finger and they bled. I also sat her in bath water with baking soda to soothe her poor sore bottom if she did have a bout of the "hershey skirts" as my baby brother calls them.

My daugher is very sensitive in many ways. I think she just produces too much acid and when I add more to her diet it is too much for a diaper bottom. She gets sores in her mouth from time to time when she frets about something. She's a worrier like mommy.

I would start to potty train her for one so that she doesn't have to wear diapers anymore. Start with a day in the bathroom nakes so she can figure out what you mean when you say pee pee or poopies. Maybe do two if you think she hasn't gotten it yet.

Then buy cloth panties...let her pick some out. Buy lots of carpet cleaner. Carry the potty chair around with you every where. Remind her constantly to tell you if she needs to go potty. Give her a little chocolate chip if she makes it.

Should take a few days and then you won't have that issue anymore. Also explain if she poopies in the potty it won't burn her little bottom and it won't hurt anymore. That might be good motivation.

Could it be the wipes you are using for the blister part..
My son had some issues and he Cant use Pampers WIpes!!!!
HE got blisters you cant do anything but time to heal....
Try another wipe..
as for the diarrhea.. Major Brat Diet.. did you change milk..... how offen was it going on for.. Maybe it is a milk allergie??
hugs!!

I am so sorry for your little girl! How terrible!! Could it be molars?
Sorry to state the obvious, but your post didn't say if you've done this yet. Air her out whenever she is home. A good naked 15m twice a day

GET RID OF THE WIPES. ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY GONE. Use a warm wash cloth (gross I know but you can get cheap white ones at Target and just bleach them) or cotton balls and Dove soap. I hope this helps and the more people have more ideas. Hang in there!!!

My middle always got blisters or "cuts" instantly if he sat in a poopy for like 5min. I used washcloths and it was gone in a day. Hardly ever used wipes on him b/c of this.

we've had it w/open sores, not that big but red open like blister w/o the bubble. we found it was related to an egg allergy. if it's not intestinal and nothing else shows up i gotta think its what she's eating. Did you take her to an allergist? Did you start new diapers or whipes? maybe the combination ?

Could it be something she has developed an allergy to in her diet? One of my three kids had severe diarrhea after drinking orange juice about the time he was 2. Before that time he had had no reaction to OJ. My daughter was fine with milk until recently experiencing loose stools after any dairy products.

Do an internet search of gluten intolerance/celiac disease. This may be what is causing the diarrhea.

As far as the blisters go... I use aquaphor on my little one to prevent diaper rash. Put a thick layer all over her bottom before putting on the diaper. Hopefully if she poops, the aquaphor will stop the poop from getting to her skin.

Poor baby and poor mommy!

My daughter had been getting blisters in her diaper area between 15-19 months -- so bad that I cried at the sight of them. We began to track her diet and determined that everytime she had strawberries (fresh, in berry-flavored juices, yogurt, fruit bars, etc.), she would break-out. Now that we have removed these from her diet, she is blister-free!! :)

I hope this helps!!

My daughter had bad diarrhea a few weekends ago and had raised whelts on her bottom, I think from the acid in the diarrhea. Our doctor told me to mix Mylanta with cornstarch and then mix that w/ Aquaphor. She didn't give me measurements, I just made a paste. It soothed her bottom, healed the whelts and prevented more from developing.

J., I would investigate food allergies more. She could be allergic to anything, though someone mentioned the eight most common earlier. Conventional medicine has a narrow definition of allergies, according to many who practice alternative methods. Allergist Dr. Doris Rapp addresses this in her book "Is this your child". She has a website too. Also, the Yahoo Group Foodlab has parents dealing with all sorts of food issues, and many believe the pee and poop is one of the primary signs of allergic reactions and intolerances. I hope you can get this resolved soon, it's very frustrating to not know what the problem is, while your baby is hurting!

As far as the diaper rash try Medula,its at baby's r us. its a bit expensive but way worth it. And as far as the diarrhea take her off dairy completely, (active cultures cause diarrhea) try putting her on a BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples,toast) if she wants milk try enriched soy milk, or alomond milk. Vasaline doesnt let the skin breath so be careful using too much of that stuff.

There is a pediatric gastro in Glenview but I can't recall her name. Maybe another mom can provide her name. That would be a great place to start.

Have you found anything out? We are going through the same thing with our 2 year old. We are going to see a GI. He gets so bad we cann ot give him a bath.

J. M. - did you ever find out what was causing the diarrhea and blisters.
My 21-month old son has exactly the same symptoms.

A. D. -Athens, TX

I would take her off of milk and see if she improves after 2 or 3 weeks. She probably has a casein/whey allergy. Sometimes the allergy test doesnt catch it. Does she have other skin issues like eczema or ear infections as well?

My son had the same problem for a few months right around the same age. We looked into everything short of testing for food allergies and everything was normal. Testing for allergies I personally felt was too invasive and far to traumatic for a two yr old, especially when 90% of kids will grow out of them on their own with no therapies. probiotics are awesome, but you don't necessarily have to use supplements. Go for yogurt daily. My son did really well with it and the blisters came less frequently. The best suggestion to get it to go away for good...Potty Train. get rid of the diapers get rid of the blisters. My son also has some fears of pooping because of the pain he's associated with it in the past, so prepare for a pretty long process. Just keep reassuring that pooping in the toilet means no more owies on the tusch.

I swear on PENATEN products.

The creme is so thick and you only need very little, no runny stool can get through the creme the skin and it soothes the skin too.
It has been on my butt, my mother butt, probably my grandma's butt and I used it on both of my toddlers. No other product has come close to this.
If you were closer by I would let you try some of mine, but here is a link to it http://www.natures-favor.com/penatenproducts.php

Good luck

i would get that diaper off her for an hour or two nce or twice a day. Let the area DRY out. No medicines. Just Johnson baby powder to keep the area dry. Also, pay close attention to what she eats. It could be over spiced or gassy food and veggies at the bottom of this. Put the meds on only during nighttime or naptime. Otherwise, while in diapers, use the Johnsons powder. It is the most smooth for babys bottom.

have you had her tested for celiac disease? That is the major symptom.

It really sounds like allergies of some sort.

As far as the diaper rash - coat her butt with liquid mylanta after each diaper change. First do whatever diaper rash cream you like, then cover the area with mylanta. The mylanta makes the acids neutralized so they don't cause the blisters.

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