R.S. asks from Whitethorn, CA on August 20, 2010
Eczema? - Whitethorn,CA
I took my child to a Chinese doctor. The Dr said that he has eczema -- He explained to me that my son's cheeks flair red when he eats something his immune system mistakes as a non-food / pathogen. I had noticed that his cheeks go red when he eats strawberries, and that he had a very slight rash on his chest. I asked if I should do an allergy test on him (I heard there is a fecal test that checks for inability to process wheat and dairy). He said that rather than take things out of his diet I should just build up his immune system with pro-biotics and fish oil. This should reduce the eczema response to foods and allow him to eat all foods. This is all completely new to me so I wanted to check with all of you other Mommy's out there and ask if this sounds right to you? I know eczema is a fairly common auto-immune disorder. Has your child received a similar recommendation regarding the pro-biotics? Or did your Dr. say something different?
S.M. answers from Sacramento on August 21, 2010
My experience has been that Eczema is usually caused by external things such as soap and laundry detergent. I use Renew and Melalpower and have had excellent results. Usually when Eczema is present there are also food allergies which I have found to be a separate issue.
A.C. answers from Columbus on August 20, 2010
It is always a good idea to get a little one tested for food allergies, if hives are appearing after eating particular foods.
There is also a different between food allergies and food intolerance. Usually food intolerance is due to the inability to digest the food (people often confuse lactose intolerance with "milk allergy").
Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids are very good in general for most people, and very good for growing babies. Fish oil is high in both of this. Probiotics are also good for general health. But I don't know that taking these two things will get rid of allergies or food intolerances.
Our doc said to use moisturizers for the eczema; we tried Aveeno scent-free for babies but that didn't really help, so we starting using Cetaphil cream (you can order it through your local pharmacy, it's OTC); if your child has nut allergies, try Cera Ve cream.
Based on the fact that my son had mild hives after eating some foods (hummus, Chinese takeout), and a very bad reaction to eating peanut butter (hives on his face then facial swelling, extreme salivation, itching eyes and ears, progressing to hives all over his body), he was allergy tested around 20 months, and we (not surprisingly) found out he was severely allergic to peanuts (we carry an Epipen now) and also very allergic to cats and somewhat allergic to dogs. They did skin prick testing on my son on 40 different items.
I would really encourage you to get a 2nd opinion, or at least do some extensive reading on eczema and allergies and food allergies.... I think the the fish oil and probiotics may help maybe a little, but if your child has serious allergies, fish oil and probiotics are not going to cut it, and it is always better to know what the issue is.
3 moms found this helpful
A.C. answers from Sacramento on August 21, 2010
My son had same allergicreaction to some foods. Your pediatrician can do a simple blood test--one poke and run a panel of allergans. then, the ped. can refer you to an allergist. My son is now eczema free and we've removed the foods that were causing the problem. Many kids outgrow the allergies by ages 3-5.
1 mom found this helpful
D.N. answers from Chicago on August 20, 2010
Actually, it sounds like your son is just allergic to strawberries. There is nothing wrong with giving him pro-biotics really but you might want to do some research. I read that not everyone will benefit from them and too many can harm some people. And fish oil may have been a reference to giving him Omega 3 and 6 which is goo d for everyone.
1 mom found this helpful
J.H. answers from Sacramento on August 21, 2010
I agree with your doctor about probiotics and healthy oils. Depending on how old your son is, there are different ways to get both. For a baby eating more than a handful of baby foods but not quite at table food stage, yogurt could be a good way to add probiotics. For older toddlers and children, there are supplements available with the recommended dosage. For healthy oils, avocados and olive oil are wonderful. I also slip fish oil into smoothies.
I don't agree with your doctor that your son doesn't need to take things out of his diet. Anyone please correct me, but besides genetics and environment, what we eat is probably the biggest factor determining our health or illness. And, that's just so great because that's something we can control. In February, I did an elimination diet for myself to determine that I am newly allergic to dairy. Changed my life. But, that's a whole different story that I could on forever about. :)
There are two types of eczema: contact dermatitis (direct skin contact with an allergen) and atopic dermatitis (aggravated by ingested or inhaled allergens).
There is a book I picked up recently at Costco that I have found indispensable. I have passed on information from it to my MIL who has diabetes, my FIL who has insomnia, and my father who has heart disease. It is called "The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth" written by Jonny Bowden, PhD., C.N.S. I really like his holistic, alternative outlook and the way he suggests solutions and thoroughly explains why these natural cures help. The information, coupled with his maintained appreciation for Western medicine, make it such a great resource. He writes, "If...I am in a car accident, do not take me to an herbalist."
Anyway, best wishes for a solution to your son's eczema.
1 mom found this helpful
P.V. answers from San Francisco on August 21, 2010
You may want to have him tested for allergies to be certain of what's going on before you chose any path to treatment. That said, it sounds to me like he's allergic to phenols, the natural chemical that makes food red. He lacks sufficient enzymes to digest the phenols so he breaks out in a rash after eating strawberries. My son had the same problem. I gave him a safe, gentle enzyme supplement to help him whenever he ate anything red, and the problem went away. After a few years, he stopped needing the supplement completely. I used No-Fenol from Houston Nutraceuticals (they're on the web).
For what it's worth, my son also had trouble with wheat and dairy, and I also treated him with enzymes (store bought Lactaid for milk, and a carbohydrate enzyme from Houston Nutraceuticals for wheat) that cleared up the problem. After a few years, he stopped needing the supplements completely and has no trouble digesting anything now.
1 mom found this helpful
Y.C. answers from New York on August 20, 2010
My girl has eczema since baby. Her skin was very dry, very itchy, and in some parts red and even ooze at some points (specially cheeks, elbows, behind her knees) her little fingers were like crocodile skin, sigh!
We start treat her with some medicate creams, some wouldn't work, some did but for short period of time.
What works most for us was Aveeno soap, oatmeal baths, and Aquapor ointment.
Eventually our doctor recommended to take her for a allergy test (the one where they pinch them with tiny needles) she was allergic to milk, soy, eggs, strawberries, feathers (from my pillows).
I did notice a great improve of her skin when zi stop giving her this foods.
The doctor told us that many times kids can outgrow this allergies, and to sometimes give her "tiny" amounts of the food to check or bring her back to get test again.
Well, the test wasn't easy, so we decide try a little bit every couple months, that is how we found out she could drink milk. I really don't know why and how they outgrow the allergy but she now eats (moderate amounts) milk and strawberries. Soy seem to still get her red cheeks.
She still have itchy skin, and some parts of her body she still get dry patches, sometimes her own sweat get her red skin behind her knees so we never stop doing some stuff like using special soap, use only cotton clothes, do fast showers with warm (never too warm) and we can barely put dresses on her because she scratches her self (yes, i cut her nails very often but she still find ways) but thank God no more ooze and no more red skin.
I hope your little one gets better soon, lucky is a lot of information out there, just read, read, read and if you are not to sure about this doc. it doesn't hurt to ask a second opinion.
I think fish oil is ok (however you may want to check first if he is not allergic) but I would stop for a while with the foods that he is allergic, not only to give a rest to his body but when you start giving him "tiny" amounts, do it one at at time and wait at least a week before you offer him something else.
It tooks us moths to start our baby on foods because we had to try every single food for a while (this was before we went to take the test) and it took us a couple more to make sure she out grow them.
K.M. answers from San Francisco on August 21, 2010
From what I have read on the internet, your GI system, particularly the intestines, run on good bacteria - the bacteria is responsible for breaking down food and processing it in your body. The supplement of probiotics, gives your body even more of the good bacteria, so that in the case your body would typically react / have an allergy response to some kind of food because it cannot process it properly, the addition of probiotics would give it an extra boost of bacteria to digest it and avoid an allergic response.
We asked our allergist about it and he supports the use of probiotics. He didn't specifically recommend it but when we asked about it, he did say that he does buy into the use of probiotics. Whether giving our son probiotics is the reason why his skin is clear and free of eczema most of the time now, is not wheezing anymore, and is just plain healthy, I don't know for sure. It might be a combination of keeping eggs & peanuts out of his diet (we did allergy testing - skin prick and blood testing after an incident of anaphylaxis), giving a daily corticosteriod, being out of cold and flu season, and/or the probiotics. Who knows? But I do know he is healthy and having him healthy is a whole lot better than knowing he's uncomfortable and sick all the time.
If you question your doctor's recommendation, get a second opinion.
L.M. answers from Dover on August 20, 2010
I agree with the other posters. Eczema is not the same as a food allergy. If your child is truly allergic they should not be eating that food. If it is eczema, I recommend Renew products. They make a huge difference.