Atopic Dermatitus Anyone?

Updated on April 18, 2008
T.B. asks from Hainesport, NJ
11 answers

My baby girl was recently diagnosed with atopic dermatitus. I was wondering if anyone out there has had to deal with this, how long it lasted, and are there any cases where it went away for good? I was informed that it can be controoled, but not cured. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your advice & information!! Not even a week has gone by yet & already we see mass inmprovement!! Within 24hours almost all the symptoms were gone!! We've been using Cultar tar immulsion for her daily bath & Dove soap. When that's done she gets head to toe Renew lotion followed by Betamethasone Dipropionate Oinment(steroid cream). I've also been using Calendula, CamoCare and Lanolin. Today was crazy & I was unable to bathe her so I doubled up on the lotions and she's still clear of the redness.
Previous to her diagnosis I did switch my household products to non-caustic & took out almost all dairy but my brown eggs that I ate seldomly. I switched to Silk and soy formula trying to eliminate any cause.
It was brought to light that skin problems do run on my hubbys' side of family along with allergies.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My son had it pretty badly on his face when he was about 3 months old and i kept it at bay with aquaphor. now that he's older and seems to get it on his arms and legs, my ped. recommended cetaphil cream. it's very gentle and does the job. it is fairly expensive, compared to other creams, but one tub lasts me around a year.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My son, who is now 13 months old, was diagnosed at 3 months. After much trial and error we found some triggers and solutions to flare ups.

He is breast fed and so we played with my wife's diet to determine any trigger foods. Cow's milk protein was noted by both of us so took action there. She doesn't go crazy with milk now. Eg; at breakfast she won't have cheese in her omelet if she is having coffee with cream, a cheesey dinner means no dairy in her desert ect. We determined recently that he is in fact allergic to cow's milk protein.

As far as the boy's skin goes we have multiple weapons in our arsenal and we have successfully avoided steroidal creams and immuno-suppressing ointments both of which should NOT be used on children under two despite what your doctor says.

The two major products we utilized were "Aquaphor Healing Ointment" and "Aveeno Baby Fragrance Free Daily Moisture Lotion" and both were successful. We opted to use the Aveeno product as our primary one because we saw slightly better results and felt the colloidal oatmeal and dimethicone were safer than petrolatum for long term use. We cream him up at each diaper change. We also found that a daily bath without soap and then a quick cream up immediately after drying him worked wonders - we call it the "Dunk and Gunk". We use "Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash" twice a week as a bath soap, it slightly outperformed Cetaphil in our opinion(Cetaphil is good though). Olive oil on his scalp keeps the skin nice and moist as well.

For flare ups our main worry is him scratching and drawing blood. We step up our efforts at that point and bring in some new weapons. Since the flare ups are usually allergic in nature we will sometimes use baby benedryl to calm them down. We also use "Calendula" lotion on him. Calendula is good at preventing infections from starting thru broken skin. On areas he is scratching alot we sometimes used "Florasone" which is an anti-itch cream. My wife is a little uncomfortable with it as there were few studies on it so we use it sparingly.

We don't put anything polyester on him. We wash his clothes and sheets in a mild baby detergent and use the second rinse cycle on the washer - that is very important! Even a good washer only gets 95% of the soap out on the first rinse.

Thats is all I can think of now. Your child's skin is different than our child's so different things may work better. The most important thing is to research everything, be vigilant and patient. Best of luck to you!



answers from Philadelphia on

I am a dermatologist. Depending on how severe the atopic dermatitis is, it can either go away during childhood, last through childhood, or last even through adulthood. It's associated with seasonal allergies and asthma so you may see some of that come up as well. Your baby is basically hard wired a little differently so that is why your doc said it can't be cured, but can be controlled. My daughter is atopic but now only gets an occasional rash here and there. I keep her well-moisturized to prevent flares, which is key. She also has a tendency to wheeze more with colds, which could indicate she will have asthma down the road. So, it's all a spectrum and only time will tell what will happen with your daughter.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It could be triggered by an allergen such as pet dander, dust, smoke, etc. Try to eliminate any of these things that it could be. Use lukewarm water, extremely gentle soap (Dove) for bathing. Or just use plain water (she's only 4 mos--not out working in a rock pile right! lol) ALSO--wanted to mention that I first got eczema on my hands when my son was an infant and the thing that made them the worst was the Johnson's Baby Bath stuff. (My hands would be beet red after bathing him--so I would avoid that stuff completely on her. Dermatologists always say to use Dove. I think Aveeno now has an eczema line and I've liked the Aveeno products.
Make sure her skin is DRY after bathing, etc. Some moisturizers could irritate it. I have found that the steroid creams work well--but on a 4 mo. old--don't like that idea--I use a hair product called Silk Therapy by Farouk and found it actually helps the eczema on my hands. It's a little pricey but you'll have the bottle forever. Dab it on--not sure about using it on her face. It's kind of like an oil. Also, I've heard that the Arbonne line: ABC baby bath/hair wash and baby lotion is very good. Just got some samples & am testing it out. Good luck!



answers from Williamsport on

Hi, I am a mom to 3 kids, the youngest is 11. Two out of the 3 had atopic dermatitis, aka eczema, so I have experience! Early on, in infancy, I changed to perfume and dye-free detergent. One of the boys could not wear any clothing with synthetic fabric - only 100% cotton. Onesies definitely come in handy. We used/use a topical steriod for flare-ups, but here is our REAL solution: After each bath, the boys were dried gently and then I would coat them with a light layer of Aquaphor. My 20 year old still does this to this day, and he never gets eczema! Not Eucerin, not Vaseline, not anything else but Aquaphor. Hope this helps.



answers from Scranton on

I have it. There are four forms of it. One that you only get when you're a child and you have it forever, one you only get when you're a child, one you get when you're an adult and I can't remember the third.
I've had it since I was a baby and am 28 now and still have it.
I'm VERY sensative to any acidic foods like tomatoes or oranges. As long as I was myself really well, I'm OK. Sweat makes me itch, so does stress. The more you itch it, the more it spreads. Thos little "blisters" are water cells and DO NOT pop them, or it will spread.
I had it really bad at one point in my life and changed several things.
I use only Free and Clear Laundry Soaps, Sensative skin bar soap, clear and free dryer sheets. I have to shower daily. Hot water also makes the condition worse. Use lots of lotions and keep her/him clean!
It's a genetic disorder where your skin doesn't retain water. It is also related to allergies and asthema. I have bad allergies, but thank God no asthema. Make sure plenty of fluids are drank especially on the hot days.
Hope that helps!



answers from Allentown on

I get this and have seen my healthcare provider for it and feel it's been cured. Her name is Elaine Hardy, RN, APN and she is a Nurse Pracitioner with her own medical practice. She ordered some tests and recommended some supplements and low and behold it worked for me!! My whole family sees her and we heed her every word!! She is AWESOME!! Her website is and she is in Hackettstown/Mansfield, NJ. hth!!! Good luck!!



answers from Pittsburgh on

"natural" laundry detergents, no dryer sheets, mild soaps, hydrocortisone, steroid cream and aquaphor are the best tools I've found to control and treat the atopic dermatitis on my girls, but diet is also a MAJOR trigger for them. Try eliminating dairy and eggs if possible (from your diet as well if you're nursing) and see if that helps. I also had to eliminate wheat, peanuts and tree nuts for mine but I think dairy and eggs are the most common. Feel free to write if you need recipes/suggestions for what to eat! My youngest has perfect skin when we stay away from her triggers and has already grown out of most of them (she's 17 months). My oldest is 4 1/2 and still has patchy spots where she breaks out from sweat, friction or also when she gets a cold strangely enough. We still cover both of them in Cetaphil lotion and Aquaphor ointment every day.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My 1 year old had it when she was about 3 months old. We treated it with hydrocortisone, and then during the teething/drooling stage, we had to grease up her chin with Aquaphor. She grew out of it, and now has a smattering of eczema that doesn't bother her. We keep her moisturized with Aveeno or Johnson's baby lotion (esp. after baths) and if there's a flare up, baking soda baths (which she loves).

One of the other moms mentioned Johnson's Baby Bath - I agree! It's TOO strong for babies with sensitive skin. I asked her pediatrician about it and they said they only recommend the shampoo. The Baby Wash doesn't get the same "endorsement" and they suggested plain Ivory, plain Dove or sensitive skin Dove.

I think a lot of these skin things are like phases and they'll grow out of a lot of them!



answers from Philadelphia on

From what I know of it's a hereditary type eczema that can react abnormally and easily to irritants, foods, and allergens. It can increase or disappear over time and sometimes you might be able to determine what triggers it and try to keep it under control, sometimes using a combination of cremes will help. Aquaphor and Hydrocortiscone creme together works good. Has your child had an allergy test done "Scratch test"? If she's having an allergic reaction an allergist, can often pinpoint the triggers. HTH


answers from Pensacola on

Hi T.!

I can sympothize with you! My son had so many skin problems until my friend introduced us to Arbonne baby products. I have been selling them and helping others ever since! Check my web to read my story. If there's any way I can help you, please feel free to contact me directly @ I am willing to give you a discount just because I know these products do work! Blessings! L.

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