Baby Eczema - PLEASE HELP

Updated on November 14, 2008
S. asks from Holt, MI
37 answers

My four month old daughter developed eczema about one month ago. I took her to the peds and she diagnosed her with milk protein sensitivity. Ped recommended switch to hypoallergenic formula (Enfamil Nutramigen). She's been on new formula for almost two weeks (will be two weeks on Friday). It is a little better MOST days, but yesterday her skin looked terrible again. I am so discouraged and frustrated (not to mention worried). Has anyone else had this experience? How long does it take for the milk protein to leave her body? I am thinking she may be allergic to more than just the milk protein. Please let me know if anyone out there has had a similar story with their baby. Does it sometimes take longer than 1 1/2 weeks to show definite improvement? Thanks for any advice.

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R.G.

answers from Detroit on

My son's face looked horrible for the first 2 1/2 years of his life. Because he slobbered constantly, his chin stayed broken out. Now that he stopped the slobbering his skin is beautiful. Maybe this could be the problem?? Also, I have excema and I have noticed that certain soaps and detergents cause me to break out. Most people with eczema have milk and/or egg allergies. Too much citrus tends to break me out also. Good luck!! :)

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M.D.

answers from Detroit on

MY son developed exzema when he was 3 months old and had terrible breakouts on his face. A year later after many tests, the doctor thought it would be better if we switched to Rice Milk which you can by at Kroger and health food stores. His skin has been much better.

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G.B.

answers from Detroit on

Sorry about this struggle, S.. If you decide to have another baby, please consider breastfeeding. Eliminates these kinds of problems.

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J.C.

answers from Detroit on

My baby had the same problem. We switched formulas (to hypoallergenic) and it did take weeks to clear up. Her rash was really bad! We also were using hydrocortisone cream.(spelling?) We got that from our doctor. That helped clear it up. I would say wait another week or so and if it not better talkt o your doc. By the way. I am sorry some people are so prideful to think that their way is best. That person who said to breastfeed your next baby, was incredibly rude and should not have posted anything. Obviously that did nothing to help you with this baby! I am sure you made the best decision for your family and I am sick of mothers judging other moms! No one has any doubts that breast milk is the healthiest for babies and I am sure unless you live under a rock you have heard all the benefits , but sometimes breastfeeding is just not feasible for your family! I could not breast feed and have felt judged at times for it. Anyway sorry for the rant, but I was so angry when I read that. Take care!

2 moms found this helpful
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E.W.

answers from Detroit on

I absolutely disagree with the previous submitter that says breastfeeding would eliminate this problem. I am exclusively nursing my 4 month old, yet she had eczema and cradle cap as well a couple months ago.

I thought perhaps it was the dairy or wheat that was in my diet - so I went without for 2 weeks with not much change. Then I learned it could be a whole bunch of environmental allergens - even just dust!

She has since started to grow out of it and has shown improvements without any major lifestyle changes. I have started, however, applying an organic baby lotion that I picked up at our local Farmers Market.

One of the suggestions from Dr. Sears is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! He actually suggests moisturizing your eczema prone baby up to 4 times a day! I only do it once before bed and anytime after a bath - even slathering it on her little head and putting a cap on her. So far so good!

It's great you're trying to figure out what the root cause it though, because it is better to eliminate it if possible instead of just treating the symptoms. Sometimes, however, its just a baffling predicament and you do what you can! :)

1 mom found this helpful
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B.L.

answers from Detroit on

My son (now 16) was born with eczema. He was tested for allergies at 1 1/2yrs. They don't like to test before three but his allergies had become life threatening. His food allergies were to peanuts, legumes, egg whites. He was also allergic to dust mites, cats, dogs. We had a bird at the time and the ped allergist didn't mention how bad that was even though I told him we had one. Did all the advice to help and it wasn't until I got rid of the bird that he finally cleared up (okay, he then developed asthma, but that's another story). It took a good three weeks before he showed real improvement. Your doc may be right with the food allergy but also look around you. Do you have a bird or cat. Those are the two most allergic pets. Rabbits are also bad if you have one in the house. My son was real bad and always developed infection because of it. I wish I would have known about the bird sooner. Good luck to you!

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C.T.

answers from Detroit on

both my kids have eczema. you also have to treat it. aveeno oatmeal baths. i had to use dove soap. and they had cortsone cream for the bad break outs, and eurcin or auphor lotion everyday. good look to you!

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D.

answers from Detroit on

Unfortunately I do have a similar story except i was nursing so as for formula, i am not sure how to help you. What i will tell you is make sure you are not using any harsh lotions on the baby. I would use organic lotions and make sure there is not oat or anything like that in it. Also, when it comes time to introduce solid food, i would start with the gluten free kind. My son is sensitive and/or allergic to most grains, soy, dairy, eggs, nuts, peas, the list goes on. THe good news is if you can act proactively (which i did not because i was unaware), you can avoid, if your child is similar, a lot of pain, suffering, and procedures. when it comes time to introduce food, please feel free to contact me. i do not want anyone to go through what my little boy went through. just reply to this if you want and i will send you my email address. There is a website called www.kidswithfoodallergies.org that has a message board that may give you info. good luck!

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Oh my gosh...I am probably going to go off the deep end here but I have had my FILL of 'green this, green that'! Is there anybody who DOESN'T know that chemicals can be harmful? Really? Do we need to hear this in EVERY post? Of course 'green' and 'organic' is better, but unless you have done extensive research (and I have not) you won't know one plant extract, etc. from another! Just because it claims to be 'green' doesn't mean it's good for you!

Okay, sorry about the soapbox...perhaps ped is wrong? All the medical training in the world can still only give docs a good 'guide' as to diagnosing an illness. Your ped gave you the most common diagnosis, Im sure, and I do not question the competency of your doc, but perhaps in this case a milk sensetivity isn't the culprit. Our environment is full of horrible things, and one of my sons had a rash on his arms for the first 2 years of his life. I found that lotion with soy cleared up his issue, and that was the ONLY thing that worked. I don't know how long it would take for her system to rid itself of the milk proteins, maybe it will take a little longer. I wish I had better advice for you. Have you tried hydrocortisone? Yes, I know it is a (mild) steroid cream but sometimes that's what it takes and you have to weigh the risk/benefit ratio. I have, at times, used a little hydrocortisone cream mixed with lotion so it wasn't full strength. If it's going to work you should see improvement after just a day or so. I understand your desire to find a cause, I agree with that, but meantime you are feeling the need to get it under control. Don't let people scare you out of using what your baby needs. If it works, it's what is right for the time being!

Good luck
~L.

PS...Oh yeah, I echo the mom who suggested Arbonne! The ABC baby oil is amazing! (Also with soy!!)

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A.N.

answers from Detroit on

I agree with the eucerin cream but you can find a knock off at kmart for a fraction of the price. and if she is itching, you can mix it with hydrocortizone cream in your hand before applying.

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A.M.

answers from Detroit on

My daughter who is 7 developed eczema when she started school and drinking their milk there. It took me years to make the connection. We drink milk without the antibiotics, hormones and steriods at home. She only has a break out when she drinks the regular milk.

Also, my nephew's disappeared from his face when he put a fish tank in his room. The constant moisture.

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J.A.

answers from Detroit on

S.,
The thing I have learned about eczema is that anytime your baby is under stress the eczema will get worse. Is she teething, sick ect. It may not just be the milk allergy causing issues. I hope that she is feeling better soon. J.

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T.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S., my son is now 2 and has Eczema. I had to take him to the allergist to find out exactly what was breaking him out. He would break out mainly in the joints of his arms and legs. I didnt take him until he was off formula then I tried Soy milk because I knew regular milk broke him out in hives. Only to later find out that he is allergic to Soy as well. The allergist is the best place to take her. They may be able to do a skin graph or they may have to take blood if she is broken out from anything. After taking him there I found out he is allergic to...milk, soy, eggs, wheat, some shellfish and peanuts. You can never be to safe when it comes to this so I would take her in immediately.

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J.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Eczema can be caused from all kinds of things in a baby's environment. It could be a milk allergy but it can also be from harmful chemicals that we don't realize are in our laundry soap and other everyday cleaners, even our baby wash. I can help you replace all your old harmful products with ones that are safer, less expensive, and better on the environment and you will love them! You can visit my website www.livetotalwellness.com/janelbrown I hope to hear from you!

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A.H.

answers from Grand Rapids on

One of the best things that helps my son is Gold Bond Shea Butter lotion... He had an outbreak on his lower back just last week, I put the lotion on him and overnight, it was so much better. The improvement was miraculous. I know that your daughter is young, but you might want to try to stay away from the scented baby soaps. The best for her skin are Dove or Oil of Olay. Once you figure out what 'internal' allergy she is experiencing, she will get better, but for the time-being, you can help her by treating the external.

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

excema isnt always associated with food....
so it could be two things going on.....

anyway for us when our little girl had excema we bathed her in Burts Bees Apricot oil and it worked!!
The doctor told us about aquaphor and tons of other creams and soaps but the only thing that worked was apricot oil. eventually I bought it at the grocery store in a larger bottle from the oil section. worth a try :)

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A.B.

answers from Detroit on

My oldest daughter who is now 11 was born with eczema, and she still has it. It's not just in the food she eats you have to nurture the skin. Only Ivory or Dove soap. (mild) Eucerin moisturizer creme (is the best), and the most important, hydrocordizone 2.5%. You can only get the 2.5% with a prescription. When she was an infant the doctor prescribe the Eucerin with the hydrocordizone mixed in. Now, we just get the prescription of hydro 2.5% and it's something that she needs to put on at least twice a day in order to maintenance smooth skin. If not then her areas (eye lids, arm creases, back of leg creases, around the mouth, and her back) will become extra dry and flaky. Then it will begin to itch from the dryness and she can scratch it into a sore. So, it's very important to stay clean and moisturized. No perfumes or scented anything on the skin.

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C.M.

answers from Lansing on

Hi S.,

It may be more than a milk protien problem. I'd think that the eczema would go away once she isn't consuming that protien...or at least get better!

Eczema is caused by a lot of environmental elements as well...especially the products used in your home. Not only things like cleaning products, but personal care products for children. The leading products, even the ones that "claim" to be safe for kids, have very caustic chemicals and preservatives in them.

It is so scary that labeling laws do not help us, the consumers, protect our kids! These product soak into their skin like a sponge, and they contain things like formaldahyde and other horrible chemicals that over time can really cause problems like eczema.

My neice has horrible eczema, and since her mom switched to safer products, the eczema is gone and has not returned. I actually work for a company that produces these products and could introduce you if you are interested in learning more. They are not more expensive and work to rid your home of nasty caustic chemicals-- and actually perform! Their moisturizing lotion was proven in clinical tests to work better than Eucerin and is not as expensive... I bet if you were to change your daughter's shampoo, body wash and lotion to these safer products that are proven to get rid of eczema and keep it away, you would find that the milk protien was not the only issue!

Anyway, just let me know. I'd love to help if I can.

C.

M.M.

answers from Detroit on

We used Eucerin cream for our oldest which was recommended by her Ped and it worked great. A little pricey, but well worth it. Eczema always seems to flare up more in the cool temps...I found Humidifiers also help. Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from Detroit on

I see you have a ton of responses and I tried reading through them to not repeat any. My son and daughter have eczema from dairy products since they were born. I nursed for the first 7 months and then switched to Similac Soy formula for both. We still have the issue, but they can have some dairy now. Since about 2 1/2 years old for both of them. My ped gave me a scrip for Elidel when my son was 2 weeks old and we have used it ever since. We don't use it very often because we read the labels for everything now so the flare ups are little to none. The other thing we use is aquaphor healing ointment.
And it should only take about 2 weeks for it to clear. If it gets better but doesn't clear you may have something else causing it as well.
Good luck.

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K.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Even Aveeno has harmful chemicals. Most common brand names do. www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

Though I breastfeed I searched high and low for a natural lotion that will do it's work on my baby's dry skin/eczema. I found THE PERFECT lotion. My son's neck and back were very dry, scaley, and patchy. Long story short, the lotion below is a miracle lotion, and it is healthy!

I went to a local healthfood store and found "Thera Neem Leaf and Oil Lotion" It is a dollar more at this website, but you might have it at your local health food store.
http://www.carolbond.com/THERA-NEEM-LEAF-OIL-LOTION-Gentl...

Please also read about the Neem tree on wikipedia. It's called "the great 40" in African language because it is said to cure 40 diseases including various skin problems. It's been used for centuries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neem

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M.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

It should only take a few days for a milk protein to leave the body, and then another few days for the skin to clear. Around 3 months of age my daughter broke out with terrible exzema. Unfortunately for her it was a sign of food and environmental allergies. When we took out all of the things she tested positive to, she cleared up completely within a week.

Save yourself some time and ask your doctor to have her tested for food and environmental allergies. We found a great pediatric allergist in the area, and knowing all the different sensitivities has been half the battle. I didn't have her tested until she was 11 months old and I regret it. Having known so much sooner would have saved a lot of heart ache.

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J.H.

answers from Detroit on

I would like to support all the other mamas that suggested changing your baby care products to all natural products. Stores like Whole Foods carry lots of good options. Baby Eczema is a lot more common now than it was even 10 years ago. I've read a great book by Dr. Kenneth Bock called "Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies" which may be enlightening for you. While a lot of this book isn't related directly to what you're daughter is suffering, it really talks about how all of our bodily systems are interrelated and food allergies or intolerances really can exacerbate some of these conditions (including eczema). Best of luck!

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S.G.

answers from Detroit on

I had problems with all of my children with this. My 2nd son, it was definitely allergy. It was so bad, he would actually ooze. I tried all of the external solutions - lotion, soap, etc. - but nothing seems to really fix the problem. I took him to a pediatric dermotologist and he ran his fingernails across his belly. He welted up immediately. He put my son on anti-histamine and the problem improved immediately and the external regimen really helped.

My 3rd son is a different story. He is 3 and still has it. I switched to Ivory for bath and laundry. Helped immensely. Also, he only gets bath twice a week. I also learned that medicated baby powder did wonders. He sweats so that would irritate everything. I put Eucerin on then the baby powder. That helped the irritation. He is old enough to be on stronger hydrocortisone cream so we have actually "almost" cleared it up before winter hits. I know it's going to come back, so stay on the regimen.

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C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi S.,
Both of my boys have had excema. I had to switch all my laundry detergent and switch all lotions and bath soaps to dye free or sensitive skin. As soon as they get out of the bath I put lotion on them and then before I get jammies or clothes on. So at least twice a day. My boys haven't had any problems since switching all of those things. Good luck.
Chris

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P.R.

answers from Grand Rapids on

My daughter has has eczema ever since she was about 4 months old, it comes and goes but gets bad when the weather gets cold she has it on the back of her arms and her upper back, our peditrition prescibed hydrocortizone ointment,it has worked wonders..we already use fragrance free soaps and it still comes and goes so a few days after applying the ointment its gone.
Good luck

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S.K.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
I know eczema can be frustrating. I have struggled with it on and off since I was a child and my daughter (now 6) does too. Food allergies were not the issue for us, so I hope that changing that helps you.

I would also echo the moms who say to switch your personal and home care products. We switched to fragrance and dye-free laundry detergent and do not use fabric softener at all and that helped some.

We tried several off-the-shelf lines of skin care for my daughter, all with little or no improvement. But I have seen great improvement in my daughter's skin once we started using Arbonne Baby Care. I would be happy to send you a free sample of body wash, diaper cream, body oil and body lotion. These products have no dyes, fragrances, nut oils or parabens. They are hypoallergenic and vegan. Please feel free to contact me via my website at www.naturallysara.myarbonne.com where you can also learn more about botanically-based skin care for your family.

Best wishes and please let me know if I can help.
S.

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K.M.

answers from Detroit on

My son had the same problem as a newborn and our Doctor prescribed a topical ointment which worked wonders. It's nicknamed "brown goup". It looks like dark vasoline and smells like motor oil but it works wonders. It's some type of topical steroid and it clears it up wonderfully. If it's something you are interested in I will find the prescription bottle and get you the name and ingredients. Our pediatrician has been prescribing it for years and it really works great.

Good Luck!
K.

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C.F.

answers from Detroit on

We also use Aveeno baby wash and free & clear laundry soap with a double rinse.... everything else seems to make it worse. I've noticed that my son's eczema seems to improve as he gets older, so that might be the case for you as well.

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B.B.

answers from Detroit on

I also had the same problem with the same thing. My daughter is now 9 months and she still gets soem breakouts every now and again, but nothing like what it was. SHe too is on neutramigen. The doc said to try her on the reg formula again since she's older now and she about aspirated due to vomiting. See, it was just recently that she was diagnosed with protien sensitivity, i was origianlly put on neutramigan for what they thought was colic. I had suspistions of and allergy or sensitivity but me being a first time mom, i listened to the doc. Anyway, dont switch her back even if your doc says to. I would have her tested for an allergy first before switcjhing when they ask, cuz it can be really dangerous. Ok about the skin. I tried lots of lotions and bath wash and i found that avenop lotion cream, it says right on the bottle it helps with esxcema, and i use the body wash for that too. Its not scented and it works awsome! She used to have it on her face, really bright red and it bothered her and she would scratch at it too. Now she only gets random dry red patches on her knews due to crawling but other than that, it's under control. Dont worry it'll get better, but do try the lotion and body wash, cuz i found it got a lot better once i started using those along with the formula.

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O.K.

answers from Lansing on

It's quite possible she's sensitive or allergic to something else. My son had exzema and we didn't learn about his allergies until he was older. I would definitely see about having her checked out for the big five allergies. Dairy (you already know), wheat, eggs, corn and soy.

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J.S.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Try treating the eczema along with the milk. eczema is dry skin sooo try a lotion that will treat really dry skin .. I use aquaphor on my son since it works the best but eucerin is very good also ..

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L.Y.

answers from Saginaw on

I would remove the enviromental toxins from your home. Use "green" products for cleaning, laundry and lotions. I remember taking a bath with my daughter when she was 6 months old and she lathered her baby wash on my leg, I broke out in a HUGE rash! It was awful. We have since converted our home to all natural cleaners with no harsh chemicals. We use Renew lotion that helps with any dry chapped skin (it is so gentle you can even use it for a diaper rash).

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N.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Our daughter has eczema, and we have used hydrocortison (sp?) cream, but we have been using Eucerin cream (not the lotion) lately and that seems to be working good. We put it on her right after her bath and before she goes to sleep. Hope this helps!!

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B.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

things to switch and check:
Laundry detergant (all free and clear)
Soap- hand and hair and body (cetiphil)
Other foods, ie: eggs, milk, soy, wheat, gluten
Sheets and clothing, possibly have to be 100% cotton. (carters makes a lot)

Those are just some suggestions. My son has allergies and had eczema really bad. I have changed all of these things for my whole house so there is no chance of coming into contact with them.

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V.K.

answers from Saginaw on

We went through this with our son who is now 18 months. We tried everything and finally found the culprit. I had to put him on Similac formula without DHA/ARA. We tried soy and protein free hypoallergenic formulas and that didn't work for him, so we were pretty certain it wasn't a milk or protein allergy (though that's what the Drs suggested). Like you, we also saw a bit of improvement, then it came right back. Then I read that the DHA in formula is derived from fish oils. So I found a formula without it and he has been perfectly clear. I had trouble finding it, but it is out there. And yes, DHA/ARA is supposed to supply the nutrients to aid in development, yada-yada. It wasn't in formula when we were kids, and in fact was just added a few years ago and we all developed fine without it, so I figured his comfort was worth it. After he had been clear for a few months I did try to go back to formula with DHA, and he broke out again (not instantly, but slowly over a few days). Once he was off it for a few days he was great again. He can't even have the cereal or baby food with added DHA.

Our Dr had us use the OTC hydrocortisone cream for his face twice a day. We used that in conjunction with Aveeno Baby Moisturizing Cream. The combination seemed to work really well for him. We also still use Aveeno baby wash on him.

Whatever is causing it for your daughter will likely be hard to determine because it takes so long once the allergen is removed for them to clear up. Hang in there, and if you're thorough and persistant, you'll likely find the root cause.

So far our son is great and has not had a single eczema flare up since removing the DHA formula, and he's since switched to whole milk just fine. Best of luck to you. She'll likely be just fine, but it can be a long and frustrating road. It does take a while to clear up once you remove the allergen, but the fact that she showed improvement and then flared up again says to me that it is something other than a protein allergy. Feel free to email me if you would like any more info on what we went through (this is already a novel, LOL). I'd gladly share our experiences if it helps... [email protected]____.com

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M.O.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,

Eczema is caused from numerous things. Chemicals and other toxins in her baby products, laundry soaps, etc, are most likely the root cause. I have seen many people have great success by changing their home environment. Visit my website www.ThisFamilyCounts.com & I can show you how to do this. Just fill out the "Get More Info" form.

I was amazed myself at how this improved my family's health! The great thing about this is it won't cost you any more than what you are now spending. I know you'll see the difference and your baby can be free of this annoying eczema.

Sincerely,
M.

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