Can Anyone Offer Some Insight??

Updated on March 19, 2010
R.M. asks from Evanston, IL
21 answers

My 5 yr old son has mild to moderate eczema that presents itself pretty much only on his legs that only started about a year ago. We heard about the bleach bath thing through our pediatrician and tried it and it cleared his legs literally in one week and he was rash free for over a month. I thought it was a godsend. Sunday he went to his cousin's birthday party and by Monday night his legs were COVERED in rash, some that looks like the regular eczema rash and the rest looks like very typical hives. They look worse than anything I have ever seen. He has no other symptoms and has not been ill. I am racking my brain as to what could have triggered this. It cannot be wheat, soy or dairy because he has those things on a daily basis and like I said, he was rash free for over a month. They had cupcakes made with eggs at the party as well as candy from the pinata which he had two more pieces of last night for dessert. It was laffy taffy so it contained artifical colors. Does anyone think either the eggs or the artificial color could have done this? I have never dealt with allergies, rashes, hives or any of this so I don't know what to do!! Our pediatrician isn't much help, they just say it has to be triggered by something and they offer steriod cream but I don't want it. Should I give him child's benadryl? I also don't understand why it is always only on his legs. He has not been in contact with new soap/lotion etc. and has not worn shorts except to go to bed.

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So What Happened?

Well the hives started spreading a bit so we took him into a different dr... gave him benadryl (wow good thing I paid my co-pay to get advice I could have given myself)... anyway, it seems to be helping, the hives are lighter in color and no longer raised. One thing I didn't think of is that my husband recently cut a part of a tree down from our neighbors yard that was migrating into ours and my son was playing in it. He was in pants but still it might be why... who knows. Thanks for everyone's help!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Benadryl also makes a spray, I love it!

I don't think it's just food. My kids get eczema when it is hot. Coulda been a bounce house, some one elses clothes, the type of grass....who knows!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm thinking O. of two things--pet dander or food dyes.....repeat what you've had success with and if he's itching you could use Benadryl. Be aware if he's at that home or has the same type candy what happens again..

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answers from Portland on

I hope you'll continue to investigate causes, but for the symptoms, here's an anti-itch cream that is almost immediately effective for me. Look for a tube of FLORASONE CREAM (made by Boercke and Tafel, which makes a whole line of amazingly effective creams and gels for a variety of problems). It's available in many natural food stores.

The half-dozen people I've convinced to try this cream have all been really excited by the results they've gotten.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Definitely give him some benedryl to curb itching and do another round of bleach bathes. I personally would use the steroid ointment to get the breakout under control. I doubt he is just now having a reaction to eggs unless this is the first time he has had eggs, besides the rash is just on the legs which makes me think it is something his legs came in contact with. Have you switched laundry detergents or bath soaps or lotions? Do the cousins have pets? Best of luck trying to find out what triggered the reaction.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 7 and he also gets random rashes now and then - sometimes after he eats foods he eats all the time. I'm not sure what triggers it either. I give him one chewable benadryl or use the benadryl spray. I also use Aveeno bath oil after his bath and sometimes I just put it on him when he doesn't have a bath to keep his skin from getting dry and scratchy. The only way to know for sure what your son is allergic to is to go to have him allergy tested - which requires a couple of hours of getting pricked with needles. I would only subject him to this testing if you really feel he needs it now, otherwise use benadryl and the various lotions and bath products and hopefully that will keep it in check.

Hope this helps! Good luck!



answers from Honolulu on

My M. has eczema... and for her, the triggers are: Oatmeal (anything with oats/oatmeal/oat flours/bath soaps. etc), and citrus fruits/juices.
For my M., her eczema appears on her arms. Only. It is not anything topical related... just the way it is for her. Again, whenever she eats those trigger foods.

These ALWAYS makes her skin flare up. It she stays away from it, she does not get flare ups.

All the best,


answers from Miami on

I am going through the same thing right now with 5 yr.old daughter/niece. She has it all over her arms; and the Ped. said same the same thing! He gave me an Rx cream; and I got that too. I have been giving her the children s Benadryl; and it helps the most she says! Plus the cream is working a bit; and we have done an alcohol bath, Epsom salt; and oat meal baths too! I even used my own eczema cream on her, but she said the Drs. is working best with the liquid Benadryl. Since I have eczema also, I pray she is not getting a form of it, but our blood ties are not direct either! But it does show it's ugly head in different forms. Please try the Benadryl and to sooth your son as best as possible! You's are in my heartfelt prayers!
Kathy N.



answers from Los Angeles on

it is probably triggered by something environmental. my 3 year old has broke out in hives all over from going to the creek and from an after bath oil. my daughter does have eczema also. what i use on her is aveeno wash (not the baby one) and aveeno lotions. i also start to nip things in the butt when i see them starting. my 3 year old has been taking benadryl for 2 years with her peds. ok she only gets 1 tspn as needed (no more then 3 times a day when its bad). if hes really itchy use the steroid cream it will help. or you can try witch hazel. good luck



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Robyn,
Feed the brain and the brain will do what it is supposed to do. I have found in my practice that many allergies are not really allergies to the food - but the additives and preservatives that are often found along side of that food. For example I know a young boy who is "allergic" to all fruit juices, even PURE orange juice...but he can eat an orange without incident. I work with a M. who had not been able to eat dairy her entire life "she is too allergic" and now, after feeding and cleaning her body properly, she can enjoy a variety of dairy. Skin conditions that doctors want to treat from the outside…actually start on the inside. What goes inside is MOST IMPORTANT.
Here’s a list of some of the most medically questionable and harmful additives in everyday foods:
1. Sodium nitrite
2. BHA & BHT
3. Propyl gallate
4. Monosodium glutamate
5. Trans fats
6. Aspartame
7. Acesulfame-K
8. Food colorings (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow)
9. Olestra
10. Potassium bromate
11. White sugar
12. Sodium chloride (salt)
All the families I work with, kids included, start their day with this: I have watched children and families completely change because of these two products. If you want change it has to start from the inside out.

It may not be the food but the “other stuff” added to the food. Want to chat?

Family Wellness Coach



answers from Columbus on

I have the same problem, but it started in adulthood. I could not narrow down any single product or food causing the problem (and what *fun* it was trying). Finally, I stopped using an soap or body wash on my legs. Not even baby body wash (which is what I use all the time) on my legs, just plain old water and washcloth. The rash went away. Also, not that I'm suggesting this as a fix for your toddler son, but I've noticed that if I shave every day it keeps the rash at bay. If I skip a couple of days, it starts to come back. The steroid cream my doc gave me actually made it worse, but I found an eczema lotion at the drug store that has a very low amount of cortisone and a number of moisturizing ingredients. I use that when the rash starts to flare. It keeps the itchiness to a minimum and helps heal the skin more quickly.



answers from Las Vegas on

If you don't like your ped's answer see if there's a homeopathic ped in your area. I have psoriasis and it will sometimes present with whelps that look like hives or mosquito bites on steroids! I went to my derm thinking that I had 2 different problems at the same time. It was just the psoriasis. I am a sunscreen queen but the absolute best think I have done is expose the area to sunlight. I'll actually go to the tanning bed for 5 minutes and cover my whole body in a black towel so the only thing exposed is the area on my legs. I bet if the girl at the tanning bed ever saw my little trick she'd think I was crazy!! Benadryl in many recent studies has shown to reduce cognitive function in both children and adults. My son's ear, nose, & throat doc told me to throw it out and never use it again. The dyphenhydramine is the culprit. I don't use the steriods either because they don't work. Try sticking his little legs out in the sun!



answers from San Diego on

Do you have animals? Did he come in contact with an animal at the birthday party? Animal dander is one of many causes. WebMD is a wonderful website. This information came from there. They have so much info on Eczema.

What Causes Eczema?
The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it's thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body's immune system to unknown triggers.

In addition, eczema is commonly found in families with a history of other allergies or asthma.

Some people may suffer "flare-ups" of the itchy rash in response to certain substances or conditions. For some, coming into contact with rough or coarse materials may cause the skin to become itchy. For others, feeling too hot or too cold, exposure to certain household products like soap or detergent, or coming into contact with animal dander may cause an outbreak. Upper respiratory infections or colds may also be triggers. Stress may cause the condition to worsen.

Although there is no cure, most people can effectively manage their disease with medical treatment and by avoiding irritants. The condition is not contagious and can't be spread from person to person.



answers from Los Angeles on

My one year has been going throught this for 7 months. I thought she had allergies too and took her to an allergist which is what I suggest you do. We found that she had NO allergies but he did prescribe Epicurin. It's very expensive without insurance but he gave me a 50% discount card so ask for that. It is working. She still has some flair ups and yes citrus fruits and tomatoes can really trigger it but overall it has gotten better and we don't have to use steroids or zyrtech (benadryl) like we did before we got the epicurin.



answers from Minneapolis on

For the eczema, be sure that you keep the skin hydrated with a really good lotion. I use Renew lotion for myself and on my 1 year old daughter, when our eczema breaks out. But continue to monitor his skin because it sounds like he is having an allergic reaction to something.



answers from Peoria on

My husband had a similar breakout, it turned out to be an allergic reaction to a new laundry product that I used.



answers from San Diego on

i was just about to say something abou that, my three year old daughter, even in pants, breacks out when in grass, she has an elergic reaction to pollin, it only goes on her legs as well. they said that it is because that is the area allergic to it. she has many problems and if this is reacorring i sugest going to a childrens hospital instead. i started going there and they are great. for the most part benadryl should cover it but another bleach bath wont hurt, also i have found that bleaching the tube every other week seems to help with other rashes that she gets (from heat and such) some children are just prone to reactions to the smallest things. for example my daughter can eat pumpkin but it can't touch her skin, she can't drink milk but can eat milk products. its odd but it happens. also there is a way to see if your child is allergic to those sort of things. if you go to childrens and ask for an allergy professonal they will "prik" your child on the back with different things that children are allergic to or what you think may be causing it and you can find out what their skin is allregic to. if you have any more questions please contact me at I have been through alot with my daughter and it may help to get some new insight.



answers from San Diego on

Were your sons legs exposed to the sun? I know with my own eczema I don't do well in the sun. Another thing is that I need to keep my skin moisturized at all times. Swimming in a community pool has also cause my skin to flair up.



answers from Albuquerque on

I really don't have any experience with excema but I just subscribed to this blog (it was actually posted on this site for a recipe question) and she has a blog sequence that talks about how she got a handle on her sons excema. If you subscibe to her email notifications you can read what she's written so far, it's kind of like an ongoing story. It's Good luck



answers from Las Vegas on

I have experienced a similar rash with my youngest. It just started one summer and it drove him nuts, he would scratch his legs up really bad. It lightened up when winter came but did not totally go away. Then we were going through the mall and one of the pagodas was selling a lotion set. I stopped and looked it over listened to the sales pitch and described my sons problem. They recommended it and I bought some. One week later, two treatments, and it had cleared up. It has not come back in the two years since. The company is Swisa Beauty and the line is made with Dead Sea salts.



answers from San Diego on

Have your son checked for allergy to latex. My daughter has this allergy and we discovered it after a birthday party (balloons!!) when she was about 5 years old. Symptoms have changed over the years (at first just red eyes, later asthma symptoms.) The allergy will display at the weakest immune link in the body, which is the eczema for your son.
Latex allergy is important to detect because the medical profession uses latex gloves heavily and you have to request non-latex when you work with them.
For non-medical methods to combat the eczema, look to natural immune system boosters such as essential fatty acids (eg. fish or flax seed oil) and grapeseed extract.
For more specific recommendations, just contact me back.



answers from Los Angeles on

Have you ever had your child tested with the special food sensitivity/allergy test by Immunolabs?

Once I did that and at the foods I was not allergic to (I was not allergic to soy, coffee, cacao, etc...but I was allergic to wheat, eggs, and milk and other things) my eczema went away.

As far as steroid creme: When I discovered that it only supresses, and does not cure the eczema, I stopped using it. But it may make sense for you to use it occasionally. You have to do what you have peace with and everyone is different.

I'd look up immunolabs in Florida and find out about how to get the testing done.

Take care!

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