Dark Hair on Toddler's Back and Lots of Swollen Lymph Nodes

Updated on August 04, 2009
J.C. asks from Swampscott, MA
15 answers

Hi Everyone!
My 2 1/2 year old son has had a chronic skin issue with his neck and upper back for at least a year now. The pediatricians said it was eczema, but all the hydrocortizone creams they gave him never worked. We saw a dermatologist who prescribed a anti-fungal, higher dose hydrocortizone and an antibiotic. He FINALLY had clear smooth skin for about 2 weeks and then the itching/rash returned. I've tried the antifungal and hydrocortizone separately, but neither works. The problem seems to be that his lymph nodes become very enlarged (not just one or two, but MANY on his neck and head and sometimes shoulders) and he starts scratching, he breaks the skin and we're back in the horrible cycle. He has a semicircle of darker skin from his neck down to about his shoulder blades, and the rash stays in that area. He also has noticeable fine dark hair in this area and down his spine. The ped looked at it about 6 months ago and just said "hmmm...." He also sweats ALOT, even in bed with the AC on he'll soak his pillow. I'm at my wit's end. I need to find out the CAUSE of this, not just keep trying to treat the symptoms. My son is never comfortable and has only slept through the night about 8 times in his entire life! Does anyone have any experience with something like this or any advice? I really appreciate the help!

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J.H.

answers from Boston on

Hi J.
I can put you in touch w other moms whose kids (and adults) have had great results with Reliv in people of all ages. Many were told they would have to live with it. Happy to share safe effective information with NO side effects. Good luck
J. h

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J.A.

answers from Boston on

Hi. My son is only 10 months old and we are having a similar problem in regards to the constant blotchy skin. My son doesn't have all of the other symptoms you described however. He was given hydrocortisone creams for his oozy blotchy, itchy skin which didn't seem to help. We took him to a dermatologist who confirmed it was excema but that we weren't giving high enough percent. She presribed Desonide ointment to use. She also said when we put it on to use aquaphor over it so that when rubbed, hopefully just the aquaphor would be rubbed off. We too got an antibotic cream for the ooze. Finally she prescribed Balnetar therapeutic tar bath. It sounds weird and smells horrible, but is works wonderfully and instantly! You add it to the bath, your child will never know they are getting a treatment and it works wonders!! Her final words to us was that if this didn't work we would need to go down the allergy testing path. I was informed that excema is caused from allergies. Has anyone suggested that for your son? I would think that would be the best. So yourself a favor and start keeping a log of all he eats and drinks. Maybe even also writing when it flares the most too. This may help later in determining which foods to eliminate. I don't know if any of this is helpful to you or not. Good luck. I wish you and your son comfort soon!

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M.M.

answers from Boston on

Have you looked into allergies? My friends son get severe rashes when in contact with nuts or eggs and they found he is very allergic to both. Good luck!

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K.N.

answers from Boston on

i would definately seek a second opinion. sounds like there something therethat they aren't giving the right treatment for.

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J.M.

answers from Boston on

find a pediatric endocronologist and insist on a referral if you need one. You need a second opinion and that is a good place to start. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from New London on

Pediatricians don't know everything, they know the basics ... seek a 2nd opinion immediately from a specialist. An endocrinologist, an allergist, keep going until you find the answers, get his blood work done, his hormones checked, everything... This sounds like he may have an allergy to something or his hormones are off. Take him to an allergist, if it is eczema it may be caused by an allergy, but whatever you do, don't just settle for a course of precriptions from your pediatrician, you need to find out the cause. Best of luck to you.

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J.A.

answers from Boston on

Hi J.,

I'm not sure what the chronic rash is, but you are on the right track seeing a dermatologist. You have to be persistent and continue to follow up with your dermatologist. If you are not satisfied with this doctor then find another. If the rash persists despite following the doctor's advice, ask for a referral to an endocrinologist or even a rheumatologist they may be able to offer some good suggestions.

Sometimes getting a diagnosis is like solving a mystery and most primary care doc's aren't going to be aggressive in trying to find a solution, so you are going to have to be your own "general conttractor" if you know what I mean.

The skin will become darker in the area of the chronic rash simply because of the overactivity of skin cells in the area constantly trying to heal the rash. The excessive hair growth, if it is limited to the affected area may be related to the creams you are using.

As far as the swollen lymph nodes, it would seem the rash is either itchy or your son is simply a "picker" who can't leave the scabs alone. The lymph nodes occur because of the rash, not the other way around. Whenever there is an inflamation or broken skin, the lymph nodes in that general area can become inflamed. This is a result of the immune system. If you notice swollen lymph nodes in other areas that are not affected by the rash then I would be more concerned. When the rash resolves, eventually so will the swollen lymph nodes. Though they can persist for a month or two.

As always, be sure to get expert medical advice. Mamasource is a great resource, but no substitution for expert advice.

J. L.

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D.M.

answers from Boston on

I would try a more holistic approach for a lot of the basics, try and find someone who knows the ins and outs. Also try acupuncture.

good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Boston on

I would get a second opinion from a dermatologist or endocrinologist. There has to be something internal going on especially as the creams are not helping.
Good luck. Be sure to post back when you find the problem.

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C.R.

answers from Boston on

Hi J.-

They really need to dig deeper and get a valid diagnosis. They should check thyroid and adrenal function through blood tests, as deficiencies in those areas can cause darker pigmentation and problems with immunity. (and they can be easily corrected with replacement hormones!) There are also disorders of the spine that can cause darkening of the skin and hair growth near the affected part of the spine- so imaging studies should also be considered. Good luck, I would definitely get a second opinion, maybe from a ped. at Dartmouth Hitchcock or in Boston.

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B.M.

answers from Boston on

Have you considered food allergies? My son had a swollen lymph node on the back of his neck and eczema when he was smaller. Once I discovered his multiple food allergies his skin has become so much better! I would definitely get a second opinion if your pedi doesn't have any answers.

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K.H.

answers from Boston on

Hi J.
My daughter had dark hair down her spine and a funny rash as well for years. I couldnt figure it out and going to many many doctors I found it was a wheat allergy. I was tested a year ago with same symptoms and then had her tested. Her rash would show up alot when she ate wheat and anything that contained oatmeal. Does your son have any stomach issues or bowel movement problems? My daughter had a very tough time sleeping through as well and the wheat causes funny things to happen to kids under the age of 5. I can also help you with his skin rash, a company called Arbonne which is what I use. The use herbally based, no animal by-products and no phalates or other chemicals. I can send you a sample if you would like.
You can email me at [email protected]____.com
Good Luck
Kristina

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M.C.

answers from Boston on

I would suggest they check his thyroid. I would also suggest you get him an appointment at Children's Hospital. A ped who looks and says "hmm..." sounds like they might not have enough special knowledge to be helpful. The sweating and hair growth make me think thyroid or pituitary gland. An endocrinologist would be your best bet.

D.B.

answers from Boston on

You are right about treating the symptoms with the creams vs. treating the cause. The suggestions about a food allergy are probably on target - there is some sort of imbalance in your child's system, and most of our diseases come from problems in the digestive tract. However, eliminating foods from the diet are kind of treating the symptom and not the cause, you know? There are so many reports (just last night on the news, even) about the tremendous increase in food allergies - when we were kids, NO ONE we knew was allergic to nuts or peanuts or wheat or dairy! All the kids ate everything. Now our schools have peanut-free classrooms and nut-free lunch tables - we're doing something wrong!

The swollen lymph nodes tell me that his immune system is responding to something. I think it's obvious that strengthening the immune system is in order now. I agree with Joanne H that Reliv is the best choice here - thousands of people are having results with conditions such as your son's, and the products are completely safe. Reliv distributors are trained extensively and can give you support and great information/education. The top food scientists in the world are working on these products and incorporating the best research and clinical trial information. You'll be addressing the cause of your son's problems. I urge you to look into this and talk to other parents who have had success!

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G.P.

answers from Hartford on

Hi J.,

I know exactly what your talking about because my 1 1/2 year old niece has the same problem and the doctors know nothing. They have gave her antibiotics, fungal cream, etc. My sister mentioned recently that its an allergic reaction to artifical fabrics and sensitive skin to sprays and lotions. So her lymph nodes come out when she is in distress from the pain. My sister started using organic products and so far my niece has been doing find. They are using "Method" brand products they are only sold in target, to bath her, wash her hair, and lotion her skin. Also when you use cleaning supplies try to keep your son away from the room for a while and also when you spray air freshner. According to the doctors in NYC these things are causing the reaction. So far my niece has not had any lymph nodes come out or scratching for about 2 months.

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