Desperate Seeking Eczema Relief for My Child!

Updated on August 01, 2012
B.B. asks from Muncie, IN
27 answers

My almost 6 year old has been suffering from eczema for about 4 years now. Nothing seems to calm her itch. We have tried numerous and I do mean numerous products and I'll list a few. It seems her skin will clear up some but something seems to trigger it and cause her to go on into a scratching fit and she will scratch until she bleeds only in certain areas which are around her feet and ankle area, hand and wrist and her knee area. The rest of her skin is pretty much okay with just dryness here and there. I have tried Eucerin, Aveeno, Oatmeal baths. I have even recently tried dried Neem powder mixed into the Eucerin. I have tried Tea Tree oil mixed into a moisturizing lotion. I've tried Renew Lotion. There's other things I can't even remember because it's been a while. I think one was called something like Champoria that I ordered offline. It didn't seem to work and some other stuff through the national website. I read Argan oil is good for eczema. I've yet to try that. I am not sure if it's good for clearing it up or good for itch? The derm doctor just put her on steroids and I don't want to keep applying that to her skin. It doesn't calm her itch anyway. She is allergic to eggs, milk, nuts, cat. We keep her off and away from these things. Wash her clothes in Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Detergent. About 2 weeks ago I started giving her flaxmeal daily (1-2 teaspoons) as I've read that is good for eczema and helping with inflammation from an internal perspective but read it could take a while for it to be effective. I also started her on Cuterelle Probiotic for Kids around the same time as the flaxmeal.

We bath her 5-6 times a week in lukewarm water for 10-15 min minimal soap. sensitive skin soap. Making sure to pat her skin to a dampness (not dry) after bathe and immediately apply moisturizer to skin. I've tried the damp sock method where you apply the oinment on skin and put damp sock over skin and dry sock over it and we used it on her feet, knees and hands since those are the worst areas and that method seems to work only for so long and stops working after a while and seems like we have to wait a while before trying that again. I even tried sea salt as I heard that was good for eczema. I tried the sea salt for about 4 or 5 baths and it didn't seem to do anything for her skin.

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So What Happened?

I guess I should have mentioned that she has been to an allergist and a derm doctor. Antihistamines they put her on do not work. Steroids they put her on do not work. I have followed their recommended regimen and they give her a few different steroids that just don't work. They have given her triamcinolone, flucinonide, elidel. The liquid anti histamine was given to her before bedtime and it didn't help her itch. I know this was given to her for at least a year if not more. I stopped giving it to her. What for? It's not doing anything for her. She still went to bed scratching. I'm at my wits end. This is why I've been trying things on my own to) relieve her of this horrible condition. It is pure agony for her MOST of the time. Her skin (in those certain areas mentioned in previous post) looks so bad right now it just has me in tears. She has scratched it up so much is bloodied and broken. Thanks to all who took time to provide their advice.

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answers from Stockton on

My son has severe eczema and no one can help me, either. We have a dermatologist, allergist, nutritionist and truthfully, I know more about eczema than they do. I have tried every products, cheap to expensive, medicated and non medicated and nothing. These medical professionals are just telling me what I already know. They do not live with eczema so they think slathering lotion is the key to eczema. If only it was that easy.



answers from Lima on

I use TriDerma on my kids. It's at Walmart in the homeopathic isle. It's a little expensive but you don't need much cream. I have used this on my son whom got ezcema bad on his belly and I used it every night before bed for 1 week and it was gone. Now I rarely need to use it. Good luck.



answers from Philadelphia on

Time for an allergist and/or dermatologist visit. My son had the same issue. We tried everything over the counter. Finally, his allergist prescribed an ointment which cleared it right up, like within a couple of days. Now whenever we see he's about to have an outbreak, we slap a bit of that stuff on and it's gone before it even begins.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I would cut down on baths. Maybe every other day. Have you tried giving her Zyrtec or allergy meds to help calm the histamine reaction? My sister does both with my niece otherwise she really flares up. They also use organic coconut oil along with a prescribed steroid cream. She tried all the external creams and tried not doing meds but got the most help from just doing the meds.

Oh and make sure her clothes, sheets and PJ's are 100% cotton.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My husband has had severe (and I do mean SEVERE) eczema since he was a baby. Our daughters had it as babies but have grown out of it (at least... I hope). So I have a lot of experience with dealing with eczema. This is our tried and true method:

For flare-ups (any time there is a rash), use steroid creams. Steroid creams are the ONLY thing that will calm the inflammation. I've had three dermatologists and an allergy specialist tell me this. Use a hydrocortisone cream as needed for rashes until it's clear, then stop. Steroid creams thin the skin, so use only as needed.

For moisturization, use cetaphil lotion liberally during the day, and CeraVe cream (not lotion) at night. The cream comes in a tub.

For cleansing, at six, she doesn't need soap. Have her soak in water only (no additives or oils). She can do oatmeal baths when she's rashy. Use a light shampoo for her hair, taking care not to get it onto the skin. For the skin, if she's extra dirty, use cetaphil cleanser. It's a non-soap cleanser. Soap, no matter how 'sensitive' it may be, WILL dry the skin. To dry, pat the skin, do not 'rub'.

Use dye-free, fragrance free detergents for the clothes.

If her skin is blotchy and hot to the touch, she probably has an infection, and she needs antibiotic ointment. My husband gets a lot of skin infections, so he has an antibiotic ointment prescribed to him for when it gets infected.

The probiotics are a great idea for prevention.

She needs to take a daily anti-histamine. Children's Zyrtec is great.

Do all of these things diligently, and it works. It has worked for my husband, and his is SEVERE. But you HAVE to be diligent about it.

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answers from Detroit on

Here is what we do.

Coconut oil on the skin BEFORE bath. I put it on about an hour before. This protects the skin from drying out in the water. Then bath -- maybe three times a week max -- with Cetaphil to wash ONLY, even for his hair.

Then coconut oil again AFTER bath and before bed on the days we don't bathe him. Coconut oil is a natural antiseptic so cleans a bit too.

I also give him an oral dose of liquid omega fatty acid stuff (if you're interested let me know and I'll get the right name for you from home). They also have this in gummies, which we have used also.

It took about four weeks of this for him to be pretty much free of the eczema (at least the worst of it). When I see bumps starting to develop i double up on the coconut oil (twice a day, and cut down baths) and have been able to avoid any big horrible patches from happening.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It is such a frustrating condition! Almost all the women in my family suffer from eczema. You are doing a great job and I know your struggle. My niece did better on Dreft vs the Free and clear. I also saw a almost instant improvement after she went Gluten free. my eczema improves with Mustela Stelatopia. It's not as good as a steroid but at least it's helpful. My hands improved 100% after switching all soap in house to Dr Bronner pure castille soap for hands. Good luck to you. :)

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answers from Washington DC on

My husband worked in the pharmacy in the Navy for almost 21 years and he always mixed two creams together for our daughter. I can't think of what they are called, but if you want them I can ask him - let me know.

She also has used in the past and still uses the BABY Aveeno lotion. It's the only one that really helps her skin and doesn't sting. Maybe try that. I even got a note from the school to make it so she can have a container at school if it flares up there.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

When she has an active rash, use the steroid cream. It will take at least a week to start to work, especially if you've left it untreated for a long time.

Once there is no more active rash, then use CeraVae cream (not lotion) daily as a preventative.

Make sure laundry detergent is a "free and clear" one, no fabric softener at all, and only a very gentle soap like Dove Sensitive. Also, fewer baths in general. A 6 year old doesn't need a bath every night (or almost every night). A few times a week is enough, with spot-cleaning of hands and face with water at night.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.. Sorry to hear about your daughter's eczema. My husband had it quite bad when a baby, and still tends toward it. He found out a year ago that he has the two alleles for celiac disease. The eczema is less since he went entirely gluten-free. Here is an interesting link with the following information ( ):
"Researchers have compared the prevalence of eczema in people who also suffer from celiac disease to eczema prevalence in control subjects, and they've found that eczema occurs about three times more frequently in celiac disease patients and about two times more frequently in relatives of celiac disease patients, potentially indicating a genetic link between the two conditions."



answers from Spartanburg on

Elidel worked for my boy. Doctor prescribed. Good luck!


answers from Kansas City on

I had this awful stuff as a child and some of my children/grandchildren have it or had it. The only that helped me was a steroid cream or similar prescribed by a doctor. I had some treatments, back in the 'old days' with ultra violet lights but don't think they helped at all. Our doctor said only to bathe once or twice a week and not to sit in the water like a playtime bath. Get in and out. I would think Zyrtec might help but you desperately need to see an allergist or dermatologist. I would think an allergist could help you better almost. I know how bad this can itch and irritate so hope you find relief of some sort soon. I wouldn't do all the guessing with things a doctor didn't suggest until you get it under control at least.



answers from Cleveland on

Cetaphil, cer ve and aquaphor are big ones that most dermatologist will go to. None worked for my son, and he's allergic to several of the steroids. Bathing my son actually makes it worse. Stress makes him itch, which makes everything flair up. Probiotics have seemed to help, so give that time and see what happens. The redness that we see on kids with eczema doesn't it, it's the itching that causes the redness. They call it the itch that rashes. The lotions can deal with the dryness. And in regards to lotions, lotions are thinner and absorb faster than creams, and creams absorb faster than ointments. So if you use multiple products do so in that order, lotions, creams, ointments. To deal with the itch we had been using benedryl and it does help, but our allergist suggest zyrtec.



answers from New York on

I agree your solution lies in dealing with the internal but for my neices eczema, a combination of raw shea butter mixed with organic coconut oil helps keep her skin moisturized. Cooling the skin with a cold compress or ice also helps tone down the severe itchyness.

Please keep me posted on your success in helping your little one. I'm currently looking for something topical to stop itching that isn't steriod based or the usual suspects which don't work for my itches.


answers from New York on

Give Gold Bond Ultimate Foot Cream a try on her eczema. I have always had a terrible time with eczema and very dry skin. This stuff smells great, is thick enough to stay put, and really works. First thing I every tried that really works. And the nice thing is that it isn't expensive.



answers from Raleigh on

Does she take daily allergy medication like Claritin? This is a must of she has allergies and eczema. It's the only thing that even remotely keeps the eczema in control and the itching at a tolerable level. Eczema has to be treated from the inside out. Talk to your pediatrician about a daily medication. That, combined with the steroid cream, will really help with the itching and flareup.
Also, always use "free and clear" detergent and check the label. I am not sure if Arm and Hammer is fragrance and dye free. I have learned that Sensitive Skin really doesn't mean dye and scent free. Same for the soap.
As for bathing, you only need to use soap a couple of times a week. Other than that, just bathe her in plain water.
Never, ever apply lotions. Ever. Almost all have some fragrance or alcohol. I don't care if it has "Treats Eczema best of anything in the entire World!", I never use it. Bare is best.
Hope this helps! Eczema is a pain and is all about control. So far,we've won the battle, but not the war. :)


answers from Spokane on

My boys and I suffer from eczema. We use Cetaphil and it keeps ours at bay. There is a thick cream, a regular lotion and a body wash. My oldest needs to use the body wash and cream after he showers or is in any water (he showers every other day). My youngest just needs the cream after his baths (every other day). I just use the cream when I get a spot.


answers from Los Angeles on

My daughters eczema subsided when we weaned off dairy. A lot of Eczema is related to diet. Try a few weeks with no dairy products to test if this may be the case.



answers from New York on

Have you tried to give her fish oil? I mean the good stuff from Carlsson or Nordic Naturals? Also, she may have food allergies. My son had a dairy allergy and when I took him off milk, guess what went away? His eczema was way less worse than your daugthers. Have you tried removing "culprits" from her diet? The biggies are diary, wheat, eggs, and soy. You can't keep trying to treat the symptoms because it will continue to come back/



answers from Chicago on

My 18 month old son has had severe eczema pretty much since birth. He has multiple food allergies and is allergic to cats and dogs too. We have a pretty sterile house and all allergens have been eliminated from his diet. There is something in the air out here that is causing his skin to flare up. It is also aggravating my daughter's asthma.

I give my son about 1/2 teaspoon of Benadryl every 4-6 hours. This is under the direction of his pediatric allergist. The Benadryl helps to keep the eczema at bay. His skin never looked better than it did last winter when everything was dead outside. As much as I hate cold weather, I'm looking forward to the absence of pollen for a few months.

If you decide to give your daughter antihistimines, make sure you consult her doctor first. But I think it will bring her some relief. Good luck!



answers from New York on

My son has eczema. When it flares up the ONLY thing that soothes him is the steroid cream. In between flare ups, we use the Neutrogenia Eczema system (3 things including body wash and lotion). It has worked really well. Because of his skin, he takes a bath every-other-night and sometimes less in the winter. He is 4, so he has learned how to give himself a sponge bath using the Mustella "no rinse" infant wash. It only takes a couple of minutes, freshens him up, but doesn't dry his skin. Of course, if he's stinky or dirty he takes a bath.

Please stop trying supplements and other things without consulting with her dermatologist. You may be inadvertently "undoing" or "overdoing" things!

Remember too that a cold compress will stop the itching. We use the "Boo Boo Bears" and keep 2 or 3 in the fridge. Again, he's learned to go get one if he's "itchy".



answers from Denver on

she needs to be on an antihistamine to clear things up. zyrtec worked well for my son.

try a different "sensitive skin" soap - they are not all truly sensitive skin. my son can use only california baby sensitive (poor kid - he's 11 and still using "baby" soap) or aveeno baby wash. these are for soap and shampoo.

try a different laundry - we use All free and clear. again "sensitive" is a marketing term so it may or may not be appropriate for your daughter. NO dryer sheets. NO softeners. do a double rinse and put vinegar in the softener dispenser - it'll take out a little bit more of the soap. also you might try eliminating stain removers - when she's cleared up you could try adding your favorite back in. we use the dryer balls - they work almost as well as sheets.

get rid of all cleaning products that have any scent. we use vinegar and baking soda almost exclusively.

get rid of any plug-in air fresheners and spray air fresheners.

no perfume on the adults at home and limit scents in your personal care products.

sunscreen - use only physical blockers (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) - there's a couple that can be bought at target/wal-mart now that have a lot fewer chemicals than "standard" sunscreens.

for my son - if we limit chemical exposure, he's fine. but when he would have a spot - zyrtec cleared it faster than anything topical. sun exposure (limited) seemed to help too.

good luck.


answers from Albany on

Our ped gave us Acid Mantle for eczema. Worked like a charm.




answers from Washington DC on

My cousins dd suffered really badly also. They tried goats milk soap and it helped. Good luck



answers from Philadelphia on

I did not have severe eczema but it was bad enough that I got a prescription for it. That did not help much at all. Believe it or not what worked for me was the Nuetrogena Hand cream. They also have a foot cream. You only need a dab of it. I would put it on right out of the shower when my skin was still damp. (it is about 20 years now since I had an outbreak).



answers from Cumberland on

Time to bring out the big guns-and get a prescription-hope you are using well water and not chlorinated water-take care-I, too, have a child with eczema-it's not easy!


answers from Boston on

I have several friends who had severe eczema as children and adults, and one has a son who was plagued by it. They did everything you're doing, which is treating it primarily from the outside (topically, for symptoms) and finally got relief by preventing it internally (for cause). One woman is a nurse, and the other is a mom of 5 whose own hands were cracked and bleeding to the point that she wore gloves a lot. They use comprehensive nutritional supplementation (not pills which are poorly absorbed) and a gentle systemic detoxifier which cleanses the circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems. It's all food (no drugs), safe for everyone including those with food allergies (and for many, the food allergies are reduced or eliminated), and formulated by a food scientist who worked in infant formula (strict conditions) and consulted for Weight Watchers, and is on the Council for Responsible Nutrition. PM me for more info.

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