Eczema - Watertown,MA

Updated on June 24, 2011
G.M. asks from Watertown, MA
20 answers

Hi all. My 5 mos old DD has horrible eczema. We have tried Aquaphor, Cetaphil, Hydrolatum, Aveeno - nothing works. The ONLY thing that works is hydrocortisone cream, but you can only use it for 7-10 days. Then it all comes back. We have done and on and off again hydrocortisone regime, but I know it is not supposed to be good to do that. ARGH.
My pediatrician said we might have to do a bleach bath?!
Does anyone out there have any recommendations? Thank you in advance!

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answers from Boston on

It's so tough. My daughter also had really bad excema, brought on by food allergies. We brought her to both a dermatologist and allergist and have gotten it under control. The recommendations we got from both: Give her a bath every night. Use Cetaphil cleanser. Immediately after her bath while her skin is still moist, lather her up with Vaseline or Hydrolatum good and thick. you can use the hydrocortisone first and then the vaseline overtop--which will seal it in. If any areas are open, you should ask pedi about antibiotic cream since my daughter often had a staph infection as a result. If she's scratching, use socks to cover her hands.

One note--the vaseline stains clothing--so I always did it under PJs and the Hydrolatum in the AM since it didn't seem to doing anything to clothes.

Good luck. It's very stressful.



answers from Boston on

My 9 year old son has always had wicked eczema....found out he has a sensitivity to oats which exacerbated his eczema (small wonder the aveeno products didn't help him). Eucerin (the goopy one in the tub and the wash stuff in the gold bottle) help him....and when it gets bad in the winter, we whip out the hydrocortisone...good luck

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answers from Mobile on

I have been fighting eczema for 17 months with my son. I had him allergy tested about 2 weeks ago. He was allergic to milk. Since being off of it it has cleared up some. I would suggest getting allergy testing. Also the lotrimin lotion works well. I know it sounds gross but only bath your baby once or twice a week and wipe with a warm wet cloth(only water). It keeps the eczema down to a min. Also try the Aveno baby non scented wash for when you do use soap! Another thing, coconut oil!! Rub your baby in this twice a day! Helps tremendously! I would NOT do the bleach bath! Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Inhaling bleach is dangerous, much less bathing in it... I'm amazed the pediatrician would recommend that. My ex Mother-in-law's youngest son is 9 yr old now and his eczema would flare up and flare up bad. She said she gave him a bath in mayo. Put him in the tub and put mayonnaise all over the eczema and it would go away. You could try that :) It's a hell of a lot safer than bleach.

There is an alternative listed further down in that article too

People swear by dead sea salt baths too. You can get dead sea salt at health food stores

Just some info, says what foods to avoid etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

OMG...please do not let your child have a bleach bath. Who ever heard of such a thing? I was born with eczema, my mother took me to doctor after doctor, and I was probably 6 or 7 years old when one of them finally referred her to a dermatologist who took one look and told her what it was. I won't even tell you what I remember going through, it was awful. So through the years I have learned that eczema, allergies, and asthma all have similar root causes. They're kind of like really annoying allergen cousins. Eczema is usually brought on because of a food allergy, but not always. Mine acts up when the pollen count is really bad, and I use a cortisone cream. I have never had a breakout that is food related that I am aware of. But possibly something my mother was eating when she was breastfeeding could have been a problem. Try a dermatologist, and also have some allergy testing done. And as another poster said, go to the ocean. The salt water helps unbelievably well. I remember my mother bringing jars of it back home so we had it in the house year round. I wish you good luck. This is no fun, but it IS manageable when you figure out the triggers.



answers from New York on

If she has patches of excema on her scalp, you could try using Head & Shoulders. Sounds strange, but it's the ONLY thing that worked for my son (the Aveeno products didn't work for him at all) A little bit of H & S in his hair at bathtime really helped us. Good luck!


answers from Dover on

I am shocked that a doctor would suggest a bleach bath especially for a child (and so young at that!). Bleach is a pesticide so I would NOT want to do that to my child.

I have some co-workers who have used Renew with great success...body wash, lotion, even hand wash and bath oil is available. Each used one or more and basically don't have symptoms anymore. Of course, they also got rid of the other nasty chemicals in their home too so the irritants were also gone.



answers from New London on

Both of my daughters have excema. One has it worse than the other. I think the one that has it worse has to do with allergies that haven't been diagnosed yet. But, on both of them I use Arbonne products. Many kids have issues with the chemicals in the products they use. I use the hair/body wash on both my girls and then follow up with either the body oil or body lotion. If I am consistent with it, it helps a lot. it gets rid of my older daughters excema completely and gets rid of most of my little ones. I can get you a sample of your interested in trying something else. For information on arbonne products you can go to or you can message me with any questions.



answers from Hartford on

In response to the horrified responses about the bleach bath - my pediatrician also recommended it to my infant whose eczema was really raw and open and was getting infected frequently. I was also horrified at the thought, but then at our next visit we saw the nurse practitioner and she asked how it was going. I told her I was not doing it, bleach is toxic, etc. She informed me that it is diluted so much that it is no different than a swimming pool. So the words "bleach bath" sound awful, but that's not what they really mean.
And, it didn't help his eczema any, except in that it stopped getting infected, so we didn't have to give him antibiotics anymore. If your daughter is getting infections, I would go with the diluted bleach, because antibiotics are not good for her either, and at one point they thought my son had MRSA. Scary.
Hopefully she will grow out of it. My son's was food related, and he still has some food allergies, but his skin is beautiful. So there's hope! Hang in there.



answers from Dallas on

I'd go see a pediatric dermatologist. We took my kiddo to one at 6 months for a terrible outbreak of eczema. We got him on triamcinolone (topical steroid) with oral attarax for itching. It cleared up in about 4-5 days. We use all fragrance & dye free soaps, shampoos, & detergents (California baby is our favorite soap/shampoo combo & method free & clear is our favorite detergent tho now that we've switched to cloth diapers, we're using Enos free & clear), and we rub kiddo down with Vanicream after every bath or water exposure. We use the triamcinolone for any little spot, but we've never had another head-to-toe out break since 6-months, and kiddo is 18 months now.

I highly recommend a pedi dermatologist; many pediatricians follow some pretty outdated treatment modalities for eczema.


answers from Chicago on

I have horrible eczema- it runs in my family. I try to treat it as naturally as possible, so I have some ideas for you to try. First of all, my sister had it HORRIBLY on her feet when little. The salt of the ocean always helped it clear up, so maybe try a salt bath instead of bleach (bleach totally aggravates the eczema on my scalp). That's a pretty "old school" suggestion. See if you can get some sea salt and try having her soak in that. Also, calendula is pretty calming for skin issues. California Baby has a calendula soap/ shampoo, lotion, and cream. Weleda (available at Whole Foods) is also a great company for calendula products. I use them on my son's diaper rash all the time.
I agree, you need to have her tested for a food allergy. Gluten and dairy allergies are often the cause of eczema. Removing the allergen from her diet is the most natural way to treat it. Steroids have so many terrible side effects, so try the natural route/ diet changes first before putting her on anything really strong.
I would also talk to a pediatric dermatologist. Pediatricians can only know so much about everything, so it's best to talk to an expert. You might also look into finding a naturopath to see what suggestions they have for you, but definitely get her tested for food allergies.

Good luck. Eczema sucks. :(

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answers from Boston on

Eczema is caused by a food sensitivity. Most likely Dairy or gluten. Take those foods completely out of the diet(if you are breastfeeding then take it out of your diet). It could also be a yeast rash. Supplementing with baby probiotics(found at whole foods or health food store) with help a great deal. Eventing primrose oil is the BEST remedy for healing the rash(alongside dealing with the root cause in the food), you can get capsules at whole foods and prick one open and put directly on. Your ped knows very little about this it sounds. Stick with these remedies, they work, they deal with the root cause, and they are not toxic to your little baby. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

CeraVe is a much better moisturizer in my opinion and many docs do recommend it over the ones you are using. Sometimes it is kept behind the pharmacy counter so if you can't find it ask.

Also-really work on finding her triggers. If you are BF it could very well be something you are eating.



answers from Honolulu on

Find out what triggers the Eczema.
Or if nursing, maybe something you are eating.

My Mom for example: Oats and Citrus triggers her Eczema. If she avoids those things, she does not get eczema eruptions.

The ointment "Florasone" is good. Natural alternative to Hydrocortisone.
Whole Foods has it or look it up online. Amazon has it too.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Ask the pediatrician about Elidel. It's been over 5 years, so I don't know if it's even available anymore, but that's what was prescribed for my boys. It was a non-steroidal cream and it seemed to help.


answers from Boston on

A bleach bath sounds ridiculous - toxic! I know a lot of people make themselves crazy eliminating pretty much everything from the diet, but it makes like miserable and you can never go out to eat.

I have 4 friends whose children had eczema (some since birth) and another friend who is a nurse who had it really badly from infancy. The nurse had the same issues you have with the hydrocortisone cream - and she had every doctor in the hospital throwing up their hands in frustration. Most doctors have had no nutritional training, only medical, so they don't really know the science behind these food issues. My friends have all ADDED nutritional supplementation to their diets (or their kids' diets) - there is a specific product for kids that is totally safe and the adult product is safe as a pre-natal and for nursing moms - it's all food and no drugs. This way, you treat the CAUSE of the eczema and not the symptoms. If you're interested, I can give you more info. Don't know if you want to keep using topical treatments or if you want to use nutrition.


answers from Houston on

You are probably doing all this but just in case, totally non-fragrance soaps, lotions and laundry soaps. I used Aveeno everything. I did the hydrocort thing a lot and my kids are just fine. Aquaphor after a bath was somewhat helpful and for me, time. They got over it. I did my best to keep them moisturized, I would lotion them morning, afternoon, and night and do rounds of the hydro cort, they eventually got over it. I only bathe them every other day still, it really helps with dry skin. Also I bathed my little one with Cetaphil when he was really struggling, that helped at ton, just no soap at all. I had it personally where I would bleed and it was really horrible, my kids were never that bad, so I know there can be really differing severities. But with my kiddos hat is what I did and eventually they were fine. Good luck!!



answers from Hartford on

I just want to reinforce the Elidel suggestion another mom made. It was the only thing that helped my son (he was getting it in the same spot repeatedly and like you said, it would start to go away and then come right back). It's non steroid so you can use it for up to 30 days. Once we got rid of it, we'd just dab a little on at the first sign of redness returning and eventually we didn't have to do that anymore. He's used it since he was your baby's age first for eczema in his eyebrows and then more recently for his cheeks. Now we rarely have a problem.

Good luck



answers from Boston on

My son had terrible eczema. It turned out he had multiple food allergies. Once we cleaned up his diet his skin was perfectly clear. I refused to rely on steroid creams to fix a problem that turned out to be internal.



answers from Providence on

My friend has had great success controlling her infant son's eczema with a daily dose of fish oil. I am going to try it with my 14yo! It is available at Walmart and health food stores, I just don't know how much. I will try to find out.

1/2 tsp/day of Nordic Naturals ProEFA (lemon flavored).

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