Excema and Poor Sleep Habits

Updated on January 25, 2009
S.F. asks from Santa Fe, NM
34 answers

Hello fellow mamas! I am going a little bit crazy with sleep deprivation. My daughter has excema and wakes up very frequently scratching herself, at least every 2 hours throught the night, if not more. She really resists sleeping at all, the only way I can get her to sleep, or back to sleep is nursing. I am committed to many of the ideals of attachment parenting, feeding on demand and co-sleeping among them. BUT, i am getting more and more tired and resentful. Because of the itching situation and because we have a small space, 1 br, i feel i cannot let her cry it out. Do i have any other options to get a little rest? Thank you and bless you all for doing the most important job there is!)

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So What Happened?

Hurray! What a lovely wonderful community this is! Thank you all for the kind and helpful words. It is healing in itself, to know we are not alone...and only those who have been through something similiar can really relate to the maternal agony of seeing our little ones suffer...anyhow, we have been dealing with the excema for 9 months now and it is certainly better, due mostly i thiink to dietary changes and acidolphilus supplementation. Oviously, however, it is still a problem, especially at night. I have tried so many different things, but am going to check into the NAET thing and see if that helps...and i'll check out the dr. sears sleep book...etc., lots of great ideas... love to all and thanks for taking time out from busy lives to help another mama!

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C.P.

answers from Phoenix on

My son also had excema which caused him to wake. It was so we took him to a dermitologist. It is a very common problem, like 20%. She gave him some RX which has taken it away. The good thing is that they do out grow it.

We went to the Phoenix Children's Derm. They are wonderful.

I would recommend going to the Dr. The Derm I used was Dr. Nguyen (pronounced Win).

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M.O.

answers from Albuquerque on

Definitely try Arbonne's Baby Care products! Dont, walk, RUN! and get them :) Haha! Just kidding, but seriously I know what you're going through, and I couldn't live without them! You can order them online or request FREE samples at my website: www.mandyolsen.myarbonne.com
Good luck!
~M.

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J.O.

answers from Tucson on

Hi S.

I have found using Dettol Bath Wash and Omo sensitive has pretty much ruled out my son's and husband's excema.

Hope it works for you so that you're little one can sleep better.

I have also been told that Tea Tree Oil in a bath helps.

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D.L.

answers from Phoenix on

My 19 month old had excema really bad when he was tiny. He would scratch incessantly until he bled, and we tried everything the doc recommended and everything friends recommended, and we had varying degrees of success, but it never cleared up entirely. My mom is very into natural remedies and vitamins and such, and has suffered from extreme excema all her life. She also has a lot of allergies so she assumed her excema was allergy related. Someone told her once that she should have some bear fat to clear it up. (I know, that's what I thought, too!!!) She was desperate, so she tried it and it worked. (My dad was a hunter and had just killed a bear, which was our family's meat for the winter that year. Very fatty, a lot like pork. I'm sure you were curious.) Now, I don't know if I would recommend bear fat for an infant (as if you could even find it anywhere anyway), but my mom did some research and found that your body actually requires a certain amount of fat intake (healthy fats, of course) and everyone's requirement is different. Babies don't have high fat diets, and her research indicated that excema may often be simply a case of not enough fat in the diet. She expressed this to me, and so I began giving my little one a few spoonfuls of olive oil every day. It took a couple of weeks, but guess what? He's had no excema now for about 6 months! No chemicals, no constant lotioning (which he hated anyway), and best of all, no more scratching and bleeding! Now that he's older, his diet is more like ours, so he usually gets enough fat and I don't have to give him oil every day anymore. But any time he gets a little patch (and I do mean little - which is now rare but still happens on occasion), I just give him a few spoonfuls of olive oil with his breakfast and he's right back to normal within 24 hours or so. I know this is a little unorthodox, but it absolutely worked for us, and was the easiest (and may I add, least expensive) remedy anyone ever suggested.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.L.

answers from Tucson on

My youngest son, who is now 7, had eczema covering his entire body when he was a baby. I started giving him acidophilus every day, and although it took a while, it eventually cleared up. I also eliminated dairy from my diet. I stopped for the first six months after he was born, but had started again. Turns out he is lactose intolerant, but that not something an allergist or pediatrician can determine through scratch or blood test. There is a special breath test one can take after age 4. Of course, he had other symptoms too as he got older.
Good luck!
--H.
mom to 3 boys, ages 11, 9 and 7, and one of unknown gender on the way.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.D.

answers from Flagstaff on

I've had eczema my whole life and it's really not fun...My suggestion is right before bed, pour sesame oil or even olive oil over the areas that bother her.
If it's on her hands then put the oil on her hands and place some cotton gloves over it...if it's on her feet, place socks over it...if it's behind her knees make sure she wears long pants..(in other words lubricate and cover)
hopefully it will help both of you sleep (it definitely works for me)...
good luck

1 mom found this helpful
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T.T.

answers from Phoenix on

Have you tryed Aquaphor Healing lotion... They have adult and baby lotion. My dermatologist recomended this for me and my girls. Also try a hydracortisone cream to relieve the itch. You should get a precription from your pedatrician and a referal to a good pedatric dermatologist. I also recomend Aveno... as the comment before me stated, DO NOT USE any perfumed products on her... this includes shampoos and baby lotions such as jhonson and johnson. In some severe cases she may even need precription medications to relieve the rash and get it to be more managable. Again check with your pedatrician.

As far as the letting her cry it out.. at 1 year she should be able to sleep through the night. You are such a great mom to be nursing!! (I also nursed both my girls and when we got our 1st son I pumped for him) When we got our 2nd baby boy (to adopt) he was 4 months old, his foster parents let him sleep with them. The first week was rough, but we let him cry it out... he sleeps wonderfully now. He is in our room in his own crib. It was well worth it for us to sacrifice a few days of sleep with letting him learn to self soothe to have the last 6 months of a full nights un-interupted sleep. It seems like you are doing a great job!! Keep up the good work! I wish you the best of luck with your baby girl.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

I got into soapmaking because of my husband's and sons' excema. I have to say that since they started using real soap their skin has improved. Soap that you get in the store is either detergent or has the glycerin removed from them. Handmade soap is a way to go. I make mine without petroleum based oils because that make the excema worse for my boys.

I will tell you what worked for me. I would give my sons quick baths, 15 minutes or less. Soaking in water for a long time dries out skin. Immediately after the bath I would put on lotion that I put a few drops of tea tree oil (Lavender essential oil would work too but I get the tea tree oil from Walmart). I only bathe the boys every other day.

Since getting into soapmaking I've also started to make more natural lotions as well. I find cocoa butter and sweet almond oil my friends.

Perhaps you can find some natural hand made soap and lotions to try. But you don't have too. Bathe for short periods, immediately put on lotion. If she has a rash from the itching, use a little bit of tea tree oil in the lotion. The tea tree oil has a numbing effect so they don't feel the itch giving the skin a chance to heal. In fact, I put the tea tree oil straight on mosquito bites so my boys don't scratch.

I hope that you find some help for your little one. I can't understand not getting enough sleep. I am a bear when I don't sleep. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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R.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I am right with you w/ a 1year old dealing w/ eczema. What has helped us get sleep through the night is after cleaning the areas to use hydrocortizone and then lotion on the affected areas and then cover them for the night. This seems to reduce the irritation caused by movement throughout the night.

Let me know if you find any of these other suggestions to work in alleviating the eczema.

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L.C.

answers from Phoenix on

S.,

Wow, what a bunch of responses you already have! I wanted to add on to the allergy comments. I am not going to tell you what to put on the excema, because that is just helping the symptoms and not the problem. My son had pretty bad excema also, and I took him to an NAET doc, who uses chinese techniques to safely and naturally ELIMINATE allergies! Visit www.naet.com for more information. Also, the practioner my whole family has gone to was on the news the other night. See http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?... to see what it is.

If you have any questions or interest, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Good luck
L.

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M.E.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi S. -

You can try drinking a nice cup of warm chamomile or lemon balm tea before you nurse her at night. Both herbs are relaxants and will transfer from you to her through your breast milk. You might also consider adding red clover or burdock root (blood cleansers) to help with her excema. If you would like more specific information, feel free to drop me a line.

Blessings,

M. M. Ernsberger
Certified Clinical Herbalist

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B.G.

answers from Phoenix on

S.,
I just might have your answer. I am a FreeLife representitive I sell Himalayan GoChi juice and several other products. The Juice would be wonderful for you and your daughter you can try it for 90 days and if you don't get results you will get your money back. On the other benefit for you is the company offers a excellent payout plan that will help you bring in extra income while being at home with your child. It is a win win situation. I would be more then happy to give you more information if you are interested please contact me.
B. Garcia
Barbgarcia.com
###-###-####
Himalayan GoChi Juice Representitive

gojihealthstories.com (true testimoniels)

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J.B.

answers from Tucson on

Sounds like you're having a challenging time. Just wanted to let you know that there's a product out there that may help your daughter with her excema. If you'd like to hear more, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]____.com.
Blessings,
J.

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S.L.

answers from Tucson on

If you are applying anything with MINERAL OIL in it STOP. It clogs the pores so waste can't be eliminated nor nutrition absorbed and actually causes skin disorders like eczema. I can give you a researched list of some highly toxic ingredients often included in products labeled "natural" which you can check your baby's product labels against. Instead of a product that contains skin-irritating chemicals you might want to try a completely natural skin cleanser, vitamin C serum and moisturizer. There are a lot of toxic things in "baby" products and even (especially) in things "prescribed" by your doctor. Be very careful what you put on your baby's skin - skin is the body's largest organ - it both eliminates waste (through the pores) as well as absorbs nutrition (as in topically applied products). I can suggest a completely natural and extremely high quality skin care product line made from wild grown Amazon rainforest botanicals that works on all skin types and ages. The herbal extracts have been proven to protect skin and repair damage naturally by providing the body with the things it needs to help itself - without harmful or toxic ingredients. You could actually eat this skin care system and it wouldn't do you any harm. It literally feeds skin the nutrients it needs to be healthy. It's never too late - or too early - to start repairing the body. Feel free to contact me for any more information.

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R.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Lots of response of kids with the same problems! I have found cutting gluten out of the diet gets rid of the itching and most of the irritation. Talk to your doctor but melitonin (its a natural hormone) before bed can also help.

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V.H.

answers from Tucson on

HI, S.
You may consider giving her a product called Xango. It helps with most ailments. Applying a little dab on her ecxema will also help. Go to Xango.net. You may also take an oz. or two for your sleeplessness. Good luck!

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A.

answers from Albuquerque on

People always ask on this forum about eczema, so do some searches. Eczema is usually symptomatic of other issues. Yes, get the itching under control, but find out what's at the root. Consider High Vitamin Cod Liver Oil to heal from the inside. I stress, quality, high vitamin!
http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/codliveroil.html

I have friends whose symptoms are completely eliminated as long as they take it!

Just adding the coconut oil suggestion is a GREAT ONE! Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial, fungal and microbial properties, as well as being wonderfully soothing!

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N.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.,
I am not trying to spam you. I have alergies so bad that I took control and started making my own skin products. They worked so well that I started a business 4 years ago. I have a balm made out of thereutic grade emu oil that is great for everything and a special soap that I make for excema that works wonderful. I have so many references froms Moms who swear that it works. I'd be happy to give you a sample.
my # is ###-###-####
Good luck,
N.
www.aromaticbotanicals.com

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C.K.

answers from Tucson on

I have responded to skin questions in the past, and I can't say enough about using all natural coconut oil from your health food store. Very soothing, natural, and works like a charm! It's the only thing that cleared up mine!

Best of luck,
C.

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M.M.

answers from Albuquerque on

My daughter also has excema, I use aveno products and nothing with any kind of fragrence. It also helps to run a cool air humidifer to keep the skin moist. Good luck, I hope you get some zzz's

M.

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C.L.

answers from Phoenix on

HI S., your best bet is to get that eczema under control. You need an allergist and a dermatologist or a really good pediatrician. It is horrible when you don't sleep so do something quickly. Good luck.

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D.Y.

answers from Phoenix on

S., The poor sleep habits may be related to the exzema. The company I represent does have a clinically proven intensive skin therapy that works against eczema and psoriasis. RENEW by Melaleuca is a nongreasy, total-body formula light enough for daily use, yet powerful enough to improve chronic dry skin from eczema. I would be happy to give you further information and a sample to try. Email me at [email protected]____.com.
Regards, D.

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S.C.

answers from Albuquerque on

I totally understand not being able to get sleep for the itching. For me, I could never co-sleep unless i was physically past exhausted or ill. That was "mommy and daddy's space" and i never had to break the habit.

I have a product line called Southwest LIfestyle. The products are all natural and born out of a nearly 40 year need for soemthign to heal the skin. My hubby called me alligator lady....my skin even on my face woudl crack and bleed.

Many mamams have had great results using my Lotion Bar on them adn their kids. There are no chemicals or preservatives. (read the labels on everythign you use...if they have ANY parabens, propylene glycol, mineral oil, alcohols...you are asking for serious troube. Taht includes cortisone creams, eucerine, etc).

I would recommend for you either the unscented or the lavender. The lavender has essential oil in it that will actually help soothe and relax. (I use my moisturizing mist or massage oil in lavender to help me go to sleep...we also use it on my 6 1/2 month old grandson).

I would be happy to talk wtih you more about it. If you live in the albuquerque area I would be happy for you to come to my home or to meet you somewhere. Either way you can reach me at ###-###-#### or ###-###-####. You can also message me here OR just visit the website: https://www.southwestlifestyle.com/lotionbar.aspx

I look forwrad to hearing from you!

S.

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J.B.

answers from Tucson on

Just in case you still need some advice/recommendations, my 1 year old son has eczema which at some times can get really bad and he sees a dermatologist. He was given a prescription for a .1% Hydrocortisone But Cream and Epiceram Skin Barrier Emulsion; all we have to do is put on the creams back to back followed by his Vanicream (normal lotion purchased at the dermatology office) and it clears him up overnight and soothes all itching.

Make sure her nails are cut so that she doesn't cause the itching to get worse and maybe some soothing creams/lotions and some white noise (dryer, radio static, etc) may help her fall asleep on her own.

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E.C.

answers from Phoenix on

hey S., sorry to hear of your problem. my 9month old also has excema but only on her feet and hands. my doc told me to wash those areas with antibacterial soap 2wice a day, then put on baby aveeno (made for infant excema)then put on a cortizone cream (i got the cheap one from walmart). this system seems to help alot with her itching and even makes it go away for a while sometimes. as for the sleep, it has been my experience that the cry it out is the only way to break out of the habit unfortunately. the book, The Baby Whisperer helped out alot! good luck

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C.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Have you talked to the doctor? First, you have to make sure you use scent-free fabric softener and detergent. Try to keep the dust and other allergens to an absolute minimum. My daughter deals with this, too. Crying it out would be cruel - she's woken up from itching.

The doctor gives me an RX for hydrocortizone, but also for something called something like Triazadone or something like that, which my own Dr. has also prescribed for an exzema issue I have. You don't use them both - if one doesn't work, they try the other. The Triazadone didn't work for my daughter before, so we used the hydrocortizone. Recently we ran out and the Dr. wrote the next RX for the Triazodone. This time it's working (common in kids. Sometimes one doesn't work at a young age, and then starts working later). Itching like that is horrible. An oatmeal or milk bath would help, too.

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B.B.

answers from Tucson on

Some of the reccommendations that my dr gave to help my daughter's excema are- reduce the number of baths, the water can dry out the skin. When you do bathe her, don't use soap (unless really necessary) water alone is still a good cleaning agent. He also recommended using body creams, not lotions, to help keep the skin moist. Excema is often a symptom of allergies. There are some great allegy specialists and dermatologists who can also help out. I know how frustrating this can be. Good luck. I hope you're able to get some sleep soon.

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K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S. -
My son has eczema and we've been through the same thing. When his skin has a bad break out our pediatrician told us to put cortizone on it to help with the itching. Otherwise we slather aquaphor on him two or three times a day to keep his skin hydrated. Hope that helps.
K.

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L.M.

answers from Flagstaff on

My daughter had really bad eczema and we tried everything under the sun that was homeopathic and organic, and much to my dismay nothing helped her little face and body. We finally (after much hesitation & after 5 months of discomfort ) tried the topical cream Elidel. It's a non steriod cream. Our Dr. highly recommended it for relief and guess what it cleared up in less than a week. Talk to your ped and see what he/she recommends. My sweetheart didn't have to suffer any more that was all the proof I needed. Best of luck, God bless,
L.

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A.D.

answers from Phoenix on

When I worked in childcare most of the parents who had infants and even older children with excema used aquafor. Some were severe enough cases that they were on prescription cremes...but definitely don't let her scratch at it! I used to do that and would end up scratching my skin raw!

I hope you can get it under control...I definitely understand not wanting to nurse her to sleep over and over...my son hasn't been feeling well and has wanted to nurse every 2 hours or less and doesn't want to sleep for naps or night unless I nurse him first. It's very tiring!!

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E.B.

answers from Phoenix on

You can also use 100% pure Australian Emu oil. Just a drop rubbed into the area will stop the itching immediately and help the skin to heal quickly! We've been using this for all kinds of skin irritations and it has been amazing! Even mosquito bites, ant bites and healing sores stopped itching as soon as the oil was rubbed in. I read recently about warning for some of the excema prescription meds causing disruptions in people's hormones. When my oldest had it so bad, we switched to free and clear laundry soap, changed bath soap and he used a really good lotion after getting out of the shower. It worked but took a while...I wish I had know about the emu oil then!! Best of luck!

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J.V.

answers from Phoenix on

I would take her to a naturopathic doctor who can work with her allergies with out the use of pins and needles and such. I took my son to Dr. Kail at AZ advanced medicine. Here's the link...

http://www.azadvancedmed.com/allergy.html

Also, I agree with not letting her cry. There is a reason she's upset! I highly recommend getting and reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly. We also co-sleep and nurse to sleep, and Conner started sleeping soooo much better!!! Also, go to www.askdrsears.com for some great sleep tips. He also has a book called The Sleep Book by Dr. Sears that I really liked reading. Good luck!

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R.N.

answers from Albuquerque on

There is also a brand called, California Baby, that can be found at Whole Foods and Sunflower and most recently I saw it at Target! The calendula cream works absolute wonders as my daughter broke out in a Roseaola rash all over her body at 10 months and then a month later with excema on her chin. Her chin itched terribly and the calendula cream soothes the itching and irritation instantly. It doesn't burn, smell and is all natural. I was able to apply it liberally in both situations and when my daughter's excema would flare up I would take out the little tub of cream, and she would help apply it as well! It removes the redness within hours, not days and can be applied all over the body for moisturizer and any skin ailments! Good luck!

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J.G.

answers from Phoenix on

My neice has excema and they recently had her tested for food allergies and found she was allergic to many diffrent foods! food allergies are related to excema! you can look up www.celiac.org or www.celiac.com and you can find links to excema or other skin related problems! my husband has celiac disease and its amazing what is related to it!
Good luck!
My neice has a hard time with things that are soft and fuzzy? I think they catch her skin?

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