Infant Allergies

Updated on February 19, 2009
D.H. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL
35 answers

My daughter has had horrible eczema since she was two months old (she is now 5 1/2). Last week, we had her blood drawn for an allergy test. Today we find out she is allergic to peanuts, egg whites and very allergic to cats. I have a cat and my aunt, who babysits her all day while I'm at work has multiple cats. She does not seem to have respiratory problems but I understand that she could develop them. I'm still dealing with potentially having to get rid of my cat that I've had for 12 years, but in addition to that I'm wondering about breastfeeding. Do I have to avoid all foods with trace amounts of peanut or just the obvious nuts/peanut butter? Egg whites seem pretty hard to avoid. I've already cut back on dairy, certain vegetables, I don't garlic rolls anymore or have caffeine or alcohol. My mom seems to think I should now switch to formula. I'm going to call a pediatric allergist since I just got these results from the nurse or assistant at my pediatrician's office and other than telling me the results, she was pretty vague. Has anyone else had any experience with this? Thoughts on breastfeeding, keeping the cat?

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S.C.

answers from Miami on

FOR THE ECZEMA: YOU NEED TO GET OFF MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS, SUGAR AND SUGAR LAIDEN JUICES, CHEMICALS, FOOD DYES AND COLORINGS IMMEDIATELY!!!!! Start EATING fresh fruits, vegetables, grain cereals and lots of water! After you have cleasned YOUR system, begin substituting your sugar with honey, raw sugar, Agate (catus) and Stevia. KEEP ALL PRE-PACKAGED AND PROCESSED FOODS OUT OF YOUR DIET PERIOD! This means a total change in how the family shops and eats! Trust me, it will do you all a world of good for your health. Your daughter's skin problem will clear up within several months if not sooner, if you are STRONG AND DEDICATED ENOUGH TO DO THIS! DO IT FOR YOUR DAUGHTER SO HER SELF ESTEEM IS NOT AFFECTED AS SHE GETS OLDER. Plus as she grows, she will venture out and eat things she should not. BUT, she will immediately see that her skin issues will quickly return and she will REMEMBER WHAT SHE WAS TAUGHT BY HER MOTHER! :-) She will love you for that! I've help several people get over Eczema!

FOR THE OTHER ALLERGIES: Please visit www.naet.com and then search for some practitioners of this in your area. I've done this and it works! I also worked for two doctors who practiced this! Good Luck!

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S.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hey D.,
I just wanted to back Sharon C up with her suggestion of finding an NAET practitioner. My husband and I have been seeing Marlene Cobb in Coral Springs and she has worked wonders elliminating allergies. I know that she has also worked with many children and had great results. She might not be taking new patients so I would look on the website to see who else practices in the area. Along with the NAET, changing your diet to whole healthy foods, adding the probiotics and continuing to breastfeed, you should be able to help heal your daughter.
Good for you for reaching out and good luck. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you.

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M.H.

answers from Melbourne on

Keep breastfeeding and keep the cat. Her problem stems from inside. She has yeast in her gut/intestines. Open a probiotic capsule into a bottle of breastmilk. It will crowd out the yeast in her gut/intestine. Also take probiotics yourself so the probiotics get into your milk and help crowd out the yeast in your gut/intestines also. Has she been given antibiotics? That could be where the yeast came from. If not she probably got it from you. That happened with my 2nd daughter.
Keep this up for at least a month and see what happens. God bless.

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P.M.

answers from Miami on

D., keep breastfeeding. Yes, you can eliminate some of the allergenic foods your child is sensitive too. Before you think switching to formula would be a better choice,you may want to know that your milk has living cells and antibodies that help fight infection, not just nutrients. Formula is a nutrition substitute, but it cannot duplicate the immune factors of breastmilk. You could swing the perspective for yourself...and just think, 'wow' I am going to be so healthy, because these foods for the most part are not that great for me anyway. And, if she is not allergic to dairy or wheat, you might as well reintroduce those foods and see what happens. At least you know what it is she is bothered by. As for the cat, well, I am not a good one to ask. I have cats, and my son is allergic and still have cats. I do have tile instead of carpet and no cloth surfaces, keep his door closed, so the cats stay out, etc. I also keep the cats outside part of the time so the shedding and dander is not so much in the house. And, unless you are going to change sitters, what good will not having your cat do if your child is around a house full of cats all day? Yikes. The cats is the hard one for me, the food is a no brainer. I give up the food, and I never use formula, but the cats....that's harder.

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A.N.

answers from Jacksonville on

First of all, eczema is horrible, so sorry to say but you need to get rid of the cat ASAP. My little girl (22 months old)is allergic to peanuts, egg whites, soy, and dogs. We just found out officially a couple of weeks ago, but we knew all along, because she would react to all of those things since she was little. She had horrible eczema also. She was about 1 month old the first time we saw her with it. I felt so bad, but never knew what caused it. I knew I had to keep her away from dogs, because I couldn't stand for her to be so uncomfortable. The eczema would keep her out for hours each night that she had it . I have an aunt that has dogs, and she always wanted us to come over. I eventually just had to tell her that we could not come over anymore, because she was allergic to the dogs. Even just crawling around on her floor would cause her to break out. So, I know you must love your cat, but it has to go. Also, you may have to get a new babysitter for her until she is able to take some kind of allergy medicine, like claritin. As far as the food allergies, I myself am still in a pretty new world about those. The peanut allergy is what terrifies me, because my daughter is severely allergic to them. I breastfed my little girl and ate peanut butter and eggs ALL the time. Sometimes her eczema was really bad, but then other times it was pretty clear no matter what I was eating. It was mostly bad when she was young, because it was winter so we had the heater on all of the time. So, I may be very wrong, but I don't know if it matters, allergies wise, if you eat those things. Maybe it can help her. I'm curious to know. I would love to know what the pediatric allergist says about nursing and allergies. I wouldn't put her on formula just yet, because nursing may be the one hope she has of controlling her allergies until she is older. If you think of it, please let me know what the allergist says. Allergies can be so scary. I hope that the pediatric allergist has some good information for you.

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K.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi D.,

I can't help you with the breast feeding due to allergies but I can suggest something for eczema. I use Renew lotion, which is 6 X more effective than Eucerine, and Renew bath oil. It cannot be purchased at your local stores but I can certainly tell you how to get it. A friend of mine started using it with her little boy and within 2 weeks the eczema was gone.

As for the allergies, you need to find to what degree your little girl is allergic to peanuts, egg whites and cats, if you didn't already get that information. Some children with food allergies have life threatening side effects if they are near the food or touch by someone who has eaten/touched the food. It sounds like your baby doesn't have anything like that. I have a friend that is seeing an allergist in Jacksonville and can find out the name for you if you'd like. Her son is deathly allergic to milk and milk bi-products.

Best of luck to you in finding a solution. Getting rid of family pets is always a hard thing to do. I can't imagine having to part with mine.

K. Woodlief
Work at Home United
www.LiveTotalWellnessToday.com
voicemail/fax: 800-841-5821

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C.J.

answers from Gainesville on

switching to formula will only make it more likely for your daughter to develop more allergies. Why are you cutting out garlic? As for the cat, did the doctor say she was allergic to cat dander, cat saliva, or cat fur? There is a difference. If its cat saliva, you are probably safe to keep the cat. Is the eczema only on the head or is it the entire body? If its only on the head are you sure it isn't cradle cap? My pediatrician had my mother convinced I had eczema and it was only misdiagnosed cradle cap. Does your daughter seem uncomfortable with it? I would say keep breastfeeding and eating whatever you want. I know a lot of "experts" say you should cut whatever it is out of your diet, but I believe that nursing helps a baby's body to "get over" allergies. Keep in mind that 1 in 10 children that has eczema as an infant has it clear up by age 5 with no other intervention. The most common reasons for eczema in babies is genetic predisposition, mother typically suffers from hay fever; and environmental factors like cologne/perfume allergies, pollen, mold, pet dander(perhaps the cat dander), tomatoes, soaps and detergents, dry air, dry skin, excessive heat, sweating, tobacco smoke, and emotional stress. Talk to your doctor about topical antihistamines before discussing dumping nursing and the family cat. Chances are extremely high that if you switch to formula, the eczema won't get any better, but baby will be losing out on everything else it has to offer. Has your baby ever had blood in her stool as that is often present when babies are allergic to dairy, eggs, or nuts that the mother is ingesting. Good luck and please keep nursing, talk to a lactation consultant about the allergies before you make any rash decisions.

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C.M.

answers from Miami on

Don't stop BFing ... allergies are likely one of the BEST reasons to KEEP BFing! I agree with Sarah's response below. Find a nutritionist who believes in the power of whole/natural foods. My DD's allergies and my DS's asthma have both DRAMATICALLY improved since I have switched about 80% of our foods to organic and have eliminated most packaged/convenience foods from our diet.

Good luck!

K.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

As a parent of a child with allergies to wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, potato, peanut and grapefruit, I have this to say...

First off, Eczema *IS* a sign of an allergy or intolerance (not always--but it is a huge sign)...It was my sons first sign, and a way that I know he had an infraction...

Second, not showing outward signs of an allergy tells you very little, since most allergies effect the inside of your body--food wise, this can cause tears in the lining of the stomach, asthma can develop, lung issues, brain function and other thing that you do not see. Depending on how high her levels are for allergies to cats, depends on if the cat needs a new home. ME? I wouldnt take the chance that this cat is making her sick, or causing internal damage. The way allergies work is this--the more you are exposed to an allergen, the worse the allergy will get. If you keep her away from her allergens, this may lessen over time, and eventually, she may be able to tolerate some of her allergens.

Dont be fooled by doctors telling you that they can not determine an allergy till they are 3 years old...This is a median age that most allergies will develop by, this does not mean that allergies can not be exist and be corrected ahead of time, to avoid health problems and damage done. The earlier its caught, the better! I wish I had listened and did more research when my son was 4 months old, vomiting so much that we were afraid we were going to lose him...and we were told by the #1 ped in town that we could not test for allergies till he was 3 years old--It was a load of bull...because we didnt test till he was about 2 1/2, and a different ped/state later, we have some major health issues with our son.

I noticed you said you were avoiding dairy, and took that as you believe eggs are dairy...this is a common mistake. Eggs are not dairy. There are also MANY egg replacers and a lot of different foods that are made without eggs, so life can be hard at first discovering all of it, but can get easier as you learn.

Personally, I feel you need to avoid eggs, peanuts and most nuts in general until you know what her levels are, because its the proteins that are being transferred with your breast milk. These can make her allergy worse, and you dont want to be at the point of having to carry an epi pen with you every where you go.

And the studies of exposure to pets--this was showing that if you have pets growing up, you are less likely to develop allergies---but if you already have the allergy...the more you are exposed, the worse the allergy becomes.

These are my opinions based on my personal experience growing up with allergies, and now have two kids with numerous allergies.

I think its great that you caught this so early and that you are taking the right steps to help her out! :) Great for you! You are a great Mom!

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J.H.

answers from Boca Raton on

D.
Call the Laleche League
I use them as a resource EXCELLENT RESOURCE!!!
Google LaLeche for your local area
Call me if you have any questions.
J. Hagman Nurse Practitioner
Independent Consultant
Arbonne International
###-###-####

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F.R.

answers from Pensacola on

Definitely follow the advice of the many great ladies who said to follow up with an allergist who specializes in this sort of thing.
In the meantime, I would keep the cat away, keep the house clean of dander and hair, stop eating nuts of any kind and not eat eggs.
FYI- I didn't notice it mentioned below, but certain vaccines are developed in eggs, so people that are allergic to eggs cannot get those vaccines. Be sure to let the immunization clinic know that she has tested positive for an egg allergy before she gets any shots. I know she's coming up on her 6 month shots.
Speak with a professional. They can tell you way more about her medical condition than any of our well-meaning moms. *there are great tips to get you through until you do see one, and great support to turn to for encouragement*
good luck!

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E.C.

answers from Miami on

Hello D.-
I also a first timemom of a beautiful baby girl and I am 34 years old. I work from home with a wellness company that sells healthier alternatives to leading brand cleaning,body and bath,hair care, makeup and over the counter drug products that you buy every month in the grocery stores. I started out as a consumer of the products, fell in love with them and started working with the company. My reason for turning to a healthier environment and lifestyle is my 7 month old daughter. I want to make her environment at home safe by cutting out the amonia and the bleach and the other harmful chemicals that are in cleaning and hygiene products, but at the same time get the same outcome if not better. I am very passionate about talking about the products because I use them myself. I have referred people to these products that have certain health problems,like asthma,allergies,diabetes, and skin problems which have ceased since using these environmentally safe products. For more information, you can go to www.livewellonline.info and request information. You can also call me at ###-###-####.

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K.C.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hello
I do not have a cat nor did I breastfeed. I can tell you though that allergies are not something to play around with. They can def. get worse. My 4 year old is allergic to alot of things......
Call Dr. Katz at Nemours. He is a pediatric allergist and is the best in town. ###-###-####
Call now as it may take a while to get in. DO tell them about the tests already so that will get you in sooner. I would take all things out of my diet. Not sure if it will go over to him in your breast milk. But why take the chance. ALso kids with eczema, food allergies are also at a higher risk for asthma.
Put your mind to ease and call Dr. Katz, he is awesome.
K.
[email protected]____.com

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T.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Do not quit breastfeeding! Adding formula to her diet will only open up more allergy problems. Breast milk is the best for babies who have allergies. My daughter is allergic to peanuts, strawberries and shellfish and was some what lactose intolerant until about a year ago. I would talk to your pediatrician about limiting your food intake. It may not be that you have to give these up. But if so it will only be for a short time.

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R.M.

answers from Melbourne on

D.,

Hi, my daughter has severe food alleries. It was not until she was 5 months old that we finally found a doctor that would listen to us and run tests. In the past we were told that she had colic. She is severely allergic to ALL dairy, milk, cream, butter and so on, also eggs, peanuts and soy. She is also allergic to mosquito saliva. She has eczema as well. I would have to venture to say that you do have to avoid these foods while breast feeding, when a person is allergic to foods and they ingest them it is like swallowing poison. My daughter almost lost her life due to allergic reactions, we now carry an epi pen and benedryl with us at all times. Baby formula has milk in it, not sure about eggs, but you have to learn all of the fancy names they have for these things, it will not always say eggs or milk. Go to FAAN.com it is site for children with food allergies and they send you updates on all of the recalled foods that have undeclared products in them. Definately see an allergist, regular doctors just do not have the specialty knowledge that is needed here, and always watch your baby for hives and swelling of the mouth, face and throat.
Good Luck,
R.

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T.L.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi D.. I just went through the very same thing with my son who is 2 1/2 years old. He has had eczema since he was born and about 2 months ago, we decided to do allergy testing on him through one blood draw. He is highly allergic to egg whites, moderately allergic to peanuts, soy, wheat, shrimp, etc. It has been hard but we are getting through it and I keep my head up since I understand he could very well grow out of it. I also did understand that while breastfeeding, you should stay away from soy, peanuts and eggs to possibly avoid allergies in the infant child too. My son test also showed that he is moderately allergic to dog dander and we don't have a dog but I have seen him react a bit to dogs when we go to a friends house who has two of them. I know it's kinda hard but you may have to say "see you later" to your cat. Hey, maybe someone you know like family can take the cat and care for them and you can go see the cat from time to time.

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S.Z.

answers from Miami on

Hi D.,
Regarding the eczema, I have natural products that have cured eczema. You can go to www.createwealth.myarbonne.com and go to Shop Online and then go to ABC (Arbonne Baby Care). The Skin Conditioning oil in the Not So Basic skin care line is also helpful.
Regarding the allergies, the amount of those allergins in the foods you eat are only going to get to her in trace amounts through your breastmilk. I would avoid the peanut butter, but yes, unless you're vegan, egg whites are going to show up everywhere in baked goods. If you like to bake you can substitute the eggs you would put in your baking with Ener-G egg replacer. You can get it at Whole Foods and there is no difference in the flavor of your baking.
Don't give up breastfeeding. You are providing your beautiful baby girl with antibodies to fight off other allergins and viruses and no formula will do that. Besides, formulas are milk based and pose many other allergy risks to your baby.
I hope that helps. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions!
S.

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I agree you need to call a pediatric allergist. You may find out that since your daughter is not exhibiting outward allergic signs that you will not have to find another home for your cats. You should also consult with a lactation consultant regarding your breast milk. Generally speaking they will not diagnose some allergies, asthma etc until a child is 3 years old. (this is what our specialist told us) Eczema is not allergy related. Go online and do some research on childhood allergies prior to seeing the specialist so you're better informed at your appointment. Some studies have shown that exposure to pets decreases long term pet allergies. Good Luck to you, your daughter and your pets.

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P.E.

answers from Panama City on

get her desinsitzing shots Talk to a doc

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J.K.

answers from Boca Raton on

I also have a daughter that has bad eczema. She was also about the same age, and now she is 2 1/2 yrs old. I'm not sure if you need to cut those things out of your diet, but what I was told was to keep breastfeeding for at least 1 year. I took her to a great allergist, but since she is so young there isn't much they will do for her. I would actually suggest a dermatologist. It has worked wonders for my daughter. I hope everything goes alright. Best of luck!!!!!!

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S.R.

answers from Melbourne on

Hello, I have two daughters 4y/o and 2 1/2 yr old. My youngest was diagnosed with food allergies as an infant. Initially it was milk (protein), then at 5 mos. after seeing a pediatric allergist...nuts, eggs, chicken and soy were added. I was also breatfeeding. I did change my diet to accomodate her allergies. I was very carefull as I noticed she became "fussy or had GI issues" if I ate something with minimal amounts of any of the allergic foods. My diet consisted of red meat, veggies and cereal with rice milk. On the bright side...she did outgrow all of the allergies with the exception of nuts and fish (about 16 mos) which will be tested when she turns 3. (all children should avoid nuts and fish until age 3 according to the allergist). I did switch to formula at about 9 mos (Nutramigen) This did take some time to do as I to intruduced it slowly by mixing it with the breast milk. As far as the cat goes...I would definitely find it a new home (at least until she outgrows the allergy, because she could) Well good luck to you, I hope this helps.

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T.M.

answers from Panama City on

Dear D.,

You should check with your doctor about what foods to avoid. My son had eczema also and I tried soooooo many products trying to get his skin better and finally I found a lotion called Renew. It has been clinicaly proven to be 7 times more effective than eucerin and it really did work for my son. It is such a great product, I started marketing it and everyone that gets it loves it! I use it for my feet and they became so soft in just a week! Please contact me if you'd like to know more, I'd love to help you!

Blessings to you and your little one!
T.

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K.A.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

Keep nursing. Exposing her to trace amounts in your diet (since you said you were being careful to avoid triggers) will be better than exposing her to additional potential allergens in formula, which is usually not produced in an allergen-free facility.

As far as the cat goes, it's really hard I am sure, but for your dd's health, I would consider finding a new good home. Talk to your vet. Maybe there is someone who would foster the cat and you could still visit.

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M.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi D., I have severe allergies. I have too many to tell you. But I will say this , do not eat anything made with or cooked with peanuts. I can only drink organic milk, and no eggs. These cause me to have an Asthma attach, so do all pets. I am allergic to all trees, plants and grass. Eggs cooked in dishes like cake do not bother me. Go figure.
Be very careful with her and try one new food at a time. A lot of people like me are allergic to chocolate. Check the fruits she eats too. I know this is a lot, but to keep breathing normaly, I will stop eating what makes me sick. You are doing the right thing, taking her to an allergist. Good luck. M. H. - P.S. I was born with allergies and the older I got, the worse they got.

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J.K.

answers from Gainesville on

I think that breastfeeding will help with her antibodies, but definitely consult with a pediatric allergist. For yourself, don't eat anything with obvious nuts in it, but I don't think you have to go so far as to avoid everything that might have some point been manufactured in the same plant that processes nuts. And you can probably still eat almonds and walnuts and stuff. Why do you have to cut back on dairy? You didn't mention she was allergic to milk. As far as the cat goes, vacuum the heck out of her room and then shut the door to keep the cat out. If she still sleeps in your room, do the same to your room. See if that helps. Talk to your vet about that; they might have ideas. Also talk to a lactation consultant; she can give you ideas about how your diet can affect your poor allergic daughter.

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A.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

If you can start to see an allergy speciallist that would be great. My son has asthma and some allergies. I put him on soy formula at about 6 months because of the congestion. It really did make a difference, he wasn't as congested. He's 2 1/2yr now and his asthma has improved and the allergies are not as bad but at times.
As for the food allergies. Just be careful. You might be able to let her have a very small portion of egg whites but the nut thing might be different.
I'm connected with a mom's networking website that has a forum for asthma and allergies. These moms have been there and are doing just what you are too. Send me a message if you'd like to check out the website and I'll send it too you.

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M.V.

answers from St. Louis on

D., I'm really sorry you've been going through this. It sounds like my daughter's eczema (3 months at the time, now 8 months) She never had an allergy test done, the doctor just told me it was something she'll grow out of and to just bathe her less frequently with oatmeal baths, apply cortisone and aquaphor daily. Her skin never got better. It ended up covering her whole body except for her head. Eucerin burned her skin, maybe due to chemicals. I'd stay away from that.

But it turned out she was allergic to the wheat/gluten I was eating. (I breastfeed) I found this out by researching myself (no thanks to the dr) and eliminating wheat first. (I thought that was the easiest) After about a week or two her skin cleared up. She was almost 6 months. Before that I found Baby's Bliss Baby Dermacream which worked great for calming her skin down.

If I were you I'd keep breastfeeding and research elimination diets for infant allergies. Keep the cat away until you find out what is triggering your baby's eczema. Do a major house cleaning.

Try not to use cortisone creams, even if prescribed. Prolonged use, even short-term use can cause asthma in later years. What it does is suppress the inflammation but it comes right back as soon as you stop using it and you're not supposed to keep using it. Coconut oil does great things for skin, I used that to keep her moist throughout the day and night. Just apply it to her whole body about every diaper change. It gets tiring dealing with this, I know but its definitely worth the effort to know you are doing everything you can do to help your baby and make her healthy again.

Also I would do the test again to make sure and then stop eating those things if you are to continue breastfeeding (don't let this stop you!) If she can't have peanuts that means food that was prepared in the same factory or on the same product line as peanuts. If it were wheat, no soy sauce, etc... you have to be really careful with elimination diets.

I used the aveno oatmeal baths and then when her skin was all cleared up, California Baby. No chemicals. Sunlight is supposed to be really good for clearing up eczema. It was just too hot down here and she'd start sweating which would make it flare up. I really and truly hope this helps. No good luck here, you're a mom and mom's can do anything =)

M.

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S.M.

answers from Miami on

Hi, D.. Don't get rid of your cats just yet. There is something you can try to cut down on the allergic reaction to them. Some pet stores carry a liquid that you can put on a rag or sponge and rub down the cats with it. The cats don't particularly like it, but it doesn't hurt them at all. They also make disposable cat cleaning cloths with allergy-reducing liquid on them, but they can be more expensive. Get some for your aunt and have her wipe down her cats, too.

It is usually not the cat hair that causes the reaction, but the saliva (spit) that cats clean themselves with. You know that they lick themselves all over when they groom themselves; this is what people mostly react to. If your daughter has the eczema but not the breathing problems, then I seriously believe it's not the cat hair, but the saliva. Try this stuff and see if it helps.

As far as the food allergies are concerned, YES YES YES, don't feed her anything with peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil or egg whites. You must also avoid any foods that state on the labeling that they are processed on the same equipment where peanuts are processed, even if the food itself does not contain peanuts. That is because some tiny traces of the peanut oil or peanut powder might remain behind and get into whatever else is processed on those machines. She's not going to be able to eat most candy at all.

I know this is a difficult diet to maintain, but for the sake of your daughter's health, please be very careful. Peanut allergies can be very serious.

I don't know why you are taking out dairy; has she reacted badly to milk products? If not, you may want to give her cheese and yogurt since you can't give her eggs. Don't worry about dairy unless it makes her sick.

Egg whites are in everything made from regular mayonnaise. Some salad dressings and other condiments contain mayonnaise. You can substitute something like Ranch dressing if you can find a lite one that has no eggs or mayonnaise. A good health food store will have some kind of substitute. You can use olive oil and vinegar with some mild herbs instead of regular salad dressings -- it's really easy to do this.

If you really want something creamy, you can take plain yogurt, blend it together with a touch of vinegar and some herbs like dill, parsley, basil, oregano, or marjoram. In fact, I have been told that oregano is helpful for allergy attacks, so if you introduce that herb into her diet, it may help her situation. I use plain yogurt to substitute for all kinds of things -- mayonnaise, sour cream, and so forth.

Don't allow your pediatrician or his staff to be vague with you whatsoever. Make them give you a copy of the allergy report. Then take it to a specialist who will be able to tell you how best to manage your daughter's allergies.

In the meantime, your daughter needs help with the eczema. Pure aloe vera smoothed onto the skin is often helpful. Doctors will probably want you to use a hydrocortisone cream, and this will work, but I'm skeptical of using such stuff every day. Oatmeal baths are supposed to be very good for soothing it too, and Aveno makes a good preparation for this.

I hope this is helpful.

Peace,
Syl

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W.C.

answers from Miami on

If the baby is allergic to anything food-wise and she is breastfeeding then yes you have to cut it out too as she is getting her nutrients from you. Common food allergies are dairy and gluten, and i cut some of it out of my DD diet as she would get eczema patches on her elbow creases. I've come to realize (well at least for now) that her eczema was caused by two things... regular soap that i was using on her and yogurt. SOmething in the yogurt made it worse and then we took her off of it accidently for a week and it was all gone. When we got back she had some yogurt and started itching. so we've stopped that. Also we switched from using johnson's products to Burts Bees or Aveeno. You may want to try natural stuff soaps and fragrances. I can use johnsons lotion on her legs but not her arms (go figure), but immediately after she gets out of the tub i put either cetaphil lotion or aquaphor/eucerin lotion on her as it helps with her dry skin.

You can check out food allergy sites and groups like [email protected]____.com have all types of information that you wouldn't relate to food allergies or intolerances. Good luck

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D.M.

answers from Orlando on

I have many of the same issues with my daughter - 14 months now. Horrible eczema since she was born. She will scratch until she bleeds. They gave her oral steroids and then gave her a topical foam that worked wonders until we stopped (had to though b/c can only use it 4 weeks then have to stop). We have also been to the ped allergist and had blood drawn. She has most of your daughter's same allergies and then some. I breastfed her up until a month ago and never changed what I ate. The dr. and allergist never restricted me. In fact, they stated it was best that she keep being breastfed as it built up her system. Ped allergist says most kids outgrow allergies and they will re-test her as she grows (at about 3). As for now, we have an epi-pen for emergencies. I would suggest seeing the ped allergist about results to find out her level of the allergy -it can be low or high. Let me know if you want a referral. We see a female near dr. phillips area and love her. Good luck.

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C.M.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

Hi D.,

I am the mom of two children and my older child is 8 years old. When she turned 1 she got very sick. Long story short. Over the the coarse of two years we discovered she had 17 food allergies and multiple environmental allergies. (including animals) To start with the pet, your aunt will be the most difficult but I would recommend starting to find alternative arrangements. For yours, I am sure you are connected to itbut this is your little girl. Asthma can be very serious and that can be one side affect that she could develop as a result of the allergy to the cat. My cousin was in this situation and did have to make that decision to find the cat a good home. The next step though is if you have carpets and cloth couches, etc. you do need to soon after have everything thoroughly cleaned. We actually have leather couches now and wood floors and tile floors throughout the house not to be OCD about it all but it is in the end healthier.

As for the food, I WISH someone had guided me while I was breastfeeding. DO NOT STOP. Believe it or not if you adapt your diet without gipping yourself or your little girl protein and other nourishment, you are actually strengthening her body against other potential allergens. Yes you should avoid anything with nuts - all nuts in it. You will need to start to read labels. Nuts are not an essential part of your diet that it is going to harm you or her to remove them from your diet. The only thing it did to me was cause withdrawl from Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! (hee hee) But again, when I found out it was way too late. I just stopped eating them altogether because I didn't know how severe her allergy was and didn't want peanut butter or nuts around her. As for the egg white, it will be difficult to avoid. Consult a pediatric allergist but I would just avoid eating eggs for now but not food with eggs in them. I would thing the egg protein would be broken down enough that by the time it made it to your breast milk you'd be okay. Maybe avoid things for the time being like cakes and brownies, etc. - the nonessentials until you speak with someone. And please feel free to contact me anytime directly. I have been living with food allergies for 7 years now. My daughter is down from 17 to 14. May not seem like much but to us it is Major! My son is on a gluten and dairy free diet as well. It's a tough thing but it is so managable and doesn't have to rule your life. But number one - I say keep breastfeeding. IF you go to formula you will need to be very careful. It won't have the same protection that the breastmilk does in building up her immune system more.

[email protected]____.com
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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

I do not have much experience with allergies in small children, but I do have some experience with breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the healthiest choice for your daughter and will help to reduce the amount of her reaction to the things she is allergic to. If you choose to change over to formula, your daughter will not get the natural antibodies provided through the breastmilk from your body. The antibodies are what helps your child's immune system to build the strength it needs to fight disease, germs and other such things.

I also recommend calling a pediatric allergist.

HTH

S.

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I.T.

answers from Orlando on

My son was diagnosed at 2 months but it does not sound like it was as severe as your daughter. We really did not have to do intense therapy until he was 4.5 years. He is now 5.5 years old.

My advice would be to look at your family history and try to find out about any allergies. Avoid all high allergy foods and those that your family members have, even trace amounts. Try to continue breastfeeding as it is the best option for the first year of life. If you can't try formula, but be aware that some allergic babies are also allergic to milk and soy!! Talk to your doctor about the options before switching.

My poor son inherited all of the allergies even from great-grandparents. We did not know until last year about his multiple allergies (dog, cat, all nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy, regular milk, eggs, peas etc.).

Consider seeing an allergist, as our son soon developed asthma last year due to allergies. As the seasons change she may devlop it too. My son has been having intense allergy shots and other treatment...he is doing so much better!! They are the experts. We saw many pediatricians and dermatalogists and the allergist really did it for us!

Also go online to www.aafa.org, the Astham and Allergy Foundation of America. They have many resources, especially on children who have eczema related allergies.

Good luck!

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L.H.

answers from Miami on

the blood tests is called the RAST I do believe. I also am not sure about it's accuracy (false negatives/false positives, etc). I would research some and also then go to a pediatric allergist to get some 'real' answers...

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R.B.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi D., I went through the whole allergy bit w/ my son when he was a baby. His eczema was on his face and throughout his body. Another member of my family recommended this soap and lotion from a company called melaleuca (a wellness company). The soap is called "platinum". It's not tear free so bath the baby w/ it but don't get it into her eyes. And then lather her w/ this lotion called "renew". This is not tear free so don't get it into her eyes. I know your probably like "okay too much trouble or risk using non tear free stuff w/ babies". I thought the same thing to. But my son's eczema was getting so bad I had to try something. So I tried it and to my surprise it worked, very well. I started doing this when my son was a baby and I'm still using it on him four years later. His eczema has cleared up and I've not had a problem since. I also found out my son was allergic to milk so I've substituted all the milk products w/ soy products. Trying to avoid all the foods your baby has allergies to will drastically help her eczema as well. I hope this helps. Eczema in babies is not fun.

Robin

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