My Son Needs to Be Seen by a Dr. for His Dry Chapped skin...but...?

Updated on December 14, 2011
K.I. asks from Lindenhurst, NY
27 answers

Hi All,

But what kind of Dr.? Do I take him to his regular Dr. and ask for a referral? It takes MONTHS to get an appt. w/his regular Dr. and I do not want to wait that long, can I take him to the Minor Emergency that is connected to his Dr.'s office and get a referral??

My son has WAY chapped hands and a lil' around his face....almost all the time recently but it is severe (cracked and bleeding) during the winter...I am starting to worry it might be Exzema/Excema? or something similar...and he absolutely needs REAL medication to help it heal up. I have used all the stuff I can find (Aveeno, etc.) at the Health food stores and the regular stores and nothing is helping and I know he is hurting.

Thank you!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

OK all you wonderful ladies...Thank you so much for all your answers!

He had his appointment today with the dermatologist and he does in fact have Eczema, they prescribed him a steroid cream and gave us instructions on what we need to do at home. As it turns out the cats at home might also be contributing to his problems, sad!

Thanks again guys...You all ROCK!

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

my daughter has this too, the best stuff is a lotion called is by a company called melaleuca.......i tried the meds the dermatologist prescribed but they didn't work half as good as Renew. If you could try to find someone that sells this, you won't be sorry & its inexpensive

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

My son has excema and the doctor gave us a sterioid cortisone ointment that we put on him and then told us to use aquaphor in between. His get's really itchy and comes in patches on his chest, arms and legs for various reason. I only use the prescription ointment when his itchy spots first appear, and then i use the aquaphor after that. He clears up - and it comes again... it's just a viscious cycle, but the prescription works immediately.


answers from Spokane on

My oldest gets extremely dry and chapped when the cold weather hits. Go buy some Cetaphil cream - in the short tub thing, not the lotion, b/c it works better. Lather him up 1-2x daily.
Both my boys have eczema and the Cetaphil keeps 95% away ~ they get a few "spots" but that's usually if I have forgotten to lather them up for a few days in a row.

More Answers


answers from Redding on

Tell your doc you need a referral asap. In the meantime use some warmed olive oil on him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

He needs to see a dermatologist and unfortunately, those can take months to get an appointment with (unless you want to pay out of pocket for things like botox and laser procedures, then they'll fit you in right away. But I digress...). Call your pediatrician's office and explain the situation. He or she might be able to diagnose and prescribe something him or herself and in that case, ask how he can be seen soon. I would imagine that you could use whatever procedure one would use for a sick or mildly injured child.

If this is something your doc doesn't feel comfortable handling and would refer out, then you should be able to get a referral over the phone with no appointment.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Ped derm.

I second the olive oil. It is very like the oils your skin makes and will help rehydrate his skin. I actually have been know to float olive oil on my bath water to help (some soap in the water helps it to disperse, like shampoo).

If you still use wet wipes on him they M. also be drying. I use landolish (sp?) brand as they have lanolin in them which is also an oil. Less drying.

Also, I was diagnosed with excema and it turned out I was allergic to aloe vera. Not saying that he doesn't but be aware that there are so many things that your son could be in contact with and any one of the could be it. At the time my shampoos, conditioners, face creams, ance soap and even my feminine napkins had aloe in them.

We are military so we have to have a referral. But you M. not need one...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just put Vaseline on his skin. Nothing else, not even Aquaphor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

A pediatric dermatologist is probably best. Call your insurance company and ask what their policy is regarding referrals. Do you have an HMO or a PPO?

Cerave lotion has worked best for my son, who has pretty bad eczema and a bunch of allergies. It's sold at a lot of drugstores (Walgreens, CVS) but I haven't seen it at Target or Ralph's. Aquaphor also works well but it's so slimy we don't like using it all the time.

We do have a couple of different steroid lotions/oils that we use when he is really bad, prescribed by a dermatologist.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You need a dermatologist.

I'm sorry that it takes months to get an appointment with your doctor. That sucks. I get same day appointments. I don't know why yours is so different.

Eczema is also considered an allergic reaction. It can be scaly (like a fish) and rough. I don't know how old your son is - but you can monitor and change his diet as well...take one thing out for a week (gluten items) and see if that changes anything.

Get a humidifier in the house for the winter. That will help as well.

If this ONLY happens in the winter - it's not eczema - at least I don't think it is. I'm not a doctor.

I use Mary Kay Night Emollient cream on my dry skin, lips and face. It is wonderfully soothing as it doesn't burn when applied to cracked skin (outside in the stinging cold for too long!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

My son has eczema. OTC stuff, esp Aveeno, contains alcohol, which just makes matters worse. Go to the urgent care and he should be properly treated with some prescription strength hydrocortizone ointment. If it is eczema, then it's an allergic reaction to something either environmental or food related. The trick to controlling these flare-ups is to eliminate the underlying allergen (which may involve a trip to an allergist).
Also, I think I would find a new pediatrician if if takes that long to get an appointment. :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I have read that PURE coconut oil will help dry cracked skin... it promotes healing and moisturizes at the same time. not to mention, you can cook with it :) but apart from that, it is helpful.. but buy the pure stuff.... not lotions..... find it at health food stores..

best to you and yours

Aveeno doesn't do much



answers from Oklahoma City on

Call your insurance provider. They are the only ones who can tell you if the primary doc has to do a referral. We have a state medical card for the kids and once they realized they were spending tons of money for a child to go in, the doc take a look, then say "I can't treat this, you need a specialist" is saving them a ton of money now if the parents just call one of the docs on the list and tell them the symptoms, they can say yes or no, we do or do not treat stuff like this.

Once your insurance tells you what their policy is you can also ask them if they have a list of docs or if they have a nurse on duty to answer questions. Ours does. She is usually right on the money too. It is her job to save them money and get a person to the right kind of doc.


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter had excema for a long time and when it got bad my husband would mix a few things to help it. It didn't feel great on her, so we'd let her run around to get air on her - or put a fan right by her to help soothe it...but within a couple of hours her skin was soft as a baby's behind. I'll ask him what it was.

And do some research on lotions - Aveeno didn't really help to solve it, but it helps keep it maintained. My daughter still can only use the Baby Aveeno lotion though, and she's 8.

She also only uses Metaluca soap.


answers from Kansas City on

You need to see a dermatologist and see if it is eczema or not. I had it as a child and some of my kids did and you have to get a prescription that works for that. You may need to try several before you get one that works or use a steroid even. If it's dry skin there is vaseline and put it on at night every night. If you could see my hands right now from dryness you would be shocked and I put lotion on ( Vaseline cocoa butter ) and have tried everything out there. I think if it's dryness you need to have him stay hydrated well too in winter but if eczema you need medication. See a doctor to get something while you wait for a referral to a dermatologist if you can. I can tell you eczema is miserable and bleeding dry cracked hands and face are too.



answers from Phoenix on

My kids and I had severe eczema and nothing the doctors prescribed helped. with me it made it worse because I was allergic to everything. I use Renew lotion and it helps a lot. I also found that vaseline helped too. With Renew lotion, you use it once and it helps for 24 hours. We use it at night after our showers. With the vaseline, you have to wet the skin, then dry it with a towel, then apply the vaseline. That way you trap the moisture in rather than just trapping dry skin. Good luck!!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I have eczema on my hands and NOTHING but an Rx is going to help it--not Vaseline, not Aquaphor, etc. Eczema is not "dry skin" so it does need special attention.
Look for the listing of dermatologists near you and start calling...see who can get you in first. IF you can even find a pediatric derm (we have 2 in our entire city!) be prepared to wait. Personally, I'd see a regular derm b/c you will get in sooner, and eczema is a pretty common condition, so it's not going to "stump" them or anything!
Good luck.


answers from Chicago on

Ok, Vaseline is just a barrier to keep dry skin dry, it does nothing for this. You need to simply get your doc to call in a dermatologist referral or find out from your insurance if you need one for a dermatologist. I also agree that if it is that difficult to see your regular pedi then it is time to move on. He/She is there to SERVE YOU and if you can not just call and have an appointment with in a few days then there is NO SERVICE. I have NEVER had a doctor tell me they could not see me with in 5 days of my phone call other than a specialist - even then I was able to rangle a faster appointment by "working the system" of wait lists. Specialists, are the only ones that I would "tolerate" that from and that is because they should be the only one in the area that knows about your particular issue!


answers from Norfolk on

How old is he?
Is he sucking his thumb or chewing his fingers?
Does he have to wash his hands a lot (lot's of hand sanitizer, etc)?
You need to stay away from anything with alcohol in it - that makes the drying worse.
A dermatologist would be best to be seen soon as possible.
You could try Bag Balm on his hands over night (have him wear cotton gloves over it).
In the mean time, try oatmeal bathes (Aveeno makes one) and have him play with oatmeal (smoosh it with his hands) - it's very soothing to the skin.
Some Epsom salts in the bath are soothing too.
Before there were steroids to use for skin irritations (eczema, poison ivy, contact dermatitis, etc) people used jewel weed salve to calm the itching.
Google it and you can buy it from a number of places.
I hope he feels better soon.



answers from Las Vegas on

If he has Eczema, I don't see why he couldn't go to an urgent care. Although I don't think it is life threatening, it is very painful and uncomfortable.

If the affected area is bleeding, he could get infections, which would make it an emergency too.



answers from Los Angeles on

start putting neosporne on it and lotion religiously. when we goes to school put vasiline on his fave. also put it on his face and hands at night. my daughter gets like this too and thats what i do for her and her cheeks are perfect.


answers from La Crosse on

my son has it and we do vaseline daily (we do it at night right before he goes to bed because he doens't like the "sticky" feeling from it) and oatmeal baths once a week. It works wonderful!

When we do the oatmeal bath we let him play in the tub. Otherwise on the other days ( he only gets a bath 3x a week, water dries out the skin) he gets a lukewarm bath and its just washing and getting out, no playing.

Also we put a humidifer in his room so the air wasn't so dry.

You can call your ped and they can refer you to a ped derm over the phone or set up an appt by 3 way on the phone.



answers from Los Angeles on

It most defanitly sounds like exima. My son has pretty dry skin as well. The dr. just told me to "slather" his skin with baby lotion after every bath and about 4 other time throughout the day. If that isn't working for you, you will have to go to the dr for a referral. He may need an antibiotic cream with steroid in it.



answers from Denver on

It sounds like eczema. My dad, my son and my friend's son had it as well as my other three kids have VERY dry skin. We all have found success with Arbonne products. All natural, gluten free, and vegan. Worked like a charm for us. Let me know if you have trouble finding a consultant, the products are not in stores.

Yikes! I just noticed a post that said to use something with lanolin in it. I just want to caution you, although it works great for some people, it is an extremely high allergen and if your son is sensitive already you might have a nightmare on your hands with lanolin. In fact, you might want to look at a lot of the products you already have, lanolin could have been the culprit all a long. We had this happen too in our family, so I felt compelled to warn you.



answers from Seattle on

If it takes months for you to get an appointment it's time to look for a new "regular" doctor. Chapped/dry skin, even if it is cracked is not an emergency and you really shouldn't utilize emergency care just to get a referral.
With something like this I would simply take my kid to a family doctor or pediatrician and they may refer you to a dermatologist.



answers from New York on

Dermatologist, or pediatric dermatologist if they have those. When my daughter's skin got dry (when she was a baby) we used Aquaphor. It is the only thing that really worked. Also, watch what you are using to wash hands/face. Make sure it is as gentle as possible. And maybe a colloidal oatmeal bath?

Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

You can also try Neosporin. Then wrap the hands at night in some gloves. There will be improvement by morning.



answers from San Diego on

I have tried two products that work. The first one is 100% pure Shea Butter. You can order from Amazon if you have trouble finding it in stores - it costs only $6-$8. The second one is Aquaphor Advanced therapy healing ointment for dry cracked or irritated skin. I prefer the Shea Butter as it is natural and it has been a saver for my family this winter. Make sure you try a little bit first to make sure there are no reactions to it. Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions