Seeking Alternatives to a High Dose Steroid Cream for Daughters "Rash"

Updated on August 20, 2008
B.C. asks from Carterville, MO
43 answers

Recently my 7 year old daughter started to experience some trouble with dry patches of skin. I didn't really worry about it at first, I just treated it like you would mild excema. It started getting worse though, it was on her forehead and in her eyebrows and she had a huge patch on her arm and a large patch on her shin, and assorted smaller spots. So I finally decided it was beyond me and made an appointment with her pediatrician. The pediatrician was baffled and at least was honest enough to say she didn't know what it was. She told me it had qualities of both excema and psoriasis, but it was unusual for a child so young to have psoriasis and not have it somewhere in our family. She gave me some great ideas on how to help it get better, not using bubble bath or soap, keeping her skin hydrated using aquaphor. My concern is she prescribed a high dose steroid cream ( she referred to it as an emergancy cream) it can be used twice a day but only for 4 weeks at a time. It honestly made a huge difference in just a few days, but I don't feel good about it, the side effects and warnings listed gave me panic attacks. I just wondered had anyone had kids go through something similar? I know there has to be other products that are safer out there, am I out of place to tell the doctor that even though this worked that this is not a long term solution and ask her to prescribe something else? I just always feel like I have no say when I talk to doctors, any responses appreciated!!!

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So What Happened?

First...a Big thank you to all of your suggestions, advice, support. I have tried some of the suggestions and have some I have jotted down as to be tried later. At the moment the spots on her face are totally cleared up ( big relief) and the two really bad spots one patch on her arm and one patch on her shin are remarkably improved. She still has some mild tiny spots. We went back for our follow up. I really lie this pediatrician, but she basically "poo-pooed" my concern for the steroid, she said she felt comfortable enough with it to prescribe to babies. So here I am....we have no official diagnosis, we have no "cure" I guess we are just supposed to live with it? Also she did not refer me to anyone else, maybe I am supposed to ask for a specialist ( I am not sure our insurance would cover it) or ask for a second opinion. We did talk about some other issues, and it looks like we will be scheduling an appointment to have the CARS test done on Kristen.

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V.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Both my boys have eczema and we use Aloe vera gel, it really helps. Aloe vera as you probably know is very soothing to the skin with no side effects! The kind we use is called Ultimate Aloe and can be bought online at www.marketamerica.com/2bewell
We also drink Ultimate Aloe vera juice which tastes great and also helps.
V.

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A.P.

answers from Kansas City on

B.,
I also have 2 kids with sensitive skin. We use Dove senisitive skin body wash and Vanicream (used as a base for most prescription skin creams but can be bought without a prescription.) We slather the kids after their bath with it before we dry them. You can find it at Walgreens and Costco. I also use ALL free and clear laundry detergent and use fabric softener sheets sparingly.

Good luck, its not easy

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N.G.

answers from St. Louis on

Go to a dermatologist. It sounds like it could be a form of seborrhic dermatitis and that requires antibiotics to keep it in control.

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K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi B.,

First, you are never out of line to say to a doctor, "I don't feel comfortable with this (treatment or prescription), are there other alternatives we can discuss".

Second, I have some ideas you might try for her skin. My daughter struggled with excema when she was about 2-3. I found the following work really well and I don't veer off it it much, I occassionally don't bring it with me for out of town, otherwise, I use it.

The products are from a company called Melaleuca. They are mostly natural and use tea tree oil. I have really loved every product I use of their's. I use the body soap and the lotion called "Renew" on my daughter (and husband!). It's a miricle. You can check them out on-line and see if you find a consultant near you.

For my husband, we'd tried everything including $200 prescription. Nothing, nothing worked like him using their soap and lotion. For both my husband, who has fought severely dry skin for years, and my daughter, it's as if using these products has healed them. I no longer even "must" put the lotion on my daughter after every bath, again, it's a miracle!

I also still use Dreft for her laundry. I haven't wanted to temp fate. Espcially for her sheets, jammies, undies and her wash cloths. I don't make exceptions for those laundry items.

Good luck! K.

P.S. Her doctor first prescribed Elidel. Helped, but then the FDA came out with a big black box warning about it causing cancer and I threw the expensive tube in the trash. I'm so glad I did, as discovering the Melaleuca products has prevented her from having a skin problem, I no longer have to treat outbreaks, they don't happen.

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L.S.

answers from Wichita on

Talk to your pharmacist, they can certainly tell you all about the steroid cream. Also since you can only use this for 4 weeks ask the doctor what to use after that. It helps to write down any questions before you go to the doctor so when you get nervous you can remember.

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V.S.

answers from St. Louis on

I was diagnosed with psoriasis as a child, around age 6, and there was also not a family history. Our doctor recommended me to a dermatologist and he also prescribed a rather "potent" cream for me that was only for outbreaks. I would have to use it during those times, but not as a maintenance cream. The outbreaks became less frequent as I grew older and then stopped completely when I got into high school. I have a feeling that starting my period had something to do with it...mostly because it flared up again both times I was pregnant. (Just something to keep in mind as your daughter gets older.) During the pregnancy flare-ups I found a natural ointment called PsoriaFlora that is very helpful. You could look for that in health food stores to keep around the house in the event of minor flare-ups. Also, I don't know if this will help to ease your mind, but I never experienced any side-effects from the steriod cream.

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C.G.

answers from Columbia on

One alternative might be using Emu Oil. If you google it, you will find tons of uses for it. It is pure and natural, nothing added, except sometimes vitamin E. You can buy it at a health food store or online. Here is a good informational website on it:

http://emuoildepot.com/index.html

Also, she may be having a reaction to some soap or lotion she is using. Can you try switching your laundry detergent to dye and perfume free, or better yet, an all natural, earth friendly brand? Same with her bath soaps and lotions. Avoid using types with Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulphate or other irritants in them. These can be found in a health food store. If you live near a HyVee, they have a great section for this. The Emu Oil can also be used in place of lotion. It doesn't leave a greasy feeling (unless you use too much at one time). I have done some research on the chemicals used in regular body products and they contain tons of harsh chemicals and some are possible carcinogens. I never realized before how much your skin absorbs what you put on it so now I stick with the safe stuff. A tiny bit pricier, but worth it to me.

Hope this helps.

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A.L.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi B., I struggled with dry patches of skin on my upper arms for several years with one family practitioner misdiagnosing it and making it worse. A year ago, my current doctor suggested I used a prescription lotion that was really expensive. (Her daughters happened to have the same condition and their dermatologist prescribed it for them.) Anyway, my insurance would not pay for the prescription lotion. Thankfully, a pharmacist told me about the over the counter generic version. The lotion is is called AmLactin Moisturizing Lotion. It is manufactured by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. I get my lotion at Target (it is on an end cap near the pharmacists). Wal-Mart also carries it, but you have to ask the pharmacist for it. It generally runs about $13 for the bottle, which last a really long time. The lotion itself smells slightly like ammonia and it's consistency is thin. This has helped me so much that I use it about once a week now, just as a maintenance/preventative measure. Good luck!

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L.M.

answers from Wichita on

I don't know much about the rash situation, but if you have a question about what the doctor is prescribing, you should feel comfortable enough with the pediatrician to ask if there is another alternative. Even if there isn't - at least you will know understand why. It's always best to be safe than sorry - if you pose it as a question to understand the doctors position better, the doctor shouldn't get offended if you are only trying to educate yourself more and do what's best for your child.

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S.T.

answers from St. Louis on

Try Melaleuca's Renew lotion. I know someone who had really really bad excema his whole life, and tried it and it went away in a week. He swears by it. He claims it is so good he would pay $100 per bottle if he had to. I use it on myself and I have been using it on my son since he was born and he has beautiful skin. Go to Melaleuca.com

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

My youngest daughter has excema and an allergy to nickel and has to use steroid cream. We've never suffered any of the side effects from it. We don't use it unless she is bad off, which most of the time is the case or in the winter really bad. Instead we use different creams, like Eucerine. We bathe her in oatmeal soap or soaps without fragrance to help also. In the summer we swim a lot and don't have a lot of breakouts. Keep her moisturized with lots of lotion. The Eucerine is great to slather her with at night and leave it on all night. It took 2 years for us to find out what was wrong with our daughter and now that we are informed it is easier to deal with. Good luck and God Bless.

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A.D.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi B.,
I would agree that you might want to get a referral to a dermatologist, but just be aware that they will likely give you the same steroid cream, but hopefully along with a diagnosis! Steroid creams can treat a variety of issues from allergic outbreaks to eczema to psoriasis, etc. It will quiet pretty much anything that is caused by inflammation. Most creams are not going to cause any problems by applying them to the skin for a short time (couple weeks). The amount that is absorbed in that short time is quite small. Keep in mind that they often prescribe oral or injectible steroids for severe allergy or asthma, which again, in a short course, is safe. If you are thinking it may be related to allergy, you might want to try the children's Zyrtec...it is excellent for allergic rashes. (but it can make them sleepy, so try it at bedtime.) In the meantime, if you want to cut the steroid cream to be a bit less potent and hydrate the skin as well which will help in eczema, you can mix it half and half with Aquaphor and it will still be very helpful without being drying. So, in summary, I'd use the cream as needed to give her some relief, maybe try the Zyrtec, all while trying to get in to see a dermatologist. Best of luck!

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R.W.

answers from St. Louis on

B., I understand you concern about the steriods. My grandaughter had excema at a young age and she was even on oral steriods plus the cream. Not a good thing and it didnt work as well as it should have. We were introduced to the ABC Baby care lotion from Arbonne International and it has taken care of her skin problems. It is an all natural product and does not have any fragrance at all. She is not 14 and still uses the products when she has a breakout. I have some samples if you would like one, just e-mail me your mailing info and and i send you a free sample. R. W.

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R.Y.

answers from Wichita on

My 2nd daughter had these crazy spots that for 6 months I thought were ring worm and treated as such until they became raw and bled. I felt horrible. Anyway after years of different high steroid creams that eventually bleached her surroundings skin, the dermatologist said that some of it was eczema, but what was on her head (neck up) was actually psoriasis. Seriously Elidel for the body spots and a peanut oil/steroid ointment for head, and some antibiotic cream for the infected areas did the trick. our pediatrician was not much more help than it sounds like yours is. (I adore my pediatrician) But this needed a specialist. Good luck, R.

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E.M.

answers from St. Louis on

You are right it's not a long term solution, BUT it helps when needed. My 4 y/o son has the same thing and we actually had to up the ointment to something stronger, because nothing was helping. I only use it when it acts up and fo rhim it doens't take more than a week of daily usage to clear up. Our pediatrician thinks he may outgrow it, but he will always have dry skin.
If I remember right, our ped. said the reason to watch how often you use it, because the higher the steroid dose, the more likely it is to thin your skin. I don't think you have too much to worry about, so try not to, (easier said than done, I know). Since we've started using about a year ago, his skin has cleared up and we have had fewer break outs. By the way, I still have to give him Benedryl to help with the itching on rare occasions.
Good luck! Also, NEVER second guess yourself when it comes to your children, even with their doctor. Their job is to listen to you and help you keep your kids healthy and safe! If you have a concern, tell them! Maybe he could find another form of treatment you are more comfortable with.

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K.A.

answers from Kansas City on

My friend's son has really bad eczema and said that the Arbonne ABC products for kids along with the rejuvenating cream clears up his patches. I bought the rejuvenating cream which is about $40 for the dry patches on my daughters skin. It cleared up the patches after a couple applications. The cream can be used for sunburns, rashes, anything dermatological. It's worth a try!!

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Maybe it is time to go to a dermatologist instead of the pediatrician. A dermotologist would know all of the possible treatments. My daughter has gone through a similar situation (on a smaller scale). Her dermatologist really helped.

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J.S.

answers from Columbia on

I have seen our shea butter, OMH bath bar clear up rash's and also have people with severe exema use the shea butter. We have one rep who started selling our products because of her little girl and medications they were giving her for exema and she uses the OMH bath bar and shea butter now and no medications. Visit my website www.jordanrep.com/8708 These products are all natural, made in the USA and family friendly.

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K.W.

answers from Kansas City on

The Aquaphor is good, are you using it? Other good treatments are Eucerin cream and a Baby Oil made by Arbonne. It's not like regular baby oil; it doesn't clog pores and works really well.

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T.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I used and continue to use "RENEW" Lotion from Melaleuca.

It has worked great for my son and I. They also have many products with tea tree oil in them that could help.

I have also used auaphor, & Arbonne products even though they are very good they did not do well on my sons skin. I treid numerous products before I found the Renew lotion. so far this has been working.

Its a lot of trial and error I know. As everyone's skins reacts differently .

Hope you find somehting very soon for your daughter.

T. Soto
[email protected]____.com

I do represent Melaleuca if I can answer any any questions for you

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

My son has some skin problems, too (dryness, flaking, redness, etc). Aquaphor worked, but not well enough. My husband's grandmother made up a wonderful and cheap lotion that we use on him all the time, and it makes a world of difference.
Using a hand mixer, mix together one large tub of petroleum jelly, the same amount of Johnson's baby lotion (the generic is fine), and half that amount of vitamin E cream. It is amazing stuff. And it smells great!

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D.M.

answers from Kansas City on

B.,
My youngest daughter had severe excema when she was a baby, and has mostly outgrown it now. Her skin would get so bad it would oooz and pus...very painful for her. I was also given a couple of prescription creams, both steroids. One was actually recalled not too long after for some serious side effects and like you, I was always hesitant to use them, but did when I felt it was necessary. We had a nanny at the time that was into all natural products and alternatives to medicine, and one day she brought over this bottle of Emu Oil. I tried it and it worked wonderfully. I am not sure where she got it, I think maybe a health store of some sort. Try looking it up online to find somewhere to purchase. We never had to use the steroid creams again. Hope this helps!
D.

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L.B.

answers from St. Louis on

My nephew started showing signs of psoriasis (sp?) at age 4 I think. No one in our family has it. ??? It's terrible if you don't use medicine.

But the main thing I wanted to comment on is: I don't understand why people don't realize YOU pay your doctor. He works for you. He is not God. He is not Perfect. He's a human that is flawed and will make mistakes.

I don't think the cream is bad. It's not being injested. But any questions you have - ask right there. And if your doctor acts like he doesn't like questions - switch to a different doctor. One of my kids was diagnosed with Asthma at 4 years old. The doctor put him on a steroid pill. So the first round went fine took care of the problem and then the second round came to quick for me. So I told the doc - I would like to try something else. I don't feel like I can make a decision that jeopardizes his liver, etc... at age 4. The doctor said "No, problem we'll try something else."

If you have more questions call your pharmacy. I don't use wallgreens pharmacy but I call them with any questions about any drugs. Or look online.

God Bless,
L. B

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P.H.

answers from Wichita on

I too am suprise your Pediatrician didn't refer you to a Dermatologist, my son was an infant and had rashes that would come and go. I got the referal and the Dermatologist took one look at it and said "Oh, I know what that is, it's atopical dermatitis" It's a form of eczema.
That being said, he was also prescribed and emergency cream for flare ups, that was a combination of bactrin(antibiotic) and cortizone mixed in a Eucerine base. It worked but I too worried about the steroid effects.
My exMotherinlaw(Grandma) gave us some Melaleuca products to try and it all works great, from the bar soap, oil, and Renew lotion. We use it now. Also, hydration is very key, so soaking in warm water(not hot) for up to 20 minutes before applying the lotion is important according to the Dermatologist. We use Eucerine after the bath before bedtime. This summer we noticed his arms would almost intantly heal after being at the swimming pool so I know this really is important.
Also, when I took my son to the Chiropractor for his sports physical, she suggested that he take a good quality fish oil twice a day, and I report that I am amazed at the improvement in his skin!
Get a diagnosis.
Avoid detergents with perfumes and dyes as clothing, towels, bedding all come in contact with the skin.
good luck!

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J.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I am surprised that since your doctor didn't know what it was that she didn't refer you to a dermatologist. A dermatologist would be more likely to identify it, and perscribe a more focused treatment rather than something that might be over treating the problem.

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K.M.

answers from St. Louis on

B.,
My step daughter has a lot of skin problems and I also have mild excema and slight psoriasis and I started selling Arbonne last year so we both use it now and neither one of us has had a problem. I could definately meet with you and make some suggestions if you would like.
All my best,
K. Modglin
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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S.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Try 100% pure Shea butter. I met a lady at a craft fair who sells it, the website is sliceofnature.com. Awesome stuff.

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Try Arbonne. Her son had the same and that is why she is now selling this product. Her email is: [email protected]____.com

All natural, very good. Try their website which I assume is arbonne.com

M.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi B.,

I have been ther! Melaleuca has a great treatment and it is al natural, i don't do the business anymore because it was time consuming and I don't really like doing it (but if you need more info I can help you there), the products works great for eczema and rash, my daughter had it in her feet when she was two, it was bad and since I use the renew lotion and the Gold bar soap, it never came back and you don't have to deal with corticoids, it is all naturally based without harsh chemicals.
I woul be happy to let you know how to purchase here if you want or I can also give you the info on the business if you are interested on that as well. It really works!
Best of luck!
Mariana Abadie

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H.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I experienced a horrible case of excema all around my eyes due to a prescription dry eye drop I was told to use. A holistic doc told me to use castor oil on it and it worked. It totally went away and has not returned. It took some time, but it did go away. It can be a little messy so you have to use it sparingly. I used it at night, so that my face wasn't all greasy during the day. The castor oil is a natural source of vitamin E. You can get it anywhere, but I got it at walgreens near the Pharmacy part of the store. Good luck!!

H.

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K.W.

answers from St. Louis on

2 of 3 of my children had execema. But 1 had it really bad. Nothing was working. Elidel worked but direct sunlight can cause a burning effect where I applied it. So, after a bath, I decided to apply vaseline all over the body because I want my child to enjoy outside activities without worry. It worked. His skin is so much better--to the point where I applied elidel 2 nights this year. I only use elidel when necessary but mostly at night because my kids are very ACTIVE. :)

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J.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Have you heard of Arbonne? It's an amazing line of natural products. I have seen some amazing results, and use it myself. I actually just signed up with the company I love it so much. I can get you more info on the products and if you are interested, buying the products. Also if u want, you can also sign-up and get 35% off of your orders. Let me know if I can help, I'd love to.
Jess Klein

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S.R.

answers from Springfield on

B.,

I thought I would recommend that you schedule your daughter with and allergy specialist. There are so many skin conditions out there that can also be related to allergies. They would be able to give you a better diagnosis and maybe a different alternative than the steroid creams. Even though I know when I worked in the field 7yrs ago we still prescribed steroid creams or maybe even a quick dose of prednisone.

I wish you luck in your search for your daughters sake!!

S.

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C.V.

answers from St. Louis on

I would take her to a dermatoligist (sp?), peds are just not qualified to diagnose a specialized problem. They deal with general health.

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

If it were my kiddos and the Dr. was unclear about what it was and gave me a medication,I would get a second opinion the Dermatologist would give you a better diagnosis since they know all about the skin.Rashes spots, are hard to diagnose it may look like Exzema but could she have gotten into any chemicals that have burned her skin making it look the way it does.Sahm of 2 and one more on the way!!

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J.M.

answers from St. Louis on

B.,

I would just ask the pediatrician for a referral to see a dermatologist. If your pediatrician didn't know what it was, then you probably need to go to a skin doctor who will. That way you won't be treating it blindly. Good luck to you!

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D.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Have you tried Hydrocortisone? You can get it in a 1% or a 1/2% strength. When my son was younger (he's 3 now) he had some very mild skin issues. His pediatrician said to use Hydrocortisone cream on the problem areas twice a day until it cleared up. At first we were using the 1% strength, but as it turned out the 1/2% strength was enough to do the trick, so we switched. Obviously the lower the dosage the longer you can use it without adverse affects, so keep in mind that you should only use creams with steroids that have the lowest dosage you need... especially if you are going to use them long term.

I hope this helps!

D.

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J.H.

answers from Wichita on

Hi B.,

Poor little girl!! I have a few ideas that may work for her. May I send you some free samples of Daisy Blue Naturals products?? We are truly natural, no hidden chemical ingredients. If you are interested, please contact me. I would love to help her out.

Best Wishes,

J. Hobbs
Daisy Blue Naturals
[email protected]____.com
www.3743.daisybluenaturals.com
###-###-####

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M.S.

answers from Wichita on

My best friend's daughter (6) has a patch under her chin that has been there for years. The doctor offered a similar steroid solution a few years ago, but the best thing we have found is using a few products from a health and wellness company called Melaleuca. Before I go on, this is a company you join with a membership(like Sam's), and there are no stores, only catalog or internet. But, Tasha's daughter was greatly helped by the "gold bar" (soap) and the Renew lotion. She used to have a constant open sore on her neck, and now it is a closed small scar. They make their products with all non-toxic ingredients. It seems to make a difference in quite a few health instances. I use their products and do not wish to come off in a salesy type manner. So I can give you more info or not, but that's what helped my friends daughter with that problem.

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H.O.

answers from St. Louis on

Check into the Arbonne baby care line of products. They work wonders on skin conditions like your daughters! Alot of adults with skin problems use them as well & the nicest part is that they are all pure, safe products, free from any chemicals or things found in other products which can be harmful to our bodies if used long term! When my son was just a tiny baby he had excema & such sensitive skin that it would actually rip when I tried to wipe him off during a diaper change. Nothing seemed to help him so I made an appointment with his pediatrition (expecting to be prescribed some harsh "miracle" cream). Surprisingly instead of a prescription the Dr. told us the best thing we could use on his skin was Arbonne products! They cleared him up in no time & I have since thrown out any product that is not Arbonne. He's still rash free a year later! You can find a local demonstrator near you at www.arbonne.com. If you need any help feel free to contact me, I sell it now also & can either order it for you or show you how to become a wholesale buyer & get it at a discount right from your home computer.

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning B., Our 9 month old gr son has eczema just about everywhere, mostly on his back right now. What his Ped gave us was Triamcinolone Actonide Cream to apply twice a day when his skin is wet and then put hydromcotisone plus with Vitamins & aloe in it on top. It really makes a difference really fast. We got a little lax recently, started it again last night.
I think B. anytime we use a steroid cream there is a chance of side affects. As yet we have had none. The Dr said what really makes the difference is appling it when the skin is wet not dry.

He said in sever cases they have suggested putting on wet PJ's, after the applications. We aren't at that stage.

Good Luck to you dear, I think you could speak to her Dr and voice your concerns for continued use. We pay them so we can talk to them ;)

K.
Nana to 5

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J.E.

answers from St. Louis on

I used stroid cream for my daighters "excema" and it helped ok, but when my son got it too I used http://www.emilyskinsoothers.com/
and it worked GREAT, it is very greasy but I just used it before night time and naps. The other thing I did was take internally Ginger root since I was nursing when he had it, it helps skin erruptions.

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S.W.

answers from St. Louis on

You have every right to question what medication you are using for your child. If you don't like using a steriod cream then tell the doctor. Now that you have it somewhat under control this is most likely a good time to try other things. Don't ever think that you don't have a say when you talk to doctors. Our pediatrian told me that if what he tells me dosen't sound right to question him. My daughter is allergic to penicillin, my doctor told me flat out that it's my job to make sure that she never gets it. Even if he tries to give it to her to raise the red flag and throw a fit it anyone tries to give her anything in the penicillin family. You are your childs first line of defense and you do what ever you gut tells you.

Good Luck!

PS - Have you thought of taking her to a dematoligest?? They may have better ideas on what to use.

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