What Is Causing My Toddler's Skin Eczema Flare Ups and Hives?

Updated on December 05, 2017
M.E. asks from Springfield, VT
13 answers

About a month ago our 2.5 year old had a significant flare up of eczema (has had small patches appear since he was a baby but never more than one or two quarter size patches) all over his body. Our doctor gave us zyrtec and CeraVe. Used for a 10 days and he then broke out in full body hives that lasted for 8 days... only alleviated by using benadryl every 4 hrs for a week. Once the hives went away we used nothing on his skin for several days. Now his skin is really dry and patches of eczema have flared up again so I tried coconut oil but he is now getting little red bumps in addition. He has been very gassy but not diahrea... could it a food allergy? Doctor is unsure of what is going on.

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answers from Dallas on

sounds like you may need to take him to a dermatologist. That way they can do tests to rule things out and help you better know how to treat him.

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answers from Norfolk on

Take him to an allergist so he can be tested.
Sounds like he's having a reaction to something.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If my Dr said he/she was unsure, I'd be seeing an allergist and/or detmatologist. I would waste time and money with a Dr who doesn't have a clue.

My daughter had it pretty bad as a baby but she outgrew it. We used RX cremes, aveeno and all that stuff. Hers cleared up every time we went to the beach so we did a lot of beach trips!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

it's clearly an allergic reaction, no?
so an allergist would be the obvious next step.
of course it *could* be a food allergy. ?

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answers from San Francisco on

If your doc is unsure why isn't s/he giving you a referral to an allergist?

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answers from Springfield on

my kids take a fish oil supplement to prevent eczema from showing up again. BUT i started with food journals to rule out it being a reaction to a food. then i made sure they were not allergic to fish before i started the gummy supplements. when out of those i have them eat tuna, salmon and a whitefish each 1x a week.
you need to START with a food journal detailing whats eaten and when the rash is at its worst, then head over to the dr with this journal and talk it over with them. a visit with an allergist or dermatologist may also be in order if you and the dr cannot figure this out after looking over the journal. ( i journaled for about a month with my kids. realized pears made things worse, and the fishy foods made things better my kids are a lil older too, at 5 and 7)

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answers from Chicago on

My son, now 6, had something similar. He first started with eczema when he was about 8 months or so. It was mostly on his legs but also on his face. In some pictures he looks like he has sideburns. We used different creams but Cetaphil was the one that worked best. But using Hydrocortisone Valerate along with the cream was the only thing that totally cleared it up. We finally did allergy testing when he was about 2 or so because I noticed he got a rash around his mouth after having peanut butter. He is allergic to milk and peanuts. We have found when he does not have any dairy, he does not break out at all. We do let him have yogurt but he does not have as bad episodes except now that winter is coming. But the cream helps with that. Stopping the milk also helped with constipation problems.

For the coconut oil, he could be allergic to it if he had a reaction. One of my older girls developed an allergy to it when she was 15. It started with her lips burning (coconut oil is in a lot of lip moisturizers). It has gotten worse over time, the worst included bumps that came on after the swelling went away.



answers from Honolulu on

Like others have suggested, eliminating a common food (dairy, or eggs) might help reduce the flare-ups.

But, be sure to only eliminate one food at a time, and stick with it for 3 or 4 weeks. And keep a daily log. If you eliminate dairy, eggs, sugar, and corn, and his skin improves, you'll never know which food was the culprit. Start with dairy. And be sure to feed him as simply as possible. Try not to make food from a boxed mix, or canned or bottled sauces. Aim for real foods in their natural state. Steamed vegetables, real chicken, etc.

The daily log should note the foods that were eaten, the time, and your toddler's activities (was he outside, or visiting grandma who has a cat, etc). And be specific on the foods. If your toddler has a snack, don't write "snack", write "one apple cut into pieces, with peanut butter to dip it in", for example.



answers from Portland on

I had babies with eczema.

One had allergies (pets, dust, but not to foods). His eczema was by far the worst.

Two just had baby eczema. That could be worsened by products, heat, whatever ... hard to figure out.

We used a tub of HYDROUS EMOLLIENT. It was generic from the pharmacy, 99% water. Best product ever - for all our kids. No prescription needed. Because essentially, their skin is just dried out.

We used Dove unscented soap.
Can't remember what shampoo but just basic stuff - rinsed really well and don't have baby sit in it.
Clothing detergent was uncounted and un-dyed. I would sometimes rinse TWICE or use half the amount they suggested.

I found switching products sometimes worsened stuff for a while. Oftentimes the products the doctors recommended didn't work. Keep in mind, they are getting freebies from pharm reps and just hand out whatever they have. They are not always the best.

We went to dermatologists - not the most helpful. Just gave us more products to try.

The person who WAS helpful was the allergist. He helped our skin issues too.

One of my kids developed contact dermatitis - that can look like little hives but with fluid in them. He's just very sensitive to certain things (I get it a bit too). That requires this topical ointment (prescribed). His pediatrician would have seen that right off so don't think it's that.

Good luck - hope you get it figured out soon. Thing is - keep in mind, baby eczema is quite common - and the babies are not that uncomfortable from it (what they told us). So try that hydrous emollient - you literarily coat them in it after a warm (not too warm) bath. We bathed them often (once every two days). But for areas that get chapped - like hands - we would wash then coat more often.

Best to you! Keep us posted :)



answers from New York on

Have you tried eliminating ALL dairy? This sounds so much like our daughter (now 20) at that age and dairy was her biggest trigger.

Good luck!



answers from San Antonio on

I had to change everything in our whole house to free and clear. Nothing with scent or dye in it including "baby" products.

I applied so much Lubriderm I thought I might lose my mind...

But it cleared up issues with my DS's skin and issues I didn't even know my DH was having too.


answers from Boston on

Sorry to hear about your son and eczema. My son went through it when he was young. Others have suggested food allergies, but I would also like to include products you use in your home. My son's turned out to be 'Tide' laundry detergent. I had to use Borateem for his clothing, sheets, towels, etc. It got better but didn't go away completely even with ointments and creams from our pediatrician. Most people don't know many cleaning products, personal care products manufactured here in the USA are not sold in European countries because of all the toxins in them.



answers from Pittsburgh on

One of mine had eczema in response to dairy. So it definitely could be a food allergy. I suggest keeping a food diary to see if you can figure out the trigger. Or, you could do an elimination diet. The most common food allergies are nuts, eggs, dairy, and soy. Cut those out for 2-4 weeks and see if it goes away. Then add them back one at a time and see if you can figure out the trigger.

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