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Update on Joseph’s Eczema

July 20, 2011

Summer has finally arrived here, and with it comes shorts, and people asking about Joseph’s now exposed eczema. I don’t mind the questions, but to really appreciate what’s been going on, you need to see what things were like a year ago.

Joseph’s eczema at 3 months old.

Joseph’s eczema started when he was 2 months old. When he was 3 months old, it was so bad I took him to the doctor. Behind his knees was the worst, but it was also behind his elbows, on his neck, and on his stomach. I got a prescription for hydrocortisone, and decided to try a wheat-reduced diet to see if it would help.

A month later, most of the redness had gone away. I soon learned that when I did eat wheat, the redness would flare back up (among other problems). As we discovered his other allergies, whenever he had a reaction either from a food challenge, or accidentally eating something he shouldn’t, the eczema would flare up again. Hence, it has never completely healed.

Joseph’s eczema at 16 months old

And there you have what it is now. It is gone from everywhere except behind his knees, and on his ankles. Why is his right leg so much worse than his left leg? It’s because he is right handed, and so became coordinated enough to scratch his right leg before he could scratch his left leg. So the left leg had more time to heal. I regularly put Aquaphor on it, and put hydrocortisone on when he has a flareup. I can’t wait for the day that it heals completely.

Edit: I’ve posted an update on how he’s doing one year later.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2011 5:25 pm

    Oh my goodness those pictures take me back! The good news is that all three of my “babies” (now 18, 15, and 9 yrs old) are now eczema free. For two of them it did require completely eliminating wheat, the oldest simply outgrew it. I know it is summer now and not very practical, but the two things I found most helpful to stop the scratching were: 100% cotton feetie pajamas, and old baby socks cut across the toes and then a little hole on the side for the thumb which I would slip on like mittens to cover the wrists, but they could still use their fingers. My youngest learned to scratch before she learned to sit up. It looks like you have done a great job getting it under control! Good luck.

  2. July 25, 2011 10:12 pm

    Thanks for the advice. Having a layer between their hands and the eczema really does help. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this.

  3. December 3, 2011 4:10 am

    That looks like what my the inside’s of my son’s elbows looked like. His scalp was bad like y our son’s too, and we had to wrap it in an ace bandage to keep him from scratching it and making it bleed everywhere. His pediatrician had us see an allergist when he was a baby, and they put him on Cutivate and Xyzal. You should ask your doctor about those two medicines… they did wonders!

    • December 3, 2011 8:24 am

      We’ve actually now got his eczema almost completely healed. Thanks for mentioning those medicines, but I think we’re doing pretty well without them.

  4. Melissa permalink
    December 30, 2011 5:44 pm

    My son is 6 mths old and behind his knees looks EXACTLY like that! Sometimes it seems like its going away and some days its horrible. I feel so bad for him, and has developed a rash on his belly that I am wondering if its the same thing. ? The Pedi did say it was excema but has not given me anything, that was a couple mths ago. I feel so bad for him, i think the pedi should give me something….

    • December 30, 2011 7:03 pm

      I’ve had several people tell me that their children have had eczema in the same place. I am not a doctor, so I can’t give advice except to say definitely ask your doctor about what would be a good cream to help relieve the itching. At the very least, using a moisturizer (I found Aquaphor by Eucerin gave me the best results) immediately after bath helped keep things under control.

      If you are interested, you can also ask about the possibility your son having food allergies. I found that to be the trigger for my son, but there are multiple possible causes, including stress. Best of luck to you!

  5. Jen C permalink
    April 7, 2012 2:59 pm

    My son and daughter suffered from eczema when they were younger. My daughter was worse and she is allergic to milk, nuts and peanuts. One thing that cleared up her eczema for good was bleach baths. Two or three years ago, her allergist suggested we put 1/4 cup in a tubful of warm water and let her soak for a while. Then, coat the skin with Aquaphor after bathing. I put bleach in all of her baths. The allergist assured me that it was diluted enough that it was safe even if she sipped a bit. The idea is that the skin with eczema has an excess of bacteria or something and the bleach helps kill it. I believe it was something that was being researched at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
    You can find info if you Google “bleach baths for eczema”. I hope you try it.

    • April 7, 2012 3:12 pm

      I’ve heard of bleach baths, and I’m glad it worked for you. I haven’t tried it yet, since his eczema has cleared up a lot since I posted this. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Sabrina permalink
    March 27, 2015 8:47 am

    My 2 year old has had ezcema since he was an infant. The area in front of his elbows have cleared up but the other affected areas (behind knees, big toe on his right foot, middle toe on his left foot) are still flared with Ezcema. I wanted to mention he is allergic to Aquaphor. It made the ezcema worse and he broke out in hives all over his face after applying it for dry skin. I’ve had the best luck with Aveeno Ezcema lotion too but it’s not a cure. It’s time I see a pediatric dermatologist for his ezcema especially since it’s far worse now due to applying Aquaphor. Allergies to petroleum based ointments like Vaseline and Aquaphor are not that uncommon. My regular pediatrician blew off my concerns that he might be allergic to Vaseline and kept pushing this generic remedy to ward off ezcema and now my poor baby is suffering because of it. It’s time for me to see a pediatric dermatologist and possibly a pediatric allergist too. Im thinking of trying the bleach bath too. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • March 27, 2015 6:01 pm

      Ouch! That’s rough that your son reacts to Aquaphor. I hope you find something that works for him!


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