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Atopic Dermatitis?

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10 years 10 months ago #47091 by HAM
My program won't let alums check their databases. Based on my 8 month old's symptoms and my great derm atlas, I'm 98% certain that he has atopic dermatitis. Does anyone out there have/have had a baby with this? If so, what did you do to treat it? (Emollients aren't working and frankly, there just aren't very many 100% cotton clothing for a kid his size).

I see a ped tomorrow but would really appreciate anyone's experience as I anticipate needing a referral. The book says topical tacrolimus or pemicrolimus. That seems harsh but my baby is itchy!

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10 years 10 months ago #47092 by Sweet
I may start sounding like a broken record, since I have posted about this more than once here already, so I apologize in advance for any redundancy.

In my singular experience, "atopic dermatitis" is the impressive-sounding name for "we-have-no-clue-what's-wrong-with-your-baby-but-the-worst-symptoms-are-showing- up-on-his/her-skin-so-it-can't-be-that-bad" disease.

In the case of my little guy, and as I learned also in the cases of many little people with the AD diagnosis, the culprit were allergies - mostly food allergies, plus a localized reaction to Huggies in our case(Pampers were not as bad, but still not great). So I went on a strict diet (while nursing) of ONLY those foods to which the baby had definitely NOT reacted (tested at an allergist's office) and my little guy wore Seventh Generation diapers (yes, very pricey, but worth every penny). The AD cleared up literally in 72 hours, and after 7 days, nobody would believe that the happy little baby had been an intensely miserable, urticaria-ridden mess, suffering from intestinal inflammation and who knows what other untold symptoms only a week ago. Once he started solids, we continued with the strict diet, until his allergies completely resolved.

As far as cotton, AD or not, we never had any trouble sticking with 100% cotton clothing for either of our kids, it may just take a little more looking and a few extra $s (although I have never paid more than $50 for any single item of children's clothing (that includes winter coats), and never more than $20 for a shirt or pair of pants (... now shoes... that's a different story, but we only get 3 pairs per year). In fact, our boys, who are now going on 11 and 6, still wear 100% cotton clothing 99% of the time (with the exception of socks, which are universally a 85/15 blend at best, and an occasional wool sweater).

You can do a search on pubmed for AD and allergies... there is a LOT to sift through, most of the studies have pretty big methodological flaws, but you should be able to glean some good info (there were some good studies done in Sweden (maybe Norway and Denmark too, I can't remember) as far back as the 1980's). The one thing to keep in mind is that your baby is not a normal distribution or the mean of such a distribution, erring on the side of caution and starting from the highest common denominator never hurts.

P.S. It took 5 pediatricians and an 18" stack of reprints of peer-reviewed articles from the library (shared between the med school and the grad school where I was a student) for us to get a referral to an allergist (and that was the last time we went with an insurance plan that required referrals). So in my experience, pediatricians can be uninformed and frustratingly insouciant when it comes to atopic dermatitis.

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10 years 10 months ago #47093 by romd

Originally posted by HAM:(Emollients aren't working and frankly, there just aren't very many 100% cotton clothing for a kid his size).

Hi HAM, I don't have any info on AD, but check out Hanna Andersson for their wonderfully-soft, organic, 100% cotton clothing for kids (and adults). They're not cheap, but often there are nice sales (like the big twice-yearly sale going on right now). I love their products! The fabrics are high-quality, they wash and grow well, the Euro-style patterns are nice, and the customer service is good. Hopefully it'll help with your son's condition.

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10 years 10 months ago #47094 by rydys
My son is covered as well, and I plan to take him for allergy testing. I read on a parent's discussion group that crisco works really well as a moisturizer. It didn't work for my son, but I've suggested it to several patients who found it works well.

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10 years 10 months ago #47095 by SAHMdoc
My 4-year-old had horrible eczema when he was a baby- it started on his face, then spread to arms, legs, stomach, and virtually his entire body! Fortunately, he grew out of it by age 2 and now has clear skin. Here's what our dermatologist suggested:

Baths with water and Cetaphil skin cleanser, followed immediately with emollients (we used Eucerin and Aveeno baby cream)
2.5% hydrocortisone cream (this worked like a charm, though I hated using steroids on a baby)
Fortunately, we didn't end up needing anything stronger than 2.5% and I tried to use a very thin layer and limit to once a day. I did find that the 2.5% worked a lot better than the 1% OTC kind, which I had to use several times a day.

Good luck!

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10 years 10 months ago #47096 by romd
HAM, how's your baby?

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