My Sensitive Pup

Sweetness has always been sensitive.  She is now 7 months old and has eczema which apparently is very common in infancy and even more common in families that have allergies and asthma.  Yup, that would be us.  Let me say that I know in the scheme of things eczema isn’t that big of a deal and there are certainly more serious infant conditions out there.  Sweetness is a healthy thriving baby and that is what matters the most. But I’m her momma and I want to do everything in my power to help her.

Anyway, back at her 2 month well visit the pediatrician diagnosed her with skin sensitivities after seeing a mild red pimply rash on her face and upper body. Eczema wasn’t even on my radar then.  She seemed to get something on her face that resembled a minor heat rash every now and then, no biggie.  As time went on however, that inner mom voice was speaking up again: ya know, eczema runs in the family.  That looks a lot like eczema. I googled eczema and I couldn’t find a picture that looked quite like what she had on her face.  So I continued with the daily application of Aquaphor per the pediatrician and put it aside.

Fast forward to Christmas 2009.  We went to visit family 2.5 hours away for a few days and the three of us were stressed to the max and by the second day Sweetness’ cheeks were the reddest and bumpiest I’d ever seen them.  Then came the face scratching which made it even redder and bumpier.  I felt helpless and she was absolutely miserable.  The once magical Aquaphor cream couldn’t touch this angry red rash.

By the 6 month well visit her rash continued to worsen despite the constant moisturizing. I asked Dr B “is this eczema on her face and arms?” “Yes” he said sheepishly.  Ding! Score one for the inner mom voice.  He suggested hydrocortisone and caladryl sparingly for the itch and he emphasized sparingly.  I will say that the hydrocortisone worked beautifully however, the results only lasted about 3 days.

I came home and scoured the internet and sought the advice of some wise mom friends.  Most of the literature suggests that in addition to moisturizing, wearing 100% cotton and using fragrance free everything (which we were already doing), that breastfeeding moms (that would be me!) should eliminate wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts and fish from their diet.  Really?!

This was really going to take a commitment from me and a lifestyle change.  I didn’t have to think very long to decide that I’d give it a try.  Lucky for me, a mom I know had already done some of the leg work for me since she and her daughter have food allergies and sensitivities. Her blog No Peanuts for Ella has been extremely helpful to me in getting started with recipes and pointing the way to websites that have allergen free information.  Thank you Ella’s Mom!  I’d be lost without your blog.

So it’s been 6 days and I’ve slowly seen improvement in Sweetness.  The eczema on her forearms looks less inflamed which is encouraging.  Her face is a little more stubborn, it looks great one day and the next it is red, hot and rough.  It looks sore and uncomfortable.  I know it’s just part of the cycle but it has me frustrated and wracking my brain for what could have caused that days flare up.

I am giving it several weeks to see if the elimination diet makes a difference.  Oh and on a different note, now I know why it’s called Whole Paycheck…..we took a trip to Whole Foods last week and I felt like I put two things in my cart and spent $65. Yikes! I’ll keep you updated!

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