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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can eczema be treated aggressively on babies?

    I have a 5 month old baby with severe eczema on his face.

    Hydrocortisone cream works well but within a couple of days his eczema returns. We have tried caroline's cream QV bath oil and cream, cetaphil cream and I have eliminated dairy from my diet.

    Eczema is now spreading to other parts of his body.

    We were thinking of being referred to a dermatologist and considering allergy testing.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3

    Thanks

    The role of the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc (EAA) is to be a supportive body for eczema sufferers and carers, to increase public awareness … View Profile

    It is always advisable to visit a Dermatologist with any skin problems.  There is evidence to suggest that aggressive treatment, ie more use of topical steroid cream, can manage the eczema more efficiently and break the eczema-asthma link.  Many people underuse their topical steroid cream in the belief that there is a risk of long-term damage to the skin.  Correct use of topical steroid cream will not result in long term skin damage and manage the eczema much more effectively.  It is also important to use skin products for cleansing and moisturising that are suitable for sensitive skin.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Anonymous

    60minutes recently had an episode on Aveeno cream. Natural spring water full of magnesium and calcium which is sold in Good Price Pharmacy. Spelling may be wrong. My daughter had the same. We tried a lot of products.  I loved dermalex on the sore bits. Qv gentle wash in bath and Qv cream all over every day. Humidifier in winter. Her skin only improved when the foods she reacted to were identified through tests and personal elimination.

  • 3

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    I have been a paediatric registered nurse for over twenty years. I am trained asthma educator, early childhood nurse and currently work in the area … View Profile

    I think you should seek help with a dermatologist and or paediatric immunologist/allergist. The use of steroid creams are recommended for flare ups as recommended in the first answer but the skin also needs to be continually moisterised in between flare ups. Eczmea is a problem with the skin and maintaining the moisture, you need to misterise your childs skin at least 3 times a day and the more the better. Eczema is often not at all related to foods that you or your child is eating and we would not recommend that you restrict foods to yourself or your child without first seeking medical advice. I am assuming you continue to breastfeed if you have restricted your diet, if restricting your diet has not changed your childs skin then reintroduce dairy. 
    You can seek help with a paediatrician or your GP  who also can treat and manage excema. Childrens eczema can also easily become infected and once this has occured they need more than just steroid cream and moisturisers they will need antibiotics and antibacterial cream. Once the process of inflamation casued by eczema starts then infection can often follow. 
    I hope this helps. 

  • 8

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    Dr Carolyn Ee

    Acupuncturist, GP (General Practitioner)

    I'm a Sydney GP with a special interest in women's health especially menopause and TTC ( trying to conceive). I specialise in acupuncture, and am … View Profile

    Hi there, I am a GP with first hand experience of severe eczema in my first child when she was 2months old. The facial eczema was most difficult to treat, and eventually we had to use a strong steroid cream, Advantan, which is not advisable for use for prolonged periods. (One of the concerns is that the skin on the face will start to show side effects such as new capillary growth; also that some of the steroid will be absorbed into the bloodstream).

    I think referral to a dermatologist is an excellent idea as is allergy testing. In our case it was undiagnosed food allergies that caused the problem (egg and nuts). I was told it wasn't common but later read that 20% of children with eczema have food allergies that exacerbate eczema. Interestingly, dairy is often blamed as a culprit, but eggs are the main food allergy, and other culprits include nuts, soy and fish.

    Keep your baby on the cool side, as heat aggravates eczema. If it is itchy, put a cool flannel on the itchy part to reduce the itch. Avoid baths and prolonged showers, as the water will reduce the natural oil barrier of the skin. Tepid short showers every couple of days are sufficient. I find that putting an oil based cleanser on my baby's skin before the shower helped - like Alpha Keri cream cleanser. Sand can also aggravate eczema, and dryness such as heating or airconditioning. Twice or three times a day you must use a very good emollient (moisturiser) specifically created for eczema, such as Dermeze, QV intensive ointment etc. An ointment is preferable for winter and for flareups.  In between flareups, a lighter emollient like Sorbolene or QV cream may be appropriate. Do not use a general use moisturiser and avoid anything with perfumes or additives. Some people try some trendy new creams like Moogoo (which actually doesnt contain any dairy) and Billy goats soap, but I personally did not find these to be helpful. I would stick to the tried and true (and cheaper) options like Dermeze.

    The Royal Children's Hospital has good information on eczema http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Eczema/

    Good luck - managing eczema is frustrating and time consuming for the parent. We now have two children with mild eczema only which is managed with emollients and the occasional use of a steroid cream for a couple of days.

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