Hi there and nice to meet you! If you’re reading this, we probably already have a couple of things in common… we’re parents and we have an itchy eczema baby.
We (Jonathan and Tina) started this website to document our journey with an itchy eczema baby. We’ve read countless great advice and observations through hours of googling, reading, and perusing parenting forums. We’ve tried to pull together a lot of that information into one place so that you can use this website as a resource for all things eczema.
Dealing with an itchy eczema baby is not easy. It’s frustrating, and can feel hopeless. But we found it encouraging to know others are in the same boat as us. So without further ado… you’re not alone!!
We’re a family of three (four if you count our sweetheart Cavachon) and have been living in London, UK for the past five years. We’re technically American having grown up and worked there, so we have both perspectives when it comes to healthcare (i.e., national healthcare via NHS in UK and a private-insurer driven healthcare system in the US).
Our “itchy eczema baby” is now a 2.5 year-old toddler. Aside from eczema and various allergies, our son is a healthy toddler who loves whipping up waffles in the kitchen, anything related to trains, and much to our chagrin, Peppa Pig.
As for us, Jonathan and Tina, we both love coffee to an unhealthy level, but that might have more to do with being parents who don’t get much sleep!
Our Itchy Eczema Baby Journey
ITCHY ECZEMA INFANT – 0 to 6 months
Like most new parents, we jumped off the deep end. How do we swaddle him? Google it. Why isn’t he latching on? Google it. Should his poop be that color? Google it.
But what we didn’t google was “What does eczema look like?” because how do you know what to google if you have no idea what you’re looking for or didn’t even know exists? A bit of a conundrum!
In retrospect, had we known, we would’ve done things differently to manage his eczema from the start, but we obviously made it through just fine anyway.
What probably was food allergies getting passed through the breastmilk we assumed was just the dryness of London air and the hardness of London water. So instead, we would always try to keep him well-moisturized.
It wasn’t until a nutritionist at a playgroup suggested perhaps he’s allergic to dairy as it’s fairly common in the first year. But still, being allergic to something doesn’t necessarily mean having eczema, so we were still in the dark about the condition.
ITCHY ECZEMA BABY – 6 to 12 months
These months were tricky primarily because of food and weaning. It was a challenge enough just to teach our son to eat, but to also have to worry about what he was eating? Not easy!
We would introduce foods in stretches of three days. If he started getting rashes or some other allergic reaction, we would know it was due to that particular food.
Despite the simple plan, he was still breastfeeding, so sometimes we still weren’t sure whether it was something in his mother’s diet or the food he ate.
Eventually we got to a point where he was eating everything, still breastfeeding, and still getting rashes. So we started normalizing things by having the mother get on the same diet he was on (e.g., no dairy to start) and work backwards with an elimination diet to nail down the culprit(s).
We discovered he had bad reactions to eggs, dairy, and corn. It basically makes you a vegan minus the corn.
Yet even on a diet that avoided those three big eczema triggers, his skin was still red, splotchy, and itchy.
“Well, it’s because your son has eczema,” the GP said matter of factly. Thanks, why couldn’t you tell us that six months earlier?
ITCHY ECZEMA TODDLER – 12-24 months
Before we knew it, our little baby turned one. We had our first appointment with an NHS dermatologist who prescribed some steroid creams – our first experience with it. It felt great knowing what he had and we naively thought we could just apply some cream and it’ll go away.
It worked, but we had to keep using it. And when that was happening, we started paying more attention to the medicine labels and our seemingly prolonged use of it. Aren’t steroids bad? Are we using too much of it? Will he get steroid withdrawal? What about the long term side effects?
After a second appointment with a different NHS dermatologist, we were told some contradicting advice from our first visit, and also prescribed a whole new array of medication and steroid creams. Confused, we started doing some more thorough research on our own.
We tried to implement some of it on our own from home remedies to over-the-counter medication. We also “ezcema-proofed” our home, and got rid of as many environmental triggers as we could reasonably do so at home.
By the time our third appointment with an NHS dermatologist came around, we were armed with knowledge and ready to push back and ask questions.
ITCHY ECZEMA KID – 24+ months
And then our son turned two! From an eczema perspective, two years old is a relatively big milestone because that’s the minimum age for a number of medications and treatments.
It was also at this time when we decided to go see a private dermatologist because the wait times to see the NHS dermatologist is long enough to make dinosaurs go extinct a second time.
We were also annoyed by the fact we kept seeing a different dermatologist who would have to review his file from the start and often lectured us about what we already knew.
With two years under our belt and the help of the dermatologist, we felt better about the eczema situation overall. At this point, we also had a comprehensive list of triggers we knew to avoid, tricks to stop him from scratching, and a manageable routine.
We’re still learning new things about eczema, as well as refining and adapting our routine as our son grows older and new challenges arise.
And in the back of our minds, hopeful that he just grows out of his eczema!