When DR was four months old we noticed a small, red, scaly patch on his cheek. At his check-up, the pediatrician told us it was eczema. We were advised to keep it moisturized. This was in August in the mountains of NC. The weather up to this point of his life had been sunny and warm. We were not at all prepared for what happens to eczema during the dry, frozen days of winter.
As the winter approached, DR’s eczema got exponentially worse, spreading to his hands, arms, feet, legs, back, torso, and the rest of his face. The only part of his body that was not affected was everything covered by a diaper.
He celebrated his first 6 months of life in October, and we began feeding him foods. Still the eczema spread and worsened. We were told at that check-up that food allergies were a possibility due to family history of allergies to tree nuts and peanuts; however, they wouldn’t test for them until he was a year old or had a severe reaction.
Before his first birthday, DR had two different hospital admissions due to dehydration from normal childhood illnesses. This caused his skin to worsen to the point that it was literally peeling off.
At this point, he had several rounds of oral and topical steroids and antihistamine. No matter what we tried, though, there was never complete relief. Due to constantly having to use these medications, we could not see an allergist. Finally, when he was 18 months old we made it a week without medications and met with an allergist. At this appointment we discovered his egg allergy.
From that moment forward, we cut egg from his diet as best as we could. When he accidentally had an egg product, his rash would flare up. However, cutting it out completely did not rid him of all the eczema.
In an attempt to make it better, we made the decision to move to Savannah, GA where the temperatures are steady and warm year round and the salt water in the air is considered healing. After a couple of unexplained flare ups, we went in for another allergy test. We discovered his peanut allergy, so we cut that from his diet as well.
His skin is remarkably better now, with flare ups fewer and farther between. We have hope that vigilance on our part and the possibility of outgrowing the allergies will end his eczema for good. Who would have thought that something like a food allergy could impact another medical issue so much.