Our Eczema Experience

I couldn't not write this. For our benefit and for other peoples benefit out there too.
At the age of 1 we noticed Miss 4's skin was a bit red and dry but nothing too bad, and we just used sorbolene on her. She didn't seem uncomfortable in any way at all which was great. Within just a few months the redness turned into patches all over her body, arms and thighs. Little Man was born when Miss 4 was 15mths old and the eczema went from bad to worse. So i took her to the dr. he took one look and was horrified, even more shocked when i said it doesnt' bother her at all, not even in the bath. He prescribed ELOCON, which is a strong steroid cream. I wasn't very aware of long term side effects at all. Never even thought about it to be honest. It worked, that's all that mattered to me.  We also had to take her for a skin scrape test to check for any fungal infections. Poor little chicken was so brave as the lady took a skin scraping from her wrist and foot. The results came back fine.
A friend (V) talked with me and gave me more useful information like only wear cotton, don't use soap, use sensitive skin washing powder etc. So we put all of this into practice but the eczema remained pretty aggressive.
I spoke with my dietitian who i'd known for many many years and we decided to trial a completely dairy free, and  milk protein free diet for 4 weeks. 2 weeks for the stuff to get out of her system then another 2 to notice any changes in her skin. It was hard work but I had to do it to make sure it wasn't that. Sure enough it didn't make a huge difference so we kept it in her diet.
Over the next year or so i started to wonder about the long term side effects this cream would have on her skin. I looked into it and was shocked at the findings. From then on I was determined to find a more natural solution and get to the bottom of the eczema itself, not just use a bandaid cure to fix it once it appears. A few people mentioned QV creams etc so i went and got some and applied it according to the directions. Within days her eczema flared up so bad and welts appeared. I took Miss 4 into the chemist and told him the only different thing i'd done was use QV. He said some people actually react to the preservative in it..hydroxybenzoate. So off i went now in search of something else with no preservatives. It was doing my head in a bit but I was determined to find it even if i had to make my own. I stumbled across calendulis plus cream so i ordered some to try. It seemed to work wonders, so we stuck with it for a good few months. I went in search of a preservative free sunscreen also as i believed that was also irritating her skin. I found some at the chemist. I was shocked to see how many sunscreens, including the "sensitive skin" ones actually have preservatives in them.
We tried Evening primrose oil, rubbing it in to her skin, and fish oil tablets. I'd sometimes even put some of the EPO in the bath. We did notice a slight difference. 
After a few months I requested allergy tests as it progressed to get worse. $150 later, and an awfully distraught Miss 4 after having a skin prick test done we were none the wiser as to why her eczema wasn't getting better. So I took another trip to the dietitian and she suggested we go on a low salicylate diet. salicyltes are naturally occuring chemical found in foods, acting like a natural pesticide. here is more to read about salicylates. The idea was to take ALL salicylates out of her diet for 4 weeks then gradually re introduce them to find out her tolerance level. Cooking was quite difficult for a while Veeery bland. We couldn't use any flavourings besides golden syrup or garlic pretty much. Shallots or leeks were used instead of onions. The only fruit we could eat was apple or pear. So many people like to think vegies and fruit are always safe no matter what, but it's not always the case sadly. By the end of the first week of our cardboard diet we noticed a difference. End of the 2nd week and the was an amazing difference, even friends were commenting on this. I think Miss 4 felt wonderful. We continued for another 2 weeks then went back to the dietitian. We were to now trial 4 different foods in the week. any food at all, but it had to be of a particular serving size. We had to keep going like this and gradually increasing until the eczema reappeared on her torso as she told us it was rare that eczema occurs on the arms or legs from a food reaction. The eczema appeared back on her arms and legs, red raw but we had to keep going as she directed. I felt so uncomfortable with this as i could see Miss 4 was getting irritated again and was in pain from scratching. It also affected her sleep. After Christmas 2010 I told DH i was cutting her right back again to clear her skin. We did this and it did clear up but i knew it wasn't a very nutritious diet to keep her on. The other problem we were noticing was her poos. Even since before the diet her poo's were very very pale and sponge like with no consistency in them so i was getting worried she may have coeliacs disease. We saw the dr about getting the blood test done a few months ago. I still have the blood test form as i couldn't go through with it. Instead i decided to try chiro. Bub and I have been seeing a chiro since November 2010 and he is more than a back cracking chiro, like he knows alot about everything and prefers to get to the bottom of the issues rather than just a bandaid cure. Dh and i agreed we'd do 5 visits for miss 4 and if there's no improvement what so ever then we would give up on that avenue. After her first visit I asked the chiro to put it all in an email for us so I could understand it, and DH could have insight as to what was going on. ...so here it is..

Thanks for bringing Miss 4 in today. There were a few things that I noticed with her history. The main thing that I think is probable is that she has a parasite.
Generally, eczema is viewed as a over-sensitivity of the skin, leading to the rash. Most treatments aim to protect the skin, with varying degrees and side effects. One of the ideas that is gaining a lot of support is that the immune system is not able to process the toxins that are in the body. The body produces toxins every day, but other processes (like parasitic infection e.g. worms) produce larger amounts of toxins than even a healthy person could process.http://parasite-cleanse.com/intestinal-parasite-symptoms.html

I am not 100% convinced, but I do think it probable. There are a range of natural parasite treatments available. The one I like the best is called Parex, by a company called Metagenics. They come in tablet form (which might be an issue) but the can be ground up and given with water. It has been a while since I looked at the bottle, but I'm pretty sure that they are taken in between meals, so they can't be put into food unfortunately. I will do some investigation about the ingredients, then let you know some more.

The other alternative would be to go with something like Combantrim. Musicalmummy mentioned that she would have a look at some of her resources to find out salicylate levels in the tablets.

From a chiropractic point of view, I did notice misalignments of a few areas of Shaylah's spine that relate to her immune system. To me, this is an indication that Miss 4's immune system is fighting something off.

Working on these misalignments has the ability to improve Miss 4's immune system so that her body is able to process the toxins better. This has the ability (and I have worked this way with children in the past) to assist Miss 4's eczema symptoms, without having to resort to parasite medication. If there are parasites present, though, we are better off to get rid of them.

In essence, my treatment will be working of the misalignments that I believe are reducing Miss 4's immune function, and to look into the possibility of medicating Miss 4 to eliminate any parasitic infection.

I hope this helps.

so we agreed to de-worm her. He suggested a brand called meta genics as they had all natural ingredients. He was lovely enough to drop a bottle of these tablets to our house. We were to give them to her for a month. Crushed up in food was fine. I did attempt this and thought she would have no idea it was in there. Well she took one mouth ful and gagged and spat it out and said it was yucky rice lol. I tried it and had the exact same reaction. We tried them in water as well but to no avail. It was gross!! So DH and I decided to just use a one off dose of combantrin, and ditch the disgusting tablets.
After some visits her skin got worse, and after other visits it looked better. It was very confusing for us all. We stopped the low salicylate diet and just ate as normal trying to still avoid preservatives, additives and colours where we could. gradually her skin just looked better, heaps better, despite eating normally and keeping her rugged up during winter. We've also been giving her fish oil, but the metagenics brand.It's in oil form and the texture is foul but she drinks it then has a lolly straight away. believe it or not her poo is normal!! She does have flare ups of course, but so far nothing like what is was. We use AVON moisture therapy cream when she has a break out , and so far so good.