Baby’s Eczema and Food Sensitivities
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Susie
Posted on: April 7, 2002

I have a 6 month old little boy that has eczema. I have gone from doctor to doctor and no one can help me. We have been going through this since he has been about 4 months old. I can’t believe there is nothing that can be done. They tell me it is uncurable and I can’t accept that.

It is on his face. It looks like a sunburn at times with blisters. After it tries to heal, it gets very scabby itchy and it bleeds. All they tell me is to put the Eucerin cream and it will keep it moist. I need more than that. If I could find something for the itch to help him, that would be great. He sleeps at night and gets up every 1-1/2 hours.

I also have a question. What is extra virgin olive oil used for? Can I use that?

His diet is Enfamil milk with oatmeal rice cereal in his bottle, and maybe an ounce of water a day. I don’t have animals. This doesn’t run in either family. The doctors tell me to give him Benadryl for the itch, but it makes him look as if he is drugged so I had to stop that.

In most cases, baby and child eczema is caused by food sensitivities. The most common food sensitivity is dairy, including all cow’s milk products, and their constituents, like lactose and whey. These products are in most baby’s milk formulas. Babies and children who are sensitive to cow’s milk products are often also allergic to soy products. Some baby’s tolerate goat’s milk well. Almost all tolerate rice milk. Most Moms find a cure by substituting their infant formula with a rice milk product made with organically grown rice and no additive sugars or flavouring. You should notice an improvement in about a week.

It is important to deal with this eczema/food sensitivity now. In later years, if not dealt with, children with eczema due to food sensitivities may develop asthma, hyperactivity or autoimmune disease.

Gluten, in oats, wheat, barley and rye, may cause a sensitivity reaction and should be avoided at this time. Peanuts and their products, like peanut butter, are likely to cause a reaction. Other foods that commonly cause reactions are corn, eggs, chocolate and citrus fruit.

You may add cooked, pureed fruit and vegetables to your baby’s diet, but add a small amount of each new food individually, watching carefully for a reaction. Do not add more than one new food a week. I recommend that you start a diet diary, noting food taken and your baby’s general health as well as his skin. Your baby may not be ready for foods other than rice until he is 12 months old.

Pureed leafy greens, prunes and apricots provide calcium. Since dairy and whole grains are our major dietary source of calcium, it is advisable to ensure other sources are given. A baby’s vitamin formula may be necessary at this time.

It may take up to 2 months for your baby’s skin to clear once food sensitivities are removed from his diet. Washing your baby’s body with a tea made from chickweed or plantain (Plantago major or P. lanceolata) is soothing and healing. Creams made of calendula and aloe vera are useful for itchy, irritated skin. Calendula is anti-inflammatory, and helps to heal damaged skin. Aloe vera is soothing, healing and anti-itch. Extra virgin olive oil is soothing and protecting.

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