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Eczema vs. dermatitis herpetiformis
2Kkids4me posted:
My son is 13-months-old. He has been suffering from "eczema" since he was about 4 months old. I have tried everything I know to try...over-the-counter, internet, prescriptions. No matter what we try to help clear him up, it all has the same outcome, it will work for a couple of days (maybe 2 weeks), then it flares right back up. His pediatrician is fully aware of the situation. She has decided to send him to a pediatric dermatologist. We are going on 2 weeks of waiting now without any contact from the doctor. I have been researching eczema and dermatitis herpetiformis. The only thing is, I can't figure out what the difference is between the 2, as far as the symptoms and how to tell which he has. I understand that dh is mostly linked to celiac's disease. Is there any way for me to tell which of these skin problems my son has, without having to rely on the doctor? Thanks so much for your help.
FunnyCoolLady responded:
Well, you could eliminate all trace of gluten from his diet to see if that makes a difference ...
TuckerMomof3 responded:
doctors are able to do a test for celiac easily, but my son went through this whole process seeing a dermatologist, etc. We finally found out he was allergic to onions!! And you wouldn't believe how much stuff has onion in it. Processed foods, a lot of stuff on the label wont even say onions, but spices, and we have to avoid it for him. I'm not saying that your child has an onion allergy, but that maybe your child has another sort of food allergy, possibly to wheat (celiac) but could be something else. It's worth it to go to the dermatologist, but also I would see an allergy DR. Good luck. The allergy dr. might refer you to a GI dr for the celiac test.
2Kkids4me responded:
I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas. From what I have found on-line, sticking to a strick gluten-free diet can take MONTHS to take affect and clear up the skin. And hopefully by then, we will have already met with the dermatologist. We have been to an allergy doctor who said if they do the allergy testing before he is 18 months old, it will give false results. They usually don't even consider doing them until a child is 4, but 18 months is the soonest he would do this for my son.

Because of my eczema, I have used nothing but Aveeno on my son since he was born. When he started breaking out, I started looking into other soaps (and non-soaps). We have tried Cetaphil, Dove, Tone, Ivory, Free Derm, some other-the-counter stuff from CVS, Prednisone, Protopic, hydrocortisone, Calamine lotion, and one other type of steroid cream. The only thing that works at this point is the prednisone, but he can't stay on that forever because of the side effects.

His pediatrician did prescribe him Atarax (hydroxizine) to keep him from itching and tearing his skin up even more. I'm beginning to that it's not working either! Because I've suffered with it for almost 25 years now, I know exactly how he feels! The hardest part is knowing that there's nothing you can do to help him quit itching and crying long enough for him to sleep at night. When he's up all night crying, I'm holding him crying myself. These long, sleepless nights turn into very tired mornings that make me late to work almost daily! Thank you all again!
ggdanielle responded:
I completely understand your frustration. My son started developing eczema at 8 months (about the time he started solids). For the longest time doctors told me it was from seasonal allergies and agrevated by his asthma.

Finally, at the age of 5 we went to a new allergist...he took one look at my son and said he had severe food allergies (he was really sick). We started testing...the only food that came up on a blood test was bananas.

We did the testing for celiac starts with a blood test to check for the protein. My sons was questionable. Then they do a scope of his stomach...this was questionable too. Finally I put him on a gluten free and casein free (milk protein) diet. Everything cleared up honestly...within a month. Since then he has not had a single asthma attack. He does have eczema on's not near as severe as it used to be...and it clears up much quicker. Usually when he does have it it's when he's eaten something we suspect he may be allergic to.

It is hard to do allergy testing on ones so could always get the blood test done for celiac disease. There is a genetic test that can be done as well...but it's usually used to rule out the option or possibility of celiac disease if there is a family history of it.

One other note though...I would be caution about doing any type of diet changes until you see the pediatric dermatologist...because when you take foods out of their can affect how they react to testing. Honestly...I'd start calling the doctors offices and your insurance providor to find out what's taking so long.

Good luck!
cspearsdvm responded:
I hope you have received help from your doctor's. Changing his diet could make a huge difference, by cutting out wheat, corn, dairy products you may see some big changes.

I would highly recommend seeing a very good acupuncturist and herbal. There are many options in the traditional Chinese perspective to treat this condition. Traditional Western medicine will supress his immune system and treat symptoms, Chinese medicine can go to the root of the problem.

Also consider seeing a naturopathic doctor, they have many options too.

I'm sorry to hear how miserable he is, I hope this might help.
KKerstens responded:
My son is now 17 years old. He was diagnosed with Eczema at 2 weeks. One thing that rings an alarm to me about your situation is "Staph" infection. If your child is going into remission and having another breakout so close together you might need an antibiotic to clear up the Staph. My son also suffers from allergies and eczema seems to intensify when exposed to things he is allergic to. I use 100% cotton clothing or as close as I could get to that on him. Lever 2000 liquid soap. Rinse clothing twice to get the laundry detergent out. When he was little I could not cook fried food in the house. Dust mites are also a problem. We have eliminated all carpet. He contracted chicken pox at the age of 2 and it was a nightmare. He had a major outbreak within hours of noticing the first few spots along with swollen lymph nodes. There are several types of eczema, he had three, numbular, popular and I can't remember the name of the last. Steroid creams such as cortizone and OTC allergy medications, such as benadryl help (dye free). Domeborro is a powder you can get OTC at the pharmacy. We used that and made wet dressings with strips of sheets. Be careful with steroid creams. read the label and do not use if they contain alcohol. Do not use Ointment. It traps bacteria on weeping sites. My son had some severe weeping. His condition was so bad he looked like he had carpet burn. Eczema is not an easy thing to care for. Remember to alternate antihistamines. Baths should be short and luke warm. For immediate relief use cold water compress on a clean cotton towel If your child has a staph infection you will be fighting a loosing battle until you get that under control. Allergens we avoided: Cinnamon Whole Milk Peanuts Perfume Aerosols Animal Dandruff Pollen Dust Mites Beauty Lotions

There were times I would not let people hold my child because I could smell their perfume. One time he had two perfect hand-prints under each arm because a family member picked him up without a shirt on and had lotion on her hands.

His brother also has eczema as well as asthma. The eczema seems is much more mild.

My cousin who is now 38 was diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis. when she was a baby. my aunt said that it looked like a flower with one postule in the middle and others surrounding it. She is not on a gluten free diet and she has no visible trace of it now however she has suffered from gastritis for as long as I can remember.

I hope I helped.
MOM2ITCHYBOYS responded:
To KKerstens- My son (19 months old) sounds just like your son did. My son itches 24/7. It is so heartbreaking. He's already had a couple of staph infections. I'm terrified he's going to get mrsa. He also has open skin areas and scratches all over. Every morning he's covered in blood. I put socks on his hands and have even had my mother in law make him shirts where it covers his hands. He still scratches right through it. He has very bad allergies. It seems like he's allergic to the world. I've cut out what we know he is allergic to, but it doesn't seem to help. I'm just wondering if your son's condition got any better and if you can offer any advice to me? Thank you very much. Jennifer
RainDances responded:
My brother was diagnosed with kawasaki disease when he was very young. Some of the symptoms you are saying seem similar although there is much much more with Kawasaki's disease. Check it out. I remember my poor brother had a rash all over his body that itched like crazy most of his childhood.

Also, get tested for Celiacs as quickly as possible. It's dangerous to have untreated. And trust me, to live gluten free being diagnosed is extremely difficult let alone not being diagnosed.
An_252998 replied to 2Kkids4me's response:
try 100% petroleum, Vaseline helps soothe the itch. wash area thoroughly,dry slightly then apply a medium amount. Rub it in gently, do not scratch the skin ever, it will break.
An_252998 replied to ggdanielle's response:
email me at on friday. i'll read in next week, give me your email and we'll chat.bye

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