You’ve heard me speak on my son’s eczema on other posts, so some of this might be repeat information (but not all). Stop in on Monday for the medical facts on eczema.
In college, I had a severe case of eczema. I was soooo itchy and it seemed to spread. I went to University Health Services, only to be checked over by three doctors, each baffled. (I was starting to wonder if I had contracted some sort of weird skin disease.) They finally decided that I had severe eczema. After a prescription strength steroid cream, I was itch-free. I’ve only had eczema a couple times since then and hydrocortisone cream always clears it up. My eczema was not related to the allergy triad though, just dry skin. I am a fanatic about skin cream now.
My father has bouts of eczema as well. Eczema acts in a similar way to other components of the triad, asthma and food or seasonal allergies, in that if you have one of them, the chances of your offspring also having one or another is higher.
Given our family history of eczema, my son has eczema as it stands alone as well as how it relates to his food and seasonal allergies. As you’ve read in previous Our Allergy Home posts, baby acne that turned into severe eczema is what tipped me off to my son’s food allergies. He had open wounds on his scalp, face and legs that would not clear up with increased strength of steroid cream. (This is the time I was begging the pediatirican to test him for food allergies.) Of course, after he tested positive for food allergies, his open wounds cleared up.
In comparison to how my son started, his eczema is significantly improved. When he has flair-ups, it is typically related to food or seasonal allergies. For example, if my son eats an offending food (egg, for example, because it is not as severe as his other allergies), he may have a small flair up of his eczema. Another example is in late spring when he is running outside barefoot or in flip-flops. His ankles become very itchy from the grass to the point that he causes sores/scabs on them. Once the initial exposure has healed, it is as if the immunity to the grass kicks in and he doesn’t have reoccurring incidence the rest of the summer. It happens every spring though.
While my son’s eczema has gotten much better over the years, I still cover him with skin cream after a bath, mainly because of the family history (I use Cetaphil cream or a generic version), but I rarely use steroid cream. The doctor said keeping his skin moisturized is a great way to prevent eczema.
So, there you have it…the third part of our allergy home history on the allergy triad.
Do you have a story on living with eczema? What have you done to treat it?