Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Signs of Detergent Related Eczema

The following is a list from SolveEczema.Org . I wrote this post when I had only just discovered the website and was still contemplating detergent removal as a possible solution to Sam's eczema. In blue are my original observations as I was evaluating the list for the first time. As you can see, Sam fit almost every one of these, which is why I was so excited to pursue this course.

Site author A.J. Lumsdaine writes:

"The following signs are not necessarily unique to this sensitivity, but they may help identify it. Your baby/child may have a general detergent sensitivity if:
  • He gets eczema all over, but you use disposable diapers and the diaper area is relatively clear of eczema.  Yes! I have always wondered about this.   Supposedly the reason the diaper area stays clear is because urine is acidic and does a better job of rinsing off detergents than water.   Plus the diaper acts as a permanent barrier from detergent dust exposure. This is one of the primary signs of detergent reactive eczema. Think about this.... if the eczema were just an unavoidable genetic condition OR a symptom of food allergy, why would it respect an external diaper barrier? In both cases, the eczema would come from inside and not respect external barriers.  But since it does, this is a pretty good sign the eczema is due to an environmental cause. 
  • His eczema changes noticeably, either for better or worse, following a bath or shower.
    YES!  In fact I am pretty sure any one else who sees Sam on a daily basis might not think he has it that bad, because the eczema kind of fades during the day and then BAM- flares up like wildfire at bath time.  He sure has a horrible time sleeping! I am really the only one who sees him this way.
  • His eczema sometimes seems to fluctuate wildly from day to day.  Yes, and I have wondered about this too.  So much of this makes much more sense in light of a detergent sensitivity than a food allergy.
  • Washing just with water can sometimes cause an outbreak.  ALWAYS.
  • He gets particularly bad eczema on his cheeks or chin where he rests it on your shoulder or against your hair when you hold him. Yep.
  • His pattern of eczema from foods is inconsistent or follows strange lines: he might seem allergic to cooked or canned foods but not to fresh ones, or he reacts more to cooked foods than to raw ones (if it’s a protein allergy, it should logically be the other way around).  Oh my heck, this has been so confusing.  His nut allergies when they happen are so clear cut, but everything else, and I'm sure he still has some food allergies, none of it has been obvious or easy to trace.
  • His eczema is worse on exposed skin, especially as he crawls around during the day.
    Yes! Yes! How did I just start noticing this? See post below.   SO much worse on exposed skin and surfaces that get the most carpet contact- tops of feet, knees, forearms, etc. Now that I know what it probably is, its almost as if I can SEE the detergent residue accumulating on his skin during the day.
  • Sweating makes the eczema markedly worse. Or the eczema is
     worse in areas that remain moist, such as behind the knees.  Yes. Wet contact with detergent is more serious than dry contact, which is why existing residues become irritated and flare where children sweat.
  • He reacts to just about everything on the allergy skin tests, yet his blood tests show very few allergies. This the one I'm gonna have to say no.  Sam hardly reacted to anything on the skin test. Only dust and cats.  But he was on oral steroids at the time which I read online affect the skin test results, only my allergist insisted they didn't, which makes little sense to me since they kept him from breaking out all week. A few hours after the test though the entire test site was covered in eczema. We have not had a blood test so I can't compare.
  • His eczema does seem related to what you are using to wash him or the laundry with, but switching products has maybe improved it but never made it go away.  Yes. In the very beginning, when he was about 6 weeks old getting eczema all over I thought it must be detergent, but a switch to All Free & Clear or Dreft did not make the eczema go away, so we started chasing down food allergies.
  • He seems to get eczema from just about everything he touches and eats.
    Yes. :(  Poor baby. He is constantly breaking out at/around meal times.
  • His eczema improved after infancy, but you just can’t seem to make it go away. After the eczema started getting better, the asthma symptoms started up."  No. Sam's eczema has definitely gotten worse and worse over time. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. I will do my best to reply as soon as possible, but there are often delays as this blog is only a side project to share what I have learned with others. Life goes on with three busy little ones and homeschooling so I ask for your patience. If you want to make sure you do not miss my reply, include your email in "emailaddress at dot com" form and I will email you directly.

Any product promotion or spam including business links are not permitted and will be deleted. Thanks and happy healing.