Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yeast Skin Infection and Eczema

Sam's initial 'healing' took place in August.  Then in mid October, we started seeing slightly raised, red areas growing and spreading around his knees and ankles. For awhile I thought it was his eczema getting out of control, and that I must be doing something wrong. However, no amount of soap washing was putting a dent in this rash. Then I remembered back to the initial detergent removal process, and how it took a  good 10 weeks to see clear skin, and how during that time we also had been doing Apple Cider Vinegar baths at AJ's recommendation since she and I had both suspected possible fungal infection.  (Eczema caused by infection or food allergy will not clear up via soap washing, and these must be treated in other ways before the remaining detergent-reactive eczema can be eliminated.)    

The most recent October yeast rash:

It occurred to me, this was probably yeast infection as we'd suspected before. So I started up again with daily ACV baths-  1 cup ACV to 1/2  or 3/4 full tub, soak for a full 20 minutes every night.  We would precede and follow each bath with a soap rinse as well.   This time around, after one week we saw remarkable progress:



 Such a difference!!


And below, more photos of yeast infected eczema, for comparison.  This first photo was taken in March of 2012. I had not found solveeczema.org, and I was noticing at this time Sam's eczema beginning to look and behave a bit differently. Rather than a scant, lacy rash with shifting, changing spots that I'd observed previously with his eczema,  I was now seeing these large, clearly defined red spots with distinct edges, that did not ever budge but seemed to grow outward and rapidly multiply. (By multiply I mean it started with one or two large, raised red areas, then those grew and other seemed to pop up and follow the same spreading pattern,with more and more skin surface covered each week.)



So above was March, below is May, just two months later, notice how the yeast has now entirely engulfed the backs of his knees and has "crawled" and spread to the upper thigh as well.



And here is the front of his legs, entirely covered in yeast, during the same time period early May 2012 (just before we'd discovered solveeczema.org.)  This yeasty rash started several months earlier with visible satellite spots with lots of clear skin in between, but as it grew you can see that after a period of time there was almost no clear skin in between patches and it almost looks like one big red rash.


Sam's yeast infection (which I did not know was yeast or fungal  at the time) covered all of his arms and legs at its worst, and there was also a band of it around his middle. It took us 6 to 8 weeks worth of regular baths to start seeing improvement.  With fungal related eczema you have to be consistent, persistent, and I'd recommend continuing the baths or other treatments until well after you think you've eliminated the entire infection. We stopped too soon, when there was still a remnant of redness and I'm pretty sure that's why we saw it come back with a vengeance in October. 

For anyone trying the SEO (solveeczema.org) methods, who is not seeing results within a couple of weeks of diligent effort, I'd recommend some level of control treatment for potential infection. From all the families I've seen in the Solve Eczema User's Forum, and friends with children who have eczema, infection seems to be more common than any of us had presumed before. And, as we'e collectively discovered, you almost just have to experiment because this is something a a doctor or dermatologist can not very easily diagnose either.

 Some things you can do to treat for yeast while working on detergent removal:

-ACV baths: we did the daily baths where possible but if you can only manage 4 or 5 days that will still do a great amount of good. 

-Daily, regular probiotics (yes they really work! I've noticed a huge difference this time around treating yeast with the addition of probiotics added daily to Sam's yogurt) We use this probiotic brand but there are many good ones, I actually do not recommend ordering online, you should buy at a local health food store from a refrigerated section and refrigerate as soon as you get home to keep the probiotics live.

- It's also recently been suggested to me by a member of the forum that yeast may be helped to clear up by swabbing the area with hydrogen peroxide. I have not tried this personally though and I imagine you would not want to apply this over a larger area, but perhaps just to help with small stubborn patches once you've tackled the majority of infection by other methods. If the skin is broken at all, do not use the peroxide as it will burn! Only over top of small, healed over patches with unbroken skin. 

This is the apple cider vinegar we use, it is raw and supposedly has "the mother", a healing enzyme left out of regular grocery ACV but I don't know if that 100% accurate, it just made me feel better about using it. If anyone knows if regular table ACV works just as well let me know. :)

Now that we have the yeast under control and minimized again, the little eczema patches that Sam gets with detergent exposure are easily washed away within a day or two, and sometimes as little as a few hours.  

Oh, I also want to mention that yeast and other fungal infection on the skin seem to be largely opportunistic.  The borders of infection followed exactly where Sam's eczema was the worst previously, in other words, he only had yeast where he'd already had eczema and also where we had used the most topical steroid. I have absolutely no scholarship in this area but my guess is that the steroid contributes to favorable conditions for yeast growth and other microbes to take hold. 

*Please do not take any of this as medical advice (!), these are strictly my speculative observations and most educated explanation as to what has occurred with my son's skin. Please feel free to leave additional questions in the comments section.

For more information on the possible influence of steroid medication on spreading  yeast skin infections, see my follow up post.

24 comments:

  1. thank you for posting all that awesome information!

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  2. Wow! I am so glad I found your blog! My 4 years old has had eczema on her bottom for 2 1/2 years. Nothing seems to work. I am going to try ACV baths! Did you ever find out if filtered ACV works? I have Bragg's also, but its so expensive. Thanks!

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    1. I never did try using just regular cooking ACV. I guess everytime I've needed to use it (because of an infection or flare-up) I've been too nervous to waste time on a product that I'm not sure will work, so I go straight to what is already tried and true for my son. I've read around the web that some people have success with regular cheap ACV on a variety of other ailments though. So maybe it would be fine. You should know within 2 to 3 weeks if there is any improvement. The fact that Bragg's might be better, could very well be in my head. I just really like their product and the fact that it contains the enzyme.

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    2. I have had terrible sores on my elbows for more than a year. Physician prescribed steroids. After just a week of apple cide4r vinegar treatment the sores are going away! Incredible! I would have never believed this if I had not experienced it myself! Used Bragg's organic with Mother.

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  3. Can't thank you enough for posting those great information and picture !

    When I saw the picture, I am really surprised because it looks just like what happened to my daughter!

    It is jus today Doctor told me that my baby has yeast infection eczema! He give my 2% hyderm crm mixed with another medicine to kill the yeast which I can not recall its name now. Before I found here I was really worried about 2% because I had apply 1% to my daughter 14days and it didn''t work. What can i do if I use 2% fro another week and it still doesn't work? will I was asked to use 5%,or higher?

    Now, according to your experience and picture, I think what the doctor said is right. Hope this time my daughter's skin infection will be cured quickly.

    By the way, could you please give me a hand?

    1. you use Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw when bath . Is that all? Did you apply any medicine like Hyderm? Did you apply any medicine to kill the yeast?

    2. After bath, what kind of cream? Do you have any advise to share? I use Eucerin about three days now. No any good or bad review for it until now. Before Eucerin, I used Cetaphil which l seemed like easy to apply than Cetaphil.

    I will come back here to look forward your answer!
    Thank you very much!


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    1. We just used Apple Cider Vinegar in the bath, along with switching all of our products. We threw away all product containing detergent and now we use only detergent-free products. This includes your laundry and dish soap but also body wash, shampoos, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, hair products, toothpaste, etc. This is a very essential part of the process. You have to address both infection AND eczema, and the eczema is typically caused by these chemical detergent products. Please see www.solveeczema.org for more information. This is the website that we have used to help heal our son and manage his eczema and infections, with great success.

      After a bath with detergent-free soap (see website listed above) apply only Aquaphor Ointment under long cotton clothing. Eucerin and Cetaphil contain detergents and are irritating to the skin. They may seem to help short term but in the long term cause greater dryness.

      Hope that helps. The most important thing I can recommend is to read the website: solveeczema.org

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  4. I read you website again today. I noticed that you give your sun a soap rinse. What dose it mean? My guess is you soap your sun first after ACV bath, then you give him a shower to take off the soap. Am I right?

    I had apply medicine to my daughter today. I also give her ACV bath which make her fell a little sting, and then rinse her with a shower, just before I applied the medicine to her. I am happy she just scratch herself a little when she go to bed.

    Hope you come here soon.

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    1. For baths, we use a 3 part routine.

      First, is to disrobe the child and stand him/her in the bath and lather the body all over with a pure, deterent-free soap. Then run the shower water over the child to rinse all the soap away.

      Second, a bath half-full with 1/2 to 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Soak for 15 to 25 min.

      Third, after draining the bath, repeat step 1. So when the tub is empty, you want to lather with soap and rinse one final time.

      Afterwards, dry the skin thoroughly (do not leave it damp), apply Aquaphor ointment and long cotton clothing before bed.

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  5. I am so happy the I found this post. My son is 2 and has been having such a hard time with what I think is eczema and I started trying the ACV baths. How long do they take to start seeing a difference? And do you moisturize with anything after the baths? His spots seem to look better in the morning after bathing at night. But them by the time I pick him up from daycare they are bright red again... Any kind of rubbih on his skin from clothes and I'm guessing the rug at school causes more irritation along with his scratching. Hoping for clear skin soon.

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    1. It took about 2 weeks to start seeing improvement, and 8 - 10 weeks to total healing. But even then, continue the ACV treatments! Yeast is stubborn and will fire back at you if you allow it the space. ACV baths can be expensive though- so here is another option that I call my secret weapon! Mix about 1/2 cup Aquaphor with 1 tsp ACV. Mix well. Keep it in a container by the bath. Bathe as usual (just water and gentle true soap, oil-based) then apply the Aquaphor+ACV ointment after a bath. This has kept my son clear for years now.

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  6. I m very curious to find the better solution for skin infection for my brother. He is 2 year, sometimes having skin infection and itching. I will try A C V baths for my brother. Hope yeasts does’nt infect his skin and clear ski soon. Is this infection occur in child only or adult can affected by it?

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    1. It can happen to anyone. I had yeast infected eczema covering several fingers on my right hand for over a decade. Multiple daily treatments of Aquaphor ointment infused with ACV finally treated the problem.

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  7. hi, my 6 year old daughter has a problem with the water burning her skin terribly, she also has head to toe eczeama with lots of skin being shead, did the acv burn ?an did ur son have a simalar problem with the water?desperation level have gone thru the roof

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    1. If the water is burning, ramp down and use a smaller amount, then ramp up as she heals and can tolerate it. Another option is to give her a straight bath (water only ) using a gentle oil-based pure soap. Then apply a layer of Aquaphor ointment mixed with a small amount of ACV after the bath before bed.

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  8. Hello, I am just now running across this and it looks exactly like my 3-yr old. We've been on topical steroids for months now, went to a program in Colorado back in Nov to get treated and now he's developed a full body yeast infection from the steroids. Just like your son it seems. Question on the ACV bath….did you see any detox at all? It seems he's drier than normal, like almost flakey in parts. Thanks!

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    1. I do think we might have had a slight flare up when we first started treating the yeast infection. I think of it as the fungi's survival instinct. "We will not die!!!" :) It didn't last long. Persevere! I still swear by ACV as my #1 secret weapon against eczema and infection. I have learned it is just as effective (and cheaper) to add ACV to Aquaphor in a small container and apply that after a bath instead of putting the ACV in the bath itself. It works on the skin all night and you use a much smaller amount, plus the ointment keeps the skin moisturized. Good luck.

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  9. Ok im new to the solve eczema site and came across this one. Evrrythings seems exactly what my 1 yr old has been suffering with since birth. My husband and I watched ajs video and are excited n ready for our deteregent free journey, hoping and praying its the answer! My brain is overwhelmed right now w info overload! So we CAN use aquaphor? I thot we didn't want petroleum so I was confusef! Also how do u get the detergents from ur furnuture and bedding pillows. I keep looking around and finding more things we'll need to fig out how to de-detergantize! If thats even a word lol!

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    1. It may seem counter-intuitive to use Aquaphor because of the petroleum. Honestly, I have tried more 'natural' ointments and none has worked as well of us as Aquaphor for a skin barrier and ointment base. Mix a tsp of Bragg's apple cider vinegar in a small container of Aquaphor and apply every night after soap washing. It works miracles!!

      For furniture, bedding, etc. We did get mattress covers to solve the mattress issue. If you can't do matters covers for expense, just keep those sheets washed, or get a mattress pad and wash it. Put as many layers between the child and mattress as you can, because an older mattress most certainly has a lot of detergent and chemical dust. We traded out our furniture for leather couches on craigslist. Leather is more easily washable. But if you can't get leather, you could get couch covers and wash those. Pillows can also be replaced or washed. Don't over stress (easier said than done). Every effort you make counts. Sometimes just reducing the amount in your home can still go a long way even if you can't eliminate ALL detergent dust!

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  10. I am thinking that my daughter's eczema has some yeast component to it. Her skin looks identical to the old photos of your son. Considering she is having a major flare right now, do you think an anti-fungal cream would be more effective than Aquaphor mixed with ACV? She's so miserable!

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    1. I'm not sure honestly. I never tried the creams on Sam bc I was so afraid of prescription stuff after our experience with oral and topical steroids. However, you may want to try it. And why not try both!! You can use both at the same time I am sure. If the fungals don't lead to improvement within a few weeks, try the ACV alone. Also, whatever treatment you choose, give it time as yeast can be very stubborn and you have to be persistent and patient with your treatment. GOod luck.

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  11. I tried the aquaphor/ACV mix and it is a miracle! How often should this be applied daily? Do you use it throughout the day on the entire body?

    Question for bathing: do you think it is necessary to wash with soap AFTER the ACV bath? We will just be applying the AQuaphor/ACV mix after the ACV bath. I understand the 1st soap wash to remove all detergents just don't know if we need #2 soap bath.

    I truly thank you for writing on your experiences with your sons eczema battle. It is has helped us so much. We are not free yet but you give us hope!

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    1. I apply the cream every night after his shower. I put it where he tends to get rashes... on his arms, legs, and hands. If you are washing with soap first, then doing the bath, I see no need for the 2nd wash. I hope this is still working for you! Best of luck.

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  12. Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place.. Eczema

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  13. I was diagnosed with eczema about two years ago...As an adult...I never had it as a child.. It started on the back of my hands and it itched so bad that I scratched until it bled...I was prescribed triamcinalone 1% ointment which is a corticosteroid.. It helped with itching but did not clear u the eczema..then just recently I had a small itchy bump on my finger that I kept scratching and finally it became a large itchy red swollen pus oozing rash.. I think it has been about four to five months.. I was told it was apart of my eczema..it would peel my skin and crack in the creases and hurt...on my god it hurt..the rash spreaded to my wrist and it started to do the same thing my finger did... Then one day I had a vaginal yeast infection after I had been given some antibiotics to clear up what my doctor thought was impetigo.. After taking the meds twice a day for about 7 days I got this yeast infection... I bought some 7-day cream to use at bedtime.. As soon as I used this cream it helped with my yeast infection... but I also noticed that my wrists started to clear up and smooth out.. Then I began to look online to research yeast infections on the skin and the symptoms resemble that of what my doctor told me was eczema.... Well with all that being said I went to my dermatologist and told her that I think this was a fungus and needed something for just that.. Against her good judgment she did prescribe me a antifungal and steroid cream mixed called lotrisone.. It Worked!!! Its been a week and two days and my skin is smooth and back to normal... I said all this to say that my eczema turned out to be a fungal infection so if the traditional meds aren't working you may want to try meds for fungal or yeast infections on the skin.

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