3.09.2010

The rash, part 429.

UPDATE: Since this post still gets traffic, I wanted to update it since it's been years.  Ben's eczema waxed and waned after this until he eventually just outgrew it in about six months. Our other two children, born after Ben, had similar but much more severe struggles.  I've posted about eczema a lot since then. Check out our eczema button in the sidebar up there if you're interested in reading more about what we've learned through the years. 

I think I've solved it, folks! All of Ben's test results came back negative, which is a HUGE relief. After being on an elimination diet for about 10 days now, I feel safe in saying that his rashes are caused, in most part, by food intolerances. Ben's doctor thinks I'm crazy, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves and continue to follow my mommy intuition. That's what it's there for, right?

At the beginning of the elimination diet, you might remember that his face looked like this:

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That was at its worst, so to be fair, here's a picture of its "normal" state:

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Though we haven't been able to get rid of it completely, it is SO MUCH improved and hardly red at all anymore. I've been taking some progression pictures through out the past ten days to prove to his doctor that I'm not as crazy as she thinks I am.

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So, what worked?

1. Moving to a diet of ONLY the least allergenic foods in organic form (absolutely no processed food whatsoever). We also moved to gluten-free and replaced cow's milk with goat's milk.

2. Replacing all the chemicals in our home with natural products - vinegar & water and hydrogen peroxide & water to clean with, natural laundry detergent, Dr. Bronner's baby mild soap and organic toothpaste. We stopped using disposable wipes and instead we're just using cloth wipes with water only. This, in combination with banning disposables completely, has really helped clear up the diaper rash. I learned so much this past week about the way chemicals are absorbed into skin and how the skin "revolts." Some great articles to read can be found here, here and here.

3. Trashing the aquaphor. I had a hunch that the aquaphor was actually making Ben's face rash worse. Almost as soon as we stopped using it, the redness in his face rash completely disappeared. Now I only use coconut oil when it gets super dry, but I pretty much just leave it alone. If you artificially moisturize your skin, you're only training it to produce even less oils than it already does. Or at least that's my opinion. :)

4. Taking a daily probiotic.

5. Taking baths every other day, sometimes every third day.

We'll start the process of re-introduction once we get to South Carolina and have had some time to get back into a routine. It will definitely be interesting to find out what he's allergic to. I'm hoping for dairy only, but I do have a hunch that it might be more than that.

One of the most exciting parts of this elimination is watching his tummy problems straighten out! You might remember that I shared a little too much last week when I mentioned that Ben has had daily diarrhea for, oh, months and months. Guess what? Gone!

If I've learned nothing else lately, I've learned that I should always trust my gut. The doctor would have us on all foods except peanuts and she'd want us to take steroid creams. Moms really do know best.

I want to end on this note: check out the Skin Deep database! Since our beauty products aren't really regulated, companies aren't required to list the ingredients that go into making them. The Environmental Working Group took it into their own hands by researching thousands of products and dishing on the safety of each. I was surprised to learn that Ben's organic body wash was a 3 on a scale of 1-10 (3 being a moderate hazard) and that my hair mousse was a TEN! Highly hazardous!

4 comments :

  1. You are one awesome researching Mama! Way to go on getting rid of the rash & tummy problems! That's unbelievable, really! I hope Ben is able to eat like a normal kid soon!

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  2. I bet you are just beyond thrilled! Even if he does have the occasional flare up from now on, you know what you can do to fix that. Good luck on your trip & with the food reintroductions when you get back! Won't it be so nice when somewhere down the road you run into someone in the same boat and you can share all your wisdom on this?!

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  3. my chapstick is going to kill me. seriously. i can't believe some of the stuff we put on/in/near our bodies.

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  4. I am so excited for Ben!!! I hope he continues getting better. ;o)

    Ciara

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