Monday, February 23, 2009

When eczema attacks

No, the eczema is not on my food-allergic four-year-old. She still has occasional flare-ups, but for the most part, she is eczema-free except in the summertime, when pool water (salt or chlorine) really aggravates her skin. This time it's on my previously-assumed-to-be-non-food-allergic 11-month old, who has it all over her stomach and back :(.

It started a week or two ago - I noticed a little bit of it on her back so I put some hydrocortisone on it and forgot about it. But I saw it again on Friday, and this time there was a lot of it and it covered most of her back. By Saturday morning it covered some of her stomach, and by yesterday it covered even more. I have no idea what is causing it, but am 99% sure it's a food. She has started eating so much lately, and that's really the only condition that's changed.

I think I've narrowed it down to soy or dairy. She has had a few items with dairy in them at school (mac & cheese and regular challah bread) and I had been quietly rejoicing that she had had no reaction to them, but now I fear it was a delayed reaction. But she has also had more soy than usual lately - she ate some casserole with a lot of soy margarine on it on Wed. & Thurs., drank some of Ainsley's soy milk on Fri., and ate some soy yogurt on Sat.

I cannot remain neutral. Of the two, I would VASTLY prefer another dairy-allergic child. Virtually everything Ainsley eats has soy in it. I can cook dairy-, egg-, and nut-free, but I think it might actually break me to try to eliminate soy too. Soy and dairy are like two sides of the same coin. You can be allergic to dairy because there are a lot of soy-based dairy alternatives. But if you're allergic to dairy and soy ... well, that's a tough nut to crack (terrible attempt at food allergy humor).

Thankfully, we have Leighton's first real allergist appointment a week from Thursday. We are doing skin prick testing for all of the major allergens that day. Prior to the last few days, I was confident Leighton would sail through the testing without any positive reactions. Now, I am not so sure.


Chrystyna said...

I feel your pain! I hope she's either not allergic to either or allergic to dairy. Mackenzie is allergic to both and trying to find foods for her is VERY challenging :(

E-Dawg said...

I swear I am reading my life when I check in with your blog! My 8 month old just had a weird skin break out yesterday. His skin tested negative to the milk and others, but he just started dairy last week, because he needs the calories, and now I am afraid it is from the yogurt! It is sad because I just started to imagine my little one's life without food allergies and it was such an easier life!
We avoided soy based products for about 6 months, along with milk, eggs, all nuts and seeds, because my ODS was "intolerant" of soy. It isn't that bad if you just avoid soy based products. What changes is substituting soy for milk, there is no taking a regular recipe and tweaking it with soy. It is more a meat and potato type of thing.
Good luck! Can't wait to hear the outcome.

Jennifer B said...

Good luck with the skin test. Hope it turns out well.