I know all you mamas and papas of "allergic kids" can appreciate this picture. This is the kind of stuff that keeps us up at night—the kind of stuff we obsess over (well I do—and I probably shouldn't—but how can I not!?).
Last summer Little Man developed a small patch of dry skin at the corner of his mouth. Surprisingly, with his tendency toward asthma and severe reactions to mosquito bites, eczema and like skin conditions have never plagued him—that is until August 2014!
I watched the patch grow a little each day. I found myself laying awake in bed at night wondering if something I was feeding him was the culprit. I pulled nuts from his diet. Removed the grains. Cut out the citrus. You name it, I tried it. Once again we were down to eating nothing—and a 7-year old should not have to live that way.
What not to put on your face
Fast forward a couple months. The spot was holding steady and not going away. Losing my patience (and mind), I grabbed a tube of hydrocortisone corticosteroid cream.
Bad, bad, BAD mistake!
If no one has ever warned you, I am going to warn you now! Ready? Do not. I repeat. DO NOT APPLY CORTICOSTEROID CREAMS LIKE CORTIZONE® TO YOUR FACE.
We learned the hard way that this is one surefire way to light up your skin with Periorial Dermatitis—a common condition in women that can develop when they dab a little cortisone on a pimple.
And so what seemed like an innocent patch of eczema rapidly turned into what you see in the picture above—angry and spreading.
We thought we'd Tried Everything
So what did we do? We went to see the dermatologist and left with antibiotic ointments and mystery creams (they seemed to only make it worse). We spritzed on apple cider vinegar and aloe juice. We tried all kinds of comfrey and calendula salves. We tried nothing at all! The Periorial Dermatitis monster wasn't going away.
how we cured periorial dermatitis & eczema
So what cleared it up? Here's what seemed to do the trick for us.
- Applying Florasone Cream
- Removing Chocolate
Six months into this skin crisis I found myself sitting criss cross applesauce on the floor at Whole Foods staring at and comparing "natural" eczema remedies. I was a desperate woman. I took the sales associate's advice and bought a tube of homeopathic Florasone Cream, a natural alternative to cortisone. We began dabbing it on a couple of times a day and the angry beast began to retreat. I won't make the claim that it "healed" the dermatitis, by I can certainly say that it calmed Little Man's skin down. A welcome sight after months of redness.
At the time we began applying Florasone, I began looking into high histamine foods.
Knowing that Little Man:
- Has HAD a leaky gut and continues to have some food sensitivities
- Is an impaired methylator
- Has lower T cell production (these are the kids susceptible to vaccine injury)
It was very likely that he had elevated histamine levels and that high histamine foods could be having a compounding effect.
As I scanned the list of high histamine foods, lo and behold, chocolate caught my eye. "Could chocolate be the culprit?" I wondered. Our family loves chocolate! It's my go-to happy food. It's full of antioxidants! It's a superfood!!! Unfortunately, it wasn't so super for my kid.
We immediately pulled all chocolate from Little Man's diet and could not believe the results. Within two weeks his skin cleared and he was healed of the eczema and the Periorial Dermatitis. My husband and I were blown away.
It WAS something food related after all. See I don't lay awake at night for no reason :)
I share this story with you in hopes that you will continue to dig deep to resolve your own skin issues. What worked for my guy may not work for you. But keep trying.
On A Sidenote
On a sidenote, my husband just discovered that dairy is a big problem for him. At 44, his intolerance to it manifested itself as itchy patches of skin. No dairy, no problem. I am so happy that he persevered and seriously questioned the relationship between what he was eating and the symptoms he was having—and even prouder that he's cut dairy out completely and hasn't looked back.
Eczema and like skin conditions can be a beast. I've watched a few friends go through it with their kids and it is no a walk in the park. Hang in there mamas and papas.