Little Mr. AKA 2 came into the world in 2007, weighing a whopping 9lbs. He was my biggest baby by nearly 1lb. The cutest, chubbiest cheeks ever! I was immediately smitten. The nurses were ecstatic when I told them that I was going to have him in the nursery that night, as we were formula feeding him, so that I could recover from a difficult pregnancy and birth. He was a wonderfully happy baby, and grew VERY quickly!
Struggling to find a formula that he didn’t react to was a challenge. We FINALLY found Carnation Good Start Supreme w/DHA & ARA(and of course it had to be the liquid concentrate), and he settled in and started growing like crazy! Around 3 months old is when his skin problems began. It started with a little cradle cap on his head. That got worse and worse. We were told that “it is just a bad case of cradle cap”. After it turning into thick scabs on his head I was pretty sure there was more to it then just that! Around 9 months is when it started spreading. It just got worse and worse, spreading to his elbows, feet, wrists, ankles, etc. It was then that I realized that we were dealing with eczema.
It eventually got to the place to where he ALWAYS had to have socks, pants and a long sleeved shirt on because he would scratch until his skin started oozing and/or bleeding! It was awful! I felt helpless. And in the blistering Georgia heat it was horrible having to take him out anywhere. He was miserable. There would be times when he would just cry and cry and cry because he was so itchy or it hurt so badly.
I started doing my own research about what could be done. I am not one that likes to use medicines very much. I like the more natural approach to everything. Call me a hippie, call me whatever you like…. it’s just the way I like to do things. Before I went the natural route I was just searching for WHATEVER WOULD WORK! We tried so much “stuff”. I bought Hydrocortizone from Walmart and tried using that. At first it made it better, but in the long run it was one of the worst things I could have done. It just exacerbated the problem. I tried sensitive skin soaps, I tried special lotions, baby eczema care products. Nothing was working.
By the time he was 1 1/2 he had started getting scars on his feet, elbows and wrists. He would just itch and itch. He started getting thick callouses and scabs on his sores. It was awful to watch. He will carry his scars for the rest of his life, and I feel awful about that. Over time they will fade, as they kind of have started too.
One day I went to order my wonderful daughter’s hair care products from Circle of Friends. And low and behold there was an advertisement on the front of the site for Little Docs Eczema & Sensitive Skin Care. I got so excited! I LOVE their products and was totally sold on how they worked, so I was excited to give them a try! I ordered 1 Little Docs Soothing Shampoo and Body Wash, 1 Little Docs Calming Cream, and 1 Little Docs Cooling Spray Lotion. I could WAIT for them to come in the mail!
The products came and we were so excited that he was immediately put in a bath! Now of all the products that I got I only really loved the body wash. The lotion was ok, the spray didn’t do much of anything, and he didn’t like it at all! The body wash on the other hand is amazing! It didn’t totally take care of the problem, but boy did it help. We paired it with Aquaphor Healing Ointment, which is a thick greasy oil that seemed to lock the moisture in his skin. Now with that being said, it wrecked a lot of his clothes because it is greasy and his skin still had to be covered, but it worked and I wasn’t going to complain!
As he got older, his itching got worse…. the soap helped a lot, and probably was the only thing keeping him just dissolving into a scratching, oozing mess.
Wait. Then came “the day”.
I shall dub it that because I don’t remember the date, or what was happening. All I remember was my baby coming crying to me…. he was in absolute tears and said his foot hurt. It was at that moment that I knew what we were doing was NOT working, and that had to figure out something else. His big toe on his right foot was split open across the top and I could see down into his toe. I felt AWFUL! The split so bad that I had to apply ointment and bandage it.
I immediately pulled up Google and started searching. I was grasping at straws. We learned that he needed to have Omega Fatty Acids, in the form of a pill or gummy, added to his diet. So off I ran to Walmart to give L’il Critter Omega-3 Gummy Fish a try. We noticed a bit of an improvement, but not much.
We tried oatmeal washes(ground up oatmeal in water) which actually made his skin WORSE! We tried oil bathes. We tried… wait… I don’t know WHAT ALL we tried, but my WORD it felt unending, and with ZERO results…. most of the time making it WORSE!
A few days later we had to run to Earth Fare to grab some things. So I swung by the Health & Beauty section. There was a wonderful gentleman that pointed us in the direction of Weleda Baby Calendula Baby Cream. He had used it for his daughter, and immediately he skin problems had disappeared. He also told us that if it didn’t work, that we could just bring it back and they would either try something else or refund our money. I was hopeful and desperate so we bought it. We gave the lotion a try for 2 days, but it wasn’t getting better, and parts of his skin were actually getting worse.
So back we went…..
This time I was lucky enough to get to speak with a delightful woman in the Health & Beauty section who listened to all the symptoms and problems that we had been struggling with, how the Wedela lotion hadn’t helped at ALL, and that we had no clue what to try next. She immediately went over to the lotions and pulled a blue box off the shelf. ShiKai Children’s Borage Dry Skin Therapy, or as it would come to be known… my lifesaver! She said that our theory of the Omega-3 helping was correct, and that Borage was like applying that directly to the skin. I am not lying when I say that his skin went from being scaly and rough, to soft in 3 days. Now it didn’t “cure him” of his eczema, but it IMMEDIATELY relieved it. He still had his spots and they were itchy sometimes, but on those days we just added additional lotion and it helped so much!
I knew that there was an underlying problem, but I had no clue what it was or how I could fix it. Health insurance doesn’t pay to see a naturopath and money was tight. So back to the drawing board Anyone we had talked to about this just wanted to put him on steroids. STRONG ONES! And that was NOT a road we wanted to go down.
It just so happened that later that week I had an appointment with my chiropractor at Boutwell Chiropractic. Actually, that was like my 4th appointment that week because my back wasn’t holding. At the appointment I sat down and talked with Dr. Darrell. He was totally confused as to why my back wasn’t holding. We had tried all sorts of thing, but it wasn’t getting much better and I had so much inflammation in my body. We talked and talked. We had tried taking care of the systemic yeast problem I had, but that only helped a little. They deal in natural health, and listening to your body, so I decided to ask him what he thought of my son’s skin problems. He immediately got this look on this face. What he said next totally transformed mine and my son’s life. He leaned forward and asked if I had any allergies. When I said no… he said “You know what? I think you, and your son, might have a gluten intolerance.” He then asked me if I had ever thought about trying to cut out wheat. Of course, I hadn’t but he asked if I would give it a thought. I can tell you I didn’t even think twice about it.
It took some serious analyzing of what we ate and realizing that seemingly there wasn’t a whole lot left. Once we dropped wheat/gluten and figured it all out, I realized that it’s the best we could have ever done. Within a week my back was staying in, and Little Mr. AKA 2’s skin had almost COMPLETELY healed! It was truly amazing! We have been gluten-free for almost a year now. It can sometimes be daunting to plan meals, but that is partially because that have never been a strong point of mine! We manage, and we are the better for it.
For us, because it’s an intolerance and not an allergy…. we avoid anything that has wheat/gluten in it, but something that might have “traces” I don’t worry about to much. With that being said, I would say we are a “loose” Gluten-Free family. For example, I don’t buy gluten-free oatmeal. I buy regular. I still try and avoid wheat/gluten, but when money is tight… I can’t spend $7 on small bag of oatmeal that will have no traces of wheat/gluten, when I go through at LEAST 7-10lbs of it a month! Little Mr. AKA 2 gets one free pass a week, at Earth Fare Family Night. He gets pizza there. Birthdays is the other time…. since most of the cakes we have when we are at someone’s birthday in our family is NOT gluten-free, he is allowed to have a little. When we first started getting off of it, I was REALLY strict about him not having ANY, but once his body settled in… it can seem to handle a little wheat now and then.
So that is the life for my baby… that is how it came about, and how we have handled it over the years. I am hoping that with time it gets even better or that he might even growing out of it, but for now we have to take it day by day. It can be rough, but it’s life. Life is Never Simple……
**NOTE: This is not meant as medical advice or to be used to diagnose yourself. I am simply telling my story as it happened. If you are struggling with a medical condition, please seek professional assistance.**