Friday, May 11, 2007

E is for Eczema

Off we went to the pediatric dermatologist at the big fancy hospital. We said before we went that the doctor would probably look at Cricket and wonder why we there, that's how much better he looked.

Indeed, it's as if we were psychic.

Both resident and attending said, "Eczema."

Really, I said, reeeallly? Isn't it strange that five different doctors in two different states wouldn't have picked that up?

Nope, they said blithely.

You really aren't seeing it like it was, I said. It was oozing. Dripping. Our pediatrician said it was the weirdest thing she had seen in fourteen years of practice? And it's just eczema?


So we were given some topical steroids, moisturizer to lube him up and told not to worry. We stopped the Clinda because there was continuing to be some small amounts of blood in the stool, and if it is (was?) eczema, not antibiotics should be needed. Right? Right?

Then yesterday Cricket and I went out for a walk since it was so beautiful and warm. He fell asleep in his car seat as he is wont to do. We got home, lifted him out of his car seat and voila, the oozing red mass back. Partner slapped some of the steroid cream on it. I tried to not cry.

At our LLL meeting, other mothers with children who have eczema examined Cricket, who is as jolly as ever. And most agreed it didn't look too much like eczema. I had to wipe away the dripping ooze from the back of his head. Poor kid. Then it was revealed that one new mother there with her eleven day old child was derm resident. I hightailed it over to her and shoved my kid's head in her general direction.

She didn't think it looked much like eczema either and was surprised that the two docs her saw said it was. "If it is eczema," she said, "it's infected." She said if Cricket was her patient she'd probably put him on three weeks of antibiotics, Keflex, which frankly seems like too much to me. Three weeks is a long time for kids his age to be on drugs like that. She told me to email the resident (I don't have his email but could easily look it up) and invoke her name as a sort of pass code. take digital pictures and send it to him.

She was so nice and offered to email the resident herself, at which point I copped on. This is a woman with her eleven day old child on her very short maternity leave. My kid's ooze should not be her problem at this point. Unfortunately when your kid is oozing, you forget things like manners sometimes


We changed the sheets on the co-sleeper twice last night because of the ooze, but it looks a little better this morning. Do we give the steroid cream time to work? Or call panicked again? He's napping now and I dread to think what his head will look like upon waking. If there could be worse place to have a rash eh? On the back his head-- a baby often rests on the back of his head. It's hard to keep it airy.

But in the grand scheme of things, eczema is better than any other diagnosis he has had. I'd rather it be eczema than MRSA or an autoimmune thing. I'm just still not convinced. Time will tell, I suppose. Time will tell.



Blogger Emilin said...

Bah. I wish I had been there for the meeting, but I was at home with the kid once again.

1:03 PM  
Blogger DD said...

I'm sure you've already googled the heck out of eczema, so you won't need my 2 cents, but I see that it can certainly be excerbated by contact. Would you feel comfortable letting him nap on his tummy to give the back of his head air-time?

4:24 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

If it is indeed eczema, try Whole Emu Oil - its available at most health food stores and works wonders... but like DD said, air to give it a chance to 'dry'. Tummy time for his naps during the day would certainly help. I'd recommend finding a different derm cause eczema shouldn't ooze. (unless as said, its infected)

Baby sweat is relatively bacteria free in comparison to us big people...although that said, have you changed laundry soaps or anything that he has come in contact with? Had your rugs shampoo'd? Anything chemical that he has had increased exposure to on his head?

I'm sure you've thought of most of these, or have been asked them... but just throwing out my 10 cents. worth.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delurking here-I am assuming you used a sperm donor to have Cricket. Have you tried to contact the sperm bank you used to see if there are reports of any other offspring from that donor who suffer from the same thing as your child? I know there has been at least one case (Fairfax 1084), where a lot of the kids had something similar to Cricket, and the sperm bank finally quit selling his vials (there was an article in Self magazine a while back called The Truth About Donor 1084-the link is Checking with other moms who have used your donor might give you some answers if there is something in the donor that got passed down unintentionally. You might be able to find other moms at Good luck, I hope he gets better soon.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Nico said...

Oh, I hope you figure out what it is soon, and that it gets better!!!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Portlairge said...

Oh No, poor Cricket and Katie and Partner. I don't know much about eczema but I'm going to put in my 2 cents about steroids and infection. Quite often, steroids can mask infection so if it is an infection- that would be my concern. Also, nothing has grown in culture- right? Was the first culture taken before or after Cricket was started on antibiotics? I hope, hope, hope this clears up soon Katie. Thinking of you all.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Happy 1st Mommy's Day Mommies! :-)

2:18 AM  
Blogger Gretch said...

I'm so sorry that Cricket is having to deal with "the rash from hell." I hope you and Partner are able to find a doc that will be able to help soon.

I know that Estelle over at 'Faggots on the 3rd Floor' has also had some experience with her son Charlie receiving a diagnosis of Eczema for an oozing rash that sounds similar to what you describe for Cricket - if you go to her blog and search for "eczema" you will find several entries about their families experiences with Charlie and their various diagnosis they've received over the past couple of years. Maybe something there could help you to decipher if the eczema diagnosis is accurate based on what she's already learned with her experiences with Charlie?

Hope Cricket gets to feeling better soon.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Estelle said...

From me to you, an email will come. Uh, if I can find your email. If you don't get it, email me.

Believe me, I went through plenty of "just" eczema phases. Until I realized that most people don't know what the hell eczema is. They think eczema is just annoying dry skin. I can tell you, it ain't that! Yes, Charlie does have eczema. Eczema that makes his entire body ooze and bleed and smell rancid from massive infection. And it's "just" eczema. He has other issues, too, of course, but eczema definitely IS that horrible.

Send me a picture, will ya?

8:56 AM  

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