Claritin rx and excema

Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 8:54am
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

So we thought ds might be reacting to eggs...and it turns out that its excema (am I spelling that right?) anyway the good news is that we skin tested him for tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, mites, and dog and all were negative.

But the doc wants us to give him claritin. She also made many recommendations regarding soap, bathing, putting cream on, and using cortizone cream on hot spots, etc.

I am really cautious about starting him on a drug. My thought is to try everything else first and see if it works. DH thinks he heard her say that we need to give the claritin in order to stop the itching - which would stop the scratching - which would stop the rash.

I have read all the old threads here about mood changes and behaviour issues. I am concerned.

DS has a few pimple looking things on his face and is an all over itchy kid. He scratches his bum, his tummy, his scalp and someone (me) should do a better job in clipping his nails. But outside of the few little pimple things he does not have any real rashy areas - although I know he itches. We only ever bathe him every other night..but we haven't been putting any cream on him. I crazy to withhold the antihistamine?

Any thoughts or experiences that you have had would really help me.


Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 9:37am
PurpleCat's picture
Joined: 01/28/2006 - 09:00

My DD does have those food allergies and has been battling eczema since birth.
I can't comment on your doctor's reasons to give Claritin as ours are different.
I can tell you that Children's Claritin is something we use for DD during high pollen season to further control her allergies and help prevent an asthma attack. We also start using it two days before and during a visit to someone's home if they have a dog.
My DD's behavior, moods, etc.... are not effected by Children's Claritin. She tolerates the medicine very well.

Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 10:07am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

My younger DS is EA and has horrible eczema. We just got a new test ordered though to do the major 8 again and a basic environmental. All he needs to do is step out the door and he is a mess of itch and red when he comes back in. The doctor said that if we find out that he tests for envirnmental she'd recommend zyrtec.
She did just prescribe a stronger ointment than the basic hydrocortizone. (he had an appt. friday)
Anyway. I feel your pain. And confusion.
What we have found that helps is keep finger nails trimmed. Very important.
Give baths that aren't too warm or too long. Don't use soap or bubbles in the bath. What we do is a basic plain water (you get to have fun for a few minutes) bath -- then DS stands up and we quickly soap him up and shower him off. Dove is what we use. Plain bar. Then after taking him out of the shower we dab him off and slather vaseline all over him -- really, slather -- and put cotton pj's on (long sleeve, long legged).
When his eczema is particularly bad, I also tend to keep him indoors, and remind him to stay up off the floor. I know it sounds weird, but my son is almost 5 and likes to do lots of stuff on the floor -- but there is a whole host of 'who knows what' that ends up being an irritant to his skin. I also try to avoid his touching surfaces other places --- like when I go pick up my other son from school, he can't go sit on the rug, or avoiding places like the park, etc.
I really do want to avoid using drugs (ingestible and topical) also. There seem to be a whole host of side affects, that I'm just not sure about. Plus, quite a few of the anti itch creams/ointments dehydrate the skin, so for eczema you may end up stopping the itch for awhile, but you end up exacerbating the problem. So, no, I don't think you are crazy to withhold the antihistamine. If you can help him without it, why not?
Our concern right now for our DS(aside from dealing with his latest flare up) is when he is slated to start school in the fall. That is going to be a nightmare with all of the things he will most likely have contacting his skin.
BTW, I still might avoid eggs and milk -- while your DS might not be allergic, they still can be foods that can cause problems for those with eczema.
Hang in there.

Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 10:49am
Edinview's picture
Joined: 08/25/2003 - 09:00

We have had very bad eczema since the first month. But for the last 2 years it's been better- my son is almost 6.
We've had the same regimen for years. Bath every day because he sweats and sweat dries up and gets salty which hurts and irritates sensitive skin. First we shower with Cetaphil (it's really expensive but can be found for a lower price at Costco) then he has the option to play in a plain old warm bath. Immediately after bath, we dry off patting dry rather than rubbing which can start that skin itching - using towels laundered in detergent that is free of perfume and dyes. Then Vanicream all over the body, to seal in the moisture from the bath, the worst places have been the back of legs, the neck - front and back of the neck, the top and bottom of ears where it connects to the head. If those places are flaring we might use plain vaseline applied 2 or 3 times a day. I don't worry about Vanicream all over everything because it washes out just fine in the laundry. But you should use as little Vanicream as possible to keep eczema under control because it doesn't let the skin toughen up like it should -my opinion.
We have had to re-apply vanicream a couple of times a day when the eczema was really bad, but around the time he was 2 1/2 it started to be controllable for longer periods. Now, the eczema is much less maintenance, but for many years it was a full time job.
I definitely agree with the keeping the nails short and I remember having to clip nails every 3 or 4 days. Now we get by with just every week and I am amazed by how long the nails are on his friends - even though I'm sure that if we didn't have this scratching problem I wouldn't do them for a month if I could get away with it.
[This message has been edited by Edinview (edited March 03, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 11:07am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

my 6yr old is my only eczema kid and we have battled it for a few years. But all of a sudden, it's a TON better. We've done the same thing for years, he gets a shower EVERY night and lotion EVERY night. I wash him with baby soap(J&J) and he gets baby lotion as well(also J&J, and I use the Shea Butter pump soap and pump lotion...I know many on here won't...but his eczema is cleared up, so I am not changing a thing!) Doc's have suggested Dove sensitive skin, that made my little guy way worse, way drier and way itchier. He had it so bad on his penis, it would swell, flake, itch and just look terrible. I was given Protopic to rub on there after each shower....and did that for almost 2 years. This last summer, I decided to cut ALL egg from his diet. He is egg allergic, had throat squeezing from cake batter....but nothing(that I could tell) was going on when he ate baked goods. So I let him eat baked goods etc....once we stopped(I did it more because his little brother needed to cut back, so I just cut everyone back....Jake's eczema is gone, really! No more Protopic, no more swelling, itching etc....
Through the many years of dealing with his food allergies, seasonl, environmental, asthma and eczema...he was on Zyrtec for years, last year I took him off. I will use it during peek seasonal or if he is around animals etc...mostly I like flonase anyways, since his is more Rhinoitis(sp?)....anyways, I think we all have our ways of dealing with this. I got advice from anyone and everyone, all different. Then I found what worked for us(bought the expensive lotions, soaps...but J&J just works for us), . so I wish you luck in finding what works for you, it's alot of trial and takes time, good luck!
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited March 03, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 11:33am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2007 - 11:55am
kelseyjane's picture
Joined: 02/06/2007 - 09:00

Just a note: DD had a few really bad excema (sp? sorry!) spots when she was a baby. One spot on her cheek used to ooze and occasionally require prescription cream. The rest of her skin was not visibly bad, but felt rough to the touch. We used cetaphil (but a store brand, not so expensive) as her "soap" for a long time. Then a pharmacist gave us a tip to use the Cetaphil soap as lotion, worked wonders! You don't need much, but skin just soaks it up.
Her excema cleared up quite a bit once I stopped nursing, so it leads me to believe it was related to peanuts/pb I did have for protein while I was nursing and pregnant. I didn't have it all the time but didn't know to totally avoid -- had no idea we would face this.
Anyway, maybe someone could use the cetaphil as lotion tip -- worked even better than vaseline for us, and not as gross to rub all over!
Mom to Harper
11/17/04 PA
[This message has been edited by kelseyjane (edited March 04, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2007 - 12:07pm
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

There is one thing I wanted to remember to put here today for anyone reading whose child is TNA also. If I recall correctly, Dove sensitive skin bars have almond oil and Cetaphil products have macadamia nut oil. Plus, shea is a source of debate.
So, just FYI.

Posted on: Mon, 03/05/2007 - 5:29am
pitterpat's picture
Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

I just wanted to echo Chanda's story as mine is very similar....
DD was diagnosed with pa at 3. Until that point she had terrbile eczema and constant infections because it was just so bad. She was diagnosed with pa and environmental allergies during the summer she turned 3 and put on Claritin and told to avoid ALL pn. We had never given her pn, but she ate "may contains" and shared facility stuff. We have not seen a bit of eczema since that week....NONE. That was almost 2 years ago.
Claritin has never caused her any behavioral problems. It has saved her quality of life.
Good luck. I know it's a tough decision. We've decided that our dds are so much better off on their meds that it's necessary.
mom to
Sara (7/02) allergic to pn, grass, trees
Julia (9/04) asthma and allergic to tree nuts (no testing, just reactions) (tests + to eggs, no reaction)

Posted on: Mon, 03/05/2007 - 9:14am
Edinview's picture
Joined: 08/25/2003 - 09:00

I just checked my bottle of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (liquid soap), it is made in Canada and does not have Macadamia oil in it. Perhaps the Cetaphil Bar soaps contain Macadamia?

Posted on: Mon, 03/05/2007 - 1:30pm
Sarahb's picture
Joined: 01/22/2007 - 09:00

thanks everyone....
we are trying the lotion, etc right now
but we did but the lovaritin ? syrup and will probably give it to him
I think i am going to go buy some for myself too
I am curious as to how this drug works


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