Weather effect eczema? Need Advice/Opinion

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 6:41am
chuser's picture
Joined: 07/21/2003 - 09:00

Hello All!

Hope all is well. My DD eczema has really flared up in the last month, previously we had it under control. One day her skin is perfect and then it starts to get red and itchy and then only gets worse over a 3-5 day period, and then suddenly starts to improve. I live in Toronto Canada, and it seems her skin gets better on cold days and as soon as it starts to get warmer her skin gets worse. Then a cold snap happens and her skin bounces back. This did not happen last year. Could it be the weather? Will it get worse as the weather gets warmer or is it only the change of season? I am looking for advice, ideas on controlling the itch besides antihistamines. We are already giving her 3 baths a day (warm water, with oil, moisturize soaking wet), the house is kept cool, no carpets, she wears cotton. Neither DD, DH or myself has slept a night thru in the last month due to her eczema. At this point DH and I do not know what to do. I really hope this is not a symptom of another food allergy, she already has a few (egg, PA/TN, sesame, mustard, poppy, garlic, barley and oats. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


(sleepy) Claudia


Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 8:57am
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Hi Claudia.
My excema actually gets worse in the cold and better with warmer weather. However, when one of my sons was an infant, his excema would flare up from sweat. Especially behind his knees. Now that I think of it, I get excema patches inside my elbows with the heat.
So I would say yes, the weather can affect excema! I should note, though, that when we controlled ds's allergies (soy, egg, pnt, dust, cat), and I mean complete avoidance, his excema cleared up considerably. In fact, now at 6 yrs old, he rarely has a flare up.
Good luck! Oh- by the way - Elidel and Cutivate have been helpful to me, and I actually used Crisco (with success) in desperation when ds was tiny.

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 10:25am
momofjen's picture
Joined: 10/07/2002 - 09:00

All four of my children have some form of eczema. I ahve been told by all of our doctors, ped., allergist, and dermatologist to avoid baths as much as possible. We limit bathing to a few times a week and never allow them to soak in the water for long. You can just wash up private areas withoout actually soaking in water. After getting out of the tub, make sure to dry off completely.
Also, we have beed given many steroid creams to use for heavy duty flare ups. My best advice is to be diligent about applying a good moisturizer, like eucerine 2 times daily. Do this even when the skin looks good. For a flare up , apply a strong steroid cream until the area clears.
Hope this helps,

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 10:47am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

I had terrible eczema as a child and it was always worse in the winter when it was really dry inside because of the heat.
I was also told to limit baths and take very quick showers. Maybe that is aggravating it.
Do you use any prescription creams? That is the only thing that got rid of mine. Good Luck!

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 9:31pm
Sandy's picture
Joined: 05/27/2002 - 09:00

My son was called the "cortisone kid" when he was little. It would flair up in the hot summer weather when he would sweat, but nothing in the winter.
Contrary to what the doctors said, I found that keeping his skin free from all lotions helped. The dryer the skin, the better. If he didn't sweat, he didn't get ezema.
Swimming in the lake, or pool helped because it cooled him down and dry out the rash. Afterwards I would put on Cornstarch especially under his arms, behind his knees and groin.(where he sweats the most.)Cornstarch is safe, and I used lots! If you don't have a lake or pool, use a sprinkler with his/her friends. (being a boy, he was very active.)
Direct sun on him for about 15 min helped dry up the scabs, being careful not to let his sweat. If he did, it was back in the lake, and afterwards apply cornstarch again. This kept his skin dry. At night when he slept I had a little fan circulating the air for about 1/2hr until his sweating stopped. (he was and still is a terrible sweater just as he's falling asleep.)
First I would use Ivory bar soap, then fill the tub with fresh water again and add Aveeno before bed took the itch away. Sometimes I gave him a antihistamine. Not very often. It made him groggy.
Sunscreen,especially waterproof was the worst because his skin would not breath, and with sweating, it was horrible with bloody scabs. I was always saying "stop scratching."
Taking him off of milk helped too. To much chocolate gave him eczema.
Since he didn't use sunscreen I always kept a cotton tshirt on him and hat (even in the water.)
He had a "trucker" tan. Arms brown and belly white. [img][/img] [img][/img]
My son's eczema is 80% better now. I guess it is a combination of his age and knowing how to control it.
What age is your dd?
[This message has been edited by Sandy (edited March 20, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 10:42pm
nancy023's picture
Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

My four year old has almost grown out of his eczema, but when he was a toddler, his whole body was almost one big patch of eczema that was much, much worse in warm weather than during winter.
The routine that worked best for him was: infrequent baths, followed by immediate lotion while he was still wet, and lots of steroid creams (unfortunately-- the Elidel did not help one bit).
Don't you wish there was a consensus on how to treat these kids? But, maybe they all react differently.

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/2004 - 11:47pm
docd3122's picture
Joined: 01/16/2001 - 09:00

Wish our ezcema kids came with a manual! Our DD kept us up at night through the whole summer last year. Our recommendations are: If the rash is bleeding and not improving, see a dermatologist. Our DD's skin was infected and she was prescribed an oral antibiotic and Cutivate cream. This combination with vaseline applied twice a day cleared her skin completely within 4 days. She also is on Claritin syrup and Singulair. When her skin becomes aggrevated, we give her Benadryl also at night to help stop the itching. If she has any gluten sensitivities, then avoid Aveeno products since they are not gluten free. Many lotions can irritate the skin, so sticking with vaseline is a good choice. Unfortunately, elidel and protopic further irritate her skin. DD is ultra-sensitive, so any foods she is allergic to cause her to flare up within 12-24 hours. Good luck!

Posted on: Sat, 03/20/2004 - 3:44am
srujed's picture
Joined: 09/05/2003 - 09:00

My DS also has eczema but it seems to flare up more in the winter due to the dry heat in our house I guess. He does have some flare ups in the warmer weather too but not as bad. He only gets a bath every other day as I was told that too many baths would make the eczema worse. We also use cortaid cream as needed and always use lotion or cream after baths. I had heard before that petroleum jelly products were good for eczema but it made his alot worse so we stick to creams like Eucerin. Hope this helps a little bit and good luck!

Posted on: Sat, 03/20/2004 - 8:29am
chuser's picture
Joined: 07/21/2003 - 09:00

Hello All:
Thanks for all the replies. My daughter is 4 years old, and has had eczema since she was an infant. She has been on steriod creams since she was 1 month old. My DH and I are worried that she has used them for so long, there may be a chance of side effects. Not sure if that is a founded worry or not. She has a pediatric dermatologist since her pediatrician deemed her eczema severe. The dermatologist recommended the bathes (5-10 minutes) and they have helped alot. My daughter has extremely dry skin. If you touch it, it feels more like the skin of a 40 year old than a young child. Her allergist as well recommends the bathes. So far they are the only thing which alleviate itch, besides a strong dose of antihistaimines. We do have a humidifier for the house, the relative humidity is 35%. We also moisturize alot with vaseline and Glaxal Base. Sigh what to do, what to do.
We do not keep any foods in the house which she is allergic to, including "may contains". So I think she should not be coming in contact with them. However I am going to do a double check.
Obviously there is one thing (or things) which bother her, but what? Or maybe not since my DH mother had severe eczema as a child (DH's grandfather still talks about it!). She outgrew it when she got her first period. Well it is only 10-12 years away.

Posted on: Mon, 03/22/2004 - 11:31am
teacher's picture
Joined: 11/02/2000 - 09:00

Hi Claudia,
I'm 36, I live in Alberta, and I've had excema my entire life. I've been on steroid creams for 36 years, and as far as I know, there's been no side effects for me!
The weather DEFINITELY affects my excema. It seems as though it flares up with ANY change in the weather, but I am absolutely the worst (i.e. head-to-toe) in late May. I don't have a clue what the trigger is that happens then (obviously I have some environmental allergy), I just know it always happens then. (I didn't put it together with the time of the year until I got married in late May, and every year on my anniversary thereafter, I realized I was "just as bad as I was on our honeymoon." Voila, a connection to the time of year.)
I've heard recently that the no bath/frequent bath directives from doctors are changing. What I've heard most recently is that SHORT, frequent baths are best for excema. However, I think you should just do what works!!!!! Personally, my skin is no better when I skip or skimp on the bathing.
As an adult, I can control things better if I keep myself extremely hydrated, too. But it's not as easy to make sure a child drinks lots and lots of water every day ..... nor do I think that pediatricians really recommend that.
I wish you luck with this. Like I said, my best piece of advice is to keep experimenting and stick with what works.

Posted on: Mon, 03/22/2004 - 11:01pm
wendysco's picture
Joined: 05/03/2003 - 09:00

Short tepid baths have always worked best for my kids, I also found that a non-soap cleaanser (we use vanicream bar) helped alot, then lots of moisturizer after. My kids tend to flare in the spring/summer, environmental allergies I presume. My dd did flare this winter, had patches all over, still have no idea why. I have also found that some oatmeal tied up in pantyhose works wonders, take turns squeezing it all over them.


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