We recently took Robbie to an allergy appointment. We were trying out a new allergist and trying to get some answers about his eczema. I am so happy that we went. This doctor was amazing, and by the time I left I felt that I had a much better understanding of Robbie's condition.
Around a year ago we took Robbie in for allergy tests and he only tested positive for eggs. Truthfully, I was excited about this because it was only one allergy. After Riley's list of multiple allergies I was glad to only have one to deal with for Robbie. We immediately started removing eggs from his diet. That is what we were told to do, so we did it blindly. I didn't research it or question it. I didn't seek a second opinion. I thought, it's just an allergy, he is the doctor he should know. I am sure that in many situations this advice would have worked but with Robbie this was not the case. His eczema continued to be a huge problem.
Our new allergist seemed pretty alarmed at Robbie's eczema. He says it is at a moderate to severe stage and he decided to re-test his allergies. This time Robbie tested positive for ragweed, cats, dust, and eggs. The doctor says that his allergies are progressing very quickly and he could very well end up needing allergy shots for them. He also informed me that children with eczema are 75% more likely to develop a food allergy, and they are 50% more likely to develop asthma. We discussed his snoring and that he sometimes has a cough at night. The doctor says if he coughs during the night we need to use the nebulizer on him.
We also discussed Robbie's current treatment. We use Zyrtec daily, a steroid cream for his bad outbreaks, lotion every where else, we don't bathe him daily, and no eggs in his diet. To start off the doctor upped Robbie's Zyrtec dose, and told us to give it to him at night. Then we discussed the steroid cream. Apparently sometimes a cream will start off helping but after some time it will begin to cause a rash. So we got three new creams. Two are the same kind just different strengths to be used on his eczema depending on what stage it is in. Then a third cream to use on any small itchy places, like the little splotches on his back. We are to continue the lotion everywhere. And we do all of this everyday after his bath. We are to use the "soak and seal" method. He soaks in water for 10 minutes every day. Then we pat him dry and put all the medicine and lotion on him to help seal in the water. He loves it so far. We also have to get a special pillow cover for his pillow to keep the dust away from him. And he can eat eggs! The doctor wants us to start giving him eggs again. If we see that it is breaking him out worse, then we stop for a little while. Then we go back to eggs. We will be trying to teach his body to accept eggs. Since he doesn't start swelling or having breathing problems this is a safe method for him. We hope that we will outgrow the allergy.
I learned so much at this appointment. I would say I was overwhelmed but this doctor explained things so well. He gave me information, pamphlets, and he didn't talk to me in "doctor speak". When we were done I didn't feel stupid. I now understand eczema a little better. I could never understand why Riley and Robbie continued to itch even after they were bleeding. It was so horrible to see and we bandaged them up all the time. The reason they don't stop is because the itch from eczema is worse than the pain from them digging at their skin. It is like a horrible itch under the skin that they just have to get to.
I learned that their have been new studies that show that introducing allergens early can actually help children. Babies need to go outside and be around pollen as much as possible and at a really young age. If the body gets used to the pollen then it doesn't feel "threatened" by it later in life. The same goes for things like eggs and peanut butter. I am supposed to start giving the twins these things now. The doctor says we have a very allergic family and we need to try and help the twins not suffer with these allergies if we can.
Riley will be going on a visit to our new allergist soon. I am worried how her tests will go, and I am worried about what he will say about if she has asthma or not. The ER trips every time she gets a cold may be an indication that she does. We have gone ahead and started the "soak and seal" method with her for her eczema.
Also, after only a few days of this new routine with Robbie, his skin is already improving. He is itching less and the sores are healing. I am very optimistic about this. I hope when we go back in a month he will be much improved.