29 September 2011

Xander's Eczema

Precious Rash-y Face
I realized that I forgot to post about our appointment with the allergist on Tuesday.

Our first impressions weren't great... the receptionist is a grumpy, snappy ol' woman. She practically threw some paperwork at me and informed me that I neglected to return some vital paperwork that had been mailed to me. I'm ashamed to say it, but I took some pleasure in informing her that the sheets she gave me had not been in the package I received. I'm almost certain I heard her mutter "whatever" under her breath.

The nurse gave us some mixed feelings. She asked some questions and got visibly frustrated when we didn't know Xander's current weight. I explained that he was last weighed at his six-month appointment and had gained considerable weight since then. She pretty much treated us like awful parents because we don't weigh him every day. Seriously, it's a doctor's office... why don't you have a scale? She asked for medication information and again got upset when we didn't know the name of the prescription ointment he's on. She gets all snarky and says, "Well, that's why we tell you to bring the meds in." I responded, "Oh? Was that perhaps on the paperwork I didn't get? I was told his medical information was being faxed to you guys, so I assumed you would have any information you needed." She redeemed herself when dealing with Xander though. She was gentle with him, played with him and generally cooed and praised him.

The doctor herself was wonderful. She was visibly troubled when we were telling her how his pediatrician had us dealing with the eczema. She explained to us that he was basically getting it all backward and our "poor baby" had to suffer unnecessarily all this time. The pediatrician's advice to use Benedryl sparingly was backwards. The allergist said he should have had us administering it daily until his rashes cleared up. She also was amazed he only prescribed a topical antibiotic for Xander's open sores. The infection is visibly apparent, so he should have had a stronger oral prescription.

Getting Some Rest
She clarified that the pediatrician gave us false hope by telling us it was probably a milk or other food allergy. Eczema, especially as severe as his, is very rarely related to a food allergy. She went on to tell us that eczema is a chronic lifetime disease and it cannot be cured; only controlled. She did still test him for all major allergens (including cat, dog, dust, milk, soy, etc) and he came out allergy-free.

The allergist lined up a whole battle plan. She prescribed prednisone to bring down the inflammation and itching. There is a week of amoxycillin to deal with the infection. A stronger steroid ointment (betamethasone) to apply topically was added to the mix. She also recommended that we start giving him Claritin on a daily basis until after the spots clear up and she gave us information on chlorine baths to be done three days a week.

There was also a list of do's and don't to follow. We need to keep his skin free of acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus, etc) that might irritate the skin. Avoid wool... guess that means I need to get cotton or bamboo to knit socks for him. Prevent sweating and keep him dry, but moisturized. There was even a recommendation on a sleep aid for infants because sleep is essential to the healing process. We may need to look into that if his current crazy schedule continues.

It's been just two days and his skin is visibly better. He itched like crazy... to the point of drawing blood... the first time we applied the betamethasone, but since then he rarely scratches. We've been helping him out there by making sure he has on a onesie, long-sleeve shirt, long pants and socks at all time. We've been keeping it cooler in the house to keep him from getting sweaty, too. He even slept a solid eight hours last night. We're very hopeful that it's finally been dealt with.

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