If I were to make a list of all the medications and creams that we have been prescribed, introduced to and used, it would match the inventory of a skincare store. Although my daughters eczema and hives are treated separately and differently, they can also mutually affect each other depending on different circumstances.
The eczema on my daughters back was not always helped by the ‘normal’ eczema creams, and her hives were basically helped by none. I was early on also given fat-based creams by doctors who diagnosed her eczema, and although those worked wonders for the dry skin- they sometimes made her hives flare because they were heat inducing, and would rub against her clothes.
The best way to stop her eczema completely and quickly now is to use hydrocortisone (1%) cream (not gel or ointment), mixed with a new cream we discovered called Lipikar (by La Roche Posay and is always sold out!!!), it works wonders for itches and a thin layer clears up the eczema within hours. Because of her hives I have to wait for the layer to dry, and sprinkle a thin layer of baby powder so it doesn’t stick to her clothing. Trouble with hydrocortisone (1%), although it is the lower dosage of its kind, is that you should’nt really use it for more than 3 days in a row (or not it thins the skin too much, and you develop a dependance). During one of her viral hive breakouts I discovered Luuf (mentholated, vaseline cream), I used it on her back and chest area to stop her cough and as a decongestive, it was wonderful the next morning to discover that it did not bother her hives (it is cooling) and also helped her eczema (fat based). I do use Luuf first now, and for bigger eczema breakouts the hydrocortisone (1%)/Lipikar mix.
Hives are not contagious, but they do move around the body (each wheal lasting no more than 24 hours), are itchy and can swell considerably depending on the individual (my daughters usually full body). Our allergist did hear that we were using over-the-counter antihistamines, which worked for a while but her last two bout of viral-hives were horrendous. It started on her body and ended up on her face, hands and feet (she could barely walk), so we are now taking desloratadine (2.5mg) to control the breakout. It is important to note that you cannot stop or cure hives, they must run their course, and everything we do and medicate merely makes the suffering less.
Our daily routine now involves bathing/showering with plain water or “natural” soaps (no additives, no scents). I find the most old school products have worked for us: Oilatum, Sudacrem, Baby Powder, Baby Oil and Vaseline (all widely available and affordable under trusted international and local brands). I have been fooled many a time with brands that say they are for ‘sensitive babies’, that they are all natural, will save your babies skin, and of course cost you a kidney. Don’t believe everything you hear or read (I refer to the marketing pamphlets, you do need to read the ingredients of everything carefully), test it in small patches for yourself before you really use it on you or your child, and believe in your instincts after a few days of trial!
Today was a good day, we got the full body test results from the doctor and my daughter does not seem to be suffering from anything unseen, or obvious allergies!!!! This also means we still don’t know what is causing her hives, and that we still need to keep vigilant of her skin development. But I will take what little victory we can get (although this seems like a big one to me!:)