I think it took nearly two months for my daughter’s newborn rashy skin to go away. I asked the doctor about it a couple of times but wasn’t overly concerned. I know that babies don’t always come out with that perfectly flawless soft baby skin that we all associate with newborns.
I changed from using all the nicely scented baby soaps and lotions to the unscented ones. After her doctor recommended using Aveeno products, I discovered that something about the oatmeal was making her break out. I had used two different oatmeal based lotions on her, one scented (Johnson’s vanilla oatmeal) and one unscented (Aveeno) and both increased the rashiness. We switched to Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash (hypoallergenic and dye free) and Johnson’s Aloe baby lotion and things seemed to improve for a while. She was exclusively breastfeeding at the time and I tried to watch what I was eating pretty carefully but never found any correlations between my food and her rashes.
We started introducing solid foods to her at around five months. I was a little wary of this because of the oatmeal reaction, but she seemed to do just fine. I even fed her oatmeal cereal and it didn’t seem to bother her at all. She was still getting rashes occasionally, but I felt like it was pretty well under control. The other factor was that during floor time she was starting to move off of her blankets and onto the carpet where she was exposed to more potential allergens so determining the exact cause of any rash she had was nearly impossible.
In August we took a last-minute trip to Texas to visit family. While I tried my hardest to pack absolutely everything we could possibly need for the trip, I did forget one thing – towels for Evie. I thought ahead for everything else that might possibly touch her skin or mouth, but didn’t think to bring towels for bath time. While we were there, we also spent quite a bit of time in the pool. The day we left, she started breaking out and ended up with a horrible rash. It was the worst I had seen it (so far) and it drove me crazy trying to figure out what had caused it. Heat seemed to aggravate it even more and you can’t exactly escape heat in August.
At her next check-up, I discussed it with her doctor again and she said that it most likely was Eczema, or Atopic Dermatitis. She simply has very sensitive skin and any little thing can make the Eczema flare up. We talked a little bit about how to treat it when she had a break out and that was that. This wasn’t surprising as I have very sensitive skin myself (and have had bouts with Eczema). The poor girl was just going to have to live with it.
One day early in September, Evie’s day care provider called to tell me that she was breaking out around her neck and that it was worse than she had seen it before. It was nearly time for me to leave anyway, so I just told her I’d take a look at it when I picked her up. When I got there, she was bright red from her chin down her neck. It looked more like an allergic reaction to something than a skin sensitivity rash so I was a little concerned. It was better by the next morning but I took some photos to show the doctor the next time we were in.
A couple months after that incident, Evie decided that she was ready to start feeding herself. She was doing great with baby foods so I started giving her some soft chunky foods that she could pick up and feed herself. One of the first foods I gave her was bananas. They were soft enough that she could easily smash them with her gums and she loved them. One day while she was eating some banana I noticed a red rash starting around her mouth. By the time she finished eating it was all the way around her mouth and down her neck. When I was cleaning her up, I lifted her arm and found a piece of banana under it. Where the banana had touched there was a red spot with a welt in the middle of it. After she was cleaned up from her meal, the rash mostly went away. The next day I gave her banana again just to be sure that was the cause. Same reaction. Then we tried baby food with bananas in it. She turned red anywhere that the baby food touched her face.
At her 9-month check-up the doctor recommended we see an Allergist to have some testing done. While waiting for that appointment she had another food reaction to macaroni and cheese. I could not wait to get the testing done and finally get some answers as to what might be triggering her rashes.
When we finally saw the Allergist, it was recommended that we change all soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc., bathe her daily (we were doing every other day), and cover her within three minutes of her bath with a moisturizer (Aquaphor or Vanicream). This was supposed to help with the sensitive skin. They did a blood draw to test for allergies and suggested that we might need to put her on a daily allergy medication.
It took a week to get the test results. When the nurse finally called me she said that the Atopic Dermatitis test was negative. Since the rash hadn’t cleared up in over a week, the Dr. recommended putting her on a daily dose of Zyrtec and continuing with the bathing/moisturizing recommendations. She said nothing about the food allergies or whether those had come up negative or not but she did say to feed her a regular diet and not withhold any food other than peanuts and shellfish. when I asked for more clarification, she said she would have to check with the doctor and get back to me.
Fortunately, the Doctor himself called me the next morning to clarify things a bit. He said that Evie tested clean on everything. In fact, he said that she had one of the cleanest tests he has ever seen. She showed no allergy to bananas, milk, or oats which were my three biggest concerns. She showed no reaction to anything. He did say that she could be having a reaction to acids in her foods that could cause the redness around her mouth but that wasn’t necessarily an allergy. Supposedly, the Zyrtec should help reduce that as well as the mild rashes she gets on her tummy and hands.
So, for now, that’s where we’re at. I have answers, but I still don’t feel like I have any answers. I still don’t know what is causing her skin to constantly break out. I’m still afraid to feed her any new foods because they may turn her face all red. I still hate to let her crawl on the floor because I know that she’ll be rashy wherever she contacts it with her skin.
We started the Zyrtec two days ago and have been continuing the recommended bathing routine. I haven’t seen any improvement at all yet, but I know it may take some time. I really hope that it makes a difference because right now I’m really frustrated with the whole thing.