We saw the dermatologist today. Z has been diagnosed with moderate to severe eczema which is the cause of all his rashiness. The good news is that we now have very a specific and easy-to-follow treatment plan that won’t cure him, but will certainly help him feel better. It involves a short daily bath, two creams, and a lot of vaseline. Very manageable. And if all goes well, he’ll outgrow it before to long. In the meantime, Z will be a very slippery little boy – as if he weren’t squirmy enough already.
The other good news is that the derm doesn’t think Z’s skin troubles are related to any allergies. He does NOT recommended limiting Z’s diet (besides dairy, of course). And he doesn’t think I should eliminate dairy from my diet either. So – who do I listen to – the ped or the derm?
The derm already warned us that Z’s eczema will likely flare up after the Benadryl and steroids of these past few post-allergic-reaction days wears off. So, my plan is to stay off dairy until his next derm appointment on March 2. If we have the eczema under control at that point (meaning we know how to handle the inevitable flare ups) then I’ll try dairy again and see how it affects him. If I see an obvious connection to the state of his skin at that point, then I’m off dairy as long as I’m still breastfeeding. But if not, then it’s cheese and ice cream all day for me. Yay! (In the meantime, send me your best dairy-free recipes.)
I’m torn about Z’s diet. Of course I don’t want to risk another reaction like the one he had on Friday. But the derm basically said that the only truly accurate way to test for a food allergy is to try the food. Dave and his mom were both allergic to milk so we’ve pretty much gotten the most obvious one out of the way. (Our ped knew this and still recommended we try yogurt at 8 months. I didn’t think to question her. Now I know to question everything.) Dave’s brother was allergic to soy as a baby, so maybe we’ll avoid that one as well.
But Z’s already been exposed to wheat a number of times with all the bagels he munched back east so I have to believe we’re safe there. I know we’re supposed to avoid egg whites, but I honestly think egg yolks would be okay. Peanuts are a no-no for all babies under 1, so that can wait. And fish, shellfish, berries and citrus… I don’t know. I’m going to think about it for a few more days and do a bit more of my own research (maybe try to talk to an allergist), but I’m thinking/hoping we’re going to be able to give Z a few more food options than it seemed a few days ago. Never when I’m home alone with him. And never when the doctor’s office is closed. But sooner rather than later I think. I’m optimistic.
PS: This afternoon, Zeke became a carnivore. He ate homemade chicken and rice for the first time. Oddly, it made me a little sad, but he really seemed to like it. And since he can’t have dairy or soy, meat is a really good protein alternative. (Sorry Arwen and my other veggie friends.)