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With Eczema in Children it’s Important to Look Deeper for Answers

When it comes to eczema in children, it’s important to look deeper than using creams. Did you know that food allergies and eczema often go hand-in-hand? I found that to be true in my oldest child and I’m embarrassed to say how long it took us to figure it out.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this post does not offer medical advice. I am recounting our journey to find answers as to what was causing my son’s eczema and what worked for us.

Painful Eczema on my Baby

My oldest child had such bad eczema when he was a baby that he’d scratch himself until he bled. It was so sad to see and I felt so helpless. The pediatrician we went to at the time told us it was normal and not to worry about it. Knowing what I know about food sensitivities and allergies from my own experience I knew that there was something deeper.

At first though, I was in denial. Maybe I was just too busy being a new mom and going back to work. For over a year, we slathered him with creams, especially on his face and ankles where the itching was the worst. At the time he was in daycare and they called often saying he had to go home because he had a rash. Even after getting a doctor’s note saying he has eczema and isn’t contagious this happened repeatedly.

Oddly enough, looking back at photos I realize that his eczema got significantly worse once he started daycare. He must have scratched his forehead all day from the look of these photos. He was also a horrible sleeper, maybe part of it was due to being itchy.

my son snuggling while sleeping with scratches all over his little face due to eczema
my son with eczema on his face to the point he bled

Digging Deeper

I became a stay-at-home mom when my oldest was a year old. His eczema improved somewhat after being removed from the daycare environment. They used a lot of bleach and other chemicals that I think hurt his little immune system. Though the eczema was no longer as severe or on his face, he still had quite a bit on his arms and legs. Though he didn’t scratch at it, it was clear something was wrong.

When he was 19 months old we took him to a new pediatrician who looks at the root cause, not just the symptoms. The new pediatrician had him undergo allergy testing via blood test. I was relieved he didn’t have to do the whole needle pricks on the back process I went through as a teen.

my son's little itchy arm
eczema on my son's leg

Food Allergy Results

The allergy testing found he is mildly allergic to eggs and sensitive to gluten and dairy. The doctor’s suggestion was for us to remove those items from his diet for 3 months then reassess. Since I also have issues with gluten and dairy we decided to keep these foods out of his diet. Luckily, in a sense, we were already well versed at avoiding cross-contamination with gluten since my husband still eats it.

Our son’s eczema quickly resolved once those foods were removed from his diet. It was amazing to see the transformation. We did have him try egg a year later but eczema crept back so we removed it again.

I’m so glad that we looked deeper into what was causing his eczema instead of just continuing to slather him with creams like the original doctor suggested. The creams weren’t good to use long-term, especially the hydrocortisone, and I knew there had to be a deeper reason for eczema.

Always trust your gut and find a doctor who listens to you and don’t be afraid to switch doctors if necessary.

Food Allergy Blog Posts

Years later we had him tested for food sensitivities again through YorkLabs which we were able to do on our own. We found he has some additional sensitivities to peanut, cashew, and soy. See the blog post below for more information and how easy it was to do.

food sensitivity testing

Looking for more Food Allergy resources? I’ve written more blog posts about having kids with food allergies which are linked below.

Kid with Food Allergies
gluten free foods


Information on Eczema from the National Eczema Foundation
Information on Treating Eczema from the Inside Out by Dr. Amy Myers
Food Allergies in Children with Eczema from the National Eczema Foundation

With eczema in children, look deeper for answers text with a photo of my oldest when he had eczema so bad that he'd scratch his face and ankles til he bled.

Founder, Professional Blogger at The Way it Really Is, LLC | [email protected] | Website

As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.

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