Christie Potter, CPNP
Eczema: A Mom's Story Of A Natural Journey To Health
The privacy of our patients is of utmost importance, therefore the patient name in this post is fabricated. Other details have been provided from the perspective of the patient’s mother as well as one of the providers at our practice.
When Lilly was six months old, her mother began to introduce foods to her. Up until this point, Lilly had solely eaten breast milk. For the first six months of her life, she had a couple of skin flare-ups, but nothing major and none of the flare-ups lasted long. Once Lilly began eating baby foods as well as solids, the intermittent skin issues she was facing worsened.
As her skin became more sensitive, Lilly began scratching more and more, which made the condition worse. As with most infants, they begin with a small amount of baby foods and solids simply because they prefer their mother’s milk. This was the case with Lilly as well. But as she aged, she began to prefer foods more than breast milk. When Lilly was nine months old, she reached a turning point. Her skin progressively worsened and she became increasingly more uncomfortable.
Lilly’s parents decided it was time to make some changes. They suspected eczema as the problem and assumed it was skin-related. So the immediate thought was to soothe the skin. Mom started with making her own coconut oil and rubbing that on Lilly’s skin. But she saw no change. That’s when Lilly’s mom began to suspect foods as the culprit. She was unsure whether it was due to foods from mom’s breast milk or foods Lilly was ingesting herself, but she felt sure the skin issue was food related. Mom began an elimination diet to determine which foods might have negative effects on Lilly. She found some foods to be problematic and completely eliminated those from her diet as well as Lilly’s. While those eliminations seemed to help some, it did not resolve the skin issues completely.
At that point, Lilly’s parents decided to seek outside help and they arrived at Natural Choice Pediatrics. Mom felt so relieved upon speaking to our provider. She stated how much it helped her “to have a medical personnel confirm what I felt I already knew, which was this is food-related. I need someone to come beside me and figure out what it is and how we identify that and go from there.”
Our provider quickly agreed the eczema was, in fact, related to the foods Lilly was eating. As soon as the cause was determined, our provider did some additional testing in the form of stool testing and bloodwork to hone in on more specific food allergies and sensitivities that could not be determined from the elimination diet alone.
From that point, it was a process of eliminating the foods that appeared as allergies and/or food sensitivities in the testing, as well as adding specific supplements at the provider’s recommendation that aided in Lilly’s digestion and her overall health.
Lilly is now two years old and living eczema free. Mom says, “her symptoms completely disappeared 100%. It is unbelievable how manageable it is now than it ever was. I just want to cry! I never thought we would get there.”
A final word of advice from mom to others finding themselves on this same journey with their child is to “stick with it.” She stressed how overwhelming it all was, but if you are consistent, you will see improvements. Additionally, she suggested, "keeping a food journal as it was a game-changer in tracking the foods causing the biggest problems, and find a natural pediatrician to partner in your child's medical well being."