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texasmama

My Five Year Old Celiac's Eczema

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My son has been stricly gluten-free since 1-4-08. He has had some degree of eczema most of his life. A week after going gluten-free, it cleared almost totally and then a few days later came back worse than ever. I don't think it is dh - it doesn't look like the pics and has no fluid filled blisters. He is dairy free, as well, and has been for years. We use unscented All free for laundry and moisturize him with plain coconut oil - no soaps in the bath. Any thoughts? Could this be dh? He has patches behind his elbows and on his bottom, too, but his legs are the worst. The rash is rough and raised and itches. His pediatrician diagnosed it years ago as eczema but hasn't looked at it lately. Thank you for any feedback.

eczema.jpg

eczema1.jpg

eczema2.jpg

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To see the pics, you can copy just the URL of the pics into your browser and view them that way.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/cshelton/eczema.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/cshelton/eczema1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v161/cshelton/eczema2.jpg

That looks almost identical to the rash my daughter had before diagnosis, although your son's is far more wide-spread. Hers was just on her shins and knees. It started as white, thick, opaque, scaley, and flakey. Then it would turn red and be very, very itchy. (Silly mommy gave her oatmeal baths and Aveeno lotion to make it feel better). :rolleyes:

After going gluten-free, it has cleared up completely, but with flare ups after she has been glutened. She has to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, usually with Aquaphor or another type of creme that is gluten-free. We have an RX cream to use, which helps, but haven't had to use much of it at all since going gluten-free.

I don't know why your son's would flare up again after going gluten-free, unless there is another trigger or some inadvertant exposure to gluten (which would be weird if there were no other glutening symptoms). In my mind, eczema is a reaction to something. I hate when doctors write it off as nothing, because something has to cause it--it doesn't just happen on its own. It could possibly be a food or an environmental trigger.

Is there a particular food (maybe corn, nuts) or something else he has been exposed to? Has he been tested for allergies in addition to going gluten-free?

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Well, I'm no dermatologist, but it sure looks like DH to me. On that basis, what I'd recommend is to avoid foods high in iodine, such as kelp. Use non-iodized salt too. I use RealSalt, which has all the trace minerals today's table salt could have if they didn't kiln-dry it at 400 degrees, bleach it, etc. It does have it's natural iodine intact, though not more than the typical iodized salt. I have found that this is not only better for skin reactions and DH, but the flavor it second to none IMO. No description seems adequate. Still, limiting salt intake to a minimum did help me.

The coconut oil is good for the skin, so keep doing that. In fact, the best product I know of is the centrifuged coconut oil from Indonesia. It is very expensive, but well worth the price if it works (and it did for me). Just Google "centrifuged coconut oil Indonesia", and you'll find the few places that actually carry it. I tried several cheaper brands, non of which worked (and they don't taste good either).

I also noticed that it would get worse when I ate more proteins, which was accompanied by puffy skin. I think that was excess protein that was accumulating under the skin. When I cut the protein intake to a minimum, the swelling subsided, and the rashes began to clear up.

I hope you find all the answers you need. If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to mention it. And I'm sure others will have some fine advice too.


A spherical meteorite 10 km in diameter traveling at 20 km/s has the kinetic energy equal to the calories in 550,000,000,000,000,000 Twinkies.

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Boy do those pictures bring back memories. Is your house gluten-free? Have you checked any meds he is on, even the ones that are topical or have been given for the rash? What does he play with? Does he use any play-doh, paints, glue or glue sticks? Do you have any pets that eat gluten containing food?

Could someone have 'snuck' him a treat? Are you using many processed foods? Many mainstream companies lack a lot in CC labeling. Some of us are extremely sensitive to CC and while the antibodies are still present in the skin, they remain for up to 2 years, even the smallest amount will cause a skin outbreak.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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Boy do those pictures bring back memories. Is your house gluten-free? Have you checked any meds he is on, even the ones that are topical or have been given for the rash? What does he play with? Does he use any play-doh, paints, glue or glue sticks? Do you have any pets that eat gluten containing food?

Could someone have 'snuck' him a treat? Are you using many processed foods? Many mainstream companies lack a lot in CC labeling. Some of us are extremely sensitive to CC and while the antibodies are still present in the skin, they remain for up to 2 years, even the smallest amount will cause a skin outbreak.

He takes benadryl at times for the rash and I will check it. Otherwise, he is not on any meds. His vitamins are gluten-free. He rarely uses play doh and the other things. We have no pets. Our home is gluten-free and I think it is almost impossible for anyone to have snuck him a treat. He is very aware of gluten being an issue and refuses food given to him if it isn't approved by me. His preschool teacher is very aware and concerned and careful at school. He has alternate treats sent from home when others are eating snacks. He is otherwise in mine and my husband's care and we are very careful. We use some processsed foods but mostly from companies like Pamela's and Gluten free pantry. We do eat Lay's plain chips and Stax, as well as plain Kettle chips.

Does anyone think that he could be allergic to something else as well? I will tighten down on incidental soy but it would be hard to get rid of corn or eggs and other foods, though I will do it if necessary. I am puzzled by the rash going away after one week gluten-free and then reappearing worse than ever....

I appreciate the feedback. I think the rash affects how he feels and his behavior and I want to eliminate it.

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He takes benadryl at times for the rash and I will check it. Otherwise, he is not on any meds. His vitamins are gluten-free. He rarely uses play doh and the other things. We have no pets. Our home is gluten-free and I think it is almost impossible for anyone to have snuck him a treat. He is very aware of gluten being an issue and refuses food given to him if it isn't approved by me. His preschool teacher is very aware and concerned and careful at school. He has alternate treats sent from home when others are eating snacks. He is otherwise in mine and my husband's care and we are very careful. We use some processsed foods but mostly from companies like Pamela's and Gluten free pantry. We do eat Lay's plain chips and Stax, as well as plain Kettle chips.

Does anyone think that he could be allergic to something else as well? I will tighten down on incidental soy but it would be hard to get rid of corn or eggs and other foods, though I will do it if necessary. I am puzzled by the rash going away after one week gluten-free and then reappearing worse than ever....

I appreciate the feedback. I think the rash affects how he feels and his behavior and I want to eliminate it.

When you tested with Enterolab did you test for other intolerances as well? It might be worth doing if you haven't already. With him in preschool though I strongly suspect that he got a bit of CC somewhere. It is really easy to have happen at his age. There is so much we need to be careful of. Have you checked what soaps they are using at the school? That could also be an issue.

Some of us do avoid Frito Lay products, even the plain for CC reasons. I am one of those.

With DH, which is really what that looks like, the antibodies lurk in the skin. After we go gluten-free it can seem that the reactions are worse until some of those antibodies are resolved. A dermatologist can confirm DH by taking a biopsy from BESIDE an active lesion. If they confirm the DH then, if it can be used in one so young, a course of Dapsone might be something they might want to try. When I was young they used to use a short 2 week decreasing dose of prednisone. They would only let me have it once or twice a year but that did work. Your ped or derma can tell you whether either of these meds would work or can be used in such a little guy.

I know you both have got to be really miserable right now, and I can sympathize greatly. Do be assured though that once he has been gluten free for a while when he does get an outbreak it will be much, much less extensive.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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Thanks for the feedback. I will look into soaps at school. I have decided to remove eggs, corn and soy and see what happens. He is in agreement, as he wants to resolve the rash. We will only eat the plain Stax chips, as those are made on dedicated lines. I will keep his diet as whole foods as possible for a week or two and see if it makes a difference. If we can't figure this out through dietary elimination, then I will look at further testing.

I have looked at dh pics and read descriptions and he doesn't have fluid filled blisters, just raised, rough, red patches. Could it still be dh? I know it is hard to tell from pictures...

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Thanks for the feedback. I will look into soaps at school. I have decided to remove eggs, corn and soy and see what happens. He is in agreement, as he wants to resolve the rash. We will only eat the plain Stax chips, as those are made on dedicated lines. I will keep his diet as whole foods as possible for a week or two and see if it makes a difference. If we can't figure this out through dietary elimination, then I will look at further testing.

I have looked at dh pics and read descriptions and he doesn't have fluid filled blisters, just raised, rough, red patches. Could it still be dh? I know it is hard to tell from pictures...

It is hard to tell from the pictures. They looked blistered to me in the photo's. Even if it is not DH but some form of excema being gluten free may help.

You may want to have a doctor look at it, perhaps an allergist. There are some who can help guide you through the elimination diet process and that guidance can be really beneficial. It was an allergist who finally diagnosed me. If you already have one and he doesn't do elimination diet stuff he should be able to give you a referral to one who does.

The rash looks pretty extensive and he runs a risk of a nasty infection with all that skin in the condition it is in. Unless it improves dramatically by Monday morning he should be seen by your ped. You can always make dietary changes at the same time that they are giving him something to help. I do hope he feels better soon, it is so hard on us too when our little ones are suffering.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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I have been udsing a prescription ointment on the rash and it is looking better. The issue is finding the trigger so we can avoid it coming back. I will work on healing it up while doing the dietary chanmges. Thank you for all the advice and help. :)

I find your story very interesting, as we are experiencing the exact same results with my daughter. She (we) have been gluten-free since Jan '08 and just like you said, her eczma went away and is now back and worse. I have read eliminating sugars can help as sugar feeds eczema, but I feel bad telling her she can't have yet another laundry list of foods. Have you eliminated anything from your childs diet, and has it helped?

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I find your story very interesting, as we are experiencing the exact same results with my daughter. She (we) have been gluten-free since Jan '08 and just like you said, her eczma went away and is now back and worse. I have read eliminating sugars can help as sugar feeds eczema, but I feel bad telling her she can't have yet another laundry list of foods. Have you eliminated anything from your childs diet, and has it helped?

He was already off of dairy and I took him off soy, corn and eggs on Saturday. I am treating the rash with his prescription ointment and it is looking much better. Once we clear it, I will trial one food at a time by reintroducing them. My experience has been that the eczema shows up within 24 hours or so of an exposure. I figured this out with dairy some time ago. It is very hard to tell himi he can't have certain foods. We attended two child bday parties this weekend and at one party, the only thing he could eat or drink was fruits and veggies from a tray. Even all the drinks had corn syrup. He was okay with it, but it made me sad. I brought food to the other party and he seemed okay with that. Everyone else ate pizza and cake and my three kids ate turkey, scones, Kettle chips and gluten-free, egg free, corn free cupcakes I made at home. Ughhh, my heart hurts for them sometimes. All the other kids want to know why they are eating this way and why they can't have pizza and cake. We are new to this so we are still all getting used to giving responses to these questions. I don't care so much for myself that I have to give up pizza and cake but my heart hurts for them. And I feel like a freak at these parties where I'm sure other people are thinking I am some sort of nut for not letting my kids have "a little cake". Sorry, just processing my feelings at this point.....

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Those pics look exactly like the flare my son just had not to long ago. He did however get glutened and that was his reaction. We had to use prescription creams, aquaphor, cetaphil and bleach bath to finally get it under control. The redness is now completely gone but his skin is still bumpy and not smooth.


~Melanie~

Mommy to:

Jonathan-10-02-2000, seasonal allergies and Asthma, taking Flovent, Claritin and Nasonex.

Owen-04-29-2005, GERD, 20mgs of Prilosec, 2.5mgs Zyrtec. Negative bloodwork and biopsies but great dietary response.

HLA-DQ 2,3 (Subtype 2,8) both celiac genes

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 24 Units

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 12 Units

Fecal Antigliadin IgA 18

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Oh my gosh! I looked like that at least once a year as a kid. Everyone thought I was allergic to poison ivy. I think it was at least once, but sometimes I would get it and we thought I got it off the wind!!!


gluten . . . Kiss my grits!

pork and beef free- 1994

wheat free or wheat light- 2003

gluten free- January 2008

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