Skin Consequences from Baby Allergies

If you missed Part 1 - Discovering Baby Allergies, click here!

I found out more about her allergies when she started to eat solid foods. I made pancakes for my family from a popular mix that has high protein in it. It turns out that protein was whey protein, a common ingredient made from cow's milk.

Starting my baby on solid food

Being the second baby, I was much more lax about what she ate...if she could chew it, she could have it. She had some pancakes and after about a half an hour, her eyes were swollen shut and her entire body was covered in an itchy, red rash.

Mother's guilt

We called the pediatrician, administered an antihistamine as the doctor told us to, and took her in to be seen. The drive there took forever because it was right after Hurricane Harvey and many roads were closed. I was cursing myself out the entire ride. Why? Why pancakes? Why didn't I make them from scratch? Why wasn't I more careful? And all the guilt and fears and shame that parents put on themselves when something happens to their kids.

Allergies and rashes

The doctor gave us a prescription for an Epipen and said she'd probably grow out of it eventually, but to keep an eye on her for other allergies as well. Eggs, peanut butter, and milk all give her terrible rashes. And we've made an appointment with an allergist to find out what else we need to be careful of, and if they also think she'll ever grow out of it. There's been recent research on introducing peanut products earlier to children to stave off lifelong and life-threatening allergies. So maybe the doctor will help us do that for her.

Checking ingredients to avoid allergens

She's had skin issues this whole time: almost constant itchy patches on the backs of her knees, insides of her elbows, and on her face, neck, and chest when mom forgets to check the ingredients. There are so many foods that have hidden milk ingredients in them and I sometimes don't think to look until a red rash breaks out on her chin. I'm beginning to learn all the names for the various proteins I need to watch out for and learning to check every label, even if I am SURE it couldn't possibly have milk ingredients.

Baby eczema

Again, we're lucky that her allergies don't seem life-threatening at this point, but it looks like she has a lifetime of various types of eczema and possibly atopic dermatitis (like her momma!) to deal with.

Starting a routine

To deal with the skin aspect of her allergies, we've done a regular schedule of short, lukewarm baths, followed by dabs of hydrocortisone mixed in with her special baby eczema cream, and extra dabs when she needs it. I try to keep her away from the foods she's allergic to because the skin effects last for days afterward and make her so sad.

Starting to communicate

She can now say "boo-boo," "ow," and "ouch" and knows what being "itchy" is. I'm constantly asking her if she's itchy. Hopefully, a visit with an allergist will get us on the right path!

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