The Cheeks

child eczema I’ve avoided the post on purpose. Ollie has eczema on his cheeks. It’s one of the only reasons I am liking winter. So people stop asking me.

Around July, 3 main patches popped up. At the time, I had started whole milk (he was on milk based formula). I thought it was that and stopped. Nada. At an appointment for an ear infection, the pediatrician just calmly said “just eczema”. Alrighty. Eucerin cream and on our way. No change but whatever. But you know me. I take photos of my kids for the internet. All the inquiries. So at a follow appointment with another pediatrician, I ask again. Same answer. They showed no concern. Said to try hydrocorisone in small amounts and see what happened. Nothing changed.

child eczemaAt his 1 year appointment, I brought it up again. Same answer but they did give me an allergist to go see if I wanted. They were happy with the amount of keeping up with what he had in relation to what he had to flare ups and no one could make heads or tails of it. So since we have Cadillac insurance, I made an appointment and went.

child allergy testI talked with the allergist and he said the same thing. It wasn’t an obvious allergy, that was for sure. I told him my theory of beef. Ollie had had meatloaf at school twice and it flared up. I tried a hamburger with him and nothing. Next time he had meatloaf, no flare. No correlation really but we added it to the regular tests he was going to give. So he was undressed and poked :(. He did really well until maybe halfway through (I think it was around 20 pricks). He got really irritated and cried pretty hard until they stoped. To their credit, they were SUPER fast at it. He fell asleep on me and was then fine. He tested negative for everything. That included:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts
  • Beef
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Grass
  • Dust mites
  • Soy

He_pitched_a_fit_through_the_first_part_of_dinner_for_no_known_reason._Wouldn_t_eat._Big_tears._Finally_gave_him_a_spoon_with_food_on_it_and_he_was_happy._Big_boy_is_big.__toddlerdinnersThey did note he had pretty sensitive skin so they went back to just thinking regular eczema. Next dr. would be a dermatologist but they weren’t thinking it would do much more than a steroid cream. I opted not to pursue it.

Really I was happy there. I asked the doctor about permanent scarring (like acne or something) and he felt confidently that it wouldn’t be an issue. He wasn’t in pain. He wasn’t being bothered by it. Just looked bad. From about 50% of people who commented online, it would just go away over time.

But at his 15 month appointment, I asked for a cream to try. We were given Mupirocin to rule out something bacterial. It didn’t really seem to do much but didn’t bother him either. Once again, it would get bad some days for no real apparent reason and then go away with no interaction. At the 18 month appointment I was asked if it worked and said no. We tried Desonide cream (.05%). It’s really gentle for him and meeeeeybe helped a little but really didn’t seem to matter that much.

I can say now, at almost 20 months, he doesn’t have the raised skin and irritation but he still has a tendency for red cheeks. All winter it really has seemed like just chapped. He now has the same pattern and chapped skin on his chin from drooling and cold days. When he gets mad or cries? His cheeks are bright red. Fever? He could double as an apple. At our latest round of pediatrician visits for mystery baby theatre, that dr recommended coating his cheeks in chapstick on cold days. It seems to be working…see:

This_jokester_cried_all_morning._Went_to_get_him._I_get_this.__trouble

My final call is eczema with probably a little rosacea mixed in for flair.  So we do what we need when we need it. End of story.

10 Comments

  1. Dude. Way to be on top of it. The details of his treatment are excellent! Hopefully this will help someone else. Glad everyone can just focus on how stinkin’ cute Ollie is and not his rash. He looks as handsome as ever!

  2. We lived/still living this with Cate. For her it is on her wrists and they become so raw they bleed. Interesting this winter they have been fine but all summer and fall they were awful. We do children’s benadryl every night which helps. If they are really bad, we do 10 days on 10 days off of a steriod and then hydrocortisone per our allergist and dermatologist. Like Ollie, she has sensitive skin and believe she will grow out of it!

  3. I had this as a kid too and it went away before I even hit kindergarden. I honestly never really thought anything about his rosy cheeks in his pictures, probably because I had a lot of the same looking ones as a little tyke! I still have bad flare-ups in extreme cold or for no reason at all, and sometimes sugar seems to be related to the bumps, but not the redness. I almost always have a pink tint to my cheeks (who needs blush!) and I get bright red when I’m mad, crying, drinking, feverish, etc. Mainly, I’ve always had to be super careful about what I put on my face – no cheap stuff for me (if you want I can tell you what has worked best for me, but it will cost you and may not be necessary), but don’t worry about scarring it is completely different from Acne and I get compliments on my skin all the time.

  4. My son has extremely fair skin and he gets tiny little flares of eczema (or what we also have been told is eczema) on his chin and right under his lips. Gets really bad in cold. Each time it happens, it seems to spread a bit more, which makes me nervous. Usually, Aquafor helps, but not always, and he invariably wipes it off. I do think this causes me much more anxiety than him any discomfort, at least at this point.

  5. I use Lansinoh on my son at night. Alternative to chapstick. Seems to work pretty well. I use it on my lips too. My older son grew out of it by 5.

  6. I’m sure everyone has offered advice to you on what to try. So i will too. ☺ My son had eczema as an infant/toddler. Worse in summer mos when he was hot and sweaty. Auqufor helped some, so did OTC anti-itch creams. But the one thing that always worked was Aveeno lotions. Something about that colloidal oatmeal soothed the spots literally overnight. At 4 years old he’s outgrown it, so you’re right not to stress about it.

  7. I’m glad you posted this. My 16 mo old daughter has the same rash but on her chin and around her mouth. We have tried all those things you mentioned with pretty much the same result (no effect). We did find out that she was allergic to milk but we suspected that anyway and she only had soy based formula since 2 months old, so that wasn’t causing the eczema. At the last allergist appt, he told us such rashes are common and extremely difficult to cure, so just to deal with it the best way we could. Vaseline works best, since she also seems to be allergic to most lotions, so we use that every day, mixed with a little hydrocortisone when it’s really red. We’ve also found that olive oil helps some (but she quickly licks it all off now!). People comment about it all the time (she must have been eating a sucker, what’s on her face, etc) and it drives me crazy. I’m glad to know we aren’t alone in dealing with this!

  8. My son had this on his thighs…it was more like pimples though versus red spots. I did so many things that never helped, aquaphor, lanolin, changed every soap/shampoo to dye, fragrance free, etc. It got better but who knows what it was from, time or all my efforts and lotions and potions. LOL

  9. I had something very similar when I was a kid . . . my last flare-up was in 8th grade (because, well, shit in middle school is traumatic). All along, we thought it was a combination of mild allergies that, when put together in the right mix, made for a whopper of a reaction – but, individually, they basically went unnoticed (I realize this isn’t how allergies actually work . . . but that that logical enough for my young brain).

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