Our Truth About Dermatitis and Food Allergies

I have a few close friends who have children with food allergies and I’ve always thought about how tough that must be. To be a parent and have to teach their children to understand what they can and cannot eat, to teach others about their children’s restrictive diet and to always wonder ‘what if’ when their children are out without them.

We were recently thrown into this world of food allergies with our Little C. Little C has dealt with severe dermatitis since he was around 4 months old. So severe that on bad flare days, his skin is like a raw open sore that just seeps. He would be in pain and his skin would just itch. The itching had to drive him crazy. I hated seeing my son like this. I felt so bad for him.

Our Truth About Dermatitis and Food Allergies

C was referred to his first dermatologist by our pediatrician shortly after his first flare around 4 months of age. The medicine the dermatologist prescribed lessened the flares, but did not prevent them. The bad days were still horrible. Then, the question of a possible milk allergy came into play, but the dermatologist swore dermatitis was not associated with a food allergy. After one particular bad flare, I called his pediatrician to discuss a new medication the dermatologist recommended we use, and our pediatrician recommended a different dermatologist.

A few weeks passed and we tried Little C on soy formula. He immediately started to clear up. His dermatitis never fully went away, but it was better. Was it really the milk or just coincidence? We decided to try milk again. Within two days he flared badly, seeping skin and all. We switched back to soy milk and he immediately started to clear up again. I called the new dermatologist to let them know what we did and the results. I was promptly told it must be coincidence, that he’ll periodically flare and this is not food allergy related.

Well, I didn’t believe it. I knew what my eyes saw, I knew what my heart said, I knew what my mommy’s intuition said, and I knew I was right. We discussed this with the pediatrician, and he ordered an allergy blood test.  We met with an allergist to get Little C’s full results and to make a plan of action if he indeed had allergies, which it turns out he does. Little C was diagnosed with allergies to milk, soy, wheat, egg white, peanut, cats and dogs.

Grocery shopping is now more difficult and time-consuming. I just take my time, sit on the floor at the store, and pull items one by one to read the labels carefully. His big brothers are so helpful. They understand the allergies and that is what’s causing C’s skin condition, and they want to fix their little brother, too.

So far, by eliminating Little C’s food allergens from his diet, his skin totally cleared up, and it is so beautiful!

I can’t talk about this journey without mentioning my life saver through this entire challenge, Sarah Meyer of Sarah B Designs. She also has a son with food allergies and even has an allergy free blog with recipes to share with others who may be in the same situation. She has shared so many informative websites and support groups and words don’t express how thankful I am to have her as a friend.

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  1. Tammy says

    I feel your pain….not babies/food allergies although my baby brother had similar issues – he too was 6 weeks premature…(he is now35) but the whole specialist not listening and making assurances that just don’t feel right to you or your gut feeling. I had an allergic reaction to my hormone replacement therapy I had been on for about 5 years….but nobody would listen when I told them that this body rash was due to the hormone pill….I finally went with my instinct and after research and researching, discovered that if I cut it to 1 pill a day not 2 a day that the rash went away. I was able to convince my dr. with proof (written/photos) that was the cause and he changed it to 1 a day…and wow…no issues since then.

    I am so glad you went with your instinct and tried things out….glad to hear Little C is on the mend and at least you know what to look for…

    My daughter (17) has a friend who is allergic to gluten. It’s a challenge for sure…..

    Best of luck and so glad you found a website for food allergies….

  2. Lori B says

    Stacy – so glad to hear that you have some answers for Little C. My little buddy has had 2 ambulance rides in his 4 short years of life due to allergies. He is allergic to tree nuts and now ibuprofen and aspirin. The scary part with that one is that he had taken it before. He also has a bunch of seasonal allergies and cats and dogs are one of his too. We have a kitty and couldn’t imagine losing him. Luckily he isn’t bothered by ours either. I think the thing that worries me the worst is wondering what allergen is going to pop up next. I appreciate all of your posts and enjoy Sarah’s blog too. Thanks so much!!

  3. abby says

    stacy. i totally feel your pain and understand what you are going through. we have a 2 year old with really severe milk, egg and tree nut allergies and it all started with bad eczema at about 3 months old. it’s so exhausting, daunting and horrible to see your little guy in pain. i just have to give my two cents about the cat & dog allergy. when i was little i had terrible atopic dermatitis and it definitely got worse when i was around cats and dogs. i know it would be hard to part with the pets but i don’t think you can forget that he did test positive those things. i would just encourage you to not be opposed to the idea of finding them a new home, or even just trying it out for a bit, to see if your little guys condition clears up when they’re not around – i know for my son and for me staying away from cats & dogs really makes a difference. don’t mean to preach at all…obviously everyone has an opinion and thinks they’re an expert :). thinking of your and your family – dealing with food allergies is really tough.

    • says

      Hi Abby!

      Please don’t feel like you’re preaching at all. You’re just trying to help a fellow allergy sufferer. :)

      One of the reasons we have kept our dog and cat is because his allergist recommended it. The cat and dog are not allowed in our boys bedroom, and when Mitch is up the dog is outside. The cat is a bit of a scaredy-cat so she keeps clear from all the boys.

      Mitch is not reacting to our animals, or we would find new homes for them. He does react severely to other cats and dogs though, as we found out the hard way when family from out of town visited with a dog over Thanksgiving. His allergist mentioned this would probably happen since our animals were here when he was born, so the pollens have always been around him.

      With the way he reacts to other cats and dogs though, I can definitely say we won’t be getting any new pets after we loose our beloved furry friends.

      I hope you and your family are having a safe and wonderful holiday season!

  4. says

    Oh my goodness, reading your post is like reading my own, except my daughter’s eczema was not quite as severe. We certainly got the “oh, food allergies are not the cause of the rash” business, though, so I totally understand your frustration. I think we all need to band together and educate all of the dermatologists and pediatricians about food allergies!

  5. says

    Hey Stacy! I have dermatitis/eczema controlled by food allergies as well and it is definitely no fun. Thanks for sharing this subject… some doctors are so stubborn & just plain wrong! I know perfectly well what triggers mine, and it’s mostly fast and processed foods so chemical related more than specific foods. When I eat organic it completely clears up, and nothing else will do it including prescriptions.


  1. […] Mitch was first diagnosed with food allergies at 7 months of age, after suffering for 3 months with severe dermatitis. […]

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