(This is a continuation of a series of posts on our experiences as we trial our son who has multiple food allergies with oral food challenges at home. Oral food challenges should always be performed under direct medical supervision based on each patient's individual reaction history. Please do not try oral food challenges at home on your own without medical approval.)
If your child has a chronic condition, you may not recognize teething induced eczema when it rears its ugly head. The truth is. we missed teething induced eczema in our son with food allergies, confusing his flare for a food allergy reaction or the flu. Learn how to spot the difference between this common pediatric condition and a more serious affliction before you head to the doctors.
The Challenges of Oral Food Challenges
The past few weeks of oral food challenges have been seemingly challenging, to say the least. We have successfully added baked egg, baked wheat, pork, and oat back into Mitch's diet over the past few months, and a couple of weeks ago we tried sunflower seeds with Mitch at a little league game (yes, I know, probably not the best place for an oral food challenge) and thankfully that was successful as well. Mitch was enjoying all the new foods he could eat and loving the fact he could finally eat some of the foods his big brothers eat regularly. Then all of a sudden Mitch had an eczema flare, actually one that was worse than what we've seen in a long time.
But what could be causing his flare? He has eaten the new foods for a few weeks with no problems. Did we over do it? Did we give him too many allergens in a short amount of time? Was one of his new foods cross-contaminated? Was this even a food allergy reaction?
Teething Induced Eczema
Last week Mitch's little body started rebelling. He had one of the worst cases of diarrhea I've ever seen him have, his skin was covered in eczema, and he threw up in his bed two nights in a row. Our first thought was maybe he had a touch of the flu, but he didn't have any other classic flu symptoms. Was his diarrhea and vomiting caused by his food allergies? And if so, what food was causing it? We took him off of all the foods we had added into his diet and put him back on his highly restrictive diet.
Then it hit me. Could he be getting his second-year molars and could that be causing his vomiting and diarrhea? After a quick look in his mouth, we realized he is, in fact, getting his second-year molars which, according to his pediatrician, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. But can it cause eczema too?
It turns out that yes, teething induced eczema exists, just like being sick, having too much stress, or anything else that causes stress on our bodies and lowers our immune system.
So once again, we'll slowly start adding foods one by one back into Mitch's diet and hopefully, all his second-year molars will come in quickly so he won't have to suffer many more teething induced eczema flare-ups.
Maybe one day we can be 100% assured that the foods we have added back into his diet are indeed safe for him, and we can stop blaming every flare-up on his food allergies.