Friday, November 6, 2009

A Diagnosis

This post is a bit late but it's part of the reason for the lack of posts.

Starting at about three weeks, Christiana developed a bumpy rash on her ears and neck. It spread to her face, scalp, back and diaper area. Our chiropractor suspected a milk allergy and suggested we switch to soy formula. Mike couldn't believe soy formula would be better than the donated breastmilk and she wasn't really having a digestive issues.

We did our best to treat the rash with a variety of ointments, oils, lotions, etc. Nothing seemed to help. She also developed redness under her arms, the rash around her diaper area worsened and she began losing her hair from the cradle cap. Our medical doctor also thought the rash on her face and neck was caused by a milk allergy and also suggested soy formula. She did say that the under arm redness could be yeast and prescribed an anti fungal cream. She also recommended hydro cortisone to reduce the swelling.

It was frustrating to try so many different things and see no improvement. Finally, I went back and checked the archives of a blog I had started reading. She had also be dealing with a little boy with a crazy rash and food allergies. I remembered her doing a post about all the things they had tried to relieve his discomfort. I actually went to look to see if there was something I hadn't tried, but what I found was the answer that has really set my mind at ease.

What she had found was that her son was suffering from Infantile Seborrhoeic dermatitis. It's similar to the condition that causes dandruff in adults. The pictures and descriptions matched Christiana's condition exactly and the treatment was the exact opposite of what we had been trying. Instead of infrequent bathing and keeping her moisturized, we needed to give her daily baths and keep her as dry as possible. Of course, this is the exact opposite of everything I have been taught about African American skin but I was willing to give it a try.

The problem is over production of skin and oils and a suseptability to yeast infections. We have been using hydro cortisone and the anti fungal cream during flare-ups, keeping her in cloth diapers and wool covers, bathing her every day, changing her shirts frequently and using corn starch to keep her creases dry. She has been doing much better and we are managing it. The hardest area to manage is her diaper area. I remove her diaper the minute she wakes up and try to give her as much air as possible. She's had terrible flare-ups on days when she is stuck in disposables all day.

She should outgrow this condition by six months but it could take longer. The condition is not necessarily caused by a milk allergy but many babies with this condition also have food allergies so we have had her on soy formula since running out of the donated breastmilk. I am counting down the months until I can provide allergen-free breastmilk for her. Only three more months to go.

So, these special needs, in addition to the pregnancy, the toddler, the teenagers and school work, I haven't had much time for pictures or blogging. I'm sorry! I think of you often! I read your blogs when I get a minute and hope some day to catch up on my blogging, including writing more about our time in Florida.

Do you think that will be any time soon? :)


Nancy said...

Good investigative work on Baby C! Glad she is doing better. Sounds like you are very busy but it was nice to "hear" from you! :)

e&e said...

I'm guessing it'll be in your memoir, you know, the one you write in your nineties...that is, unless you're busy with great-grandbabies!

Good for you for keeping first things first, though!

Kristi said...

Hope everything gets better!!

~~ said...

OH, WOW...How unconfortable she must have been...and four month olds are still at a loss as how to share whats bothering them...except through crying..sure glad you discovered a way to help her're very resourceful...when ours were first born we didn't even have TV...much less Mr. Google. :)

Joy Estelle said...

Poor sweet baby girl! Both of you sweet girls! Sending you happy, healthy vibes.