Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Atopic Dermatitis

According to the dermatologist, that is Kaitlyn's diagnosis and accounts for all of her health issues lo these many months. This morning Kaitlyn and I met with Dr. Stewart who looked at her, listened to my stories and concerns, and said Kaitlyn has EXTREMELY sensitive skin, horrible allergies (probably tied in with food), and the reason for the repeat staph infections in the diaper area is that because Kaitlyn itches so bad, and scratches, the staph gets in there. She really wasn't surprised/concerned by the repeat skin infections and in fact prescribed a topical antibiotic to keep on hand in case it happens again and seems necessary. She said she didn't think we needed to do the orals so much, just topical.

I told her I was most concerned by the weight loss, but she really wasn't too worried about that either. I kept reiterating that Kaitlyn lost a good 12 ounces which is a big deal for a baby, but she said that that can be tied in with allergies/eczema as well. During the visit Kaitlyn was babbling and bouncing around and the doctor said she looks healthy as can be and therefore really doesn't suspect a zinc deficiency. The doctor asked me if Kaitlyn was pretty active, and I said yeah, she's always been squirmy and wiggly and loves crawling around. The doctor said her own son was big at first, then lost a bunch of weight and remained pretty small for his age, so it happens. Plus yeah, apparently allergies can affect weight gain or something.

I asked about Kaitlyn's foot, and Dr. Stewart said that honestly it sounds like Kaitlyn just has really, really sensitive skin. She prescribed an ointment for the eczema. She said it can be difficult to pin-point what foods I'm eating that might be aggravating it, so pay attention but not obsess over it. She also thought Kaitlyn should outgrow it.

I guess I feel cautiously optimistic about the diagnosis. I tried my darndest to convince Dr. Stewart that my baby was on death's doorstep, but she just kept saying that these things are the result of bad eczema/allergies, and that staph infections on the skin are to be expected if a baby's diaper area is scratched up badly enough (which Kaitlyn's had been. It was awful.) Tomorrow we'll see the immunologist, who I'm sure will order more invasive tests and I'm going to request he test for zinc deficiency. But if everything comes back normal, then it looks like my kid just has a nasty case of regular old eczema.


Joy said...

well, i guess that sounds like good news in the sense that it may not be an immunology issue. sorry there's still more testing to be done. i know that can't be fun. we'll keep praying. hang in there, brianna. not that it makes kaitlyn feel better, but you are such a wonderful mommy and you have an amazing family. kaitlyn is very blessed.

Jeannett Gibson said...

Wahoo! (Tentatively).

Glad to hear it's hopefully not too big of a deal. Welcome to the allergies club. It's a crazy world. Hey, maybe you can quit dairy too and it'll be like a sorority?!

For allergy info, I've found La Leche League forums to be EXTREMELY helpful...so many of those moms have been dealing with allergies for so long that they are pseudo experts...


(You have to be a registered user in order to access the allergy forum, but it's free).

Lisa Leonard said...

I've been praying for you guys all day. Sounds like GREAT news! Yay! xoxo

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The Hausams said...

ICKY! We're in the same boat here. Poor Elianna Ray has horribly dry skin, rashes, inflamed sores, and bad eczema is the culprit, too. No fun. I've tried everything and our international pediatrician just keeps saying, "She'll live." Grrr... I'm sorry your little one suffers from the same thing. Let me know if you discover something that works well, and I'll do the same for you!

Lara said...

I'm glad your time with the dermatologist went well and I'm interested to hear what the immunologists perspective is.

We went to New Frontier monday and I got Caedra a jar of "Shea Butter Blissful Baby Balm" by ALAFFIA. It's alcohol free and so far her skin is loving it. We'll see.

sara said...

Glad it worked out ok. Another idea is that sometimes allergies can cause something similar on the intestine and then malabsorption related weight loss...might be something to bring up with a regular pediatrician.

Happy Holidays.

Tamara said...

If they think it is allergies/ecxma maybe a food allergy test is in order for her to identify any culprits? I don't know if babies are too young to do it (but I suppose if she is reacting, the antigens must be present). Also, apparently they can just do a blood test these days instead of the awful scratch test (both my kids have had it, it isn't the worst thing they have done, but definatly not a trip to the ice cream store).

A food allergy could also explain the weight loss. My sister Karen was dx'ed with celiac sprue (gluten) last year after a crummy year of intestinal issues and weight loss. Basically the allergy irritated her intestines to the point that she wasn't absorbing nutrients. She also had some dental issues and bone density loss.

Good luck!


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