Eczema and Allergies

special needs

Eczema and allergies may not be considered special needs in the traditional sense, but if you are a mother of a child with severe eczema or allergies, then you know how much extra work it is.

With eczema you often need to try many different products before you find one that works for your child (and even then, it does not always work for very long) and you need to be diligent about applying the products.

With allergies you need to adapt your cooking, you can’t eat at restaurants without adaptations, and you need to bring your own cake to birthday parties among other things.

We have 5 children (10, 8, 6, 2, and 2). Our youngest child and only daughter (she’s also a twin) has eczema and allergies. We spent the first year or so of Hosanna’s life carting her to the family doctor, the pediatrician, the allergist, the dermatologist, the lab and back to all of them again.

Hosanna is allergic to eggs, dairy (goat’s milk and cow’s milk), and peanuts. She has an EpiPen (USA and Canada) for the peanut allergy. We have been adapting our household and our recipes to fit her allergies and still be affordable for our family of seven. This in itself is no small challenge. I hope to post more of our recipes here on Large Family Good Eats.

Hosanna’s eczema is itchy and painful (I am sure anyone with eczema knows how this is). Her skin has often been cracked and bleeding. With eczema the story is the more you itch, the more you scratch, the more you itch, the more you scratch is the way it goes. She is only two so it is very hard for her not to itch. She needs to wear long sleeves and leotards even in the summer. For her eczema we have tried just about everything.  I won’t list all the creams and lotions (prescription or otherwise) that we have tried that haven’t worked because there are too many. We have,  however, found something amazing and we have started to make it ourselves. It is a special combination of Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Beeswax.

Do you struggle with the challenges of eczema or allergies with your children?

22 thoughts on “Eczema and Allergies”

  1. I love this post. My oldest and middle have eczema. We discovered it early and luckily my daughter’s is pretty mild and we can control it with Eucerine cream. It’s on the crease of her arms and has only gotten infected once when she and bubby both got infentigo. My son is really having trouble with it right now. His is on the back of his legs and his left leg has been infected for about 3 months now. We have tried all kinds of antibiotics but nothing has worked. We are about to go to a dermatologist and I’m sure we’ll end up with an allergist too! The fun has just begun! I wish you luck with Hossana! I understand how hard it can be!

    1. Hi Kari,

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Hosanna’s eczema has never been infected (thank goodness), but she has scratched herself raw more than once. One thing to remember is that you may need to change up the creams once in awhile to keep them working.


  2. My now 5 yr old son suffers from similar food allergies and eczema – severe. right now he looks awful. Since he is allergic to eggs and dairy (and can’t tolerate lots of other foods – including any form of seafood) we are having a hard time with this. The allergist recently told us to eliminate beef and chicken which helped a bit. I would be interested in the recipe you have created for the cream. We have tried everything under the sun – both OTC and meds – with limited results.

    1. Hi Ginny,

      It is so hard to eliminate foods from the family diet. If you would like some ideas on this – I can help. We don’t eat dairy, eggs, and nuts. There are tons of other foods that you can eat and lots of recipes you can cook without those foods.


  3. Our son has had severe eczema caused by food allergies and intolerances since he was just a baby. It has been such a long and hard road and I can totally relate to your Hosanna and everything she is going through…and for your whole family. It truly affects everyone. We went to so many doctors and specialists and no one knew how to help him without just prescribing a bunch of potent meds and creams. When he was about 2 yrs old, all he could eat was chicken, peas and rice because they were said to be “hypo-allergenic” and everything else seemed to make his skin worse. He was steroid dependent and looking and feeling weak and sick. It was a scary time for us and that is when he ended up at a children’s hospital who successfully weaned him off his steroids. It was then that we knew we needed something healthy for him. We needed to changed things and to treat him from the inside out and not cover up his symptoms! My step-dad told us about Belly Boost children’s chewable probiotics and they have been amazing for him! His skin has never looked better and he can eat lots more foods too! I have read that research is starting to link probiotics with eczema and this is really exciting so that these little ones can stop being given so many medications. I hope this helps you. Please visit my blog at if you ever want to chat more and I also have allergy-free kids recipes there too :) All the best to you and to the other people who left comments about their loved-ones with eczema. :)

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your comment. I popped over to your site and it looks like I will have to spend some time over there looking around. Thank you for sharing your story. I am always on the look out for new remedies and recipes.


    2. tried the probiotics route. sent him off the deep end and ended up having to take prednisone to recover. Some of them have a dairy component and it is difficult to find those that do not. I will take a look at the belly boost version.

      1. Hi Ginny,

        Thank you for the heads about about the dairy in the probiotics, as I would not have thought of that. Hosanna is severely allergic to dairy.


  4. Both my middle and now my youngest have eczema. We consulted a naturopath to help us and had a lot of success. My middle had it horribly as a baby. Totally covered from head to toe with it. Where he was nursing I did a severe elimination diet…eliminating almost everything except things like chicken, turkey, rice and greens. I also took licorice root and high does omega 3’s and high does probiotics. Not sure what worked but something did because the rash completely clear up (and I lost around 40 lbs!!). We started to introduce the forbidden foods and it never came back. He is now turning 4 next week and has never had it reoccur. My 4 month old just had an eczema rash pop up last week…he is already getting probiotics and I also take a normal omega 3 supplement. It has already almost disappeared.

    From what our naturopath told us eczema is not a skin disease but is usually caused by an allergy of some sort. To get rid of the eczema you need to find the underlining cause, eliminate it and then heal the system. This is the approach we took and it seems to have worked for our middle son.

    I wish you luck. I cannot imagine having to deal with that severe of a rash for longer than the 6-8 months that it went on.

    1. Hi Heather,

      Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment. I am glad that you have found something that worked for you. Our dermatologist told us that eczema was not related to allergies at all (I disagree). Our allergist is a firm believer in the connection between allergies and eczema. We have not seen a naturopath yet. That was the next step, but with her cream, we have not needed to go that route “yet”. Thank you for sharing the things that worked for you. I have also heard that vitamin d helps with skin conditions such as hers.


  5. My oldest has severe eczema. When he was about 2 years old, his feet barely resembled feet…they were cracked, swollen, bleeding…then as he got older it seemed to just spread all over his body and not be concentrated on his feet. His is more contact related. Once I swept the garage with him there and his whole body broke out. Once the dog licked him and his face broke out..he is allergic to dogs, but also just about anything else that floats in the air. His eczema is worse in the summer because of sweat.

    Anyway…I did want to offer this bit of encouragement. As he has grown, it has gotten much better. He is now 10 and still has a little bit of trouble with it, but it’s controllable with steriod creams and ointments… Before, he would need oral steriods and steriod cream and ointments and antibiotics if it got infected, which it did a lot. This year, however, I think he’s had maybe one doctor’s visit from it and that is sooo much better. I’m hoping that when he’s a teenager, his skin will be perfect! :)

  6. Hi Susie Bibb,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can give you some hope. My son Moses – who is 8 now – had severe eczema on his face as a baby. We did not know what it was at the time, but it was horrible. He would need to be creamed down several times a day and during the night. He had a horrible time sleeping (and so did we). Moses has very nice skin now. He gets welts once in awhile when he comes in contact with an allergen, but for the most part his skin is beautiful. I wish we had known about Hosanna’s cream back then.


  7. Hi Honey,
    Poor little girl. My daughter had eczema when she was a baby. I didn’t know anything about nutrition back then and thankfully she has mostly grown out of it. She does have a flare up if we start eating lots of junk food.

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I love yours!

    1. Hi Briana,

      Thank you for visiting my blog. We hardly eat any junk food and cook mostly from scratch due to Hosanna’s allergies. It is nice when you can figure out the triggers for each individual child.


  8. My 8yo son had severe eczema from birth to about age 4. It has gradually tapered off, and as long as we avoid things like sunscreen (which is worse, an eczema breakout or a rash?) and perfumed soaps he does okay. It used to be red and weepy, but these days mostly he has raised areas on his skin that aren’t a full blow breakout like he used to get. When he does break out, it’s usually on his legs, feet, ankles, and wrists. We treat it with steroid cream as needed. Oh, and our pediatrician said eczema almost always goes hand in hand with pet–particularly cat– allergies, and can crop up after eating citrus fruits too. He breaks out after drinking orange juice but NOT after eating oranges. I haven’t figured that one out yet.

    1. Hi Dawn,

      Moses (almost 9 now) had what I would now, in hindsight, say was eczema. Hosanna had the same skin flare ups that he used to when he was a baby. We would even have to cream him down during the night in order for him to be able to sleep.

      With Hosanna, we went to the dermatologist who said that eczema was not related to allergies and we went to the allergist who firmly believes that eczema goes hand in hand with allergies.

      Moses has allergies to animals (we did not have any pets when he was a baby). Hosanna has no known pet allergies and we did test for them. I have not noticed a specific relation between citrus foods and her flare ups, I will need to watch for that

      We have an awesome cream which we use on Hosanna now (Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Beeswax). Drop me a note and I can send you a sample.


  9. I had eczema VERY bad as a baby and toddler, then between age 5 ish until I was around 17 I had it a bit milder. Then I got it on the palms of my hands and feet. So bad I could not even wash my own hair. After I got pregnant, it all went away. over the years it has come back, thankfully not as bad as before. I cannot wear any leather and have had a lot of problems with soaps, lotions, shampoos and such. Then I found out about Melaleuca products. I have been able to use ALL of their products, including fabric softener.
    You might want to give it a try. It has helped me.
    I have also used Zimm’s Crack Cream (bought at Rite Aid). But be warned that when first applied to an inflamed area, it can burn a little.

    1. Hi Nora,

      I have experience with Melaleuca Products and I do like them. I have not used them for some time now. We do have a cream that works for us right now which we make ourselves.


  10. We discovered one of our younger foster sons was allergic to cow’s milk (in all forms) when he was a little over a year old. His entire first year of life was spent on antibiotics for recurring ear infections – which included his ear drums bursting twice and finally tubes at 10 months old.

    In addition to the recurring ear infections, he had eczema so bad on his cheeks that it would often crack and bleed. The doctor prescribed everything from topical steroid creams to a list of lotions to use.

    It wasn’t until I came across a book listing alternatives to antibiotics – because at this point when you get an ear infection literally the day after coming off antibiotics…something’s wrong with this picture and needs a new solution – that I found that most kids with recurring ear infections are either allergic or sensitive to cow’s milk. I immediately switched him to soy milk and he hasn’t had a single ear infection since then. Not. a. single. one. His eczema starting clearing up immediately but because it was so bad it took 2 months to go away completely. I have to be really strict about no milk – in anything – for him otherwise the eczema will come back.

  11. I realise this post is old but I am so amazed that so many people have this same issue with the eczema! My daughter ( also a twin!) started to break out at 4 months old, behind her knees. At the time I had not a clue what it was. Around the same time of her life, she was very fussy every single night and would scream until she literally was so exhausted she had to fall asleep. Being tiny and pre mature I thought well maybe she has cholic. She and her sister had sever reflux and threw up literally every ounce they took in for the first 8 months as well. A fe wmonths later I found out it was eczema but the pediatrician said they do not prescribe anything for babies becuase it thinens their skin ( which later I was told it doesn’t thinen anything but who knows). So I tried lotions and tried to keep her skin moisturized by not drying her after baths, instead putting vaseline all over her to lock in the moisture. Nope, nothing worked, she was miserable, I felt terrible and hopeless and cried all of the time, it killed me seeing her in that amount of pain or discomofort. Her eczema continued and it only got worse, it spread all over her body, it was in every single crease on her body: her wrists both the top and the bottom, her elbows, crease of her arms, her neck, behind her knees and on her knees, her ankles and the crease between her ankle and her foot at the top as well as on part of her foot, behind her ears….then around 2 it got even worse becuase she began to get it all in between her thighs ( like where the diaper rubbed) and so her entire leg on both sides were covered, her arms were completely covered, half of both feets, her neck, etc etc. Cortisone never worked and neither did the stronger creams or when they did it just flared up by the next morning. She is very pale and I had no clue the effect that sunscreen would have, yeah, well she went swiming and i put sunscreen on her and that evening there was not a part of her body not covered in a rash! The next time I just did not use sunscreen and still byt he ewvening she was covered in the same rash. Maybe she is allergic to the sun or the heat? I have no idea! I changed her formula to every single one you could imagine and nothing ever worked. I used organic soaps and detergeant, she does not eat eggs and yet still @ 3 ( just turned 3 2 weeks ago) Her eczema is still there, except in between her thighs ( mostly gone) becuase she now wears panties not diapers. If anyone can offer any suggestions, links, etc. I would be so grateful! Should I brinng her to an allergist to see if she has any other allergies? I know someone who was stung by a wasp last year and died becuase they had no idea they were allergic and my cousins son was bitten by a red ant when he was 2 and went into anaphalatic 9 im sure that is spelled wrong) shock and almost died himself ( was put into a medically induced coma for 4 days etc etc) and he also now has to have weekly shots for his allergy to red ants ( the most common type of red ant at that!) for the rest of his childhood ( maybe longer not sure). I did not know that eczema could be related to allergies other than food allergies and I always thought they were mild. My family has a strong history of eczema, my cousins kids ALL have it ( not nearly as severely as my daughter does though.) So again, if anyone can offer any advice I would greatly appreciate it! She scratches herself untils he bleeds, she looks like she has a disease, she skin is red, rough, scabbed and broken. Even when I want to apply medicine she freaks out and screams bloody murder becuase it is so painful becuase of how broken her skin is. This is so terrible! Not to mention I worry about how self esteem as she gets older and if this does not clear up. She’s beautiful but her skin looks terrible and her twin has perfect skin, so I worry about that as well. I worry about the emotional aspect of this as much as the physical.

  12. I grew up with eczema and my son inherited it from me.
    It is one of the reasons I will be happily homeschooling.
    I remember sitting through a day of school itching in sweater.
    Last year i was tested for food allergies. I was surprised that I tested positive for peanuts, even though I had eaten them my whole life.
    We had my son tested and behold: level one allergies to seasame seeds, egg whites, corn and walnuts
    Level 3 allergies to soy and peanuts.
    Then I learned how many things have soy in them.
    We put our son on an Omega 3 6 9 daily
    Not only does he have fewer break outs, but his skin recovers more quickly when he does break out.

    Thank you for the recipes


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