Day 4 National Jewish Health Atopic Dermatitis Program

Ava’s skin is looking so good that we dropped down to two baths today! We only wrapped her legs and head this morning, of course still moisturizing heavily everywhere. Her forehead is being really stubborn, so the head wraps will definitely continue, but tonight we actually only wrapped her feet instead of her entire leg!

We met with a nutritionist today. Ava is on the smaller side, but she has several factors working against her. One, her three siblings also were small at this age, but they have all caught up and are perfectly healthy. Two, she spent most of her time scratching herself for the past year so she didn’t have much interest in anything else, including eating. Three, she hasn’t slept well either in the past year, so she missed out on that important time to grow. Four, the amount of energy her body used to constantly try and heal her skin would burn most all the calories she took in. Five, not knowing what foods might be causing her eczema to flare up, she has been on a pretty limited diet. Luckily, the nutritionist mostly agreed with me on this and did not push the issue. Other than that, her blood test showed her iron is low, so I need to get more iron into her either by supplement or iron rich foods. The rest was pretty basic, common sense advice on what to feed a growing child.

Besides Ava’s bath today, we did another round of skin tests. Today was for environmental triggers. She reacted to…nothing! I discussed the results of her skin test from yesterday and her blood tests with Dr. Hauk. Her skin test yesterday showed a reaction to sesame, pretty much all nuts and a very minor reaction to dairy and eggs. As far as her blood test, overall, her Ige was elevated, but not astronomical. As far as her Ige response to individual foods, nuts were definitely high, so we will not do a food challenge to any of them since it is consistent between the skin and blood tests. Her Ige response to dairy and eggs was slightly high, so the doctor would like to do a food challenge to baked eggs and baked dairy (meaning when it is an ingredient in something) and then in the future try to add straight dairy and eggs back to her diet. Yesterday she showed no reaction to wheat on the skin test, but her Ige was slightly high. So we did a food challenge with wheat today. Ava ate some pasta, then twenty minutes later she had some more. Then we had to wait 2 hours to observe if there was any reaction. I took her for a nap and an hour in she woke up suddenly, crying and scratching. She had not scratched all day, but there was no flare of her eczema. The nurse did not think there was any reaction to the wheat, but I am going to watch for itchiness if she has it again. Wheat is not a big part of our family’s diet, so it may not be an issue.

We are getting snow here in Denver, so the ride home was a bit treacherous. Depending how much snow we get, I am not sure I will be able to make it in to NJH tomorrow morning since I am about 15 miles away. I will either go in late as conditions improve or just stay put and do her baths.

Thanks again for reading! I hope this has been informative and helpful to someone.

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8 thoughts on “Day 4 National Jewish Health Atopic Dermatitis Program

  1. I can’t believe the relief and joy I can see in her eyes! Looks as though bath time was actually fun today. Week one is over tomorrow; seems to be a week well spent …….praise God.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Our 22 month old has had eczema since birth and we are debating making the trip to NJH. Your comments on what they are doing for her are greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to share. Dana

  3. Meg what about sugar? Refined sugars can often cause reactions in skin and are usually not tested in basic skin tests. Just a thought. She looks so much better in just a few days! Sending lots of hugs and prayers!

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