Tag Archives: Eczema Flare-Up

Does My Dog Have Allergies Too?

At my son’s 18 month appointment with his pediatrician, we were relieved to learn that he was gaining, growing, and developing wonderfully despite his food allergies, diet limitations and the fact that he is still barely eating when he is at day care.   During this visit, he had two shots and barely cried.  (He is braver than me who passes out with shots or blood work sometimes. Ha!)

Then, the weekend came and so did some crazy symptoms yet again.   Waking up on Friday evening screaming, shaking, and sweating with a fever of 104, we were told this was probably a reaction to one of the shots and would pass soon.   Otherwise, he looked great. There were no signs of sickness or infection. Then, this lead to another weekend of barely eating and another eczema flare-up. This is stressful and frustrating because I wish I could do more to take this all away.

To add to this, my husband came in from doing yard work with a skin irritation.   Hives or a rash of some kind are common after an hour or two outside mowing or raking.   Usually, a shower helps these to fade.

I have three guys in my life though; the third being my 3.5 year old yellow Labrador, Bailey.

bailsEvery Autumn and Spring he begins to chew away at his paws often making them raw.  Due to the timing of this, veterinarians have told us that he suffers from seasonal atopy because of pollen and ragweed allergies.  He experiences this mostly in the Fall though.

Check out more about dogs and allergies:

Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

Source: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/dog-supplies/pr/c/3307

While in our case our furry guy has seasonal allergies, it is also important to mention that dogs can also have food allergies or an intolerance.

Here are some related links about this topic:

Food Allergies & Food Intolerance

Source: http://www.peteducation.com/

Most Common Food Allergies in Dogs

Source: https://www.cesarsway.com/

How can you help your dog when he or she is experiencing allergies:


Source: www.cnn.com

Vet Advice: Relief for Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

Source: http://thebark.com/

Allergies & Dogs

Source: http://www.webmd.com/

Hoping my three special guys have some relief soon, we smile on and wish everyone a great week.

Weekly Smiles (Events)

Here is a list of Smiling Away Allergies’ weekly events:

TIPSy Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, I plan to post tips that we have found helpful or something that we have learned during this journey so far. I call it “TIPS”y TUESDAYS not only because I must admit to being a bit corny at times, but mainly because I want to help others be prepared.  Therefore, once a week we will CHEERS to being prepared so we can smile on…

Worry-Free Wednesdays

Each Wednesday I will try to post a quote or lyrics to a song that I find inspirational.  Words that help me see past fear and worry, enabling us to continue to smile on…

Tbt (Throw Back Thursdays)

On some Thursdays, we will throw it back to some of the earlier signs and experiences with food allergies/eczema as well as what we have learned through it. Regardless of what should have or could have happened, we smile on together in trying to educate others about the world of allergies…

Favorite Finds Fridays

I plan to post a “favorite find” on Fridays.  It may not always be directly relate to food allergies and eczema.   However, it will always be something that has helped us a lot with TJ’s experience, allowing us all to smile on in faith…


(Source: http://www.firstcovers.com/userquotes/39076/let+your+smile.html)

Does Your Mouth Itch When You Eat Apples or Other Fruits?

Great article about oral allergy syndrome.  We are pretty sure that this is exactly what causes TJ’s random skin irritations and itching after he eats apples and bananas at certain times of the year. In fact, we are currently taking a short break from some fruits because of similar reactions.  Because of another informative article, we smile on…

Does Your Mouth Itch When You Eat Apples or Other Fruits?

(Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/)


Favorite Finds Friday – CeraVe

Over the course of the last twelve months, we have used many different lotions on TJ’s skin. At first, we barely used any but as his eczema flared up around this time last year, we started to use doctors’ suggestions, other parents’ recommendations, online reviews and of course, the infamous trial and error to see what would calm and treat his skin best. It was and is all about creating the best barrier to protect TJ’s skin and allowing his body to build up his skin’s filaggrin.

Here is a timeline of the skin products we have used over the past year.

  • SEPTEMBER 2014 – OCTOBER: Last September, we used some Aveeno products such as their lotion and even bath wash. While people all around us raved about it, it wasn’t helping TJ’s skin. We would soon learn that the Aveeno products we were using contained oat. (In December we would also learn that he was allergic to this.)
  • OCTOBER – DECEMBER: Then, at the end of October we switched to CeraVe baby lotion as it had been suggested by the allergist I took TJ to about his skin, worrying that he had food allergies. This allergist would become our main allergist in just a couple months. However, at the time it was thought that TJ just had dermagraphism. Now, we know it is both many allergies and this skin condition. We used this lotion on his skin for a month or so.
  • DECEMBER – JANUARY: As TJ’s many food allergies were discovered, he started to have many “random” hive and rash outbreaks. This was last January 2015 when we were thrown into the crazy world of food allergies as well. After speaking with many doctors, moms, and anyone who would listen to my rants at the time, we feared it may have been the lotions and bath washes we were using. So, I did what any mom or dad in my shoes would do, I played detective and researched like crazy. That is when we learned that Aveeno contained oat. However, I do recommend any of the Aveeno baby products for babies with eczema and no oat allergy. It was just a bit more complicated for us.
  • JANUARY – MARCH: Then, we turned to Vanicream with an extra coat of Aquaphor on top for the winter months.
  • MARCH – NOW (SEPTEMBER 2015): However, in March we started back with CeraVe but their moisturizing cream this time instead of the lotion.   Since this is what we still use and TJ’s skin seems to do best with it, we add this to our favorite finds while smiling on to the much needed weekend…


Favorite Finds Friday – Soap Nuts

Last winter was when my son started to have more and more eczema flare-ups. Often times these flare ups would bother him most when he became bored, hot, or upset. Many times he would begin to scratch and irritate his skin especially on our car rides to work and day care. This was extra frustrating because often when he would wake up, his skin would be looking good. Then, as the day proceeded, it would get worse and worse.

After speaking with other moms and doctors, I knew it we had to find as many ways as possible to calm his heightened immune system so that it could continue to learn the true invaders to attack like bad bacteria and viruses. Instead, of attacking food and his own skin.

We had already done the following:

    1) Taken away all the food allergens with both of our elimination diets
    2) Limited contact with our dog Bailey (Tried to completely not allow any contact which definitely has gone out the window since TJ has become a toddler and is looove with Bailey now.)
    3) Made sure to keep the house vacuumed
    4) Used only TJ’s safe lotions and washes
    5) Made sure TJ’s skin always had a barrier of lotion/ointment.
    6) Made sure he only wore 100% cotton clothing (Tried for socks too but these are sooooo difficult to find so I settled for 80% cotton)
    7) Only used free and clear detergents…

Because these flare-ups still continued, we decided that we needed to try something different.  Maybe the free and clear detergent wasn’t enough for his skin? So for several months we used Soap Nuts, since another amazing mom had told me about the success she had with this detergent alternative with her son and his skin. While we no longer use them now, I am thankful that there are products like Soap Nuts out there for people like TJ so we have no choice but to smile on…  

“I Won’t Be Shaken”

I must admit that Mondays cause me the most anxiety of any other day of the week. I wake up anxious about the week ahead and the challenges that may arise, thus becoming extremely grumpy and stressed.   Monday is usually the day that I force myself to take off from running to give my body a rest; however, I am beginning to think that I may need to rethink that. So today, I did not take off and instead as I ran, I reflected about how I could wake up feeling so overwhelmed already.

Since I am blessed to be able to have off for the summer to spend with my son, it is not that I am super stressed about the upcoming week work and how “life” will fit in.   Instead,  I get overwhelmed at times that the handling of my son’s food allergies and eczema will all be entrusted in my two hands all week long.   With that being said, I must admit that aside from just loving weekends, they are the time that I can breath deeper and find extra comfort knowing that my husband will be around too.   While it may be contradictory to my writing about it all, the reality is that I do have moments, or days where I allow my anxiety in a little too much.   For some reason, this morning I was extra determined to not allow Monday to shake me.

My current level of anxiety is mostly to do with the following two things:

  1. The school year/daycare starting; trusting others to watch my son all day long when sometimes it is difficult to fully trust myself
  2. The eczema flare-up TJ has been having for the past week. This happened a day or two after he had a routine vaccination at his 15 month checkup.

Last Monday, TJ had a vaccination.   At his appointment, he was suppose to have two shots. However, because of his allergies, they offered us the option of having the MMR shot done with his allergist instead.   In addition to this shot, he will need to receive the flu shot with his allergist too.   (That is the shot I am extra terrified of.) While I do understand the importance of vaccinations, I must also state that I do empathize with those who worry about the side effects. Heck, I worry about them.  Since about 5 months of age, TJ has experienced an eczema flare-up a day or two after receiving most immunizations. This shot was no different. (I must add that in addition to the vaccination, TJ had a nail infection and is, as always, cutting more teeth. Both of these could have also added to the problems with his eczema recently.)

During the past week, TJ’s skin has been the worst it has been for awhile.  After his naps last week, he would wake up with red swollen bags under his eyes and eczema would start to flare up on his cheeks.   It would continue to get worse until right around dinner time.   If that wasn’t enough for the poor guy, he has been getting red marks around his lips and mouth when he eats.   In addition, while eating his safe foods that he loves like raspberries and carrots, his lips have been getting irritated, thus making him scratch at them.   I emailed both his allergist and pediatrician about it all and they do not believe it is more food allergies developing, which is what I most feared.   However, I am keeping an extra close eye on it.

Last night when this happened after he ate about ten raspberries, I panicked, making my husband stand nearby.   I panic because food allergies are so tricky and I know that his immune system has been working extra hard lately due to getting the HIB shot.  I worry because I have read and spoken to many people who state that food allergies can just develop out of nowhere.   I get upset because I know TJ loves raspberries and I don’t want to take away more foods from him, feeling like I am depriving him.  I know that it is for his safety but still it hurts.  Most of all, I feel terrified because I remember that December evening after TJ ate yogurt.   I remember that nightmare and don’t want that ever to happen again.   Therefore, even though it is only 5 pm on Sunday evening, I begin to dread Monday. Yes, it is a downward spiral.   However, isn’t that the way anxiety works, exponentially, attacking us when we are most vulnerable.

After “reflect running” as I will call it, I prayed for the strength to put my faith above all my fears. Right afterwards, the first song I heard was “I Won’t Be Shaken.” Strangely enough with my mindset switched back to cautiously optimistic, TJ’s skin has also started to improve today. With some of the lyrics that helped me enjoy this Monday with improving skin, we smile on…

“This mountain rises higher
This way seems so unclear
But I know that you go with me
I will trust in you

Whatever will come my way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won’t be shaken
No we won’t be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we’ll rise and sing
That we won’t be shaken”

-Building 429