When planning a pregnancy and preparing for childbirth, like most mothers, I read many books about newborns, watched videos, looked for information on care and development. Of course, I paid special attention to the recommendations for the treatment of various viral and bacterial infections, however, I was not at all interested in information about atopic dermatitis (hereinafter AD), since there is not a single allergy sufferer either on my line or on my husband’s line (at that time for me AD was equated with allergies).

The pregnancy proceeded calmly. And so, on 09/08/2016 my button was born – Victoria. I certainly read that early latching on to the breast and breastfeeding are very important, but I absolutely did not think – why? Due to the fact that I had an episiotomy, I was able to attach the baby to the breast only in the ward 4.5 hours after giving birth. There were only a few drops of colostrum (which the nurse kindly squeezed out in order to check its presence), and then I did not really succeed in putting the breast correctly. The nurse did not bother with us for a long time, she said – you will figure it out yourself, and so that the child does not starve, she gave her a mixture.

Photo 1 Left cheek

On the first day, red spots appeared on the daughter’s face and back, as well as pimples with white heads and a red base (Photo 1). Doctors at the hospital said that this is toxic erythema – the body’s adaptation to extrauterine conditions of life. You don’t need to do anything, it will go away by itself in 2-3 weeks.

The first 6 days were supplemented with a mixture. Then I still did not know what kind of “disservice” I was rendering my baby out of good intentions. The red spots on the back were gone, but the pimples on the face went in one place – appeared in another. So two weeks passed, three, four …

At the age of four weeks it began … The cheeks began to become abundantly covered with pimples, and they did not go away, and every day they became more and more: on the forehead, cheeks, neck, chin, ears … The hair of the head and eyebrows were covered with yellow crusts. Then the nurse came and advised to wipe the pimples in succession. After two such wipes, the pimples united into huge red spots (Photo 2).

Photo 2  Left cheek

At a scheduled appointment a month, the neonatologist found out what I eat (and since the birth of my daughter, I have been on a hypoallergenic diet “just in case”), said that it “looks like an allergy.” I prescribed suprastin, UFO and primadophilus, as well as exclude children’s biolact from my diet (there was nothing more to exclude) and donate feces for dysbiosis, coprogram. She was also embarrassed that Vika gained only 400 grams. from birth weight. She began to persuade me to supplement with a mixture, and not hypoallergenic, but goat.

The word “looks like” confused me. She did not give anything (including mixture), the Urals Federal District did (although in vain – after it it became worse). The feces were handed over and went to another doctor.

The second doctor also said that almost all babies are allergic to cow’s milk protein and recommended that they completely eliminate milk, bathe with Emolium emulsion 2 times a day, and after bathing, smear the skin with Emolium cream. As the spots and pimples go away (and my daughter at that time had pimples on her arms, chest, back) – start expanding my diet. The milk was recommended to be administered after 3 months. According to the weight gain, she said that she does not see anything critical yet – everything has gone into growth (+4 cm per month).

Photo 3 Left cheek

Since two doctors said that it looked like an allergy, I decided to calculate the allergen by all means. I narrowed my already hypoallergenic diet even more. I ate porridge: rice, buckwheat, corn; vegetables: zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower; fruits: green apples without peel; meat: turkey. All boiled / stewed. Moreover, this list was also periodically revised, since it constantly seemed to me that one thing or another my baby had a tummy ache.

A week on such a diet, bathing with Emolium emulsion, using a special Emolium cream, and my daughter’s skin cleared up. There are still a few white pimples on the cheeks (Photo 3) and on the forehead (Photo 4) – the same acne of newborns . Gaziks were still tormented, the stool was liquid, but not so frequent and not green.

Photo 4 Forehead

I began to gradually expand the diet (one product every 2 days) with a food diary. For a week everything was clean, then pimples began to appear again (Photo 5). What – could not determine. Introduced at that time pears, bananas, barley porridge, drying.

We came at 2 months for a routine examination by a neonatologist. According to the analyzes, Klebsiella was sown 10 to 8. The neonatologist said to exclude wheat, described the treatment for dysbiosis and how to introduce supplementary feeding with a mixture (since a set of 600 grams did not suit her). Recommended goat milk mixture.

We did not go to her again – we entered into a voluntary health insurance contract with a paid clinic. The doctor who prescribed Emolium for us at that time quit, we were assigned another doctor – a pediatrician-allergist.

Vika was examined by the third doctor (it was 2.5 months). She sent her again to pass the coprogram for dysbiosis (the coprogram with scribbles by hand in 3 lines did not suit her, and in the first analysis for dysbiosis there was no data on useful flora), as well as to do a general analysis of blood and urine. From that moment on, the diagnosis “atopic dermatitis” appeared in the card of my button.

Photo 5 Cheeks

Regarding the diet (and at that time I was eating 8 products again), she said that my mother should eat everything, otherwise complementary foods will not work with us, because with milk, the child receives micro doses, which are necessary for training the body. In addition, despite my diet, there were several inflamed spots on my cheeks (as the doctor explained: it pours on everything, just stronger on heavy foods, less on hypoallergenic). To remove toxins from the body and remove these stains, a sorbent was prescribed. As for supplementation, wait for the test results.

With difficulty, but we mastered 9 days of taking the sorbent. The spots did not disappear, but we were close to constipation. I did not dare to eat everything. I tried to bake gluten-free bread – the rash intensified (apparently due to yeast), I tried to spread baby rabbit puree on a loaf of bread – again a rash.

Came to the appointment at 3 months . According to the analyzes, there was a slight inflammation in the intestine, a lack of enzymes and bile, the absence of lactobacilli, low hemoglobin, eosinophils – 8 (Klebsiella, by the way, was absent, but yeast sown).

We were prescribed choleretic, lactobacilli, and iron. On the issue of weight gain (again + 600 g), it was said that if we don’t get it after the treatment, then we will think about the mixture. And be sure to eat sour milk for mom.

She began to give iron and lactobacilli. Gradually she began to introduce cottage cheese into her meager diet. After a couple of weeks (at 3.5 months), my daughter was heavily sprinkled. This time not only the cheeks, but also the arms, legs, and the upper half of the back. First of all, of course, I excluded cottage cheese – it did not help. My daughter began to experience constipation – it sprinkled even more. Eliminated iron and lactobacilli for my daughter – the chair improved in a couple of days, the rash began to disappear. Later I tried to return the bacteria – immediately constipation.

At the scheduled appointment at 4 months, Vika was again with sprinkled cheeks, to which were added dry spots on the elbows, wrists, hips and under the knees. They prescribed us enzymes, supplementary feeding with a mixture of prebiotics and lactulose, and a skin-cap cream on the skin.

Vika categorically refused the mixture, after 2 days, blood strings appeared in the stool from enzymes, diarrhea began from lactulose. We made an appointment with another doctor, because of the prescribed treatment, almost nothing came to us, and nothing is clear about the weight gain and mom’s diet. The skin-cap removed all redness and dryness in 4 days. For the first time in 4 months I saw clean cheeks (Photo 6). However, we still went to the doctor (already the fourth!).

Photo 6 Cheeks

She completely agreed with my diet and said to follow it for up to a year (!). Vika also did not introduce anything into complementary foods, except for the products that I eat. She generally agreed with all my words – it confused me a little … about the weight she said to apply more often, but in general, everything is not so bad.

She began to apply more often (or rather, she simply did not take her daughter off her chest). As a result, for a week of such sucking: every 2-3 hours diapers overflowing from peeing; mountains of white lumps instead of a chair; enlarged (according to the pediatrician) liver; new exacerbation of AD; the weight has risen.

At the same time (4.5 months) the first tooth came out. Against the background of this event, the whole body was sprinkled, except for the area under the diaper (Photo 7). Then I decided that there was no special hope for doctors in this matter and began to figure it out myself.

Photo 7 Cheeks

The beginnings are all a little bit; feed your daughter every 2 hours during the day, every 3 – at night; gave calcium for a week; defended bathing water.

And by 5 months the redness subsided. There was a small pink spot on the left cheek, white dry areas on the body, but compared to what it was at 4.5 months (when I was on a hypoallergenic diet!) – this is heaven and earth. And most importantly – the gazes have finally passed!

The situation did not change until 6 months . At exactly 6 months, they tried to introduce zucchini – the stomach was seething, gas and a rash again. We put off complementary foods for a couple of weeks. I poured on each new product for 3-7 days, but on the advice of our doctor, the products were not canceled, since there was no reaction from the abdomen (for more information about our experience of introducing complementary foods – here ).

Until 8 months, complementary foods were very slow. Vika ate only 30-40 grams of porridge and 40-50 grams of vegetables. At 8, she suddenly began to ask for more and in a week we reached full portions. They stopped sprinkling it, but the already existing dry spots on the arms, legs, back and cheek were periodically inflamed, and therefore could not get off (Photo 8).

Photo 8  Cheeks

Then I finally decided to get close to the skin. Our pediatrician did not pay any attention to her at all, because she believes that the main problem is in the intestines. But with the intestines, the situation seemed to be more or less resolved, but the dryness did not go away.

At that time, I adhered to the position that the skin should “breathe” and applied the emollient only after the bath. I decided to start skin treatment by maintaining proper humidity in the apartment (40-60%) and more frequent use of emollients.

In just a week, most of the dry spots were gone. The most “worn out” places remained (the same spot on the left cheek, left wrist, knees and feet). At the scheduled examination at 9 months , the entry “subremission; a plaque element on the left cheek in the healing phase, dry spots on the body. ” Finally we were given the go-ahead for vaccination.

After vaccination, it poured a little. At 9.5 months, acidophilic milk was injected and the rash disappeared (Photo 9). Perhaps this is just a coincidence, since then full-fledged skin care was established .

Photo 9 Left cheek

On examination at 10 months, for the first time in the Wikin’s card, the entry “clean skin” appeared.

Sometimes my cheeks turn red on fresh fruit or fish eaten by my mother, as well as on teeth, but after a couple of days everything disappears with normal care. By age, he eats everything.

From this whole story, I made the following conclusions:

1. AD is, first of all, a skin disease, and therefore choosing the right skin care is half the battle.

2. Mom’s diet is needed only when there really is a connection with a certain product, and this reaction manifests itself not only in a rash, which disappears with proper skin care. An unreasonable diet can do much more harm than red cheeks.

3. Do not trust doctors unconditionally, because they can also make mistakes, and in this case the mistake is the health of my child. Now I double-check any appointment (by studying the medical literature and consulting with a couple of other doctors), read the instructions and ask questions.

I know what it is like to feel constant hunger from a mindless diet, but at the same time see the flaming cheeks of a child every day. I know this feeling of helplessness when my mother is powerless before nature, before the difficulties of adapting a small organism. It was this feeling that inspired me to share our experience. Perhaps, after reading this article, a young mother will understand that the cause of red cheeks is not always an allergy, as post-Soviet doctors often say, who do not want (or do not have the opportunity) to develop and study the latest research.

You may be interested in the following entries:

Causes of atopic dermatitis in infants

Prevention of atopic dermatitis

How to introduce complementary foods for atopic dermatitis: mom’s experience

Newborn acne or allergies?

The diet of a nursing mother and its effect on milk