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5 month old with milk allergy and eczema. Itchy flaky scalp with hair loss. Slow weight gain

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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My 5 month old baby has increasingly been losing hair in last month. She was born with very thick hair, have shaved it four time and grew back really thick and lovely however she has been diagnosed with a mIlk allergy and since then gone down hill with increased excema. Her scalp is very patchy red flakey and itchy. Could this be another problem? E.g low iron . Weight increase is very slow only put three pounds on since birth! Please help
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Radhika 5 hours later
Thanks for the query.

Your baby has been losing hair on her scalp from the past month. Her Eczema which was caused by milk allergy can cause itchy skin all over the body including her scalp. It can also be caused due to other skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis (better known as "cradle cap").Cradle caps too can be caused due to milk allergy.

If you are breast feeding your child then you need to restrict your intake of cow's milk and instead take soya or goat milk, this will decrease her allergy instantly. Also if she is taking formula feeds and she developed this after taking formula feeds then you will need to switch to more hypo allergic one like Alimentum or Nutramigen.

There is also the possibility eczema could be caused due to iron deficiency. Along with these low levels of trace minerals like Vitamin A, B6, C, D and Vitamin E can also cause this, she can be prescribed a multivitamin with iron to combat this.

You could follow few remedies like:
1. Avoid giving your child frequent hot baths, which tend to dry the skin.
2. Avoid using scented soaps, only mild ones.
3. Avoid excessive scrubbing and towelling after bathing your child. Instead, gently XXXXXXX your child's skin dry.
4. Avoid dressing your child in harsh or irritating clothing, such as wool or coarsely woven materials. Use cotton.
5. Apply cool compresses on the irritated areas of skin to ease itching.
6. Keep your child's fingernails short to minimize any skin damage caused by scratching.
7. Help your child avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.Give her sufficient water to drink.

If eczema is due to cradle cap, massage a vegetable oil into the scales. Let the oil soak for 15 minutes, then remove them with a soft baby hairbrush. You can also ask your doctor to recommend fish oil capsules. Do not add more than 500mg a day to your babies' formula per day. After the rash has been cleared you can stop using it and use a omega-3-enriched formula. If there's a recurrence, just resume the fish oil. Continue with the medication given by your doctor, it is right.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.
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