Thank you so much for responding! I really appreciate it. Since the last time I shared, we had been "thrown to the wolves" by our dermatologist leaving his office with yet again another prescriiption of VANOS 0.1% Cream & a prescriiption for Allegra. I didn't even bother having them filled. His hands were on the verge of another painful breakout with school about to start. I found a Dr. from CHOC Hospital whose is an Internist, Pediatrician & specializes in Allergy & Immunology. We both felt really good about this one, cut to the chase, etc... After reading my son's health history paperwork, he introduced himself to both of us & confirmed that I had made the correct diagnosis regarding his condition. (No S**T Sherlock) Anyway, again, we were faced with a Dr. who was looking to treat the symptoms & not the cause. He admittedly said that my son's case was the worst he has ever seen! (very comforting) Here's the kicker... he prescribes Protopic! Now I don't know much about anyone else's feelings about the drug, but for so early in the game with this (3 months to be exact) this path felt uncomfortable and "last resort". In fact, on the prescriiption he had to "hand write" for the pharmacist.... "all other avenues exhausted". Exhausted?? This was the first time we had seen him, and already a "last ditch" effort prescriiption? My son's only 16. It's way too early in the game to be calling the final score.
He lost all hope, he sobbed not only in the office, but all the way home. Feeling as though I was his only hope, it was all I could do to keep from falling apart. So after many long days & nights on the internet doing research, here's what's working for my son....
1. Didn't make any laundry detergent changes. I'm a Tide fan so I thought it best not to change that factor.
2. We have been religious Sensitive Skin Dove user's for close to 20 years now, I found the list of ingredients not as minimal as I was looking for. I decided to take a leap of faith on two products my Mustela. I purchased the Baby Shampoo and the Hair and Body Wash. He has been faithful about using these 2 products for his personal hygene.
3. For hand moisturizer, I purchased the Premium Triple Cream for severe dry skin/eczema care. He immediately fell in love with this product. It feels good, not too thick, and he responds to it!
4. Now I had given him STRICT instructions to use ONLY these 3 products for his personal hyigene. He was religious with these products until one day.... his feet were getting better, but his hands had taken a turn again for the worse. I drilled him, asking what had he used. School had started what had he touched, used, anything, any variable I could nail him to the cross on. 3 days later his hands were still getting worse, feet better... made to sense. Then, as I was standing in his room asking him questions, over on his shelf was the answer. HIS COLOGNE! Since school had resumed, he was back to using his colonge, Aramis! Sure enough as I confiscated the bottle, his hands began improving! I had to stress to him once again not to rule any variable out no matter how insignificant it may seem to him.
5. I had read on-line that bedding or "mites" rather can be a factor, so I have committed myself to washing his sheets ever 3 days. This may or may not be helping, but I just wanted to narrow factors as much as possible, in plans of gradually re-introducing them one by one later.
6. Every evening before bed, he does do a quick hand and foot Epson Salt soak in lukewarm water. We have found this soak to be peticulaly important for his feet.. When they hadn't been soaked & he applied his nightly ointment, they would get worse. But, if he did a quick soak to get the days "yuk" off of them BEFORE his nightly ointment, his feet responded favorably.
7. After his Epson Salt, he loves A&D Ointment... puts it on his hands and feet, and wears 100% cotton gloves and socks to bed. Has also responded very favorably to this routine.
8. I also read that Ice-tea might be a culprit, and he had been drinking a darn awful lot of it. Told him to put that on hold right now, and we can reintroduce that later.
9. Something else I found out that makes him take a turn for the worse, and I'm not at all proud to mention, about once a week when he's out with his buddies he'll smoke! Found this out the hard way, but this is DEFINATELY a trigger. Especially since he smokes so infrequently, immediately turns for the worse AND the area on his hands which are always the worst in the initial stages of the breakout are between the 2 fingers which he holds the cigarette. If this is a way to get him to knock this smoking off.... it's definately working!
Long story short, we do have a plan which is working for now. I know it is my responsibility as a parent to provide these drs with accurate and relevant information. In doing so and presenting a very through and accurate time-line of events, I'm wholehearted disappointed in their eagerness to treat the symptoms, rather than focus on triggers.