Tuesday, June 1, 2010

So who is right?

A few weeks ago we took Dancer in to the doctor because her eczema has been getting way worse over the last year and half.  She has had it since birth but has gotten much worse over the years.  The doctor confirmed that it was eczema, which we find is worse when she has foods with yellow food coloring or that are colored orange.  She breaks out usually in less than a half an hour.  She also said that not only could it be food coloring but also food preservatives since she always has some breakout no matter how careful we are.  She prescribed a cream and Zyrtec twice a day since it was so bad and referred us to an allergist for testing.

Today we go to the allergist, whom I have seen for asthma and have been very happy with, and he gives us a much different diagnosis.  He tell us it is not eczema but irritant dermatitis caused by her scratching.  It will eventually turn to her having hives and thyroid problems, probably by the time she is 19 years old.  It is chronic and she would be better off if she did have eczema.  I asked why then do we notice a correlation between her eating food coloring and more sever breakouts?  Or if she does breakout when we aren't expecting her to we can go back through what we have eaten and find a hidden color in food we would think shouldn't have coloring in it?   He totally dismissed it and said no it is not food coloring but if we want to spend $400 he will test her for any food I think she is allergic too.  There is no test for food colorings, which he is sure she isn't allergic to, and so she can eat anything she wants.  I also told him that she doesn't react to anything environmental like soaps, detergents, lotions, etc. so what would be the irritant in the "irritant" dermatitis.  There is no irritant in it, she is scratching and she has sensitive skin.  He also told her not to get her ears pierced again, she has them done twice, because they will get infected.  What?  What does that have to do with what we are in for?  Sounds more like an editorial to me.  He tells her to take Zyrtec only once a day, unless we are really rich and can afford it twice, to help with the dermatitis.  So we leave and I think, great, the other doctor misdiagnosed her. 

Out in the car, when I have a few moments to process what he said, I think, well, some of that makes sense and some of it doesn't.  She did break her arm a few years back and when they took the cast off we were surprised that she had no eczema on that arm.  She also has none on her body, just arms, legs and face.

As a test, on the way home we stop and buy a bag of Doritos.  Doritos have both yellow #6 and #5 and red #40.  We get home, she eats a few and breaks out.  Tomorrow I am going to go buy her a can of Cheddar Pringles, they only had one yellow, we thought yellow #6, and see what happens. 

So now we have to decide, who is right?  Or are they both wrong?  We have a follow up appointment with the first doctor, but with a $1,500 deductible on our insurance per person we really can't keep going to appointments with them guessing at what the diagnosis is.  I feel like we are on the show Mystery Diagnosis. 


Stacy said...

I hate leaving an 'experts' office with a feeling of knowing LESS than when I walked in :(

If he disregarded everything you've identified, I'd be unwilling to believe in him...but the examples for sample dermatitis sound like a match... Tough call :(

I will admit that I'm probably a little anti-dermatologist biased, so take my words with a grain of salt. I once had a ped derm tell me that my daughter had herpes. She was 2. She does not now, nor has she ever had, herpes. He refused to even look for a secondary cause. Turns out it was diabetes. *rolls eyes*

Good luck - I hope she is feeling better and you can find an answer soon!


Just an Average American Mom said...

It will get better.

My oldest has eczema and has since birth also.

We use a cream called Dermacort which is a Melaluca product and it works wonderfully.

Hope things work out.

kariwhite said...

Do you know what they call the person who finishes last in his/her class at medical school? Doctor.

Just because someone completed a course of study and passed exams does not mean that person knows all.

Trust your instincts.

jugglingpaynes said...

It's often best to become your own expert. I would keep a food diary for few weeks that lists when exactly the breakouts are happening and I would research anything I suspected online and at the library. It is ridiculous to say that it's not the food additives. Usually it's the food additives! The added chemicals, soy, corn, and the coloring.

Tell your daughter it's a science experiment. She can be a science detective. :o)

Peace and Laughter,