Friday, November 6, 2009

Rashes, Hives, and ear infections

Just when you think you know everything about a topic, you learn something new about it. Ear infections, for example. I thought I knew pretty much all there is to know about them. I've seen an incredible amount of ear infections in infants while working at nursery school. I actually alerted the parents when their child had an ear infection, that they should go to the doctor to have their ears looked at. Ear infections are just something that I can spot a mile away.

I took Jonah to the doctor last week because he had woken up covered in hives. But I was also 90% sure that we would also find out that he had an infection in his left ear. I had been planning on calling the doctor this day anyway because of the ears, as well as the return of the nastiest diaper rash ever (that just won't leave us alone!) but the hives kind of sealed the deal. The reason I suspected an ear infection was because he was very grumpy, refused to eat, and he's teething. He's had fevers off and on, and the biggest sign was that his left ear has been utterly disgusting. It's been a real chore to clean out his left ear. Without going into great detail, it suffices to say that it was gross.

We got to the doctor and found the same news about the "diaper" rash. It's a staph infection. I'm at my wits end over this infection. It first showed up when we went on vacation and used Luvs disposable diapers. The doctor said that it's common, because babies will get a raw rash from the perfumes in the diapers, and bacteria will get into the rash from sweat etc, and a staph infection incurrs. Unfortunately, once we unknowingly put his bacterial infected behind back into his cloth diapers, the bacteria decided to hang out there. I've used everything under the sun to try to disinfect them. My last option is a cleaning chemical called BacOut.

I've heard it's just the thing for this type of heavy duty sterilizing. Jonah doesn't use diapers very much anymore, but he does when I am working and Grandma is watching him. It only takes a few minutes of contact with one contaminated diaper to get the infection again. I'm really getting frustrated with it, and just want to put my baby back in his cloth diapers again! I feel like we are throwing our money away with every pack of disposables we buy.

Now the hives are another story. I suggested, for the third time, that maybe he is allergic to dairy. For the third time, the doctor disagreed. She began to examine him, and I mentioned to her about the ear and maybe it is infected. Remember, I had just cleaned Jonah's ears. She still needed a special tool to clear them enough that she could see inside. I was disgusted! I am a clean freak about things like ears and noses and belly buttons. I can't stand any kind of body gook. And here was my baby, having mounds of earwax extracted from his ears. She finally was able to get a good look and saw that indeed it was infected.

I wasn't surprised. I was expecting this. What I wasn't expecting was for her to say "and there's the cause of the hives!" What? What's the cause again, I missed it.

The ear infection! Yes, really. This is the new thing that I learned about ear infections: hives are a symptom of an ear infection. Who knew! Apparantly when the body tries to ward off infection of any kind, hives show up because it is a side effect of the immune system going into overdrive.

So Jonah and I were big spenders at the pharmacy this week. An antibiotic ointment for the staph infection, hydrocortizone cream and benadryl for the hives, more aquafor for the eczema on his face (which she confirmed once again is in fact eczema) and amoxicillin for the ear infection. It seems like sooo many medications, but Jonah is in a much better mood now that they have begun to take effect! If the hives and other rashes are not gone by our appointment next week, then he will be tested for food allergies.


  1. Thanks for this. My 9 month old daughter was screaming and itching all night long. Thought it was her eczema acting up until I went to unclothed her this bumps were everywhere on her legs, arms, and chest. Urgent care diagnosed her with an ear infection and said it's highly likely the hives are related. I've been googling all day to see if anyone else had gone through this.

    I see this was awhile for you so there will probably be no response, but just wanted to share my struggle.

  2. I was so happy to come across your blog! My daughter has had an ear infection for over 2 weeks now and hives! She has been on 2 rounds of meds and allergy testing for the hives which showed nothing. I keep saying I think she still has an ear infection! We will see tomorrow at our recheck but your blog has made me not feel so crazy :)

  3. Great post. Helped a lot. Thx