Dr. Katie Sherer is a 2011 graduate of Logan University where she earned her Doctor of Chiropractic, a Master of Clinical Nutrition, and a Master of Sports Science and Rehabilitation. Dr. Katie has practiced functional nutrition since 2011, focusing on the health of the gut, endocrine (hormone) system, and weight management.
Baby eczema is a common skin condition that affects infants. Baby eczema affects an estimated 15% to 20% of infants under age 2 here in the US.
Symptoms of baby eczema usually begin during the first six months and include dry skin, itchy skin, a bumpy rash, and skin discoloration. A combination of genetic and environmental factors causes baby eczema and we dive deeper into that today with Dr. Katie Sherer, Founders of the BioID Clinic and Sherer Chiropractic, located in Godfrey, IL.
- What causes baby eczema?
- Remedies for healing baby eczema
- How does a mom play a role in their child’s eczema?
- Treatments for baby eczema
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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Unknown Speaker 0:03
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for Life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hey, everyone, thank you so much for joining me this week on the episode I am so excited to be joined by a former sleep client who is also an amazing functional nutritionist. She’s got a whole arsenal of credentials and qualifications and one of my now dear friends who I love having on because she talks so much about the realities of what our body is doing, what our children’s bodies are doing, and how sometimes what we are doing can impact them directly. So I’m gonna allow Katie to introduce herself because she’s amazing. And then we’re going to talk all about baby eczema today as our topic of choice. So I do hope that you stay tuned to listen and learn all about what we have to share. So Katie, please take a minute Introduce yourself.
Unknown Speaker 0:59
Thanks, Courtney. Thanks so much for having me back. I love doing anything with you. It’s always fun. So today, eczema, that’s the big topic. So eczema, you know, you can have kind of a lot of different qualifications. You could be a dermatologist, you could be a pediatrician, all these things and it doesn’t matter what degrees you have. There are so many causes of eczema. So you know, for me personally, I’m a chiropractor. So a lot of people think, oh, doctor, we know about eczema. But I also do the nutrition side that master’s in nutrition. I have master’s in nutrition. I have another Master’s in sports rehab. I’ve done lots of postgraduate studies of different functional medicine type type approaches. I also own a hormone replacement clinic, bio ID clinic, and we do bioidentical hormone replacement. So I work with lots of different walks of people from infants to old and talk about total body health, and function and balance. And so eczema plays into all of that extremely perfectly.
Unknown Speaker 2:05
Yeah, it’s interesting. I have seen in my sleep consulting practice, and influx of new clients whose babies have eczema and I was like, I’ve got to talk to Katie about this definitely seems like there’s an upswing in this. And I want to know why. And I knew the one person that would be able to answer this properly and be able to educate our listeners is you so talk about, I guess, first what is eczema? So
Unknown Speaker 2:32
this is a very touchy topic, because I’m going to say some things that some parents may take, personally, um, some people may, it may trigger some people and that’s just kind of how it is. And you and I are kind of the same. I feel like spirit animal. So it’s okay to say things that offend some people because we’re trying to educate. And so if you are triggered by this, I do apologize in advance, but please try to take what I am saying. And realize, number one, it’s not your faults, and there are things that you can do to try to improve the situation. Okay, so I want to say that first. So Eczema is a quick DERM dermatitis is just something that we call, you know, it’s a skin rash. It is a flaking of the skin, and it comes from an inflammatory process, which I believe always comes from the gut. So when you look at eczema versus psoriasis, eczema is not necessarily considered auto immune, where psoriasis is considered autoimmune. However, I personally consider eczema and immune response as well. Some doctors will not but I personally believe that it is absolutely 100% from within. So looking at the areas of the body where eczema occurs, psoriasis always run the extensor side, on the elbows, the knees, the front of the knees, whereas eczema will appear on the flexor side. So the belly, the arms, the back of the legs, okay, so that’s right. So that’s the delineation of eczema versus psoriasis. And a medical term psoriasis is also more of a skin cell reproduction process compared to Eczema is more of an inflammatory process. I do believe psoriasis, still inflammatory. However, eczema seems to be what they classify as more of the inflammatory process. So why does this happen? You know, a baby is born in in this environment of perfection right there. They’re brand new, they’ve had nothing touched them, so they should be perfect. But in reality, they have had so many things to touch them by now. So they are nine months developed in the womb, okay, so and I freaked out about this when I had a kid so I have a history of horrific gut health and have worked very, very, very hard over the last decade plus, to try to make my microbiome is healthy so I could before I had my kid, I had my kid everything went wrong. He ended up being a C section baby where I was going to do I did toy six hours of no medication, no, no antibiotics, no epidural nothing. And then he got stuck C section. I ended up with all the meds, all the antibiotics during delivery, and then he came out, okay, so I give him probiotics from the beginning, I breastfeed I eat healthy. I take probiotics, and then all of a sudden, I remember one day, he was like three or four months, he got a little spot of eggs on his elbow, and I was like, Oh, hell no. Like, I have done everything right. Why is this happening? So it could be a first of all, my gut is not perfect. Nobody’s is okay. So I’ve lost my microbiome on to my child. So there’s issue number one. Number two, he received medications during delivery, that then you know, possibly affected his microbiome. And a lot of what I’m saying is theory and and some theory other doctors agree with me on there are other theories I don’t agree with but this is my theory. And in my, you know, a couple or a decade plus of work, this is what I have found, okay. So if I have a baby who comes out and they’re old, and they already have severe eczema, there’s either a, a problem with the microbiome, originally beginning with the mother, that was passed on. Genetics do play a role. If you had eczema, if you had brothers, you may have eczema as well. Well, there’s no identified gene for eczema. But the problem is if you have this genetic predisposition, and then you have this misaligned, gut bacteria or an imbalance that can trigger these genes to turn on, and this goes for any disease, any autoimmune disease, any cancers, you know. So it’s these genes that get turned on, you have a genetic issue. So you know how this is. So environmental factors play into that and turn these genes on and cause problems. So a one month old baby that has an eczema or two month old baby, it’s either the gut or it’s something being put into the system.
Unknown Speaker 7:05
And I think this is an interesting point you’re making because I had my own issues with my daughter, the Bella who was born emergency C section, she was breached, they went into break my water at 10 days. And they were like, This baby’s flipped like, are you guys kidding me with this? Right. And they tried to do a version she flipped right back there. Like you’re doing a C section right now. And you know, I had strep B. So I was on the antibiotics for that for delivery. And what people don’t understand is like your gut biome is passing through the vaginal canal. Right? And before you knew anything about me when I was explaining some of the bellows behaviors, your life what she sees section, was she breastfed, did you have strep B? And it was immediately like, you know, yes, yes, yes. You know, yes, yes. Yes. And, and, you know, and it was interesting, because you had me do some things that almost immediately fixed her situation, right, without getting into the details of everything right now. But like, it was an eczema, it was more behavior based, and it was off of an imbalance in the biome. So it is fascinating, because you can start to like you knew immediately what questions to ask, and then could immediately attribute it. So you know, I just want people to take it kind of an open mind to your point about this, because as I go through my own health journey with my stomach cancer and losing my stomach, and having a whole new biome I got to deal with with my esophagus basically attaching to my intestines, right? Life’s different. And it wasn’t until I really understood what you put in your body, or what you were dealt as the cards during your pregnancy truly play an impact on your body’s response to something. And it’s been a very fascinating journey for me. So I just wanted to pause and note that because I again, I do think people are going to be listening to this and be like, alright, what, you know, which brew are you guys making now? And it’s interesting how, yeah, nice some of this stuff back.
Unknown Speaker 8:58
It’s, it is absolutely, to me fascinating. And I tried to never take it personally. Because, you know, I was given my microbiome by my parents. And I was I was an antibiotic kid, and I grew up in the age of fat, everything high sugar, so all the stuff that you know, these milestones of nutrition as you grow, you know, lead to your adult microbiome. And unfortunately, I never going to be able to reverse all of of what was damaged, but I can definitely control my symptoms and improve my microbiome and my overall health by making changes now, and that’s the same thing for your kid. You know, if you’re, if you have a four year old that had eczema as a child, and it’s better, but you really didn’t do anything to work on their gut health and maybe now they’re having some other symptoms that may be associated with gut health, like chronic ear sinus infections, UTIs Bedwetting, behavioral disorders, you know, all these things. You still focusing on the gut at any point in life is important. It doesn’t matter where you are, you know, now my 91 year old grandma passed away a couple weeks ago. And she was in the hospital dying 100% mentally with it and I brought it as big as piece of cake. And I said, please eat this, you know, at that point that health doesn’t matter. But at this, you know any other stage of the game, focusing on your gut health is going to improve everything else. And Courtney, I had mentioned this before we were talking to you and sent me a patient a couple of weeks ago, we talked and she had severe, and we think we pinpointed it to her formula.
Unknown Speaker 10:28
And she worked out at this age, like, almost 11 months. Yeah, go back in my mind, if so many clients, but yeah, so she’s about 11 months old. And when parents came to me, it was like, Hey, she has severe eczema. You know, she’s taken antibiotics. She’s on steroids. There’s all this stuff going on. And we’re in this cycle of like, we give her a steroid, it clears it up. Then she itches. Again, it gets inflamed, gets infected, she takes an antibiotic that strips her gut health. Now she’s on another steroid to clean, you know, and they’re in this like cycle of steroid antibiotic, steroid antibiotic, and then you still have a baby who’s pissed and uncomfortable. Nobody wants to be itching and scratching. It’s like, for me, it would be like permanent poison ivy, which is like the worst punishment ever. But I don’t get eczema. So I get poison ivy terribly. And it’s the same response to something, right, an allergic reaction. But it’s like, it’s itching so bad. I’m like, I couldn’t imagine being a nine month old, constantly wanting to like, rub my face on the crib sheet or scratch to the point where you’re bleeding. Like that’s not comfortable, right?
Unknown Speaker 11:25
Yeah. And think about what you just said. Okay. So antibiotics and steroids. What are we doing here? What are we doing when we give these number one steroid? Let’s start with that. We are reducing the immune response. Right? So I just said earlier, they don’t consider eczema autoimmune. But why does the steroid work, okay, we’re reducing the immune response with the steroid we’re suppressing the immune system so that we don’t have this reaction, then then the antibiotic, the infection, we’re suppressing the immune response, right? Because some of the immune response is good bacteria too. So we have to have that good bacteria that signal some of these things that have been in our in our gut 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. So if you have something coming through your skin, acne, or eczema, psoriasis, rashes, yeast, this is your body’s way of detoxing the liver, they consider in in Eastern medicine, the livers the first form of detoxification, and the skin is the second, I don’t care what age the patient is, if they come in here with a skin issue, we there, they have to figure out what they’re putting in their mouth that is bothering them, we can both work on fixing the dysfunction that is in that gut that will then help control these symptoms. Another extremely sensitive topic is vaccinations. I see that more patients who have a vaccinated child have more skin issues. I have lots of unvaccinated patients in my practice, just this area, this is what they do. They seem to have less. And it’s not necessarily that the parents that are choosing the vaccines, they don’t think the vaccines don’t work, they just sometimes are afraid of some of these chemicals because they’ve seen Hey, my older child had this response. And so like I said, is a very touchy subject. But I do see that children who are vaccinated have more skin issues. And unfortunately, we have not created that vaccines yet there are pure, they have to contain some other things. And then some of them have preservatives. Some of them have metals, that’s called an adjuvant where the we attach the antigen to So unfortunately, that’s how vaccines will work. And they save lives every day that they can cause side effects just like medications DynaTAC you know, that can super help your kids and you know, sinus and stuffy nose. And I will never say that I’m not going to use it at some point. But it also has dyes and sugars. So what is that? Do you know there’s there’s no perfect thing right now formula, my gosh,
Unknown Speaker 14:10
I want to tie it back to the little 11 month old because we yeah, we did it you think to the formula that they taking as causing the inflammation, right. So talk about that a little bit more because there’s so many families that first Avella she had an issue with my breast milk and I could still to this day, never pinpoint what it was. I’m a lactation counselor. I was a pumping machine. I nursed every three hours I raised my white flag like I’m going to be some martyr and then six months, my husband’s like you’re gonna kill yourself and you got to just chill out like, this isn’t healthy and she’s screaming every time she eats something’s wrong, you know? And it was it was like he’s like, let’s just it actually wasn’t six months. It was probably about six weeks with the Vela. And he’s like, let’s try just 24 hours of formula and see how she responds. It was Can you baby, which is heart wrenching to me? Because I’m like, no, no. And so, you know, even like, I went and seek professional help, like, you know, and I was trying to figure out like something I’m consuming. She’s not agreeing with from my body and she did better on formula, you know. So it’s like, there’s not team Formula team breast milk, it’s like to what is your baby going to respond to? And why and this particular little girl was on formulas are talking about like, what in a formula in this case, right? Is something that could be like inflammatory like how do you start to even pinpoint that it’s the formula actually causing it?
Unknown Speaker 15:34
Yeah, it’s interesting, too. And I will also say this, that I will have maybe 10 patients that all maybe have the same sensitivity, and it will show up in different way one has a skin issue one has a belly issue one has, I don’t know, alopecia, I don’t know what it is. But the different immune responses can happen differently in each person. Okay, so that’s important to remember. But this particular child, I think, when we really sat down and I talked with the parent talked about, like, when did this start what happened tell me going on, they told me about her being colicky and how they’d switch these formulas. And that’s how we figured it out. But even like you mentioned earlier, we were talking about before the show start a new trim engine, that’s supposed to be the hypoallergenic formula. And if you’ve read the ingredients, I just pulled those up the very first ingredient horns, salads, 47% of the formulas, corn syrup, solids, the second one is vegetable oil. So those are really awful ingredients to feed a child. And unfortunately, that’s in a lot of the formula. And some moms have no choice you and it’s it’s heartbreaking, especially for the ones who want to nurse that cat to then feed their baby, something that they know is not natural. And so some babies do better with corn syrup, some babies do better with brown rice syrup, there’s another formula on the Earth’s Best that has a Brian brown rice syrup solid as the first ingredient. So that’s one that I would recommend. Instead, there’s Alimentum, those have different ingredients as well. So everyone has a slightly different ingredients. So you kind of just have to work it out. What is going on here? What is my child responding to, and it will take two weeks to notice a big change with skin you have to remember that too. It’s not two days. Some people notice a difference in a couple days. But it will take almost two weeks before you should notice a significant change. Now the other thing that I would recommend doing, especially if you are formula feeding is adding probiotics. My favorite probiotic for infants is invivo II V i V O we saw it here in the office, they haven’t on Amazon, you buy directly from the site. It is an infant specific gut bacteria. It’s Bifidobacterium infantis. And I have seen in extreme improvement in 99% of mice that use that frolic and skin and whatever, because babies remember, babies guts are not perfect. They’re immature. So when you’re born, you do not have all this good bacteria, you have a little bit, but they put the rocket in their mouth, they put the piece of mulch in their mouth, they get the toy. And that’s how you develop the microbiome, but then put it on their mouth off the floor. That’s where you’re getting your good bacteria. And if you develop the microbiome perfectly and try to stay away from the antibiotics try to stay away from the steroids and the sugar sugar is such a gut disruptor that is how you improve the microbiome in an infant. Okay, so if you have an infant who has to have formula, trying to look for the most natural and expensive formula is going to probably be your best bet.
Unknown Speaker 18:36
Yeah. Now what about breastfed babies who have eczema? Right? That’s an interesting one too, because it’s like what? In the mom’s milk? And what percentage is then transferring into the baby that’s disrupting their gut? Right?
Unknown Speaker 18:52
Yeah, um, you know, I do have a baby in my practice with severe eczema. He is non vaccinated. Breastfed vaginal delivery, no antibiotic for the mother. Okay. But then I talked to the mom and the mom has a lot of problems with anxiety, depression and tests and histories of gut issues, and has a history of antibiotic use herself as a child, she’s my age and was pumped full of them. And so that’s where it comes into that whole mom guilt thing, of I believe that child’s problem is probably systemic from the development in utero. And getting that that bacteria from day one of development that you know, that first cell, you’re getting that microbiome in the bed in in through the, you know, through the umbilical cord event as well, you’re getting you know, we have microbiome there as well. So it’s super interesting. So, for this child, specifically, what we did is we did some kid cleansing, we got rid of yeast, we did some improvement in diet got rid of all dyes and sugars, which just sounds very daunting, but it’s totally doable and you know that you’ve done that with your Kids and so you know, start them right? If they’re an infant, don’t give them goldfish. Don’t give them wheat fence. Don’t give them crackers. Give them if you’re gonna give them a cracker, give them a gluten free cracker. And it’s not that it’s gluten free, but it’s that it has a lot of the other stuff out of it, because it’s cleaner. You know, it’s the cleaner ingredients, most gluten free products are not all. Don’t give them sugar from the beginning. Don’t Don’t give them sweet and stuff. It’s not, it’s not going to help them. And you’re going to notice less problems with autoimmune stuff. I promise you, if you if you start that right from the beginning,
Unknown Speaker 20:31
yeah, for sure. My my kids eat because I can’t eat meat. I’m not have a gluten allergy. But because I don’t have my stomach. I can’t digest. Rice’s and pastas get stuck, you know, and sugars are terrible for me, like I got a whole different issue as an adult, but I’m one of like, 2000 that don’t have their stomach. So you know, but in seeing the response to my kids, like sugar fuels, the bad bacteria in the gut, right? I call them like toddler tornados when they have it. And it’s interesting because I kind of switched as a family just because that’s what I eat to a brand called simply Mills, which I love. Because everything on their recipes is almond flour based, right? They use coconut sugar, there’s no like refined white sugars or anything. And it’s like, almost like five ingredients, seven ingredients in their stuff. Right? So it’s like, if I’m gonna feed them something, I want to see that the ingredient is, you know, salt, pepper, cheese, almonds, right? Like, and the crackers, like Wheat Thins right that way. And it’s nothing against wheat. And it’s just, you know, when you start reading, and you’re like, I can’t produce half these chemicals, I don’t even know what the heck, I’m putting in my body, you know, in my body. That’s a red flag, right? Like, so if you’re looking to try to make some small changes in your kids even right, as toddlers and such, like, simply Mills is an awesome brand. Just very quickly, but you know, looking at adding the probiotic, right, you had me do some stuff that kind of attached to Savelle has gotten and clean it out. You know, it was like seaweed extract, you know, like, there’s a lot of different things that you can do. And so, you know, I guess first and foremost is figure out and I start to pinpoint what some of the symptoms are right? If you’re a parent, and you’re listening to this, and you’re going, Oh, my toddler does this or that behavior has been out of control, or they’re sleeping rough, or you know, they have chronic diarrhea like something’s off, right, as the baby, if they’ve got eczema, they’re just ripping it apart. And you’re like, I’m in this vicious cycle of crap, you know, how do I fix it? Right, like start with just assessment, and then start with then connecting with you. Because I just think it’s so important that parents understand they don’t have to be stuck in this vicious cycle of like, medication, medication, medication, medication, because you’re just to your point, suppressing the issue, not fixing the root cause of it. Right. You know, so I really happens with
Unknown Speaker 22:54
ear infections. Yeah. You know, and, and there are some children who genetically have a smaller Eustachian tube or a curved Eustachian tube doesn’t drain. But I would say I think more than 75% of my patients that come in here, I see tons of ear infection babies. And there are some dietary changes we make and it’s like, night and day, you know, we do a couple of adjustments, we do some dietary changes, we clean up the gut, they’re gone.
Unknown Speaker 23:22
So important, I just wanted people to understand like, your perspectives on eczema, like some things that they could do, right so first would be assess what their intake is. And if you’re you know, if you’re nursing look at your own diet to see if there are some things in there that could be you know, causes if you’re on formula look at you know, the ingredient list to see hey, is there something there to your point as you shared right you know, I know what the client that that I referred to the practice year because they’re getting close to their first birthday suggesting the milk ripple right so why don’t like why that milk?
Unknown Speaker 23:55
Yeah, ripple milk has the highest level of DHA and EPA, which are fatty acids, which are extremely important for infant brain development. It is in breast milk, it’s it’s they add it to formula as well. Cow’s milk does have levels of DHA specifically, but I am a big cow’s milk advocate, because I see it caused so many problems. And it’s not because it’s cow’s milk, it’s because of the way we process it, unfortunately, to make it safe for consumption. I’m not an advocate either going out and getting milk right out of the cage because there’s some problems can happen with that. So I prefer I never put my son on cow’s milk. However, he was always above on the growth charts. He was a good eater. He was breastfed until he was over two. So there were reasons why I chose to not do that. So if you have a child who’s underweight, unfortunately sometimes that is one of the only only options is is cow’s milk for calorie and fat and like I said the DHA but ripple milk is a Hey, it’s me pee ease. And they have an unsweetened version of ripple milk that you can use now the child may not some kids do. They’ll drink it right now the sippy cup. But what I recommend doing if you do those those either try Oh can get the ripple milk and make smoothies. By cutting out a little bit, you weren’t my guess. Okay. Okay, yeah, so the ripple milk with the smoothie, you know, you put it in there with some bananas, strawberries, probably gonna drink it. So you can get the calories in that way. And that was a way I got a lot of calories in my child, the first year, you know, for one is just for fun, they hit one, and they need to eat these calories. And I have a picky kid. But he loves smoothies. So I mean, I’m probiotics and chia seeds and putting everything in this smoothie. And then they get their little cup of there’s strong, they’re happy. So you could put the ripple milk in there. They also have those refillable pouches, don’t buy already made pouches? Are they convenient? Yes, you don’t know what’s in there, make your own, you can get these. They’re way cheaper. Two pouches on Amazon, I’ll smash up and then some unsweetened almond milk and peanut butter, unsweetened peanut butter, and some good stuff and throw in a pouch. And he loves them. And they have them on Amazon reusable. So there are so many ideas. And sometimes I feel like parents just need to come to me for ideas. It’s like, what do I give them for this? You know, just just kind of shoot, shoot some ideas back and forth. And that is very helpful a lot of times, well, and I
Unknown Speaker 26:37
want you to do that now. So why don’t you take a minute tell people how they can find you. I’ll obviously have the links below in the notes section. But I want to be certainly respectful of your time. So let me know how can people find you? Obviously?
Unknown Speaker 26:50
Yes, so um, I’m located in Illinois, and obviously most of you probably that are watching or not. So I do tons of virtual consults. Most of the time, we just do phone calls. If you want a new video we can. But that’s you know, the probably the best way is virtual. So you can call my office at 618-468-1188. Courtney, I’ll put this stuff down below and my front desk will be happy to set you up with her console.
Unknown Speaker 27:16
Awesome. Well, I appreciate it again, Dr. Katie shear, shear chiropractic. She is the founder of the bio ID clinic as well. And so I’ll put all of her amazing credentials down below. I always think Dr. Katie for coming on because she just is such a wealth of knowledge and information. Totally opening my eyes to so much and so I appreciate your time today. Thank you for joining me and I appreciate your knowledge and advice. And if anybody is struggling with anything from a newborn and infant, a toddler, an adult, reached out to Dr. Katie because she’s good with all ages, and we’ll be happy to help you.
Unknown Speaker 27:49
Unknown Speaker 27:51
Yay. Hey, hold on. One more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show, I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber made simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research, to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.