Thank you Dr. Brazelton!

A woman in my mother’s club once told me that she did not believe her baby’s eczema could be caused by detergent exposure, because she herself had eczema and the condition was obviously genetic. In my experience, this genetic connection is a big indicator that the eczema is probably caused by detergents.

Detergent-reactive eczema seems highly correlated with atopy. That is, if one or more parents has a history of allergy, eczema, and/or asthma, the chance that baby’s eczema is caused by detergents is very high.

Although is the only place to currently find this solution, I am not the first person to observe that detergents underly most eczema in infants with atopy.

As I mention on the solveeczema web site, noted pediatrician author Dr. T. Berry Brazelton points out in his book Touchpoints that he could PREVENT VIRTUALLY ALL INFANTILE ECZEMA if he identified parents with an allergic history and had parents take certain steps, primary among them using only soaps rather than detergents to wash baby’s skin, clothing, and hair.

I have called Dr. Brazelton to thank him for this insight which led to the solution to our son’s eczema and now for so many other people who have used the site. He told me he found no research on this issue in his day, he realized the connection from years of clinical practice.

My hat goes off to Dr. Brazelton. Given the meticulous round-the-clock observations my husband and I had to make to solve this problem — even with the head start of the advice in Touchpoints — I have no idea how anyone could figure this out from the vantage point of an office or clinic. More than that, I have seen how difficult it can be to convince anyone — most especially anyone with a history of allergy — to switch personal care products. Part of Dr. Brazelton’s genius was his ability to convince so many families in his practice to make these kinds of personal product changes.

Today, detergents are far more ubiquitous than in Dr. Brazelton’s day. In my experience, nowadays changing products only for the baby’s laundry, skin, and hair is only partly effective, or maybe not effective at all. Everyone in the household has to switch to non-detergent products. Fortunately, given the connection with atopy, this often alleviates allergies, asthma, and skin problems in one or more of the adults in the household, too.

Thank you Dr. Brazelton!