Fiala’s patch testing results (and her NOT MRSA staph infection)

Well, we got back from the allergist’s office…

First, we saw the physician assistant today (and the nurse), not our normal doctor.  The PA looked at the back of Fiala’s legs and agreed that 8 doses of Omincef should have produced a better result that what is currently happening on her skin.  So, he prescribed another antibiotic — Augmentin — which means ten more days of antibiotic.  The good news is that, though he said there is some “resistance” going on, it’s not MRSA, which had been a fear of mine.  He said MRSA is hot, swollen, red, “angry looking,” and feels like a golfball under the skin — one that oozes pus.  Whew!  The backs of her legs do look bad, but it’s not MRSA.  He said, “It doesn’t even look MRSA-ish.”

“Funny” thing is that he said her eczema was severe, and right now, it is SO SO SO much better than it was at her worst.  I’m not sure what to think about that.

Secondly, Fiala’s worst reaction to the disk/patch test — the one that I thought was zucchini — is actually garlic.  It was a “++” — strong positive reaction.  She did test positive to zucchini, but only a “+” — weak positive reaction.

She also has 12 irritants.  It’s my understanding (from two friends who have gone through this before) that, depending on the doctor, some of them want you to completely abstain from irritant foods, and some say to limit them.  I also understand that it’s very possible that many of the irritant foods won’t cause a bad reaction once the real culprits are removed from the diet.  In other words, the real culprits are what is causing her immune system to go on overload, and once we get her immune system calmed down, it likely won’t react as negatively to other things.  I will ask the doc about that on Monday.

Fiala’s irritants are:

  • milk
  • soy
  • egg
  • potato
  • sorghum
  • onion
  • mushroom
  • carrot
  • brown rice
  • pear
  • apple
  • coconut

In a way, I feel a little gratified that so many of the things I had identified on my own are on the list — milk, soy, potato — and I had half-suspected apple and pear — because they seemed to immediately irritate her skin.  I had a little-less-than-half suspected carrot and sorghum, both because she never seemed to digest them well.  But, onion, mushroom, coconut, garlic, zucchini?  I had no idea.  (ETA:  Doh!  I forgot a couple of months ago when I tried coconut oil as a moisturizer, and that made her skin worse, and I theorized that maybe she had a problem with coconut.  I forgot about that until today when I saw the coconut oil  in the fridge. )

The PA also said that I need to step up the treatment of the backs of Fiala’s legs by doing wet/dry wrap therapy.  Basically, I smooth on the steroid cream (triamcinolone), then dampen a gauze pad and place it on top, then wrap it.  We’re to do this twice a day.  He said that as the gauze dries, the moisture will be absorbed into her skin, and it will help the triamcinolone absorb better, as well.  That seems like a weird therapy to me, but after Googling it, I see that the therapy is recommended

So… no more honey, at least for now.  I know I wasn’t using Manuka honey — just organic raw unfiltered honey that had propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen in it… so maybe we would have had a better result if I’d used actual Manuka honey… but I’m not so sure.  Saying that honey has antibiotic properties — yes, I believe that.  Saying that you have to use ONE and only one really expensive kind of honey only found in a certain area of New Zealand???  No offense to Kiwis, but I have a harder time buying that.  Literally and figuratively.

I’m STILL not going to use lots of antihistamines with Fiala.  We use Benedryl with her 2-3x/week, and will likely continue that.  But, I still want to see what effect removing the allergens has on her before I start a daily regimen of antihistamines and/or anti-itch medication.

Other questions I’m going to ask the “real” doc on Monday:

  • I read a study that said that half of the zucchini-allergic people they studied tested positive to celery allergy, as well. (Only 4 people were tested — 2/4 cross-reactive to celery — but authors said zucchini allergy very rare.) Would it be worth testing celery, and/or other cross-reactives to other allergens (like other things in the allium family, due to the strong reaction to garlic, and the irritant reaction to onion)?
  • Is it possible that the basis of Fiala’s zucchini allergy is actually a salicylate allergy?  (I’m a little less suspicious of this now, as she tested positive for things NOT on the salicylate list, and tested negative to other things that ARE on the list.)
  • Would it be worth it to test other summer squash, like calabacita (Mexican grey squash) and yellow/crookneck squash?
  • Do these patch allergy tests diagnose an intolerance, or is that something else altogether?
  • Do you think that Fiala would well-tolerate white rice? Brown rice is an irritant, but do you think that the most irritating part of the rice would be the bran?
  • What does it mean when something was an irritant at 48 hrs, and is not at 72 hrs?


Well, that’s it.  For now.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 20, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Medical Stuff, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hi there – I’ve been lurking for a while, but thought I’d de-lurk to mention something. I’ve been Gluten/Casein/Soy free for a few years, then added sugar to my list, and discovered the Specific Carbohydrate Diet… this is a decades-old treatment for food sensitivities which also led me to the GAPS protocol (which is heavily based on SCD and has added detox and probiotics). Their theories on what causes food intolerances (and things like eczema) are very different from the current medical establishment view, but I’ve found that after just a few months on the diet, I am already able to tolerate goat milk yogurt. (And this from someone who was told to avoid all dairy for the rest of her life!)

    Do please check it out (, and if you’d like to read her book or the SCD book, you can borrow mine. (I’m usually local, though at the moment we’re in Seattle for vacation.)

    Judging from what I’ve read about your family (and your own digestive intolerances) you might be prime candidates for this diet. I can send you further information via email, if you’d like.

    • I have definitely heard of both GAPS and SCD. I had avoided both because they’re heavy on nuts (which at least one of my kids couldn’t have for several years) and dairy (which three of them still can’t have)…. I read Elaine Gottschall’s book years ago, when Wes was first dx’ed with CD. However, I will check into it a little more…. It would be amazing to be HEALED, instead of just coping with our problems. However, I have to admit that I’m skeptical….

      • I have a friend who is on the SCD diet who had initially responded positively to eliminating gluten, but eventually her symptoms came back. She has been on the SCD for a couple of months now and is doing really well, well, except for the constipation.

        It WOULD be amazing to be healed instead of just dealing. Thank God for heaven, especially if this (“this” being relative to each person) is as good as it gets.

  2. millenialhomemaker

    I’ve had MRSA and yes, the sores are red, hot, and solid like a golfball. They also make the skin look bruised. I hope your little girl feels better soon! I know you are doing all you can to get her well!

  3. I don’t know how you do it! My babe had some MINOR skin issues early on but they sort of went away. Well, I’ve been taking Fenugreek to boost breastmilk supply to help boost his weight gain (my weight gain is going just fine! :). The skin issues are back. Makes me anxious just thinking about it. (And guilty because I know now the skin issues diminished because he wasn’t getting enough to eat!) I know I will cut dairy to start and see where that leads us.

    • I’m sorry, Tina… 😦

      How old is your littlest?

      Fiala is nice and chunky, but she did plateau — didn’t gain weight for nearly 3 months. But, in the last 5 weeks or so that I’ve been really ON it to remove everything from her/my diet that I’ve suspected, she gained 1.5 lbs!

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