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Friday, January 6, 2012

Scary Name, Minor Problem

Lizzy has had a rash around her mouth for a couple of weeks now. At first I wasn't too concerned, because the child can (and does) use her tongue to "wash her face" - and it's scarily flexible. She can get it all the way up to her nose and down to her chin. Impressive, but disgusting, like Abby's party trick of literally putting her foot in her mouth.

But it's getting worse, so I was worried about it developing into impetigo or thrush (which she had as a nursing baby) or God forbid allergic eczema (which was the first symptom of Abby's severe nut allergy). That last was my biggest fear - with a half sister on the one side with severe allergies, and a half sister on the other side with asthma, she's pretty high risk for such things. So I took her to the pediatrician across the street, who diagnosed it as something that gave me just a momentary heart attack, until I realized what the words meant.

Lizzy has salivary dermatitis.

Sounds awful, doesn't it? But like some other medical terms Abby and Lizzy have encountered in their young lives, it's a very fancy name for a very minor problem (as I write this, Lizzy is jumping up and down, shrieking, "salivawy duhmatitis!" over and over). It's the same thing that teething babies get on their chins and chests from all the drool; the reason we put them in bibs even when they aren't eating. The core issue is that she licks her lips too much.

Solution: get her to stop doing it. Then we have another problem; most treatments that taste foul enough to stop her are also not okay to ingest. So we go the middle route - instead of making it taste terrible, make it have no taste at all. Hydrocortizone cream twice a day (after tooth-brushing) and this baby brand of lip balm, which is completely unscented and boring. And constant reminders to not lick her lips.

We'll see how it goes.