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My 6 month old has been exclusively breast fed until last night. We gave him a bottle of formula for the first time. Later that night when he woke up for his feeding I noticed his face seemed very red and warm to the touch. I turned on the light and saw he had red splotches on his face, neck a few on his arms, legs, back and chest, which to me looked like hives. Today he is looking better and a call to his pedi's office advised us to try a lactose free version of formula. I'm very nervous about trying formula again and a worse reaction, especially being so near his mouth and throat. I want to add that he has always seemed to have mucous in his poops so I cut down on dairy in my diet. (Never any blood, as I'm told a true milk allergy would show). Would it be safe to try a lactose free formula? What could happen? What would be next? Any advice is appreciated.

Hi, Tamara,

If the formula first given was a cows milk based formula, and he had a rash, then changing to a lactose free cows milk formula doesn't make sense.  Rashes are caused by proteins, not by lactose.  

A soy formula would make more sense if one is concerned about a milk protein allergy.  Again, rashes, if caused by formula, are caused by the protein in the formula, not the sugar lactose.

Good luck, and have your pediatrician explain the reasoning behind the decision to the lactose-free formula,

Dr. Olson  


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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