What it's like to be a mom to a child with eczema

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By Chelsea Day

Once I was a teenager, I babysat a toddler who had eczema. Pink scaly patches coated his cheeks and the crooks of his knees, flaring up sometimes based mostly on the climate or his physique chemistry. It itched like loopy and sometimes stored the poor dude from sleeping effectively.

His mom — who additionally suffered with the situation as a child — had an intensive care routine. He obtained soothing baths with particular merchandise and there was a listing on the fridge of meals that have been off-limits for him, together with nuts, dairy, and sure fruit juices that aggravated the situation.

I believed it was the worst factor ever. I felt so unhealthy for this mom and her son, and I prayed that my children wouldn’t be hit with the affliction. Eczema is triggered by a mixture of environmental and genetic elements, and it runs in my prolonged household, so this early expertise had me anxious.

Once I began having kids of my very own, different mother and father in our play date teams would speak about their eczema struggles, and I stored knocking on wooden. My first child had no signs. My second child had probably the most good pores and skin in historical past. Then my third son got here alongside. I may see proper off the bat that he had some points. Each little factor triggered him to get away in what medical doctors initially known as child pimples. My husband and I eyed the patches on his butt and cheeks nervously, hoping that they wouldn’t become eczema.

After which, a dramatic occasion triggered the pores and skin scenario to turn out to be a whole afterthought.

At 6 weeks outdated, my third son contracted RSV, a harmful respiratory virus that may be deadly for infants. He was hospitalized for a week and fortunately pulled by means of, however intensive lung harm implies that we nonetheless wind up within the hospital each couple of months when a frequent chilly will get too extreme. The pores and skin points continued all through all of this, and I vividly keep in mind the day when an ER doc leaned up shut and touched one in every of his uncooked, purple cheeks. “Eczema,” she sighed. “I’ll throw a prescription for that in with all the opposite stuff.”

I virtually laughed out loud, assessing his uncared for little face for what felt like the primary time. All of our consideration had been on his lungs, and I frankly hadn’t given any extra thought to the scaly patches. What had been such a enormous concern appeared minor as compared to his different medical points.

My son is now a rambunctious 2-year-old, and I’m completely happy to say that his eczema continues to be one thing of an afterthought. He has delicate pores and skin total, however the eczema points are primarily current on his cheeks, neck, and butt. Flare-ups usually occur when he’s uncovered to one thing new or once we journey. Or when he eats an excessive amount of dairy, or will get too scorching, or will get sick, or wired.

The listing of triggers sounds overwhelming, but it surely’s one thing you merely study to stay with as a part of a new regular. We’ve tried numerous elimination diets and minimizing time within the warmth, however none of it labored. I don’t need my child to develop up with a feeling of deprivation, anyway.

He can do something that every other child can do; we merely monitor his physique’s response and deal with his pores and skin accordingly. Explaining the sometimes crusty, oozing sores to my son’s lecturers hasn’t been probably the most enjoyable factor on the planet, however when individuals hear us clarify that it isn’t contagious we discover they’re usually compassionate and accepting.

Simply like that mom I met as a teenager, I bathe my son with Aveeno Child Cleaning Remedy Wash. Aveeno Child is the #1 child eczema model, offering clinically confirmed aid for eczema signs like itching and irritation with soothing elements corresponding to colloidal oatmeal. Plenty of cleaning soap merchandise are drying and usually make eczema worse, so the road’s tub add-in is a lifesaver.

We even have a nightly routine of rubbing any little flare-ups with Aveeno Child Eczema Remedy Nighttime Balm, which he insists on doing himself as a result of…effectively…he’s 2. He has a humorous little fox stuffed animal that goes in all places with us, and whereas I do wind up having to wash it a lot (with particular hypoallergenic detergent!) our life seems to be just about the identical as that of every other household. He crawls into our mattress in the midst of the night time generally as a result of his eczema is bothering him however generally just because he’s had a unhealthy dream. Sleeping, I’ve come to understand, simply isn’t one thing that 2-year-olds are excellent at.

I see different mother and father take a look at his cheeks once they’re flushed and provides me a look of sympathy. I see the priority in pregnant girls’s eyes and I do know what’s going by means of their minds. “What if my child has these points?” I do know, as a result of I believed the very same factor. I would like these mother and father to see these completely happy, cuddly, perfectly-imperfect moments. Eczema sucks, however there are worse issues. And there are answers.

Whereas a prescription can assist when issues get unhealthy, our pediatrician has been immensely useful in guiding us to preserve his pores and skin comparatively easy utilizing the steroid- and fragrance-free Eczema Remedy line. I take a take a look at his extra vulnerable areas each time I modify his diaper and I allot an additional 30 seconds to slather on some lotion or cream. My son loves the additional consideration — he completely hams it up — and I’d actually say our eczema problem has had a constructive facet, forcing us to decelerate and provides our third child some further TLC. So long as we preserve the itching down and nip any flare-ups within the bud, he’s just about itch-free.

I look again at my babysitting days and I ponder the place that little boy is. I’m grateful that I had the chance to take care of him. The expertise opened my eyes to the various severity of eczema and helped me see the child behind the situation.

I hope my son can do the identical for different individuals.

*****

Typically humorous and all the time incapable of sitting nonetheless, this DIY geek lives on a small farm with her 4 sons and faculty sweetheart husband. Collectively Chelsea and her husband run a household weblog the place they share a entire host of life expertise they acquired AFTER graduating from UCLA.

This publish is sponsored by Aveeno Child®. All opinions are truthful and my very own.

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