Dealing with eczema
Luca was around 5 weeks old when we noticed the early signs of his eczema. We all thought, including professionals, it was a heat rash or even baby acne. As time went on his skin worsened. I spent hours searching the web to find out what could be causing his beautiful baby soft skin to become so dry, bumpy and red raw. Nothing the doctors recommended helped, it just got worse.
I was a big dairy fan throughout pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. I started to suspect the foods I was eating could be contributing to his condition. I asked the doctor whether I should eliminate dairy from my diet and I was told not to as it was an integral part of our diet. As Luca began to itch more, sleep less ant generally become irritable and uncomfortable I decided to go with my instinct and go dairy free. Initially it seemed to help but then it worsened again.
Luca was hospitalised and was then diagnosed with severe eczema and many allergies. The NHS staff were fantastic looking after Luca whilst he was in hospital. Once Luca was discharged we were left completely helpless with what to do next. We were advised to eliminate all of the high allergy foods; wheat, dairy, egg, nuts, fish and soya. We were then given one cream to moisturise, wash him and soften the bath water with every 2 or 3 days. The earliest emergency appointment to see a dietician and allergist for a baby was 3 months time. The NHS have helped my family and I in so many ways and I am forever grateful. But it is quite clear how stretched the Paediatric Allergy department is.
As my husband and I felt completely lost not knowing what to do or where to turn once being discharged, we decided to see Professor Lack. He is an incredibly knowledgeable and well respected allergist in his field of work. And later advised to see Professor Harper, a witty and truly talented dermatologist. What a difference they have made to our lives.
I wanted to share our routine, which could help other parents going through a similar situation.
- We bath Luca twice daily with a bath oil, morning and evening. This keeps his skin moisturised. Use whichever brand suits your child best or what they have been prescribed.
- We use prescribed mild steroid or topical creams, which is regularly monitored by his doctor, when necessary after bathing.
- A.M. After 2 hours of applying the prescribed cream or straight after bath we moisturise Luca with Doublebase. Use the moisturiser that best suits your child.
- P.M. If we use prescribed creams after his bath in the evening, we then wait until he’s awake the following morning to apply moisturiser. Or we moisturise straight after his bath if the prescribed cream is not necessary.
- We moisturise 2 or 3 times daily or more if necessary.
- As Luca has atopic dermatitis he is super sensitive. We use vaseline as a barrier on his hands, feet (when exposed) and around his mouth area before eating.
- Due to his sensitivity we skipped the baby led weaning stage. He now feeds himself independently using a fork or has a little adult help for those messier meals. Don’t worry about delayed fine motor or hand eye coordination. There are plenty of other activities that can support those areas of development.
- We only use cotton sheets and dress him in cotton clothing.
- We eliminated all allergy foods from the house as traces trigger hives.
- We ensure he has plenty of sleep.
- We follow a diet I plan weekly. This is to ensure he is eating foods that provide the nutrients he needs. And foods that help mitigate conditions bought on by some types of allergen like eczema. Although it is a long term natural way of healing, it is working incredibly well so far. For more information on personalised food plans go to Nutritional Therapy for Early Years.
He is now 18 months old. Many professionals have mentioned how you would never suspect he has eczema or allergies.
My happy, healthy little tot!