Saturday, 9 May 2009

natural is not always good, sometimes natual can be a horror story.

William hit the magic age of 12 months and was suddenly old enough to be given a daily dose of piriton, ( a first generation antihistamine). This was given to help him sleep, and improve his skin.

Every day we dosed up this little man, and kept up with the eczema routine. Mild moisturizers for soap, oils for the bath, and then thick heavy creams once he was out of the luke warm water.

Once, I used a good quality olive oil as a moisturizer, being still in that odd mindset of 'natural' was good. How wrong could a mummy be?

I applied the oil to one leg, thinking I could compare and see if it had done any good. I didnt need to , could tell from 10 feet away which leg had the oil. It was a nice bright red but William didnt seem to be bothered . So, while one part of my brain was shrieking 'WOW, HES GOT ONE RED LEG............WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?..............should i even him up and do the other?, will it fade? what does this mean'?
So not in a little shock, I decided to be cool and calm, and not scare the baby, and why not make it educational?

So i gently traced a finger over his leg, and sounded out his name, and watched his face , to see if he was concentrating. He looked quite interested, his eyes widening I was just congratulating myself, until i looked down.
Its not every day you see a collection of wheals like that, and william is a pretty long name.
thankfully after shower, and re-doing a ezcema treatment, his leg recovered.
So, no , natural oils are not for his skin. More importantly, small tiny test patches first!

William wasnt able to have shampoo on his head until he was 12 months plus, and even then only a tiny amount of perfume free baby shampoo. I was happily surprised to discover that he had curly hair!

Some of Will's ezcema creams didnt agree with my eczema , one cream used to 'burn' my hands and make them really red and sore. But it worked for him, so I carried on using it.

Ezcema is a very individual thing, a treatment that works for one , doesnt mean that it works for other . Which is a major bummer really.

I developed ezcema myself, apparently, a few days after I was born.
ezcema treatment has changed a great deal from when I was young. I never had (certainly dont remember ) any form of moisturizers, only a small brown glass pot.
Which contained a nasty looking grey sludge, which didnt smell very nice. It was a mix of pretty strong steriod onitment.
Which I thickly slapped on every night, before sliding into my nylon sheets , while wearing my nylon, spark inducing nightdress. Who needed a night light in the '70's?

I needed to put a lot of cream on the back of my legs, and can remember the skin infections at school and the pain of it all. The standing in the playground and having the cold wind blow on the skin , on my dry, cracking legs, and coming in to the warm dry classroom with bleeding skin.
I sat on a cotton pillowcase which rested on the plastic chair. the plastic used to irritate my skin, because is was a bit sweaty!
once the skin go weepy and infected, i used to get stuck on to that pillowcase, and had to rip it of to leave the chair.
I know that I am very lucky that I didnt have nay eczema on my face, as I have met some people who have very thin eyelids from this treatment.
I do have damaged thin skin on my hands from years of eczema. I still get it , a nice christmas bout, which is the stress, and when i use bubble bath ( which I love, plus the whole glass of wine, a vampire book, and chocolate.............makes bathtime pure bliss), I still get a bit behind my knees and inner elbows every so often. Oh, and I cant wear metal watches, so a little bit of nickel allergy there as well.

Here are a few ezcema tips I have picked up while trying to contol william's skin..............

1) 100% cotton clothing.

2)store all creams and potions in a clean , dust free place.

3 ) wash hands before and after application.

4) use a spoon to remove a blob of cream from pot ( or pump bottle is good)before patting in to damp skin.

5) really , just PAT, not rub, slap, slide etc

6) apply in direction of hair growth , to try and stop increaseing the itch , scratch cycle.

7)cool bath, not to hot. and sometimes not given very often, depending on what works best.

8) dont warm clothes on radiatiors , and keep as cool as possible. remember hot = itch. Now i did go a little obsessive, and in the winter waved his pj's out the window to cool them before sliding on his bod. Which might have given the neighbours some pause for thought..............

9)read the labels, on all treatments, a lot of ezcema treatment have nut oils or peach nut oils, etc, and thats not good for those that might develop food/nut allergies. Be careful , natural in the world of food allergies, is not always good. it could be horrific.
and BTW check your own personal bubble baths, soaps etc, I once brought a milk and almond bubble bath. It fell down and dripped slowly down the side of the tub, while william was sitting in it. One half of his body hived up completely, and glowed red. Not a fun time, at all. Bit of a panic really, sort of looked like that film, the alien one, with steven,....close encounters! and the fella goes red on one side of his face and neck, well, william was like that on one side.

10) some of the creams rot elastic in clothes. esp if washing instuctions only call for a 40 degree wash. To get rid of grease , place clothes in cold water with salt over night, then wash as normal next day.


12) People with ezcema have skin that cant hold water, so they need to drink more and stop dehydration.

hope this is all helpful stuff for you dear reader, and please, try not to scratch while reading this post.

1 comment:

  1. Just wondering if anyone has mentioned probiotics to you? Our son is four and has had a very difficult three years of his life suffering from food allergies and Eczema. We tried everything, docs, children's hospitals, steroids, meds and creams that burned....all for little relief. He was basically miserable and so was I as his mommy. My hubs and I started him on Vidazorb kids chewable probiotic without much hope...but it has turned out to be an answer to prayer for us! He loves it like candy and it has changed his life! He is now a happy and healthy four yr old who can eat all kinds of stuff without flareups! Good Luck and feel free to email me at if you would like to talk! **Caroline *mommy of two