*whisper* Let me tell you a secret but let’s not shout too loud for I do not want to jinx it. No, me no pregnant. Odee’s not too. My hubby’s not having an affair as well.
Here’s what I’ve been quietly celebrating lately: Ewan’s eczema hasn’t flared up for two weeks…the longest ever so far! His face has been nice and smooth, and I must say that my boy looks more dashing than ever, at least to us 😀
One of my blog readers, Diana, wrote me a personal email enquiring about the methods I have used in managing Ewan’s eczema. I’m not sure if he has outgrown it as most people said they would by one year old but you may want to try the following:
1. If you are unable to detect what your baby is allergic to, bring him/her to see a specialized paediatric dermatologist. We consulted Dr Mardziah Alias from Damansara Specialist Centre and through a blood test, we found out that he’s allergic to cow’s milk, egg and peanut. He could be allergic to other environment-driven things but at that time, we only chose to test against common foods.
2. If you are breastfeeding, try your best to eliminate the foods your baby is allergic to in your diet. It’s tough and can be depressing but this does help a great deal. Since we found out Ewan’s forbidden foods about four months ago, I’ve been on a strict no-egg, no-milk diet. The things mothers do, ya? 🙂
3. Experiment with toiletries that suit your baby’s skin. Keep his/her skin moisturized as often as possible. Ewan uses Bud’s Head to Toe as hair shampoo and Oilatum Emollient as body wash. For moisturizer, he uses Physiogel Cream on his face and Aveeno Soothing Relief Cream on body. Reapply moisturizer on affected areas every 1.5-2 hours. On bad days, we add a layer of Lucas Papaw Ointment and Eurax on his face.
4. If the rashes seems really bad and disturbs his well-being, we give a dosage of prescribed oral anti-histamine and a thin layer of hydrocortisone on the affected areas to reduce itchiness and allow him some recovery rest. This is only conducted for a short period of time (1-2 days). Kindly do this on doctor’s advice and prescription only.
5. Trim your baby’s fingernails every five days or whenever they grow longer. Make sure that they’re filed nicely to prevent scratches on skin.
6. If your baby has already started solids, include yoghurt in his/her diet. According to Alan Greene, M.D., a clinical professor of paediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, studies have shown that probiotics can be helpful with eczema flare-ups triggered by milk allergies. As Ewan is allergic to cow’s milk, we give him soy-based yoghurt which he enjoys a lot. King Land soy-based yoghurt imported from Australia is available in four variants and can be found at Village Grocer Sunway Giza at RM9.90 per 250g tub.
7. If you are still breastfeeding, take probiotics supplement daily. In an ongoing Finnish study published in The Lancet, if you or your partner has a family history of allergies or eczema, taking probiotics supplement throughout your pregnancy as well as giving it to your baby during his/her first six months of life, helps reduce the likelihood of developing allergies, asthma and eczema. Now, if only I knew this before conceiving Ewan…
8. If your baby scratches a lot when he/she sleeps, invest in a Scratchsleeves. Ewan wears Scratchsleeves to sleep every night without fail. We forgot to pack it along one weekend when we were back in hometown and make-do by attaching socks to the sleeves of a sleep romper with safety pins.
9. Try giving Olivenol in liquid form. It is said to help with eczema too. Ewan takes 5ml every day. At RM199 per small bottle, this is an expensive experiment.
10. Try including fish oil supplement in baby’s porridge. My ex-colleague Louise learned this from her ante-natal class and shared it with me. We mix one capsule of Neurogain into his porridge once a day.
Managing your baby’s eczema can be a stressful and emotionally-challenging effort. One day he/she wakes up with baby-bum smooth skin, the next minute rashes appear and wouldn’t go off for 2-3 weeks. It’s heart-wrenching to see our babies this way, I know. Having been through this since Ewan was 2 months, I broke down several times feeling helpless and directionless. Whatever it is that you’re going through, bear in mind that there’s only so much that we can do, give your best to contain it and be rest assured that he/she will outgrow it one day.
As Dr Mardziah told us before, “Until he outgrows it, the rashes will never go away. Be happy if they subside.” I absorbed that, counted our blessings and began seeing my son beyond his eczema. From then on, it indeed became more manageable.
Here’s crossing my fingers and praying really hard that his nice skin is here to stay.