|November 26, 2012||Posted by Mabel under Eczema, Just Noah, Parenthood|
It has been a while since I last talked about Noah’s eczema. We call it “Noah’s eczema trials” because the final straw came when he was sleeping in short breaks and only with the aid of a stroller or someone carrying him, he even refused to nurse, water or solids…it seemed, that for the longest time ever, my son was in misery.
We I caved. I still remember it. I was standing by the roadside with tears running down my face while my parents were upstairs in the apartment packing up their bags. We were leaving Dole – and the hospital here – to make a trip to the Mother & Children’s Hospital in Lyon where they have a pediatric dermatologist as well as to spend some at my mother-in-law’s place. There, at the emergency unit, the doctor gave us a few prescriptions to put Noah on to tide us over for the next few days. They included an anti-histamine to tackle his (very bad) itching spells and steroid creams to tackle the skin inflammation. My sister-in-law managed to get a very good cream called Cérat de Galien. It’s a pharmacy made cold cream and for the next few days, while we wait to see the dermatologist, the cream went on his skin twice a day.
After our appointment with the pediatric dermatologist, we were off to the pharmacy to collect a few staples – things that are, we discovered, important for babies with eczema – like a gentle cleansing oil (Aderma Exomega Cleansing Oil), a good moisturiser (we currently use two – Aderma Exomega Emollient Balm & a pharmacy made cream) and a mild steroid cream to help get rid of the inflammation and allow the skin to heal. This in turn will allow the child to feel more comfortable and happier. Scratch mitts are definitely a good thing as the scratching makes things really awful.
Once the inflammation dies down and the skin is no longer red, we were told to stop the steroids and just continue with the moisturising treatment. If there are stubborn patches, we can do an aggressive treatment by putting steroids on the offending patch for two days in a row and observe it. Also, a “cleaner” skin makes it easier to identify the triggers as red on red (read: inflammed) doesn’t show much.
On our end, we deduced from hours backtracking to what I did, brought into the house, fed him and so forth that the suspects were essential oils from my soapmaking ventures as well as the hard water in our home. We were told – with relief – that breastfeeding should go on and that it is okay to eat anything I would like to as transference is minimal (more on this later). The picture above was taken about two weeks after starting on the steroids. At the start on the treatment, the red patches had spread to both cheeks and as you can see, the skin was definitely smoother.
When we went home, we cleared the place of all essential oils and soapmaking tools as well as soaps. I bought a water softener which I installed in the shower after testing out the water factor – can you believe that I had 60L of soft water in my car at one point in time? Bit by bit, I reintroduced the possible allergens like the carpets and soft toys.
Over time, we discovered that the triggers were dairy, rye, cocoa powder, fish and essential oils – these would result in nasty patches of rash and bumps that were red and itchy. Oddly enough, if I had them regularly – which I do – he seems unaffected by it…even when I was breastfeeding around the clock. Certain acidic foods like tomato, mango, red peppers/capsicum would give him a mild rash which usually are tolerable on the itch front. The two spots above both sides of his mouth are particularly stubborn and hard to get rid off. We managed to get clear skin on his face until Eva went through a bout of lice and I had to bring back the essential oil in the form of a preventive spray. That plus going through things like cocoa powder and rye (took me a while to discover that) didn’t help. Teething spells would make things hard to get rid off as he tends to drool a lot!
I hope that he’ll outgrow these allergies soon…life can be less enjoyable with no cheese, seafood and chocolate in the picture!
(The picture below shows him back in October!)