My AJ was only 2 months old when he first experienced the nastiness and itchiness of eczema.
More than a year ago, the GP who checked him told me that the tiny spots on his face were just heat rash, due to the hot and humid weather we were having at that time. I was advised to moisturize him and this should get better, until it dawned to me that it wasn’t just your mere heat rash.
The small patches here and there that flared up all of a sudden, in fact, were eczema. I am quite familiar with eczema myself since I had my first share of this at the age of 20. Actually, when the weather gets all humid and hot, like now, this seems to activate them. Seeing my baby’s skin back then and how it was all red and coarse to touch, I knew he was so uncomfortable, let alone itchy.
Around his eyes were severely affected that he could barely open them. This woke him up in the middle of the night and he would keep rubbing them.
Both his cheeks were flaring up especially when it’s hot. The back of his ears were also affected as well as the folds around his neck.
Eczema is not uncommon with babies, that about 25% of babies and young children have them. At least 65% of patients show symptoms in the first year of their life and 90% developing symptoms just before the age of 5.
His health visitor said that others wouldn’t experience this until adulthood. My Mom told me that I never had this issue before, apart from me being allergic to eggs and chicken meat, which I seemed to have outgrown in my teens.
So here are the creams we’ve accumulated and used:
Emollient Cream, 500g
Ointment containing 50% w/w Liquid Paraffin BP and 50% w/w White Soft Paraffin.
- This looks like petroleum jelly, only with transparent-like appearance. The cream does not absorb right away that it made my baby’s skin looked like I just smeared grease on him! Unfortunately, this didn’t help with the ‘rashes’ at all. Somehow, it made it flare up even more. So we stopped using this almost after a day.
image from http://www.expresschemist.co.uk
- It contains liquid paraffin and isopropyl myristate which are emollients that rehydrate dry skin by helping it retain moisture.
- If there was a cream/gel, that worked almost instantly in the means of moisturizing and calming the redness down, this would be it. The gel, which is white in appearance and looks like a wobbling jelly, is cooling to the skin. It hydrates the skin just enough and absorbs quickly.
- It doesn’t have an unpleasant smell or make the skin looks greasy. In fact, I’ve noticed that it made his skin a little bit softer to touch. I’ve probably used at least 4 bottles of this gel last year, since I was using this on him day and night rigorously. I also applied this on my baby’s skin before taking him a bath as a barrier, to protect his skin from dryness. And since the bottle has pump dispenser, it was easy to access and apply.
- Hydrocortisone belongs to a group of medicines called topical corticosteroids. These work by calming the inflammation that occurs during certain skin conditions or reactions.
- I was very hesitant to use this cream before, but after some reassuring advice from my GP, I took it as our last resort, should any of the creams/gels above would not help him in any way.
- I was told to use this no longer than 7 days and in a very, very small amount. Excessive use of this cream could actually thin out the skin, especially for babies.
- I used this cream the very first time, probably twice. I felt that I had to give this a go in the end when my baby couldn’t get any sleep anymore due to the itchiness and discomfort he was going through. Somehow, the ‘flaring up’ tend to happen at night or early in the morning that he would just start crying and rubbing his face, eyes and ears.
- Thankfully, after each application, I saw a big difference to the patches or rashes on his face, and that night he was able to sleep longer at least.We were given the .5% when his eczema first started at 2 months, and later on with 1% at 6 months when the eczema attacked his legs and thighs this time, mainly around the folds area.
After this ordeal, his skin condition finally got better, in fact, after just a week of non-stop creaming, the redness and tiny red spots were dying out. I just had to keep up with the moisturizing routine to prevent the ‘flare-ups’ from happening again.
I was always careful with the many things that had to do with my baby so when we realized he had eczema, I was very confused as to where I got it wrong. I breast-fed him exclusively for 10 months and only started giving him formula milk at meal times. I was using non-bio laundry detergent and all his clothes are made of cotton. I was eating a healthy diet and also took vitamins. So you can only imagine my confusion when suddenly his skin turned out the way it did.
I believe that with eczema, you can only do your best and be careful with things that could trigger this from occuring. There’s seemed to be no guarantee of stopping this from happening to your baby.
New found products
Not long ago, I switched to Aveeno Baby products range. In fact, I’ve stopped using the Double-base gel after we purchased a few bottles from the US. It’s fragrance-free and my baby’s skin reacted very well with this. I use the Daily Moisture Lotion in a big bottle with pump dispenser morning and night or after taking him a bath. And when his skin on his legs, thighs or back of his knees, starts acting up, I use the Aveeno Eczema Therapy moisturizing cream (which has colloidal oatmeal) and this little tube of cream works wonder.
Aveeno Eczema Theraphy (with colloidal oatmeal)
We’ve also tried:
Earth Friendly’s baby products such as Organic Chamomile Shampoo & Bodywash & Organic Lavender Shampoo & Bodywash. Both have soothing and calming smell.
Earth Friendly’s laundry detergent Ecos, Lily & Magnolia, Lavender (Free of Petrochemicals, Ammonia, Chlorine, Phosphate, GMOs, Palm Oil, SLS, SLES, Formaldehyde and 1,4 Dioxane) (Subscribe and Save option on Amazon is definitely worth checking out.)
Earth Friendly’s products are available on Amazon.co.uk, Ebay. It might be worth checking your local Waitrose supermarket, as my local store here have them.
So what’s your experience like with eczema? What creams work for you or your baby?