I suffer with eczema. As an adult however I understand my triggers, certain washing detergents, I know how to treat and I know how to prevent, my daughter however does not. At 7 weeks of age a rash appeared on her knees, arms and shoulders. I panicked, thinking the worse, and took her to the doctors. She was diagnosed with eczema. We have struggled with various emollients and steroid creams to keep it under control. For the most part it is now well controlled but we still have the odd flare up.
Prior to her diagnosis I would give her a massage after her bath before bed using baby olive oil to help her sleep and promote a bond between us. After her diagnosis I was wary to continue in fear of a reaction. However what I did do was use the emollient cream as a massage cream to continue the baby massage, which she seemed to enjoy. I would do this every morning and night.
Although an eczema sufferer myself, I still felt very alone with the treatment management for my daughter. There was a huge lack of support and advice out there, especially during times of flare ups and when you just want to know what's causing this, how can I prevent this, is this normal?
Thankfully this need for support and advise has been recognised with a new on line eczema resource from E45 and the National Eczema Society, www.eczemaadvice.co.uk.
The website provides useful information on both eczema and its treatments. There is a pdf which can be printed showing possible triggers in the home, answering the what's causing it question. A symptom diary which can be filed in allowing you to easily track your symptoms and perhaps spotting patterns in symptom severity. One of my personal favourites is the emollient reminder, as a busy Mum sometimes you think you have used the emollient only to realise you forgot later in the day.
Another great feature of the website is that it links to a Facebook page. This page allows you to share your experiences and therefore removing the feeling of loneliness and wondering if this is normal.
A section of the website I found particularly useful was the 3 steps:
- Apply emollient 2-3 times a day, all over the body, not just on the flare ups.
- Use gentle strokes in the direction of the hair growth
- use soap substitutions, emollient bath and emollient moisturiser.
A section of the website is dedicated to E45 to show the full range of their emollients and soap substitutes. Spink health kindly provided me a sample of the E45 Nappy cream for use with my daughter. The nappy cream is not a product to treat eczema however it does sooth and protect the skin against causes of nappy rash. The cream goes a very long way and only a little needs to be used at a time. My daughter has not experienced any problems with the cream, other nappy cream products have caused issues in the past. As she only wears nappies at night we only used the cream at night.
As a parent I am relieved that there is now a place to go to answer my questions about eczema and to know that our experiences are shared by others providing support to those in a similar situation.