That is how I would describe the journey of getting rid of eczema with my baby boy.
Before this post, his eczema was looking really better and I was all “yeah, I am going to write on how I manage to get it look better”. Then one fine day, he stayed over at my Mother’s, and my concerned Mother applied some of the steroid creams given to her by a GP (which she described as a cure-all) on little man. And this cream was not even suitable to applied on young children. When I heard my Mother happy telling about what she has done, you cannot imagine how angry and upset I was. I was trying so hard that evening to not snap at her. Then sadness came over me, because I understand how concern my Mother was to do that without asking me, what little hope she held on to, when she applied the cream onto little man, because this is exactly how I feel every single time I try new creams and remedies on him.
From then on, little man’s eczema went downhill again. It flared up and became very red and raw. My mind and heart were thrown into another chaos.
I would not say that my Mother’s action caused this flare up, as there can be many other factors. But I do hope such things will not happen again.
It is tough to feel so lonely in this battle. At times, I do not feel emotionally and mentally strong enough to protect my son. Many nights, I will tell him, “Don’t worry. Mama will be here no matter what happen. We will find a solution to get rid of that eczema.” when it was me who was tearing so bad. I am so thankful for my husband who is always on the same page as I am.
I started doubting what I was doing. Am I going the right way? Should I just succumb to steroids (not that it really helps). Thank God for the online support group whose members provided sound and helpful thoughts and ideas.
Here is a checklist of why I should not go back to steroids. I should read this list again whenever I feel lost in this draining journey.
- If little man eczema can go away after using steroids, I wouldn’t mind trying again. But it does not. It come back again, with a vengeance, every time we stopped applying steroids.
- Long-term steroids use can cause serious side-effects. Little man is only coming to 3. How long does he have to continue applying steroids to prevent it from coming back?
- I have asked a lot of people who suffered from eczema and there is Not One skin doctor who provides a solution that does not involves steroids.
- I guess, somewhat it is like antibiotics. If you keep taking antibiotics when you are sick, you will just have to move on to stronger and stronger ones. Eventually, the superbug will come out to haunt you.
- This is something I suddenly remember. In my last Korea trip, I mentioned in my post that the Korean pediatrician that we saw, was shock that we were given steroids by our local pds for little man. He strongly advised us to steer clear of steroids and said that it will cause the rashes to get worse. Now I wonder why our Singapore doctors give out strong steroids so freely.
I guess, I would not say our journey is futile. I have learnt so much about what we can and cannot use on little man. In this search for a “cure”, one dog’s meat can be another dog’s poison. Everyone reacts differently to different things.
These are what we are have tried and will continue to do.
I will dedicate a post just for this. But generally, my guide is Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, as little sugar and msg as possible, and plenty of papayas, bananas and pears (the safe fruits in Stage 1 eczema diet). As much as it sounded hard. It really boils down to planning your weekly marketing and meals. I hope to be brewing more beef and chicken broth to build him up too.
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).
I was previously using Heinz ACV because it was most easily accessible and available. However, I learnt recently that Heinz’s AVC is really only good for making salads. For good grade ACV for health purposes, Braggs is the way to go. And I was surprised to only find Braggs in healthshops like Unity and GNC. And they are always out of stock. By the way, I soak little man in it, rather than consume it.
Dead Sea Salt
I was previously saying how dead sea salt caused the eczema on my boy to be itchy. But some members in the support group suggested for me to try again as I was at a bottle-neck. Some of them shown evidence of how much dead sea salt has helped them. Hence I am giving little man a try again. Surprisingly, he tolerated it well for the past week. His red raw patch seems to calm down a fair bit. Fingers crossed.
Moisturizer, creams and ointment
I am using a range, depending on how it felt to little man’s on that particular moment. Sometimes he can tolerate one well, sometimes he just needs another to soothe the itch. They are Cetaphil Shea Butter moisturizer, Physiogel Cream, Four Cow Farm (FCF) Tea Tree Remedy and FCF Calendula Remedy. I am also using Dr Mark (TCM)’s Ointment.
Disappointedly, the popular lemongrass balm from The Home Apothecary does not sit well with little man. Twice we applied on him, twice he itches like crazy. I have since sold the 2 tubs that I bought.
There are several new remedies I am also waiting to try. But I will always try one thing at a time so that I can know for sure, what is working and what is not.
- Ginger soak
- Alkalized water
- Accupuncture (Dr Mark)
- Some other balms from The Home Apothecary.
If other people can be healed, my baby boy can be healed. I cannot give up.