Let there be light

It pained me to think that for the past 4 months, despite all efforts and remedies, little man’s eczema was not cleared. Instead, it becomes bigger in area and looks worse than before.

We have been through quite a bit in these 4 months, and I just want to document it down so that I can refer back when the need arises.

Following the visit to my dermatologist, I went online to read more about all other alternative remedies and creams people have recommended. We have spent money and time on the following:

  1. Moogoo Irritable Skin Balm (ISB)
  2. Moogoo MSM cream (MSM)
  3. Dead sea salt bath
  4. Magnesium flakes
  5. The Home Apothecary zinc balm
  6. Oliva Forte capsules
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar wash
  8. TCM physician – Dr Mark Chern
  9. The Eczema Diet

The first 4 items have been recommended and blessed by an old friend whose daughter also suffers in the hands of eczema. She, like me, is still seeking ways to completely unroot it.

Sad to say, little man does not seem to agree with the dead sea salt, magnesium flakes and zinc balm. He will complain of pain after soaking (just for a few minutes) and his raw patch will turn redder than before. Zinc balm made it worse. I have tried twice, and twice the patch became worse, hence I totally stop using them for the time being.

The 2 Moogoo creams work briefly on him. I was so elated to see mild improvement in the appearance of his patch, that I immediately when to Kiddy Palace to buy a new tube each. I layered the creams, first with ISB and then MSM as instructed by the eczema group members. With these 2 new friends in hand, I was hoping for a miraculous heal during our trip to Taiwan. Sadly, the improvement was short-lived. The patch grew bigger, and we are back to square one, and worse.

Then I heard raves about Oliva Forte capsules, how taking it long-term can help heal one’s leaky gut, which is said to be the reason for eczema. I went ahead and spent a bomb on 3 boxes of it. Little man has been taking it for almost 2 months now, and I didn’t see his eczema get better because of consuming Oliva Forte (just like Lacto GG). However, I must say that his immune system is getting stronger, likely to be due to this Oliva Forte, according to my gut feeling. He recovers so much faster from his illnesses ever since he started on it, hence I am still continuing him on this supplement.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one thing that I have often read about online, but hesitated to try. One can imagine how acidic can ACV can be, and applying it on one’s raw skin is almost inhumane to me. But it came a time one day when I was feeling really desperate and it happened that I suddenly developed eczema on one foot, hence I decided to buy a bottle of cheap good ACV, dilute it with water and apply to my own eczema. Surprisingly, it felt really cooling and my itch went away shortly. After a few days, my eczema actually died down. It gave me the courage to try it on little man, and I must say, I think it is working, slowly but surely.

At this same time, I also brought little man to see Dr Mark Chern for the first time. This TCM physician was recommended by the eczema group members. Dr Mark saw little man and commented on how hard it is to “cure” him because his eczema is unlike most of his patients who have wide-spread eczema. Nevertheless, he gave us a cream containing 黄芩, asking us to try on little man to see if it works. Initially, his cream works a little. Little man’s patch started to turn brownish and peeled. I was so happy, thinking it is the start of healing. But Dr Mark advises me that the cream is just to control the eczema, and probably is not able to heal it. Just like what he predicted, the patch came back, and the process of peeling and turning brown just happens over and over again, without any healing. In our 2nd visit, Dr Mark gave us an herbal wash together with the same cream. Again, he was doubtful that these can “cure” him. And he is again right.

Personally, I think Dr Mark is a great TCM physician who does not see patients to earn money, like some private physicians do. However, because he himself professed both times that he is quite lost about what else to do with little man’s condition due to his age and his “not-so-serious” patch, I have decided to seek a 2nd opinion.

However there are a few things I have learnt from our visits to Dr Mark.

Steroids Withdrawal Syndrome is like a drug allergy. Some people gets it, some people don’t. There is no explaination, just whether your body accepts the drug or not.

  1. Different cream/solutions work for different people. One that works for others, may not work for you. You will just have to keep trying and figure out a formula of your own, one that fits you.
  2. Trust your first instinct and feeling after applying a new cream/ointment/solution. If the first application feels irritating, time to try something else.
  3. The Eczema Diet by Karen Fisher

The next thing i want to talk about is a book recommended by Dr Mark. The Eczema Diet. I borrowed the book in times of desperation. I am glad I did. It gave me a lot of new insights about eczema, and I am really relief to know that there are so many other solutions I can try on little man.

Because I am a working mother and little man attends a full day childcare, it is more difficult for me to strictly control his diet. Hence after much discussion with Hubby, we have decided to take dairy products and eggs from his diet for the time being. I am delighted to say that after 5 days of dairy and egg-free, his eczema looks so much better, with everything else going status quo.

So now, these are currently what we will still be doing:

  1. A capsule of Oliva Forte & Lacto GG every day
  2. ACV wash as often as we can
  3. Oat bath
  4. TCM cream given by Dr Mark
  5. Dairy & egg-free diet
  6. Cod Liver Oil
  7. TCM medicine to bring his immune system back on track

Dear God, let us see light at the end of the tunnel. Let there be light.

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