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07 Sep 2015

Childhood Eczema

Today the blog is taking a little bit of a different turn. I wanted to share my experience with my son's Eczema with you all, i was wondering if there were any other Mum's out there who have or are currently experiencing childhood Eczema with their little ones. By no means am i saying that the approach we took will work for everyone, but it worked for us, and after months and months of frustration and sleepless nights i know how upsetting it can become when you feel utterly helpless in this situation.

Levi was around 5 when his Eczema started flaring up terribly. It first started in the typical spots - back of the knees, inner elbows and neck creases - but as time progressed he was soon covered head to toe. Levi had the occasional small flare ups as a baby on his cheeks, but as i was breast feeding i found if i took certain items like tomatoes, avocado - anything rich or acidic - out of my diet it would soon disappear. It seemed strange to me that it would all of a sudden reappear in a big way at the age of 5. We tried everything. Literally EVERYTHING! Whatever came on the market for Eczema we tried it. Nothing worked other than medically prescribed steroid creams. 

Levi's daily life was becoming affected too. He didn't sleep properly, he would constantly scratch all night. I could hear him in the next room ripping and tearing at his skin, and in the morning find his sheets covered in blood. His Eczema was constantly infected due to the scratching and breaking of the skin, which meant the doctor's were always prescribing antibiotics. We were always at the doctors getting creams, and when they worked we'd ease off and it would come straight back. Kids were teasing him at school, saying not to go near him because of his Eczema. It absolutely broke my heart to hear him tell me that. 

It finally came to a head when at 7 years old (yes, this had been going on for 2 years!) he was getting dressed for school and was in tears because putting clothes on his skin hurt. Right then and there we decided to take him to Randwick Children's hospital. We walked in and when the nurse asked me what i'd tried for him i lost it! 'What haven't i tried?' i screamed at her in tears (seriously, Nurses deserve so much money for what they have to put up with!) I immediately apologised, but i was SO frustrated. I felt like i couldn't help him. He was covered in infected sores, itchy, uncomfortable and never slept. I just wanted it fixed. 

After having him wet bandaged for the day, and going home with even more creams, we had an appointment with a dermatologist the next day. We walked into our appointment and she looked at him, sat us down and told me 'Ok, you will never get rid of Eczema. It's just something you have to manage'. I felt like crying. This couldn't be right. Levi couldn't continue to live this way. So she gave me more creams and scripts and an action plan and sent me on my way.

I decided i was going to try the natural route. Honestly, at this stage, if some witch doctor had told me to rub some exotic grass root from Africa on it i would have! I was willing to try anything. We visited a Naturopath and they looked at food allergies that may be causing the Eczema. Using Kinesiology, they told me to take out wheat, sulphites (found in egg yolk, corn, and some preservatives) and limit dairy. So i did it. It was hard at first, but as time went on and the Eczema disappeared, it became easier, and Levi understood it helped so was willing to go along with it. We also started Omega supplements and probiotics from Bioceuticals. The change in his skin was amazing!

I didn't want to keep bombarding his little system with antibiotics and steroids. It can't be good. I stopped using the steroid cream and contacted Sophia from The Nourished Soul. I bought some DoTerra essential oils from her, and she helped with information on how to mix them and use them for many different things, not just his skin.  

I also borrowed a copy of the Eczema Diet from a friend. It has great tips and recipes i used, as well as great info about foods that are actually good for the skin, and natural remedies for the itching. I carried that book in my bag like it was my bible. I referred to it everyday.

So we are now a year down the track and Levi's a different kid. He's happy and energetic, and his skin is cleared up! We do have the occasional little break out, but we can usually pinpoint something he's recently eaten and take it out of his diet. Now he is pretty up to speed and aware of what he can and can't have, and i have a great group of family and friends who are so willing to help (they even send special cakes in for birthday's at school for him!) and Levi also had a great teacher last year who did some research on Eczema herself because it broke her heart to see him so uncomfortable in class.

Again, i know this approach may not help everyone, but it certainly changed our lives, so i wanted to share. I never knew how something like this could be so stressful, but now Levi is better i'm so glad we tried it!

Thanks for the love

xx

 

 

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Comments

  • Posted by Love By Five on September 07, 2015

    Oh gosh that sounds horrible Melissa! Hopefully the fact it’s easing up as he gets older means he will grow out of it completely!

  • Posted by Melissa on September 07, 2015

    I totally get your pain and frustration. My 6yr old has suffered it so badly. We see the immunologists and dermatologists at Randwick children’s. We went down the naturopath path but unfortunately didn’t give Zane any relief. The blood on the sheets. Constant scratching. Kids teasing is all so familiar. Zane used to get really bad warts on hishands as a secondary infection to the eczema. Wet dressings are our best friends. He even spent 2.5weeks in hospital because his skin got infected with the cold sore virus which spread all through his broken skin. He spent a week under sedation and on morphine to let his body rest and recover from the infection. It was horrific. We are so lucky that in the last year he has “outgrown” his eczema. We still wet dress flare ups. But they are less frequent. We bleach bath when he has a flare up to stop infections. It’s a constant battle. It’s so hard as a parent not being able to do everything to make them feel better. We used to get so frustrated watching him scratch and then feel guilty because we knew it wasn’t his fault.

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