Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The battle with eczema

My hubby is blessed with great skin. He hardly bothers to wash his face with some proper facial cleanser, and uses whatever is at hand. Toner? Moisturizer? Serum? Bleah… Not for him! And did I mention he has great skin? Sigh… Jay has taken after Daddy in this respect.

Unfortunately for Xav, he has my more problematic skin. I have acute urticaria (or more commonly known as hives) – which means I can break out in huge ugly red blotches on my skin. In my younger days, the breakout would happen after a dip in the pool (coming out of the pool, the sudden change in temperature would cause me to break out in hives), or having a meal of crabs or prawns. Now, it is a little more under control. But Xav has a bad case of eczema, something he has suffered with since young.

And due to an outbreak coupled with some serious scratching, this was how his face was about a week back.


Two reddish patches on his cheeks. And this was a kaypoh stranger magnet. We had brought him to see his pediatrician, who told us that while there was some cream (containing steroids)available, the doctor felt we could wait and not go for such a move. And so we did. We waited. And waited. But the patches didn’t heal.

And we have had strangers coming up, asking us if he fell (probably thinking we were horrid parents), if we knew to cut his nails to prevent him from scratching (probably thinking we were stupid parents), and advising us to try some home-style remedies (probably thinking we were hill-billy parents). And the last straw that broke the proverbial back (in other words, my parenting ego could handle no more beating) was when I was at NTUC Finest, and an auntie came up, tsk-tsked at Xav’s cheeks, and told me to apply lipstick on his face to make it better. I stared at her, picked up my slackened jaw, smiled and said, “Oh really? Okay.” And promptly stared intently at the labels of some organic bran while her son or son-in-law who overheard her advice came over and said, “Huh?” incredulously as well, and hurriedly ushered her away. All the while she was trying to justify the lipstick is a good idea. Ok. Thanks, but no thanks.

I had already purposed in my heart to return to my paedi to get the cream.

In church that same weekend, a friend dropped me a message, and you know how is it with true friends. They give you advice without shoving it down your throat and making you feel little. She simply told me she saw Xav’s cheeks, and thought I might already have seen a doctor for it but also recommended a dermatologist her son was seeing. Oh thank you. For your kindness and grace. Hahaha…

I elbowed the hubby (in the middle of the church service), showed him the message, and got the details from my friend.


This was how it looked like when we brought him to see the dermatologist.

And yes, he recommended steroid cream to ease the swelling and itch, and while it is not and should not be a long-term solution, it is effective. He assured us of results in 7 days.

Well, six days of applying the cream once-nightly later…


It has now reduced to a blush-ish hue on his cheeks, and the skin is also smoother.

*huge sigh of relief*

Well, the dermatologist did warn us that there is no real “cure” for eczema though the outbreaks will lessen as he grows up. Every night, we are praying and believing for a complete recovery – that this be the one and only outbreak he has!

I am thankful today for good friends, and good doctors. And most importantly, I am thankful that Xav finally almost-healed of his eczema outbreak on both cheeks!

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MamaJ said...

So glad it cleared up! And you know its the same here. Number one has good skin, takes after the dad. Number two had my problematic skin. He too has eczema, & we use steroid cream during the bad flare ups or the itching gets to the boy. In between, we moisturize the problem areas with calendula cream (sg has the California baby brand) & that helps alot, perhaps you might wanna try that? Oh & try using soap free cleansers for his bath, like cetaphil. Hang in there!

Madeline Heng said...

So poor thing Xavier! These ppl shd really mind their own business seriously. Praying for full recovery for him!