Eczema: What’s there to know


If I had a superpower, I would kill eczema. I know a couple of mothers who would agree with me, especially now that it has been hot. But let me take you back to the beginning of why eczema.

Having two children who suffered from eczema somehow makes me feel like I have some sort of authority to address it, heck! even if it was only one, we make each other better with our experiences, right? So both Mugi and Maya had eczema, Mugi’s was extreme and I have written about it before, so when Maya came along and she showed signs of it, I was well prepared to make sure that I kept it at bay.
Eczema is probably one of the most frequently asked question after weaning and breastfeeding on our blog.

When my son was born, I was oblivious to a skin condition called eczema, in fact, I only knew of very few people who had it and to be honest, I never thought it would be in my family. We are all fairly skinned, nice flawless skin that would put Vaseline adverts to shame, we do not need photoshop, okay, carrying on with the wrong point, but you get me.

So a few days after his birth, my son got a rush, I called the pead and she assured me that it was most likely a heat rush as his sweat pores had not developed and for sure about two days later the rush was gone.

When the lil man turned three weeks, the rush came back and I remember my brother asking me if the baby had measles, and I gave the same reason my pead had given me, ‘it is a heat rush his sweat pores are not developed it will go.’ But this one did not, two days, five days, 1 week. Eventually, we went for our ‘2 week’ appointment when baby was 4 weeks (story for another day). The pead looked at the rush and confirmed that it was not a heat rush but eczema. She went on to ask that I change his soap and oil and she even gave me a prescription for what to look for.

I went home, bought pear soap and olive oil as advised and then went on to do my own research about this eczema.

His clothes are cotton, check

Use bar soap or soap flakes, check

Eliminate eggs and milk from my diet, check

Eliminate red meat, check

Make sure he is not too hot, check

No, the eczema did not relent, the only thing that happened was, it moved from his face to the rest of the body. No more rosy cheeks, but his legs looked like dried steak, his stomach looked like someone had been tattooing the globe on it, black dry spots were all over his body. So I went back to eating my usual food.

My conclusion was that the olive oil was not moisturising enough, a friend advised I use liquid paraffin, it did not work

I bought the forever living soap and cream still didn’t work

I used glycerine, nothing!

I used the aqueous cream nope, nothing

I moved to the tried and tested sunlight and arimis, still nothing

Then I thought to myself, our parents only knew Vaseline and so I started using Vaseline and it made his skin a lil bit better, I thought by the time I was done with one tub he would be as new as the baby he was but no, Vaseline just maintained and contained the eczema but it did not go.

A friend said I use raw shea butter from Ghana, determined to eliminate this eczema, I bought it and used it on his lil body, it had a very unpleasant smell but since my friend swore by it I kept at it. Still did not work, baby was now 4 months.

One day out of desperation, I went to the dermatologist’ s office. She was so calm as she said it was eczema, she said we can only contain it but it eventually goes. She prescribed Physiogel AI lotion and Oilatum soap. She also told us that after the first tub of Physiogel we can start using Oilatum cream.

Glad to announce that in a week, baby had baby skin for the first time, it felt like I had no idea how his skin looked like when he was born.

So new mother who has just been given a blow in your throat with the news that baby has eczema, there is a solution, some of what I tried before Oilatum have actually worked for mothers, but they just never worked for my son. So try and see what works for you.

One piece of advice though, avoid using steroids for a prolonged period of time, more than 5 days, as steroids prevent your baby’s skin from producing the healing pigments on its own and also thins out the skin.

So this last week, my son had a flare up coz of the heat but I am a much calmer mother with Oilatum soap and cream.

However, I would still kill it with my bare hands if I ever had the chance

Here are a few rules of thumb with eczema:

Identify the trigger and eliminate them, foods (include but not limited to, milk, peanut butter, eggs, meat… ), detergents, dust, etc.

Eliminate the trigger- Use cotton clothes as they better absorb sweat.

Use a good moisturiser, this is very important, moisturise the baby’s skin throughout the day, every diaper change should be oiling time as well. Here is a list of products I can attest to:

  1. Physiogel AI lotion (hypoallergenic) 
  2. EpiMax baby lotion
  3. Aveeno baby eczema therapy (lotion)
  4. Dove beauty soap and dove lotion (extra dry skin)
  5. Oilatum soap and cream

I am about to drop a cliché with the right products, imagine it gets better.

What are other moms using?


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