On her 30 days old, my baby had these red rashes on her face which the doctor diagnosed as atopic dermatitis or in layman’s word eczema. I was freaked out because all I know about eczema is that it requires a lot of attention and tedious treatment.
The condition got worse when she felt the itchiness on her face and she started to scratch them. I was forced to make her wear her mittens all the time even though my plan was to get rid of the mittens once she’s 1 month old. Babies who are free from mittens and booties are said to develop their motor and sensory skills faster and better than those who wear them all the time. I had no choice, it’s heartbreaking to watch her scratch her face at night and couldn’t sleep. I kept her swaddled (not for long, she hates it), or I would hold her hands while sleeping. Well, not really a “sleep” for me.
Out of desperation, I requested to join an eczema support group in Facebook to get help. From there, I saw many worse cases of eczema than my daughter’s. Babies and adults, but babies are the most sufferers of eczema. People there discuss and ask questions about their eczema, and often there are worried mothers like me, ask about their babies’ eczema. I can say that I learned more from the group, knowing what exactly this illness is, and how to handle it when it attacks. There are no cure for eczema; the only way to survive is to control it, as for my daughter’s case, hopefully she’ll be able to outgrow it.
I’ve went to few doctors and they prescribed me different lotions and creams for my baby. What I know about these creams are they contain steroids. From the support group, most patients advised not to apply steroid creams since it will make the condition worse called Topical Steroid Withdrawal, even though in early applications it helps to clear the rashes away. Not being a steroid-phobic but paranoid mom, my personal opinion is, if it helps to ease the itchiness my baby is suffering from, why not? But definitely it can’t be used for long term. I used steroid cream on my baby and I used it very very carefully, only when the rashes are too bad, and it subsided after few days. The eczema does not end here though, sometimes it makes a comeback when I thought I had it under control. The cycle goes on until one of the doctors prescribed a moisturizing lotion with oats as one of the ingredients, which to be used to keep the skin away from dryness. So far it works wonders on my baby.
Another thing about controlling my baby’s eczema is for me to control my diet, since I am breastfeeding her. And it is the hardest thing to do! For someone who loves to eat, and have so much loves for food, I am now losing my only passion (I wish, losing my weight too). No dairy, no gluten, no egg, no nuts, no caffeine and no seafood which translates to no cakes and dessert, no snacks, no coffee and no for everything!
I just pray that my baby will outgrow her eczema one day so that I’ll be able to have my croissants back every morning and cakes for tea time. Hahaha! May God heal you baby, and may you always be healthy, safe, and happy. Mama will do anything for you, even if I had to forget about my love for food, for my love for you is always stronger than anything else.