Ninja #1s battle with Eczema began when he was just 20-months. I remember running down the hallway to his room after hearing him scream. I opened the door and turned on the light. He was sitting in his bed with tears streaming down his face, and blood covering his sheets.
That unforgettable day, my Ninja had unknowingly scratched the skin off of his inner-elbow while he was napping, and suddenly awoke because the intense itching that he tried to scratch away turned to overwhelming pain.
It’s called the itch that rashes, and for good reason. My Ninja didn’t have any Eczema flareups on him at that time so I couldn’t tell that he actually was itchy all over, and at such a young age, he wasn’t able to communicate that to me. Once my Ninja learned how to scratch, his Eczema started showing up everywhere. If you’ve never seen an Eczema flareup on a child before, Google it. It’s a terrible thing to see your child in such pain, and be unable to help him. Remember, there is no cure for this disease.
Ninja #1 has been prescribed infinite medications since his journey with this disease started, and things have finally started to clear up. Now, he only uses a topical corticosteoroid every two days and only if necessary (and it’s gentle enough to use on infants, an enormous leap from the big guns prescribed by so many of his doctors). I’m proud to say that he rarely needs his antihistamine, and his flareups only occur on exposed areas, such as his feet, hands, and face/neck. The size of his flareups have also improved. They’re no longer large patches. Instead, most are no larger than my fingernail. It’s a relief to finally have found the unique solution to my Ninja’s Eczema, but it wasn’t easy to get here.
Eczema sufferers know this disease is extremely individual, which is a factor in the treatment of it. Each person with Eczema reacts differently to every step of their treatment. Doctors all say the same thing: stay moisturized (dry skin causes naturally itchy skin to become more irritated); find the irritant and eliminate it; apply corticosteroids at the first sign of a flareup, limit contact with water (Ninja #1 only takes a 10 minute bath in warm water, every other day – I’ll do a post on this later), and don’t itch (easier said than done).
Since finding out my Ninja’s irritants (we’ll talk about this in another post, or this could go on forever!), and finally finding a coritcosteroid that works for him, we’ve also been able to simplify his moisturizing routine. When he was covered in Eczema flareups, my Ninja was also covered in thick, white, Eucerin cream. He was a lovable blob of grease. It was disgusting, but the cream was the only one that soothed my Ninja’s skin. Now, his Eczema has improved so much that he’s actually able to use a lotion – unimaginable. It amazes me that something like lotion, which used to burn his skin when he was covered in flareups, can now soothe it. It’s such a relief to see my Ninja’s skin just as smooth as he was when he was a baby, and it feels like an eternity since it has been that way.
- Scratch Sleeves – A big problem with Eczema sufferers is scratching at night, when they can’t control it. A brilliant company in the UK created a solution. Gloves that a child cannot get off, and will not irritate their already sensitive skin. My Ninja wears these every night and he loves them. They’re made of 100% cotton (a necessity for Eczema sufferers), and the hands are covered in silk. I sleep a lot better knowing it’s a lot harder for my Ninja to scratch himself bloody, again.
- Avène Thermal Spring Water – This isn’t a necessity in his skin care routine, but it does help a little. I spray this on any area of my Ninja that is a little irritated. It helps to soothe the skin. Once it dries, I apply his moisturizer or medication.
- Eucerin Original Healing Soothing Repair Cream – This is the thick, white stuff we used to cover my Ninja in. Now, I only put it on his hands and feet bedtime, before covering them with socks and gloves. It helps keep them moisturized throughout the night.
- Shea Butter – This stuff is great. It’s messy, just like the Eucerin, but it does help when my Ninja’s skin is feeling overly dry.
- St. Ives 24-Hour Deep Restoring Body Lotion – Again, it’s wonderful to use such a light, non-greasy product on my Ninja, and for it to work. I put this on him in the morning, and just before his nap or bedtime. His skin has been so smooth and calm since he has been able to use this.
That’s all on Eczema for now – it’s exhausting and stressful just posting about it. What do you or your child use to battle this frustrating disease?