H is four months old and is yet to have the beautiful smooth flawless baby skin that you see on Johnson and Johnson ads. Actually that is not true, she was born pretty much perfect but her poor skin has gone downhill from there.
For the first 5 or so weeks of her life she was plagued with the common ‘newborn rash’ that seems to travel around the body. The health nurse said it should disappear around the 6 week mark and it did, which was great, except it was replaced by the onset of crap face bastard eczema.
K had the most horrendous eczema behind his knees when he was a toddler. Honestly, it was red raw and he would scratch it until it bled. It was just horrible. Thankfully he grew out of it with a little help with some steroid creme which was the ONLY thing that cleared it. We were lucky that it didn’t really come back in full force, only a few little flare ups but a little dab of cream kept it away.
T also had a bit of baby eczema in patches on his legs during his first winter, but they were not as nasty as H’s. He didn’t need anything other than moisturiser and soothing creme and they have not come back this winter. So I am no stranger to eczema on my kids, but I have not had to deal with it on one of my baby’s faces before now, and not on a baby so young.
It started out with some bumpy red patches on her cheeks and forehead which I was able to keep at bay with some baby moisturiser. Some days were better than others, but it was never completely clear.
I was able to maintain it at this level for quite a few weeks but I could not, no matter how hard I tried, get rid of these ‘rashes’. I tried every cream/lotion/potion I had in my house. Baby moisturiser, soothing lotion, coconut oil, paw paw ointment, rosehip oil, aloe vera and moogoo, all to no avail.
It got progressively worse.
Honestly, these photos do not show the severity. Ordinarily, I would be happy that my crap iPhone camera does such a good job making you look all shiny and new (wondering why I still look like a monkey’s arse when I try to take a selfie) but in this instance I wanted to document the awful eczema. It was horrible. It wrapped right around the back of her head and down around her eyes. It was dry and red and scabby and gross. Finally, after another failed attempt at easing the eczema at home, I took her to the chemist and spoke at length to the pharmacist. She gave me a .5% steroid creme. I was dubious about using it on her face but the pharmacist assured me it was ok, but no longer than 4 days.
Well, miracle cream worked overnight. It was incredible the difference. Her skin was almost perfect. I was singing the praises of the steroid creme.
I was all like, yay woohoo, this is freaking awesome, finally my baby’s is free from this crap eczema, but the joy didn’t last. Her clear skin lasted 3 days before it started coming back. I didn’t not want to use the steroid cream again because even though the pharmacist said it was cool, even after 1 day of use, I noticed how much it had dried out her already dry skin.
It got real nasty. Worse than it had ever been before. It was wrapped around her whole head and all through her hair, at the base of her skull, her forehead, around her eyes, cheeks, arms and starting on her belly.
I took her to see my good ol’ mate Dr George.
Dr George said I was right to not continue the steroid cream as even though it is a quick fix, it doesn’t treat the cause of the eczema so it will keep on coming back and then all you get is a drug resistant eczema which is harder to get rid of. And if that wasn’t bad enough, you end up with thin, translucent, dry skin prone to sunburn and bleeding.
He was able to prescribe me with a special non-steroid cream called Elidel. It is a restricted medication that you had to qualify for which Hazel’s symptoms did. He said it would not be as quick a fix as the steroid was but should clear it up better long term. It has been 3 days and her skin is already so much better. It is almost 100% clear. You can barely notice where the worst patches were, but you can still feel that her skin is a little bit rough. I think in a few more days it will be perfect.
Totes amazeballs. Now my princess is finally sparkling inside and out.
For anyone struggling with bad baby eczema, get thee to your Dr and ask about this medication. It might not be right for you and your baby but it is worth asking about. For all you international peeps, in case it has a different name where you are, the active ingredient is: Pimecrolimus
Here’s hoping all the babies can be blemish free and beautiful. Screw you baby eczema.