So what we thought was baby acne on Nura’s cheeks spread and revealed to be the dreaded eczema . We were aware that she had a high chance of being atopic with Dad’s eczema and asthma combined with Mom’s hay fever (Dermatologist told us a combined 90% chance of inheritance) but we still wished she would be spared. Here is how we have dealt with managing the allergy so far.
Awareness and Being Prepared
My husband, Mohamed, has lived with eczema for many years and has become a pro on managing it. This helped with planning and anticipating the eczema during pregnancy and after birth.
We tried to stick to cotton clothing and swaddles so that we don’t instigate a rash. For the first 6 weeks there was no sign of a rash and I slowly began to think we were in the clear but shortly after her 6 week vaccinations, she developed the telltale cheek rash that we thought was the common baby acne. It disappeared for a couple of days but returned as a fine rash that spread to her neck, back and forearms. On her face the rash started to dry and she exhibited signs of discomfort that affected her sleep; scratching her face (we used mittens to cover her Wolverine hands) and rocking her head from side to side as if trying to scratch the back of her neck too. We decided to take her to my husband’s dermatologist.
The dermatologist knew exactly why we were there when he saw Mohamed pushing the pram and confirmed our suspicions during the consultation. He gave us a prescription to use over the next few days which worked immediately after the first application and Nura slept well that night. Our dermatologist is a parent to a child with eczema too so he also gave us a guide on new habits to take up as well as a morale boost. As new parents, these things can leave you wondering what you did wrong and feeling sad for your little one so the positive energy from him was truly appreciated.
- I had been using the Dove Baby range which I LOVE but these have a fragrance that may trigger the allergies. We are now using Epimax Baby & Junior as bath lather and moisturizer as well as Pure Shampoo. We are also trying to minimize the use of baby wipes opting for a cloth + water wash and wipe instead.
- We had been slacking in the fashion department, opting for some cuter, fluffier blankets that may not necessarily be good for her skin but we now swaddle her in the basic cotton wrap and make sure her first layer of clothes is cotton.
- The cotton should assist with breathability but we are also wrapping her in less layers. We had been afraid of the winter chilly air and may have overdone the layering on some days, as the norm her grandparents loved to cover her snugly, haha.
- Moisturise moisturise moisturise. Trust that this would continue after I was obsessed with moisturizing my belly while pregnant. With every diaper change we moisturise using the Epimax Baby & Junior.
- I use my husband as the patch test and let him determine fabrics or creams that won’t work, especially with a wife obsessed with faux fur.
I filtered my sources of advice and found great support. Rashes are visible so people comment on the obvious or feel the need to offer suggestions. As a new parent, this influx of advice and tips was overwhelming for me, although I appreciated that they came from a good place. I’m lucky that my husband has first hand experience and that a close friend is also going through the same thing with her infant so I have people around me to share my fears, frustrations and triumphs.
We will definitely keep you updated on this journey and keep hopeful that Nura will outgrow the allergy as suggested by our dermatologist!
Let me know how you have dealt or are dealing with allergies!