I hope you have all had a good week, we have been busy here in Bristol my little one back in flare so we have had some pretty full on evenings! The thing with eczema especially childhood eczema is that two days are never the same as I am sure that many of you can appreciate. You can often predict the area, sometimes expect the severity or even the length of the flare but you can never predict the way in which your child will react. I am now used to the fact that my daughter Issi-May will get sever eczema on her fingers (often to the point that the skin will bleed and retract from the bone), she will also get eczema on her lips, to the point that she will sometimes not want to eat (thankfully I can always tempt her with a jammy doughnut) and then in all of the usual places (back of the knees, elbows etc).
At the moment Issi-May is desperate to learn to ride her bike so this weekend we have been putting in the hours! Her big sister took her out on Saturday she was able to cope quite well with the discomfort, (fingers strapped together on one hand) and seemed happy enough (a little calpol under her belt and a strict regimen of steroids and emollients (of which I am very particular with) but today we attempted a little go but it just not happening. My little girls’ eyes just looked up at me and bravely said “another day mummy”. I hid my tears and suggested that we bob upstairs and re-apply some ointment for good luck (you can imagine her face at this suggestion), but I quickly followed through with the idea of “lets then dab on some sparkly pink nail polish and take a walk down to feed the ducks on the way to buy some veggies for Sunday roast”. Her eyes lit-up at this suggestion and we ran upstairs to find the most outrageously bright nail polish in my box of tricks.
I proudly held her little bandaged hand and fingers with the sparkly pink poking out nails all the way to the ducks and Swans and every person that said hello to us Issi-May would show them her Beautiful nails! I am sure that putting nail polish on a 4 year old is probably not PC – but not being able to ride your bike as extending your fingers is too painful is heart-breaking, so sometimes it is necessary to put the rule book on the shelf and get creative! My brave little girl is now fast asleep (nail polish removed ready for school) and tonight we have been through the ordeal of steroids, more ointments and hair washing. Sometimes when you’re dealing with eczema and skin conditions you have to think outside of the box and seeing your child smile is priceless.
Top tips I have come across over the last week which may help:
1. When washing your Childs hair try applying a thin layer of emollient ointment around the hairline about an inch or an inch and half wide to protect the skin on the face and kneck from the soap contained in the shampoo (this really helps Issi-May from the shampoo when washing off), we also apply a coat over the ears to protect the delicate skin on this area
2. If you do not have time to bath or do not want to bath your child every day, add a capful or two to a sink full of water and use a flannel to wash down your child – this is a great way to clean your childs skins without using any soaps
3. Remember you can use most of your creams or ointments as a soap substitute if you prefer just check on the label if it can be used for this purpose, if not just use your bath emollient in the way in which I have described in no, 2.
The biggest and most important thing I have learned from being a mum with children who suffer with Eczema is that sometimes you really do just have to ‘roll with it’, seeing you child happy and smiling is worth a million pounds!
Sleep well, Anna