After writing the post ‘Can You Prepare to be a Mom of an Eczema Child’, it got me thinking how I can do better with hindsight. While I can’t re-write history, I want to list down the mistakes I made so that you can avoid making them. Anyone has other ‘mistakes’ to contribute, feel free to drop a comment.

  1. Not Suspecting eczema when there’s a family history – Here’s my family tree and I know my husband’s family has eczema. However, we read from a pamphlet given by the hospital (where I delivered) that rashes is common and we didn’t bring my baby, Marcie, to the doctor till her one-month old regular checkup.
  2. Assume milk allergy without testing – As baby’s first and only food is milk, the pediatrician had assumed Marcie had a milk allergy. Subsequent testing at seven-month old confirmed there’s no allergy and her eczema was diagnosed as intrinsic. However, allergy testing is less accurate for newborn and often not carried out until at least six-month old (see Q&A at DrSearsLean’s webinar). If you need to standby formula milk for newborn, it’s a good idea to choose a partially hydrolyzed formula from the start as subsequent change to it will be difficult for baby to accept.
  3. Delay taking a skin prick test – There’s nothing scary about a skin prick test and Marcie barely let out a whimper. Although a skin prick test is not 100% accurate, it’s fairly accurate in predicting when there’s no allergy.
  4. Resist asking for help – The stress faced by families and especially moms of newborn with severe eczema is very high, comparable to those with life-threatening illness such as kidney problems. Try to get a confinement lady (live-in babysitting) for the first month, at least. If you intend to breast feed and pump milk, you will even need help in order for you to have sufficient rest and good nutrition (otherwise, milk supply will be affected). Don’t rely on aged parents because eczema is likely to be too much for them.
  5. Delay removing cradle cap and leaving the perfumed olive oil overnight – Children with eczema are also prone to cradle cap. Read this post on how to manage cradle cap and don’t make my mistakes – It took about 1.5 year for Marcie’s hair to grow back as I waited till the cradle cap crust grew too thick and her hair came off when I finally removed the crust. Avoid perfumed products and if you can’t find oil to soak the crust, make sure you wash it off soon after crust removal.
  6. Blaming spouse – When stress level’s sky high, when you don’t have enough sleep and when your spouse who has eczema has also lost his/her temper, it is easy to start blaming. Refrain as much as you can.
  7. Not Changing milk bottle but switching too many milk formula – I’m still not sure if eczema has caused Marcie to be colic. She cried quite a lot and also vomited milk. I lost count of the milk formula I tried out, thinking it was the milk that caused her eczema, colic and acid reflux. Only after a friend recommended a switch to Dr Brown’s milk bottle which has an in-built air tube, did Marcie stop vomiting milk and finally drank decent amount.
  8. Not Changing restaurant when it’s too warm – This is my first cartoon of the 101 things that Moms with Eczema Child Do Differently. I remembered there were many times we knew the seat we were allocated wasn’t cool enough for Marcie but too embarrassed to walk out. Now, I just plainly request for the coldest seat in the restaurant and if I don’t get one, I walk out.
  9. Having Steroid-Phobia – Research has showed that steroid cream is safe as long as used as prescribed. In fact, the concern is that parents may end up under-treating the eczema by not using steroid. Eczema, if under-treated, has been hypothesized to lead to allergic march.
  10. Losing Sleep Googling – Too many possible triggers for eczema are out on the internet. Almost anything term you search, you will find someone commenting that his/her child may be allergic to it. If you’ve already brought your child for allergy testing, follow the doctor’s prescription, maintain a good skincare regimen for your child, there’s no need to google and google. If you have to look for information, visit talkeczema or! (I started the blog to provide parents quick, concise information plus a weekly eczema cartoon to brighten your day.)


Mei is passionate about helping families with eczema children and her blog,, offers concise posts, eczema cartoons, insightful doctor Q&As to provide parents a light-hearted sanctuary to understand more about childhood eczema. Her baby girl Marcie, who has eczema from two weeks old, has also inspired her to publish a children picture book ‘A to Z Animals are not Scratching!’ that encourages children not to scratch. Mei is active in helping her local community through a support group and an eczema fund to pay for moisturizers for low income children. You can follow Mei on twitter @MarcieMom. Read her blog

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