Top 3 Mistakes You Should Avoid when Caring for a Child with Eczema
Caring for a child with Ezcema is no easy task. It is physically and emotionally-draining. Since Eczema is a skin condition that cannot be treated, only managed, you have to know that is it is what it is as soon as possible. So learn from my experience and don’t commit the top 3 mistakes I made when caring for a child with Eczema.
1. Brushing Off Skin Rashes
My baby’s eczema started off as a patch of rough skin on her left leg which we found out when she was only 3 months old. I didn’t think of it as anything serious until after a month and a half when we noticed tiny bumps on both her chins. She was around 5 months when this happened so I was quick to brush these off as drool rash.
However, I got really concerned when the rashes spread and became weepy and looked ‘infected’. On top of that, she became restless and very fussy at night. She couldn’t sleep properly and she would wake up in the night scratching. God only knows how much we struggled at that time. It was very difficult for her but more so for us because we had to endure looking at a baby who was having a hard time coping with a very itchy face and body.
It was only then when we took her to see her pedia. This was strike 1 for me. I should have sought doctor’s advice at the sight of the rashes on her legs. I had numerous chances when my baby was going in for monthly check-ups but I never really mentioned it to her pedia. So Lesson 1: To moms, never shrug off a rash. Please have it checked by the doctor at the earliest time possible.
2. Relying on Google for Diagnosis and Treatment
It’s super easy to become a doctor nowadays and come up with all the diagnoses and treatment with just a simple search on Google. However practical Google is, it should never replace a quick visit to the doctor. As for me, I did visit the doctor but I did the unspeakable – I followed a baseless advice online!
When the doctor first diagnosed my baby’s rash as Impetigo (“mamaso” in Filipino), shewas prescribed two different antibiotics for her supposed infection. Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection that starts off as small sores and develop to form yellow crusts. If untreated, the infection can quickly spread. Topical and oral antibiotics should clear this out easily.
When the antibiotics didn’t work on my baby, I applied diluted hydrogen peroxide on her skin because I was told by Google that they would kill off the Impetigo-causing bacteria. This was strike 2. DO NOT EVER, EVER ATTEMPT OR EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS! Although no long term effect on my baby’s skin was observed, I could just imagine how painful it was for her to endure the heat of the solution on her skin.
3. Relying on 1 Doctor
We went back to the doctor after the second course of antibiotics failed. I expected to be given a third, stronger form of antibiotics. At this point, I was already getting frustrated with our pedia because of the antibiotics she was giving to Zephy. I don’t know why I didn’t just see another doctor but this was definitely strike 3 for me. I should have been more proactive then by getting a second opinion from a specialised doctor (pediatric dermatolorics). I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t even know I had to go to one.
It was after Zephy was diagnosed with eczema by the same doctor when I opted to see a specialist. It was a waste of time and money already because we already knew what she had. However, I cannot discount our visit then because I learned a lot of valuable information on how to manage Zephy’s eczema and what hypoallergenic food I have to avoid.
I know not a lot of people, especially in the Philippines, can afford to see more than one specialist. If you do have the means, though, it would really help a lot. It would actually save you time and money actually plus let’s not forget it will save you from the potential stress of worrying about something that can be diagnosed and treated by a specialist.
Our relationship with eczema has been a struggle. But this shouldn’t be the case for you. Have your children checked out as early as possible for timely intervention and management.