“Wow, that looks terrible!” The doctor started to say, looking at my brother’s exposed stomach, that was covered in red patches, scabs, and puss. My older brother Eugene and I had decide to take matters into our own hand and take our younger eight year old brother to the doctor our selves. His rashes were just completely out of control and nothing thatmy parents were doing was helping him.
His rashes began very early on, when he was about six months old. My parents had no idea what these patchy rashes were or where they had come from. We had struggled with them ever since.
What started off as little patches began to formulate to bigger patches. It would appear seasonally, and around the folds of his skin, and had gotten my parents attention from the beginning. They went to the doctor’s who had confirmed that indeed these patches looked like eczema, and prescribed cortisone cream. Since they had never seen or heard of eczema before, they didn’t know how big of an ordeal it would be. My parents started using the prescribed cream with much caution, being very uncomfortable with it because it had steroids in it. More so than treating the rashes, they wanted to prevent them from resurfacing. My poor brother went through all sorts of preventative methods that my parents had tried, including homeopathic medicine, diets, hypnosis, even a trip to the dead-sea, but the patchy rashes continued to come back, and what was worse, the older he got, the less control they had over them, since my brother would scratch at them whenever they would appear. By the time he was eight years old my brother was being wrapped like a mummy to bed to prevent him from scratching. His stomach especially was a problem. My parents had no real direction or answers on how to battle eczema, and had given up going to the doctors.
And so, my older brother and I had snuck him off to see a doctor hoping that we can find something to help control the eczema. The doctor prescribed cortisone yet again. “Unfortunately there is not much else that will help, especially because he’s spread an infection in the area from all the scratching”. It was awful to look at his stomach, and he himself was not happy about it either.
The doctor then had a chat with him and told him to be a bit more responsible with it, and try to control his scratching urges. We were once again back to square one. To treat the really bad outbreaks, we had to resort to using the cortisone cream, but in the meanwhile I started trying to help my brother with some easy solutions to prevent the outbreaks in the first place. These easy solutions included restricting any perfume based soaps from ever touching his skin, getting him to bathe or shower every time he would have a bad scratching temptation, or put ice around the area.
My brother’s eczema was something that everyone in my family had suffered from and lived with right along with him. It was a real ordeal for him in his daily life. He had to be wrapped to go to bed, he even wore wraps around his body during the day sometimes. He didn’t feel comfortable going swimming and exposing his stomach to anyone, and did not like discussing his eczema either.
With time however, eventually, the eczema sort of stopped coming on as strongly. He was lucky that there were no scars left behind from all the scratching that he had done, and with age, had gained control over his rashes whenever they would come back.
As my brother had grown into his teenage hood, his eczema for me was like a forgotten dream.
And then I had Alyssa. A few months later, I almost had a melt down when I noticed the very same patches of red rashes being formed on her skin. I made an appointment to see the doctor right away, there was no way I wanted to go through this again. The doctor didn’t seem concerned at all. She prescribed yet again, more cortisone cream. Was there no other solution?
My husband found a more natural substance cream, that had no steroids in it, which I had started to use at once. I didn’t bother with the cortisone and stuck with putting on the cream every time I felt the eczema patches forming on her skin. Just as well, our battle to control eczema continues as I noticed my one year old daughter Emma’s skin begin to break out too, but now I know what I’m in for. I have now incorporated a daily routine with my kids to always check their skin after they’ve had their baths, to look for any potential patches forming, and to put cream around those patches so that they don’t spread or continue to form. Neither one of my girls have ever experienced anything remotely close to what my brother had, and I hope that we can keep their eczema as much under control as possible so that they never do.
Dealing with bad eczema outbreaks is a very tough battle, that sometimes can affect the whole entire family, as was in our case. Despite with how hard eczema has been on my brother, it appears that eczema is a very common and typical skin condition that lots of young children obtain. In some cases, it can be a difficult fight, but for the most part it can be kept under control. For us, monitoring their skin daily and using natural based solution creams has been very helpful in preventing major outbreaks and keeping the eczema under control. What are some things that have worked for you and your family?