My Children’s Eczema story
Considering eczema is as common as it is, modern schools and childcare centres are not particularly well equipped to deal with it. My Children’s Eczema story is not dissimilar to may people I have spoken to. I went back to work when my son was six months old, which is also when his eczema was at its worst. We had learned to manage it with a fairly complicated regime, which required that he wear wet dressings on his arms, legs, torso, and scalp.We purchased ours from Amazon here’s a Link. Wet dressings are supposed to be changed whenever they dry because leaving on dry dressings to rub against the eczema is actually just worse than letting his skin get air. Redoing the wet dressings meant soaking bandages in water and oil, then putting a layer of steroid cream, then a layer of thick greasy moisturiser, then the dressings. The cool of the moisture takes the heat and irritation out of the rash and reduces the itch considerably. Wet dressings by their very name need to be wet.
Our Eczema Story top tip: Always make sure you buy cotton!
The childcare centre would continually forget, or get too busy to look after his skin.
No matter what I did, the childcare centre would forget to comply. I would send him off head to toe in his soothing wet dressings and would come back to find a red angry little man. They would forget to change the dressings and leave him in the dry ones all day. If I said, don’t worry about redoing the wet dressing then, just take off the dry one, they would still forget this. My son was notoriously overheated and needed to wear less clothing than regular kids, or else his skin would flare up. Despite this, childcare staff would wrap him up in multiple layers, usually to go outside in the morning, but then leave them on all day.
The pain of eczema red tape.
They refused to redo the dressings because it was considered to be medical treatment, and they needed the doctor’s instructions to do this. Even just to put on moisturiser, no matter how ridiculous this was. I appreciate that there had to be protections and policies in place for the staff, but there also should be some flexibility given when dealing with reasonable requests. I had to make another specialist dermatologist appointment just to get him to write these instructions, which he considered to be a waste of his expensive time. Then these were dated, so they only lasted a short period of time, and after a month the childcare requested more recent instructions get written again. It was frustrating and exhausting for everyone.
School was better but far more self-conscious.
Once we got to school, my son had much more independence and knew by then not to overdress himself. Fortunately by this stage, we only rarely needed the wet dressings (see how I say ‘we’ instead of ‘he’because his eczema was suffered by all of us!), just sometimes at night. But he would absently (or just to get any relief) scratch his arms and legs until he bled. He kept being sent to the sick bay for band-aids until we furnished him with his own box to carry around. When he was in shorts he looked ridiculous, like he’d tried walking through a paper-shredder and then fixed it all up with band-aids. He was self-conscious about it. He hated the other kids noticing. He hated submitting at night and morning to the creaming from me because he despised everything to do with his condition. He would try to hide the angry red patches from me, not that this was really possible, but it broke my heart that he would try. When he was little it was all about the physical pain of the condition; by the time he was at school, the emotional toll on his confidence was added as well.
What’s the future for Charlie?
Charlie is almost nine now, and his eczema has lessened as he got older. Most children who suffer from it when they are young will grow out of by the time they are five. My son still suffers from eczema, as does his younger sister who is six. Some people never grow out of it and will carry all the joys of the skin condition into their adult years. I wish I could spare him that, but for a parent accepting that you can’t shoulder all of your child’s pain is a necessary lesson. He hurts, and I hurt, and together we will face eczema again tomorrow.
Our Eczema Story.com Would like to thank Jacinta for sharing her story about Charlie and her daughter. Sharing is caring! And hopefully, everyone who reads this will understand their not alone in this battle against Eczema.
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