[This is a 2-months-late post]
The lil’ dragonlady has eczema. It’s pretty common in kids these days, so we try not to make a big fuss out of it and just manage it as we go along. We have good days and bad days. We tried steroid creams which helped but all that reading of the potential side effects got me afraid to use them.
I decided to try out traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and even managed to convince the lil’ dragonlady to drink up the strange-smelling TCM concoction. She called herself “Princess Brave” which we had to agree cos none of us has the courage to take TCM! Her skin was flaring up then but we couldn’t do much since TCM needed much more time to see results. At a friend’s suggestion, I tried using calamine after moisturizing her to help ease the itch.
So my poor baby girl ended up looking like this for a couple of weeks when she was on TCM:
We brought along her moisturizer and calamine everywhere we went and told her to moisturize wherever there was an itch. It was heartening to watch how she learned to cope with eczema herself. She would pack them into her bag and ask to apply whenever she feels the itch.
But the itch got too much for her to bear:
When the first couple of bloody incidents happened, I tried to convince myself that she just has to learn not to scratch so hard and wait for the TCM to work for her, instead of using medication that would work for her (read: steroid cream).
The last straw was when I came out of the toilet after bathing the cub and saw the lil’ dragonlady’s tummy covered in blood. My heart broke as I realized that the itch was far worse than the pain from the broken skin for her. Mommy guilt tells me that it’s all my fault for not using steroid cream that would help with the itch.
The littlest one didn’t even cry and hardly flinched when I washed the area with saline water. We brought her to the doctor’s to make sure the wound is cleaned properly and the only time she screamed in pain was when the doctor used antiseptic wipe to clean her wound. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to do this for a kid this young but I had to use the opportunity to have my daughter remember the pain so that she would try not to do this again.
When our usual paed got to see the lil’ dragonlady, his heart went out to her. He told my folks (who helped to bring the littlest one to the clinic) that this was acute eczema and we really made it worse by not giving her what she needs just because we read that steroids are not good. He wrote us instructions on how to use the different levels of steroid cream for different levels of severity, and gave stern warning for us to stop TCM in the meantime.
Guilty as charged and felt awful for putting my baby girl through all that torture. So we followed the paed’s instructions closely and took his advise to use soap that are catered more for sensitive skin to bathe her on top of the medication. The affected areas became SO MUCH better just after a week of steroid cream use. She was visibly happier, less distressed and had much better appetite. That was my cue for mommy guilt again for making the whole episode such a difficult one for her. I had forgotten my mantra of “whatever works best for you!”. A wake-up call I will always remember – do not follow blindly what I read and seek professional advice when needed!