When my baby first developed patches of scaly skin, I mentioned it to his doctor and was assured that it was totally normal. “His skin has lived in water for nine months, now it’s adjusting.” Phew. One less thing to worry about.
I had planned to moisturize him after every bath but would often forget. That’s when the eczema got its chance to firmly take hold.
Eczema is the most common skin condition amongst Australasians, according to Eczema Association of Australiasia. It normally shows up between two and six months of age, as it did in two out of my three children.
My first born suffered terribly and because I didn’t recognise what it was I didn’t treat it. By the time I took him to the doctor it had well and truly taken hold, was inflamed, weeping and infected. The only treatment available was steroid cream which I was warned not to use very often as it would “thin his skin”. I was also told to bathe him every other day with no soap and to not use any moisturiser with fragrance.
He grew out of it by the age of three.
My second born didn’t get it even though I was looking out for it. My third did though, my daughter. She’s six and at the end of it. She only gets a few patches in winter time and I am able to treat it quickly.
When my son’s eczema was chronic, I tried every single natural therapy I could find. There were many to choose from but none worked. The only treatment that worked was that damn steroid cream that I hated to use.
My daughter is much luckier though, because now there is a specific and effective range of products I can use on her as often as is needed. It is called the Avene XeraCalm A.D range and it is perfect for very dry and itchy skin.
There are three products – Avene XeraCalm Cleansing Oil, XeraCalm Balm and XeraCalm Cream, and all are 100 per cent paraben free, preservative free and fragrance free.
You start with the cleansing oil which you can put in your child’s bath water or lather up on a wash cloth or with your hands. Then you apply either the balm or the cream, depending the severity of the eczema you are dealing with. The cream is great to use daily whether your child is suffering severely or not, and the balm is thicker and more effective for severe eczema.
I advise the use of the cleansing oil from birth, regardless of whether eczema has developed or not. As our doctor told us, “Eczema can’t take hold unless the skin is dry”. It’s excellent advice I share with all of my pregnant friends.
You also need to avoid wool and other irritants and wash their clothing and bedding using sensitive laundry powder.
Applying these products to my daughter’s diminishing eczema patches this past winter was a godsend. The relief has been instant. She is also allergic to dust mites so pretty much has two skin conditions. These products help to treat everything so she wasn’t driven insane by itchiness.
I always try and give really useful gifts to expectant mums at baby showers. My favourite gift to give is a basket filled with all the products they don’t know they are going to need – baby nail clippers, baby medicines, an electric thermometer – and now I can add the Avene range so the chances of the eczema talking hold is reduced and if it does flare up, they are ready to treat it with great products that actually work.