Monday, November 28, 2016

How I Healed My Baby's Eczema

Oh well...the title is quite misleading actually. Lol. I mean, there's really no "cure" in eczema right? At least that's what my doctor told me. You can only control and manage it, not exactly cure it, no?  - well...that's what I've learned for the past year of having an eczema baby. Hence my baby is not exactly "healed" from eczema. He still has it until today, but very very mild or controllable at least. And I'm happy enough! Actually I don't feel like I am an expert enough to share this with you guys, hence the hesitation/dragging of this blog post. haha. But since so many have asked me and personal messaged me regarding this topic, I thought I'd share what I've learned and did to control his eczema.

Seriously having to deal with this severe skin condition for more than half a year has really drained me physically, emotionally and mentally.. being a clueless, first time mom that I am. So I completely understand whoever is going through this phase/dugaan.. :(
May Allah bless us all and give us strength and patience to go through this tough phase in life and reward us after all the hardships.. Inshaallah.

So anyway, a few weeks ago while I was shopping in Jaya Grocer, I met this Chinese couple strolling around the food aisle with their baby. The baby's stroller is facing the world, (I wouldn't dare putting Ayden to face the world when his eczema was that bad. He can only face me! Huu) so that's when I saw their baby has red, angry looking eczema on her face/skin.

It was something like this  :(

Immediately after I saw the baby, I felt the need to share what I know and how I controlled my baby's eczema because it was like walking down the memory lane again when I saw her baby. I remembered my struggles and my pain as a first time mom dealing with that situation. I couldn't look at that red furious skin. Tak sampai hati.. I felt so sad for the mom because I know how it feels like to have to deal with that kind of situation.

And the looks from people that we get some more! annoying! At that time when Ayden has bad skin, I felt like whoever looked and stared at my baby differently, I felt like shouting "Shut the F up. You don't know what I'm dealing with!". LOL. Although they may not judge or anything pun! haha. Paranoid terlebih! I felt like everyone was judging me for not being a good mom. For letting my baby hurt like that. For not doing anything for him. When I actually already did a heck of lot of things that is in my power and knowledge.

When we're out and about, I will try to hide Ayden from people! 

He can only face me! Thank goodness I have a pram to hide from prying eyes and paparazzi! hahahah

Sometimes I covered him with the stroller's canopy + sunshade, or blanket... Just to avoid people from judging my baby. Sorry Ayden...

So anyways..when I saw that couple that day, being the friendly person that I am, I said hello and we chatted for like 20 to 30 minutes in between the cereal aisle. She's a first time mom too. She looked miserable and I completely understand why. Her baby was 7 months old. Those are the critical phase/age when Ayden got his eczema. He has mild rash/eczema when he was just about 2 to 3 months old. Then it started getting worse at 4 to 6 months old and even worse at 6 to 8 months and the worst was at 9 months. It became worse and worse throughout a 2 months time span and I had been to 4 different specialists during that time (which included 3 dermatologist and one allergist and also his general practitioner). And we tried a lot of remedies since then.

Then it slowly became less and less red everyday when he was around 10 to 11 months old, IF nothing triggers for it to happen la! haha. - This is the tricky part actually. To manage whatever that may trigger his eczema. Even until today, if he eats something that his body can't really accept it, he'll have the redness and the eczema will start appearing.. But since we already have this experience, so it's not so stressful as before, cuz then I'll know what to do. The important issue here is not what causes eczema in the first place, but rather what allergies and skin irritants that is triggering the flare-ups. So as a mom you need to know all that!

Make a list of what your baby can and cannot eat, what detergents/skin care he's allergic to, etc. Like Ayden, he can't take gluten, dairy and eggs products, all the nightshades fruits/vegetables, citrusy fruits and food that contains MSG. And oh, he definitely cannot be in hot places. Gedix sikit budak ni. Macam mak dia. Lol ;p

Okay I'm gonna show you guys some of Ayden's eczema pics. Please do not use any of my baby's photos without my consent for whatever reasons you may have. Thanks.

Newborn Ayden. 
His face had some red patches when he was born. I don't know if it's that Mc Donald's that I ate that has caused this. haha.. But one of the doctors that I went to see said to me, that people who are born with O blood group, they have a higher tendency to get skin condition problems

Ayden is O blood type and on top of that, we also have the eczema genetic in our family! So yeah, lagi lah double luck! LOL. Memang dah nasib nak terkena! Nak buat macam mana kan..terima jelah. Allah sayang saya, Dia nak hapuskan dosa dosaku. Huhuu 

Around one month. Just started. 
I didn't know what it was at first. I thought it was my milk as they said susu badan panas. So at this time, I just applied Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm. And it kinda works.. 

2 months old.. Started as tiny rash

This was around 2 to 3 months old
Natural blusher. Huuu 

Started bleeding. His skin was too thin that it breaks and bleeds. At this time, I still only used organic products to heal his eczema.. But nothing really seemed to work. In fact, it became worse and started spreading 

4 months old

This pinkish cheeks are his "normal" condition/situation, when there's no eczema. He never really had a smooth, baby soft skin when he was a baby! :(

Pretty rosy cheeks! Lol

Started spreading to his forehead, head (cradle cap)

Veryyyyy dry skin!

This was around 4 to 5 months old I think? 
This redness was kinda like a normal situation that I had to deal with everyday 

5 months old


Dari jauh dah nampak merah menyala!

6 months old

We had to tie him up everyday to avoid him from scratching because mittens, socks, swaddle, etc didn't work no more!

You can see his skin is very rough..

Flaky skin on the forehead...and redness, irritated dry skin on the cheeks

It breaks my heart seeing him like this! :(

Sometimes I don't know if that rosy pink cheeks are a bonus for his extra cuteness or what. hahaha. Sebab dah selalu sangat tengok merah, sampai tak tahu what's normal

7 months old

We had to tie his hands so he can't scratch his face! We did this for almost two months straight! Day and night! Oh poor boy.. We really had to do this because he can remove his mitten on his own, he can get out of the swaddle by himself, and he definitely loved scratching the face using his arms even though they're covered with Scratch-Me-Not sleeve. Sabar je lahhhh. Gatal sangat kot..Sian dia! :(
So this was the only way to prevent him from scratching his face in his sleep. But sometimes, he can still get out from it!! Aiyoooo. Kuat betul dia ni yerrrr. Macam bapak dia kuattt. haha

This was around 7 to 8 months old I think?

Dah biasa tengok situation macam ni....

Around 9 months old

We had to do the wet wrap therapy every few hours when his eczema was so bad and started spreading all over his body!

9 months old

10 months old

Bila dah berdarah, mak dah malas lap...pakai plaster je lah! hahah

Every now and then he still has it though

12 months old

Whenever he's sick, it'll flare up! 

13 months old

And when mommy forgot to cut his fingernails, this will happen..

14 months

Bila panas, he'll develop like tiny rash 
Dah bertukar jadi prince charming! heheh

Oh God...I remembered crying every single day for two weeks straight when his eczema was at its worst (around 8 to 9 months old), every time I woke up and looked at my innocent baby's face covered with pus, blood, nanah, crusts, oozing/water, blisters, yellow/honey-colored fluid oozing from the rashetc! I was an emotional wreck! Every morning my bed sheet or mattress would smell like blood or hanyir and really weird smell. :(

It was really really awful! I don't want to remember those moments! *cries*

I didn't have his worst photo/video with me though. Ya Allah.. there was this one time when it was the worst outbreak everrrrrr. After I took some Chinese medicine that was supposedly going to heal his eczema, but became worse! - His eczema which was just around his cheeks normally, started spreading out to ALL OVER his body! Nanah, blisters, air2 all came out all over his body within a day! It was sooooo awful!! I literally tak tidur 3-4 hari jaga anak until I fell sick! It was so bad, I became depressed.. T_T

If you've been following me, you'd know that my phone was broken a few months all the 7000 photos and memories of him having a really really bad eczema has completely gone, because I stupidly didn't back up my phone! haha. So I couldn't really share most of the pics now because I don't have them anymore, only those in my Whatsapp pics that I shared above. Bagus la jugak hilang, I seriously don't want to look at them. Rasa nak nangis sebab teringat balik my struggles and my feelings as a mom looking at your child hurt like that! Tengok yang ni pun nak nangis! And I also definitely can't share the healing process pictures too, because I don't have them anymore! Sorry guys! Tu la...perap lama sangat sampai lupa and ter-kena delete! Huuu...

At 12 months old.. Ayden can now face the world! LOL 

Anyway, we have tried every thing. You name it, we've tried! I think I have spent about RM 10k for his skincare, doctors and medicines alone. Dah la mentally, emotionally drained, financially pun stressed jugak! Like every week we went to different specialists during the worst outbreak (when he was around 8 to 9 months old tu). Every visit to the doctor, can cost us like RM 1k each time!

What's worse when people knew you were desperate and would try anything to help your baby, so they tried selling you their products (which tak berkesan pun) and take your money and not really sincere in helping you... I've met so many of them. Sigh..sabar je lah. huhu. Dah la mak pantang orang jual2 ni. Ada je nak pergi beli. LOL xD

Like I've shared on my Instagram, this is his organic skin care brands that I've used. They're from The Honest Company, Original Sprouts, Baby Kingdom, Aura Cacia, Buds, Young Living, Four Cow Farms, MooGoo, Badger, Butt Naked Baby, BabyGanics and Earth Mama Angel Baby.

I have a little bit of a mental problem - I like changing his bath products when they're not even finish yet! Heeee :p

This is one of the best soap I've tried! Can't remember where I got this 

I also purchased the handmade/organic soap bars as well. 
There are lemongrass, goat's milk, coconut soap and Claire's Purple Gromwell Root, which traditionally used for treating skin conditions. It contains a substance called Allantoin which accelerates the replacement of body cells, which helps to reduce eczema and detoxify when used externally especially for people with acnes, prickly heat, eczema and itchiness. All these soaps are great for soothing burns, insect bites, inflammation and allergic skin.

I tried some random non steroidal lotions and creams from pharmacies and independent distributors too. 

I love Atopiclair because it kinda work a little for my baby during that worst outbreak..but I think it's a bit stinging and gave him like a burning sensation kot when his skin is inflamed and flared up, because he would scream for a few seconds whenever I applied that. But this is great to be used during flare and remission phases of eczema. It is steroid-free and relieves itching, burning and pain associated with the skin condition. It will only sting for awhile but it works in repairing the damage skin. This stuff is great for itchiness, extreme dry skin, and rough skin patches. It works immediately!

I also LOVED that Aloe Propolis Creme from Forever Living! It's sooooo awesome, I became a member instantly! LOL. When his eczema was so bad and watery/infected, I applied a very thick amount of that cream, and immediately after a few hours, I saw his skin getting better and dried up so quickly! It's one of my favourite products! If your baby's eczema is infected -  Like there's increased redness of the skin around the rash and a yellow/honey-colored fluid oozing from the rash or forming a crust over the rash, you may want to try this product! Or apply any aloe vera jelly. It'll dry up the area quite quickly! It was proven to relieve itching, reduce redness, help prevent irritation from returning by balancing the PH of the skin, promoting moisture of the skin and cellular turnover (producing more healthy skin cells and shedding old cells). It obviously does not cure eczema and nothing will, however it does help!  

I bought the whole set of MooGoo skincare products as so many claimed that this brand works. They said it instantly reduce redness and irritation and itch. But son's skin didn't show any signs of it getting any better when using these products. So I ended up using them myself.. since I too, had to use all organic products/detergents etc when handling Ayden during that worst outbreak..

I also tried Cetaphil products. 
The Cetaphil Restoraderm are great. But I like the regular Cetaphil Baby ones. Smells amazing! I only use the normal range when he's skin is not inflamed

If you're buying Mustela products, make sure you buy the Stelatopia range. Those are for eczema skin. Otherwise, the normal range may irritate your baby's skin. 

Anyway, we tried homeopathy, osteopathy, dieting - Gluten free diet, Egg & Milk free diet, Vegan diet, Paleo diet, changing his bed sheet, towels, clothes, blanket everyday, using Kangen water, mandi air laut, bleach bath, using only organic products - food, detergents, skincare etc, went to see 4 different specialists/dermatologists/allergist from KL to Johor, 3 different pediatricians, Chinese sensei, ustaz perubatan islam, traditional methods, wet wraps, tied him up for a month plus - day and night so he could stop scratching, trying to stop breastfeeding and gave him soy milk/goat's milk la (but he refused pun) and apa entah lagi.. I can't remember dah. It's like for those 2 months straight (when he was around 8 to 9 months old tu) during that worst outbreak, for every single week, we went for a different method and doctors once we have not seen any signs of it getting any better. Yes, I'm very impatient and desperate! When you've tried so many things and have spent so much for months and months just want fast result! huhu. Dr. Aron's method je belum try, sebab once I got to know about him, my son has shown signs of getting better. Alhamdullilah

This were some of his homeopathy meds from France

Andddd...the "makanan sunnah". 
Gum Arabic, Habbatussauda, garlic tablets, herbs/akar kayu, sabun gamat, sabun sulphur, Olivenol etc etc.

The wet wrap therapy

Since I can't take regular eggs, I bought the organic/free range eggs and I also substituted my cow milk with goat's milk or soy milk or coconut milk or almond milk/macadamia milk

Gluten free products. 
I ate their cereals, their desserts, cookies, breads, pastas, pancakes etc during my Gluten Free diet period. haha

Sorry gambar gelap. Malas nak edit. haha. 
Anyway, this was my makanan ruji when I tried to have a Gluten Free diet. haha. I love the Orgran brand. You can find them in Jaya Grocer. I bought cereals, breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, pancakes, pastas etc all Gluten Free so I won't go crazy because I can't eat so many things during that time! (Read: I love to eat sweet stuff. So when you ask me to cut my cakes, and milk in my coffee, I can go emo! LOL) 

We tried giving him goat's milk too. Pun dia tak nak. And naik macam hives pulak. Bagus la jugak dia tak nak susu lain, because even though so many people around me said that my milk is "toxic" for him, that has caused his eczema... I still believe that mother's milk is the BEST milk. 
So I keep my cool and still continue nursing him until today at 18 months old! Alhamdullilah :)
Anyway, siapa sini nak this susu kambing, please PM me. I bought these at around RM 100 over each. Dah buka though. Pernah bancuh 1-2 kali je. Still elok, tak expired lagi. If you don't mind, please take it.

His lips were so swollen because I thought he was eczema free when he was around 11 months old..sebab dah lama tak kena.  Thus, this mommy so gatal pergi letak cheese in his pasta! I thought sikit je takpe kot.. Hahaha.. Kesian my baby! Dah macam Jay-Z! >_<

We rushed to the ER that day.. Thank goodness it was nothing serious! I was soooo afraid if he can't breathe or something! Lesson learned! No dairy forever and everrrr!! Lol 

So sexy! Heheh. 
Poor baby...

Anyway....I admit, it was kinda my fault for not really listening to the doctor's advice. I thought I knew better. I thought by following whatever things and method that I have been told in the eczema support groups that I joined, I was doing the right thing. Well...partly yes, I was doing the right thing by avoiding the steroid. As we all know that steroid IS bad! But I also helped him "healed" a bit too, by using the steroid. tskkk. It's kinda like a love-hate relationship =/

Steroids are not for long term use even if the doctor says it is ok. Steroids are toxic and addictive! Eczema is an autoimmune issue, so it's best if you try to boost your baby's immune system instead of relying on steroid. You may want to add Vitamin A, C, D, E and probiotics in your baby's diet and lay off the sugar will help over the long term. The best foods for healthy skin are: Omega-3 fatty acids, such as flax seeds or flax-seed oil, salmon and tuna fish. I give Ayden salmon everyday now and Alhamdullilah his skin is looking so much better day by day. And lots of fluids, preferably water too, as this helps to keep their skin well hydrated.

I was less then thrilled about using steroids on my infant, but I really had no choice otherwise nothing would control his red inflamed scaly irritated skin. At first, like other concern, terlebih paranoid moms, I too avoid steroid at any cost after googling and reading so many opinions and thoughts and experiences about it. I knew steroid is BAD for the baby! All the side effects has really scared the shit out of me! haha. So I've tried avoiding it no matter how bad my son's skin look like. But after like a gazzilionth visits to different doctors and specialists, all they gave was steroid. Hydrocortisone la, U-Closone la, Eumovate la, B-Mycin la, and other creams! At first I didn't use any of the steroids though! It's like...there's nothing else that can work in healing eczema. Sigh...

I even asked Doctor Gangaram a dermatologist from Prince Court Medical Centre, "Is there any other creams beside steroid that we can use? I really don't want to put steroid on my baby!".

His answers has really enlightened me. He said,
"We have been using steroid since 1950s. For the past years, steroid is the only thing that we doctors use that could help ease the skin condition for eczema. So your baby could live like a normal person. Why are you so afraid of the steroid? This one that I'm giving you is only the mild ones.. It's only 1% steroid. Kesian your baby!".

And then it hit me! I only became a mother for not even a year...and my so called "research" is based on GOOGLE. And these doctors have studied years and years and have treated many people successfully...why on earth would I listened to the people on internet and let my innocent baby bare the pain and suffer?! :(

Then when I was back from the hospital that day, I called my good friend Farhana as she has a son who has eczema and a niece that has a severe case of eczema too. I wanted to know what did she do and her sister in law did to cure or control her daughter's eczema. After chatting for a bit, she said
"Ala babe...don't worry too much about the steroid. I dulu pun macam you. Avoiding steroid etc. True, steroid is bad...true, it is a manmade it has a lot of flaws/side effects...but you must also remember that it is also Allah who gave people the knowledge in creating the steroid. Maybe for now memang itu je cara nak kurangkan the inflammation? I'm not asking you to use it everyday. Don't abuse it la.. Just use it a tiny bit to make the irritation and inflammation a little less. Then once the skin got better, try avoiding what could trigger the eczema. You're the mother, so you need to know what could trigger his eczema. Then try to avoid it. That's how you can control and manage it... Inshaallah everything will be okay".
Then it hit me again...hmmm yeah, whyyyyy did I hate steroid so much again? heh.

So... after that phone call, I began using the steroid properly. Last time I only used it like one or two days, then I stopped before the skin has really really healed because I was too paranoid of using the steroid for too long. Thus, the eczema was not exactly vanished, and then after a few days it will start appearing again and again.. Then I get depressed again. This process has been repeating for months! haha xD

Thus after talking to Farhana, I started using the steroid properly everyday for almost two weeks. I think it was about 12 days. I used it at night time only. Until his skin has finally become very smooth and pretty again. At the same time I continue with my routine that I've been doing for quite awhile : -

  • Bathe him with 2 tablespoon of Epsom Salt mix with 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar mix with Kangen water (or normal water will do) every day, 
  • And then every once or twice a week I would let him soak in Rooibos tea mix with lemon,
  • After his bath, I would slather some Extra Virgin Coconut Oil all over his body 

I am sooo thrilled with this product! Please NEVER change it or remove it from the market!
  • And lastly I would apply the Bud's Super Soothing Rescue Lotion on top of the coconut oil. I'd put quite a thick amount of those two; the coconut oil and the Bud's lotion...especially on the eczema part. (During the worst outbreak, I used one tube of this lotion for a week! Cepat sangat habis because this was the only lotion that really really work wonders!)
  • Then I'd give him one teaspoon of the coconut oil for him to consume. Twice a day. 
  • Oh and I'd apply this Bud's lotion every one hour when the eczema strikes. 
  • Then at night time when he's asleep, I apply a tiny bit of Hydrocortisone ointment on the eczema part. I'd apply the steroid only when the eczema was quite bad. Otherwise, I would only do the routine that I just mentioned. Every single day for two months.

I religiously did all these until his skin has become normal and pretty again. Now, I only maintain it by using the coconut oil and Bud's lotion. The main point here is to avoid dry skin. Always moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Buy great moisturizers! Try all brands in the market to find out which ones are the best for your baby's skin as different product may have different effects on skin! So buy a really great moisturizer. This is the single most important step in minimizing your baby’s eczema. Do not underestimate this! This needs to be part of your daily routine with your baby! Also, watch what you (if you're breastfeeding) or your baby eats. Avoid all the allergic triggers.

As of now, my baby still consume the coconut oil. Every day. He loves it too much! haha.. I'm not sure if that is also one of the contributing factors that has made his skin very soft or what. But I also manage his eczema by avoiding the things that could trigger his eczema which are dairy products, eggs, hot weather/places, food that contain MSG, processed foods, making him stress, and avoiding people from kissing him too much or him touching dirty stuff like dust or unwashed/uncleaned items, etc.. And most importantly, cut his fingernails often! Do not let your eczema baby scratch the part where they have the redness. It'll become worse! >_<

So far this method works for me. At least his eczema is controllable for now... I'm still waiting for the day to come when his eczema is completely gone from his body and he can eat anything and berjemur tengah panas! LOL. They said it'll be gone in time. Maybe when he's a bit older he'll outgrow it I guess... So in the mean time, I'll just avoid the things that could trigger it and also I would just continue with what I'm doing now. But at least when there's redness, I am not that paranoid as much as I did back then. Mak dah relax sikit...haha

My baby today at 18 months old!

I hope this helps. Don't worry too much mommies. I understand you can't stand the pain...looking at your innocent child crying, screaming and scratching. But inshaallah it'll get better in time. I'm sharing all these to let you know that there's HOPE! And your baby WILL get better inshaallah!

P/s: Feel free to share this with mommies who have eczema babies!

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