Miracle cures. The Internet is awash with lotions and potions which offer to work their magic spell and banish skin complaints into oblivion. I’ve tried most of them, they didn’t work for my daughter. So, I was left out of pocket and feeling quite despondent and sadly my daughter who was used as a “test dummy” so to speak has better brand recognition than me and knows to run a mile prior to application as she knows they will sting, irritate and cause prolonged suffering.
A skin regime for eczema maintenance when not in flare is in theory quite simple. We learn in principle what is needed to protect the precious layers of skin and what to do in a flare up. It becomes so frustrating and indeed heartbreaking when the text book treatments aren’t providing text book results. At that point we as parents and carers become vulnerable to a marketing machine which offers everything you had hoped for and more.
The ingredients in some of these miracle products make me shudder. Some worse than others. Often packed full of known irritants and allergens, nearly always accompanied by pictures showing the before and after to entice you to part with your money.
I like to keep an open mind and I would never deter anyone from trying these things for themselves. It could be your saving grace. What I do want to do is urge for you to go into these things with your eyes open. Learn from my mistakes! Ask for a full list of ingredients prior before making a decision to purchase. Any reputable supplier will be happy to provide you with a sample of the product before committing to any purchase. When you get the sample, apply with caution try the product on a small patch of of skin – ideally a patch which isn’t inflamed to see how well it is tolerated before applying it to sore and inflamed skin as that will be a pretty epic recipe for a less than peaceful bedtime.
When it all gets a little too much and everything seems to be getting worse rather than better. A good place to start is the beginning and untangle the treatments. If you’re like me and Eczema has been a steep learning curve then it’s all too easy to forget where you started. It’s time to strip treatment down and take it back to basics. Basics being things like temperature control (not too hot or cold) cotton clothing, regular emollient applications, wet wraps, oat baths, stepping up and stepping down of steroids to prevent rebound flares. I personally found it overwhelming. It all became a little blurred around the edges when things get tough. It has always helped me to consult Ellie’s Eczema nurse to gain perspective again. I forget things from time to time. It’s hard not to when your bathroom cabinet supplies rival that of a small chemist! My Daughters Eczema isn’t the most responsive to most treatments and it takes a few tricks out of my Eczema tool kit to keep flare ups under control.
Don’t suffer in silence. I did. Have confidence in knowing what has and what hasn’t worked for your child and share this with those providing treatment. A diary documenting my daughters skin and allergic reactions has become some what of an instruction booklet for me. It has allowed me to link reactions to things, pin point the skin becoming worse. It assists me in avoiding the things that are problematic as much as I can to keep her as healthy as I can.
Finally, back to where I started miracle cures. I have shared our experiences but only you can decide what to do. What I can tell you is, you are doing an amazing job in your own right. Please don’t blame yourself when things aren’t going well. You’re doing all you can with what you can. Keep going.