Why I will always have Fairy-soft hands

February 14, 2010 § 17 Comments

I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but I am still so touched by my 4 year old, who has depths I couldn’t imagine, that I thought I would share here.

My little boy has eczema. He has always had it, from the day he was born, and over his short life we have tried every cream and ointment on the market going. Last year, he had a peanut and his head swelled up like a balloon and he was subsequently tested and found to have numerous food allergies, and since that big allergic reaction, his eczema has been worse, particularly on his face.

His face is particular has often been seen weeping, not tears, but cracked and red skin just oozing from itchiness and scratching. His legs, which he bares in PE at school, scabby red and lumpy.

Every morning and every night I slather him in cream. Until recently, the only emollient we could use was a vaseline-type sticky one, which did not add moisture to the skin, but at least helped retain any natural moisture that remained. It was not great by any means, but far far better tahn nothing, and better than the screams of pain when trying to apply other creams that stung his ravanged skin.

But he copes, and always has coped with his eczema, and his allergies, unbelievably well. When he is feeling particularly itchy, he will ask for his cotton gloves which help prevent him gouging his own skin. He knows what he can and can’t eat, and rarely complains. Of course we have tears at cream time sometimes, but he is, after all, only 4.

Recently, I happened to be at Birmingham Skin Centre and saw a poster asking for children to trial a new eczema cream, known as Altoderm, which has already been trialled in the US and in this country. It is amazing. His skin is softer, less itchy and altogether smoother. His face is almost entirely cleared up and is almost unrecognisable from the red weeping sores of just a couple of months ago. And I can cover him in the cream and he doesn’t scream. My only regret is that I didn’t find out about the trial earlier.

But the inspiration for this post came from a conversation at bedtime a couple of nights ago. I was covering him in the new cream and he said to me “I wish I didn’t have eczema Mummy”. I told him that I wished he didn’t have eczema either and that I wished I could have it instead of him. His reply?

“I don’t, because then you would be itchy and I don’t want you to be itchy. People just have to be how they are Mummy”

So on Valentine’s Day, this post is dedicated to my lovely boy, whom I love with all my heart.

If anyone reading this has a child affected by eczema, try following @eczemasupport or visit http://www.nottinghameczema.org.uk/


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§ 17 Responses to Why I will always have Fairy-soft hands

  • Bumbling says:

    My little Moo also has eczema, although nowhere near as bad as you describe. It’s hard for the little ones to understand it all. But your wee man has a great perspective on it all. Brought a tear to my eye and a shiver down my spine…

  • Sam says:

    Bless his heart. Hope the cream keeps working and all the nasty itches go away completely x

  • Nicki Cawood says:

    Oh my – what a brave boy (& obviously lovely Mummy!). I have to admit that made me smile and tear-up at the same time.

  • chocolatatoi says:

    This is beautiful. It seems you’ve been very brave for your little one and have passed on the trait. Well done!

  • that’s so lovely of him. What a sweetie.

    Something you might want to try is Rooibos tea (redbush). South African mums put tea bags straight into the bath with their children or soak a teabag and apply it direct to the affected area. It has natural healing properties that SA mums swear by. There’s also a range of bath products – all natural – that use Rooibos called Creatures (www.theworldofcreatures.com) which might be worth looking at.

  • Poor little chap. My 6 month old also has big patches of cracked and weepy skin on his face. (Also on his body, but his face is the worst). Fortunately, we saw a dermatologist who has prescribed a stronger steroid cream than the GP did and it seems to be clearing up now. I know it could easily come back or get infected again, though.

    It’s horrible enough watching a child scratch until they bleed (it doesn’t take long if the skin’s already broken) I can’t imagine knowing that there isn’t a treatment that can help him. I’m so glad you’ve found a treatment that works.

  • Suzana C says:

    Eczema can be devistating, especially for kids! I can share what took care of it for my and my children. It is a cosmetic product called Regen. It is all natural, doesn’t sting in the eyes, and is guaranteed! Look at these pics:http://blog.oli-co.com/?p=547 Live well, Suz

  • samthewlis says:

    Thanks for all your lovely comments- it is rubbish for him, but he is an absolute star!

    And thanks for the tips too- we’ve tried porridge in the bath but not Rooibos, and anything’s gotta be worth a go. We live in hard water area as well, so am thinking of trying to get a water softener, so if anyone knows how to do that…


  • Karen Pine says:

    Sam, this is such a moving story and your boy’s a wonder. My brother suffered in just the same way – but then just grew out of it in his teens. He’s now in his 40s and has great skin (no scars or after-effects) and the allergies have all but disappeared.

  • MumVersusKids says:

    Your post just made me burst into tears. What an incredible little boy you have.

  • Naina Haria says:

    I cried! What a beautiful son you have! He will grow up to be a very beautiful well loved young man.

  • Ah that is so cute bless him what an amazing boy you have x

  • I would suggest reading about raw (unpasteurised) milk. Don’t panic! It’s safe these days! Many allergies react well to it. I know of a little girl, a severe eczema sufferer believed to be very intolerant of dairy products, whose condition almost completely disappeared when she was allowed access to unpasteurised dairy. It’s the pasteurisation process that makes diary products indigestible to many of us. My own family has drunk nothing but raw milk for 2 years now and we’re very healthy. Resources: http://www.seedsof health.co.uk, http://www.westonaprice.org and http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/dairy-eggs. I wish you and your son all the luck in the world with finding a solution.

  • SandyCalico says:

    Now I’ve stopped sobbing… You have an amazing little boy. Fingers crossed for a cure x

  • That really is so beautiful of a thing for him to say and what insight!

  • marisworld says:

    wow, he’s so profound.
    Talk about a post that tugs the heartstrings. What a lovely boy you have and what a marvellous mum you must be.
    My nephew suffers from exzema and I shall forward your link to my SIL it may be something new for her.

  • mummylimited says:

    What a sweet boy and very philosophical for one so young. Touching post, so glad you’ve found something that makes a difference.

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