Here's some shorter blogs about how I am dealing with my daughter's eczema.
I know how hard it is to find recipes for people with food allergies. I have not been able to find a book which caters to our needs for our daughter. Especially if you suffer with more than one food allergy.
I have come to realise that more 'pure' the product, the least harmful it is to our daughters skin condition.
The main products I have used are listed in the following sections.
- Margarine/butter -
For a margarine substitute, I have found Anchor Butter. This works well with shortbread biscuits as well as fairy cakes. It also is the purest one I have come across, i.e., contains no additives, flavourings, colourings or preservatives.
- Flour -
For flour whether it is for plain or self-raising I use, Doves Farm gluten and wheat free flour. You can buy white self-raising or plain flour. It is also suitable for vegans and made without any wheat or soya. It only contains, wheat free rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat.
- Eggs -
For an egg substitute, I have used Xanthan Gum. I use one teaspoon of this to substitute the use of one egg.
We've struggled through another period of sleep problems, which have not been helped by the increasingly hot weather. My daughter's scratching at night, combined with her lack of sleep and subsequent irritability, have made her eczema flare up.
During the day, her tiredness, makes her lose self control, which in turn leads to her scratching. She is incredibly irritable too and getting her ready for school, is just a war zone, as she shouts and then gets shouted at, because she can't concentrate fully enough to get dressed.
We have a fan in her room, to cool it down, whilst providing initial relief, the fan itself has become a burden, especially when later in the night it starts to cool down. So instead of pulling on the blanket, she starts to scratch.
The most annoying part of the scratching, is the whining noise she makes. So eventually, this wakes me up and I have to sort out the blanket. I end up getting drained over the week, as being woken up and then finding it difficult to get to sleep, takes it's toll on me. In just a few days, I feel run-down and very tired.
This has not stopped me trying to ensure, my daughter sleeps on her own accord. I've made some progress in making sure she does this by herself now and 5 times out of 10, she will.
To reduce the amount of times she wakes at night, I'm also working on making sure she sleeps in her vest and knickers, so she can sleep in the blanket at the start of bed time. That way she won't get too hot at the start of her sleep time and when it cools down later, she won't feel cold, thereby not waking up and then scratching or hollering for me or both.
It's vitally important children get enough rest, so they sort of stay in control. By being in control and being less irritable, they will tend to scratch less. We introduced afternoon naps at weekends and staying in bed longer before waking during the weekends and holidays. This helped in ensuring my daughter received a period of guaranteed rest each week.
I read somewhere of there being a reduction in eczema in those people who ate oily fish regularly. So after speaking to my doctor on whether there was any risk and getting the all clear, I decided to proceed and introduce oily fish into my daughter's diet.
My daughter eats two small portions of mackerel each week, which she has really taken a fondness to. I was initially quite worried that she would not like this type of oily fish, maybe because I myself am not a 'fishy' person. The smell of sea food, makes me feel sick, however, my dislike of fish has fortunately not been picked up by my daughter.
I am keen on oily fish for a number of reasons, primarily to see if oily fish gives relief to the symptoms of eczema but also to see if there are other benefits from the omega 3 oils, which oily fish is abundant in.
Maybe it will help with brain development? Or help her skin and complexion benefit for the better? These are unknowns which may or may not be improved by introducing oily fish, only time will tell.
I picked up my husbands lapdesk (for resting his laptop on his legs) and noticed, loads of what looked like biscuit bits all over it and the surrounding area.
It was only on closer inspection, I noticed it was skin, flakey skin, which could only be from one source. It was from my daughter, she has been scratching like a madman recently and the flakey skin was everywhere around the places where she normally stands to scratch.
Just to be on the safe side, I had a quick chat with the health professional we deal with and they said, just make sure she's drinking plenty of water and arrange an appointment to see the doctor, if the situation changes.
So I'd made sure she was not becoming dehydrated, by making sure she was drinking plenty of water and by making sure her skin was moisturised regularly. I increased her water intake by only two small glasses a day, as I did not want to do anything substantial, if it was ever going to be needed before speaking to the doctor.
Until I've been to see the doctor, it is going to difficult to work out what has brought on this increase in skin flakiness.
It's been a while since we had to use steroids but my daughter's ankles and wrists have become very inflamed.
She has just scratched too much around her ankles and wrists, especially when we're not around, which means when she's at school.
I'll probably use the very mild steroid for a week or so and then review the situation. If the soreness doesn't subside, I will definitely go and see the doctor, just to get their take on it. I don't particularly want to use the steroid for any longer than a week. It always seems the seasonal change causes my daughter's eczema to flare up, so winter to spring and autumn to winter are particularly bad times for her eczema to flare up.
Today I'm very relieved to have come through the past few weeks still smiling. My daughter's bout of chicken pox is clear now and I'm amazed at how well she coped.
I had dreaded the pox for my daughter as I thought it would make her itch even more and cause her eczema to become very inflamed. But it didn't, as the calomile cream we used was very soothing.
The cream contains aqueous cream and camolline, which we found better than the lotion alone. In combination with her current cream, epederm, it worked well, in bringing relief to the chicken pox and eczema.