Managing Eczema

Eczema is the name of a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy and inflamed. The South African National Eczema Association (SANEA) states that 10 percent of all infants get affected by eczema.

I remember finding it very strange that my then buddy, now hubby, had to use a ‘special’ camphor cream and didn’t want anything to do with any fragranced product. I mean what kind of man doesn’t want to rub off his favorite cologne on a lady?? I saw the dry patches on his arms and he did try to explain the ‘weirdness’, but it never crossed my mind that having a child with him could mean that I would have to deal with this condition.

I think Rofhiwa was a month old when we started noticing a rash on his face which quickly turned into red patches of itchy skin. Daddy, having had to manage it for some years now, immediately suspected that it could be eczema and his suspicion was confirmed by a pediatrician.

We immediately had to stop using all the products that we were using for his skin and later on also got advised to get alternative products for washing his clothes.

Skin Care:

We first used Epimax Baby/Junior for bathing and moisturizing him but his condition got worse and we were advised to use E45 Body Cream. That got a bit too costly for us over time and we went back to using Epimax. Sudocrem worked perfectly for managing the bum area. We also used it on his elbow pit area and on insect bites.

Clothing Care:

Unfortunately these changes came with a little more effort and hard work in taking care of his clothes. We had to strictly hand wash everything with Sunlight bar soap instead of using a washing powder and we used vinegar as an alternative for fabric softener. The vinegar didn’t add a very pleasant smell to his clothes but we got used and understood the importance of using it. You can also add any essential oil for a more pleasant scent.

I think that was the easy part of it. The difficult part was trying to protect him from people who use fragranced products. Sundays after church were the worst as everyone would’ve picked him up and we would be back to the red patches and itchy cheeks.

He is currently three years old and has not had any serious breakouts in over a year; however, we are still taking precautions to avoid any triggers.

Common Triggers:

  • Dry skin
  • Climate and Sweating (dryness during cold winters & sweaty during hot summers)
  • Allergens in the environment (e.g pollen or dust mites)
  • Irritants (such as metals and certain fabrics).

I would love to hear how you managed your little one’s eczema. Please share in the comments.

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