Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sore little hands (and arms, and legs.....)

I hesitate to put photos of eczema on here too often, as it really isn't the nicest thing to look at, but I also feel that my brave little (and not so little) soldiers need some recognition for what they go through.

I have said it over and over, eczema is so much more than just the dry, sensitive skin that many people think it is.

It affects many aspects of our daily lives, and has a huge impact on our sleep!

Even on good days it is always there. None of the three boys with eczema (or their daddy either, for that matter) have ever had a time when they have been completely clear of it.

I'm not sure if it is the weather just now, but the three boys have had bad flare ups over the last few weeks. I know the icy cold outside can't help. I can even feel my own skin drying up as a result of it! And then there is the contrast of the heating inside houses just now. Not the best combination.

Alasdair (2) is better this week than last week, at least the broken skin is drying over now and not so weepy.

He has really bad patches like this on his ankles, front of knees, back of knees, arm pits and torso just now too, although the torso is easier to keep covered up and away from little fingers.

He hasn't been so keen on his bath time these last couple of weeks either because all those cuts sting like crazy - and getting his creams on is no fun either.

Here he is showing the 'bandages' garment to keep the creams on his tummy and back.

If you have never experienced eczema, it's hard to imagine an itch so strong that you keep on scratching even once the skin is broken. The blood starts to pour out and it's like they can't feel the pain. Getting rid of the itch is the one thing they focus on. Their eyes will kind of glaze over and they forget about whatever else they were doing. It's horrible to see, and once that skin is broken it's going to take a lot longer to heal, as well as be a lot more susceptible to infection.

Alasdair's little wrists take quite a battering when he gets the chance. The skin there is softer than on his hands and so breaks more easily.

At the moment, when Alasdair wakes through the night there is no way I can just leave him to settle himself back to sleep. He will already have started to scratch in his sleep and so I try and soothe the itch by rubbing rather than scratching. It settles him for a while anyway, but he will still wake up at least twice, on a good night!

When he gets the itchy-bug through the day-time distraction is the key. I also keep  Mr Bump and Mr Happy bruise coolers in the fridge and we get them out and place them on the itchy part. The coolness helps, as does the distraction of playing with Mr Bump and Mr Happy. 

Even James (12) does untold damage to his hands through night time scratching (as well as day-time). So much so that today he was almost struggling to bend his fingers enough to hold a pencil.

At least he and Calum are long past the stage where they need help settling again at night, but they often wake in the morning having broken their skin through scratching in their sleep.

Gloves/mits aren't the answer either as they just make their hands hotter and heat is the enemy of eczema!

One of these days I'm just going to have to write that book on looking after children with eczema and food allergies.

When I get the time!


  1. Poor poor boys!! Little Alasdair's skin and hands are so pitiful! I think I am beginning to understand a little that you all go through. Winston has broken out with what I am believing to be eczema. Its not near as bad though. But he does scratch throughout the night and the day. He does have some small broken skin spots where he has scratched too hard. I think it would be wonderful if you wrote that book!!! I wish I could read it right now!

  2. Poor boys (and Dad too). My youngest daughter has eczema, usually terrible on her feet, hands and bottom, but this year, it has been a lot better. I think due to us having a mild winter. My husband has it too (although now he is an adult, the eczema is much better). He said that for him, the best thing was a pool. I guess the mixture of cooling temperatures and the chlorine would help stop the itching and dry it up. I feel bad for all of you and the lack of sleep just makes it worse. Do you have Baby Aveeno products or Aquaphor in Scotland? That's what has worked best for us...I try and use the steroid creams sparingly, only when the flare ups are really bad. Hope your boys can get a good nights rest soon.

  3. Ouch!....Looks very uncomfortable! Sorry your sweet men have to go through that!


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