MyItchyBoy has suffered atopic eczema since he was a few months old. His wrists are almost always dry and itchy but eczema on the rest of his body depends on so many other things. He has food allergies and intolerances that affect his eczema but on the whole we manage to lead what we consider a normal life.
Sometimes though, I realise the extra work or thought that has to go into daily life with a child with eczema. I originally drew a mind map by hand but since then have failed (a few times!) at reproducing it within a post that would make it readable to the human eye.
Anyway, I have given up trying to do that but instead just left it as a list of the areas of our life that are affected by eczema and a few details of how. This way I can actually include a bit more detail I guess. For those of you reading this who are parents of children with eczema, I am sure you can tell me more I’ve forgotten.
- Constant label checking for ingredients that might/will flare him up
- Restricted eating out due to avoidance of ingredients or contamination that will flare him up
- Home-baking is necessary to allow him a more varied diet – but it’s healthy and good fun
- Cleaning products we choose, including soap we use for hand washing
- The impact greasy emollients have on our house: smudges/handprints on walls, surfaces, carpets, books…
- Towel we use for MyItchyBoy for bathtime
- Space we need in his room for stock of creams and ones we use on regular basis
- Weather: sunscreen issues & aircon in planes and hotels
- Luggage allowance taken up with tubs of creams
- Leaky bath additive in luggage….not fun
- Luggage allowance for the amount of clothes for MyItchyBoy as cannot manage with wearing the same thing over and over if covered in creams – hand washing does not get emollients out well at all
- Space for Free From snacks
- See Bedding
- For staying with friends/family, see Bedding, Food, House & Childcare
- Non-scratchy cotton only
- Elastic on pants and trousers gets destroyed by emollients so droopy trousers a regular occurrence and a belt is a necessity – also means can’t pass on trousers or sell them on
- Laundry – finding laundry detergent that works with his skin & then finding it in shops
- Constant laundry due to emollient on his clothes (and ours!) everyday
- MyItchyBoy doesn’t get much experience of dressing himself as negotiating clothes over his creamed-up, sticky skin is hard enough for us sometimes
- Cost & finding 100% cotton pyjamas
- Mattress research
- Grease & blood on sheets mean frequent changes of bedding
- 100% cotton bedding – sheets, pillow cases, mattress protector, pillow protector, duvet cover, duvet case and duvet
- Arranging supplies of creams
- Hoping that he is not exposed to something that will cause flare-ups
- Reminding nursery to apply cream & wash his hands after touching stuff that causes flare-ups
- It’s great they are free!
- Managing the GP/pharmacy system of reviews and availability and picking up of prescriptions is so incredibly time-consuming
- Managing stock of prescriptions at home, nursery & for travel
- Trying new ones poses risk of a new flare up
- Finding new irritant-free products, then finding them for sale easily – and cheaply!
- Constant lack of sleep due to tending to MyItchyBoy at night when his skin is bad and he needs lots of cream on
- Bedtime routine and discipline is tricky as cannot ignore an itchy child or plea for cream, even if we know it might be/is a delaying technique
- Putting cream on MyItchyBoy at night in the dark usually means we both end up wide awake, or find random cream on the carpet or somewhere in the morning (beware pump dispensers in the dark!) or even injury
Let me know if you can think of any more to add!
Excerpt from: Eczema: the impact on family life | talkhealth Blog