Excuse the crazy photo. Stephan took it on his phone with almost no light...and then I played with it...probably too much.
Poor Sophia has had a rough go of things lately. Since she was three months old she has had a rotten case of eczema. We've tried to get to the bottom of the cause, but as the list gets shorter and shorter we are beginning to think it might just be the dry winter weather. Now if only we could do something about that...besides move. As winter has worn on, the rashes have gotten larger and itchier. Sophia is coordinated enough to rub and scratch which has led to lots of sores. Despite my best efforts at keeping those sores clean and to a minimum, a staph infection set in.* Yesterday, I noticed a rash on her arm that didn't look like the eczema I've become familiar with. Over the course of the morning it turned into a multitude of tiny blisters that began to spread rapidly onto her hand, legs, and some on her face. I called the doctor, but Sophia couldn't be worked in until today. In the meantime we treated the infection with Betadine and Neosporin which at least put an end to the rampant spreading. That stuff was seriously spreading like wildfire. Hopefully, the prescription antibacterial ointment that we got today will put an end to it. So far the infection is not accompanied by fever or streaking. I'm praying it stays that way so we can hopefully avoid oral antibiotics.
Sophia has been a trooper through this whole ordeal. Despite restless nights and severe itching, she is still the smiliest, happiest baby I've ever seen. She laughs and grins all day, and even when she can't sleep at night, she still grins at us. She's been blessed with an exceptionally positive attitude. I hope she hangs on to that. It's a wonderful gift.
Thankfully, there is a bright spot in all of this. It had me back on the computer researching eczema. In previous searches I had forgotten about the Ask Dr. Sears site. This time I finally remembered. There is a really good, comprehensive list of eczema treatments here. Some are things we had not tried, so we were pleased to find a few more ideas. There is also some solid information on impetigo (the infection that Sophia has) here.
*My apologies in advance for what might be the longest footnote ever. I just want to encourage other mamas to go with your gut (and research) when it comes to helping your children to heal. This go round I failed. When Sophia went in for her 4 month well baby appointment, her doctor told us that if the eczema worsened we should use hydrocortisone cream. I was extremely hesitant to use it. But, a few days before the infection set in, I went against my better judgment and put it on her legs and arms in an effort to alleviate her pain, so she could sleep. I also didn't do any research on hydrocortisone before putting it on her. What I didn't know might very well be what caused her problems. Hydrocortisone is a steroid which works by suppressing the immune system. I can't help but think that this is what allowed the staph infection to set up shop. I know that eczema is prone to infection, but the fact that it came on the heels of hydrocortisone use and was the very worst in the places that I applied it to (the arms and legs) makes me very suspicious. Anyway, this is not intended to be a rant on hydrocortisone. I know many people have a lot of success with it when their children have eczema flare ups. I just think it's best to stick with your instincts, and when you need a little extra confidence in those instincts do a little research to back them up. You might just find that you have reason to hesitate.
So, have any of y'all had any eczema struggles? If so, what did you find most effective.