Summertime has been a tricky time for us for the past couple of years. I knew that my son’s skin would benefit from being ‘aired’ and exposed to the sun a little, but as soon as he was unclothed he would rake and scratch at his skin’s surface until it bled. Unless his nails were cut to the skin, he’d use them like little razor blades, clawing and clawing at his arms and legs. Very distressing to watch, and almost impossible to manage. Leaving him clothed however, during any hot and/or humid spells, would bring his eczema up in red, angry wet ‘welts’. It was an agonising ‘catch 22’.
And thats not to mention the ‘stares’ from other parents….Eczema becomes a very public condition in the summertime. Open for all to see. People would ‘kindly’ comment on my beautiful boy – “oh poor thing”, “he must be so uncomfortable”, “cant the doctors do anything?”. And me? I just felt terribly judged. All i could ‘hear’ was “isnt she doing anything to help?” and “how can she let him suffer like that?”. I felt like the biggest failure ever. What kind of a mum was I, that i couldnt prevent this agony? I felt terribly sad, and incompetent. Most of the time.
Nights were pretty bad too. Any clothing seemed to increase his temperature, and therefore the itch. But then, leaving him nude was not an option. The scratching was just an unbearable temptation for him – and he’d choose that over sleep night after night. We gave him anti-histamine at bedtime (medication = terrible parent?) and we’d coat his skin in hydrocortisone (medication = terrible parent?) and i’d lay awake for hours desperately searching for an answer.
Some relief came, for all of us, when i embarked on my quest to take control over what we applied to his skin. I HATED using petroleum based products (they didnt seem to work anyway), and i knew some basics about ‘dermal absorption’ – so i felt that using anything OTHER than natural ingredients was akin to ‘poisoning’ him (in a sense). We all benefitted immediately, in so many ways, when i started my business. And the liberation i felt when i realised that there WAS something i could do for my baby, was something i could not put into words. Ha, it makes me tearful to think about even now!
But summertime, continued to be a difficult time for us. Despite using only (my handmade) natural products from 6 months of age, i was unable to find a suncreen he could tolerate. And i wasnt yet experienced enough in skincare to create one of my own. Ive learnt a LOT since then.
I have since discovered a suncreen he can tolerate – Green People. And inspired by this, i have researched the ingredients that go into a natural suncreen – that incidently, can be of benefit to eczema conditions – and have gone on to develop my own. Its a beautiful cream. His skin looks great. We’ve been shopping for shorts and t-shirts:)