I get a lot search queries relating to this post I wrote when Arlo was a baby and suffered from awful eczema. Arlo’s eczema was full-on, a constant battle. Now that I have a second child, who suffers the occasional bit of eczema, I can see even more that Arlo’s infant eczema was on another level.
Arlo’s persistent eczema and red eyes as a result of CMPI
Rory’s eczema is different. He was born with the same super-peely skin that Arlo had, so I was wary straight away. As a young baby, he developed a pretty nasty dribble rash on his chest, and when it persisted, I thought “Oh no, here we go again”. But three months later it had completely cleared up. He gets eczema on the backs of his elbows and knees, his feet, and the occasional patches on his face. He’s never had any angry or infected rashes like Arlo.
Rory’s eczema appears in typical places, Arlo’s was all over his body, and his cheeks were always raw and bleeding – I could never get it under control. Rory’s eczema responds really well to the usual creams, unlike Arlo’s. (At the moment, we are using Reczema, which was sent to us – a few days of applying the cream and we notice a real difference for Rory’s skin). Rory’s eczema has a chance to heal, unlike Arlo’s. Rory’s eczema is altogether much milder.
It has also been an eye-opener to have a baby who isn’t on a restricted diet. There are no intolerances, nothing affects his skin, he can eat whatever he wants, and whatever I am eating – its been so easy compared to weaning Arlo.
One of my worst worries when pregnant was that Arlo’s little sibling would suffer the same awful skin rashes and intolerances. I worried that he or she would also have CMPI, and I’d once again feel out of control, unable to make it better.
Severe eczema, especially when related to food intolerances, can be so debilitating. With Arlo, at the time it was just our normality – he was our first child and we had no comparison. But looking back I can see how it ruled so many aspects of his life and completely shaped my parenting decisions, always helping him to sleep and to resettle throughout the night (because he’d scratch his face until it bled if I didn’t hold him), to the action to continue to breastfeed him past the point I imagined I would (because he couldn’t tolerate formula or cow’s milk and it wasn’t until he was 11 months old that we FINALLY got refered to an infant dermatologist, who was the first and only person to agree to prescribe him hydrolised formula).
I know it’s probably a bit odd that one of my first thoughts when I look at photos like the ones below is, “Look how beautifully clear his skin is!”, but it’s still a bit of a novelty to me. We have been so very very lucky with Rory.