One great thing that has come out of my son having eczema is that it has almost cured my brothers eczema. How?
My brother, Bradly, has always had mild eczema. It would come and go and wasn’t a bother or a worry. I remember as children, Dad getting this cream for my brother which we would refer to as “snot” because of its colour and texture to treat the eczema.
When Brad was in his early twenties, his eczema suddenly got worse. Like a swarm of ants on food, it took over and devastated his entire body – head to toe. His eczema had cracks, sores, weeping spots, it was oozing with infections and red raw. It was so sore and the itch was torture. He couldn’t live normally. He would put on his Drs prescribed cream (cetamacrogil, 20 years later they no longer give out the “snot” cream) and sit in front of the fan nearly 24 hours a day. He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t walk due to pain or work due this debilitating skin condition. We never saw him, he kept to himself in his room at Dad’s house. Instead of my brother, he was pretty much a a sleep deprived zombie covered in weepy sores. This went on for over a year. He had Dr appointments and specialist appointments, all of these specialists told him the same thing and gave steroid creams. He was supposed to be admitted to hospital for a length of time until he showed improvement however he declined several times. At the Superclinic, they asked him if they could take photos as it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. These are the only pictures anyone has of Brad, a photographer, with eczema.
Then his nephew, my son, was born. Bradly has been a wonderful Uncle since day one, he actually came out to the hospital to meet my son and saw him before I did (My son was in NICU and I was busy having a few surgeries post birth – another story for another day). When my son started getting eczema at just two months, you could see it in Bradlys face that he was so sad for the poor bubba! He asked if we had got the steroids etc. and I was always asking Bradly for tips about what to do for the itch etc. Sometimes he’d say, “you’ve done a bath, you put him in front of the fan with cream on, he’s not too hot… there’s really nothing else you can do”. My heart would break and I could see Bradlys did too, as he knew exactly what torture it was to be in pain and itching 24/7.
We did the Dr’s suggestions for a while but I couldn’t sit back and do nothing else. I decided to do some modern parenting (I used google) to explore other ways of treating the eczema. It got so desperate that I was keen to try anything. We started off with trying an elimination diet, so as my son was breastfed, I cut out all common allergens and threw the formula in the bin. Within a month, my son had dramatically improved then we went on to do full gut health diet along side cutting out chemicals in the home etc and now he’s great! Not 100% but he’s so much better.
I kept Bradly in the loop with what we were trying out, he decided to try cutting out dairy and egg and it worked for him in the same way. Within a month of cutting this out, he had improved greatly. Not 100% but now he’s well enough to sleep, walk and work – things he couldn’t have imagined doing with his condition before.
I asked Brad if the Dr’s, hospital staff or specialists had ever suggested diet as a treatment for him. He said that not one person ever had. This makes me so sad then also a little angry that Bradly had to suffer for years, he was on very strong antibiotics for four months which have caused permanent damage in one eye.
My Dad can’t believe what a difference diet can make, he said to me “wow, we never thought to look at diet”. I replied, “Dad, you just never thought to look”.
Hopefully these kinds of stories online can help others in similar situations so they don’t have to suffer in the same way.