My eyelids pop open to the sound of the crying baby, What time is it? Should I let him cry for 2 minutes as the sleep training book says? No, we’ve just come back from holiday, he must be getting used to his bed, I better go check on him.
All I see is blood on Isaac’s face, his clothes, his sheets, his sleeping bag. Blood everywhere. My first thought, thank goodness Isaac’s crying, at least I know he’s alive. Next thought, are we losing him? No, wait, where is the blood coming from? When my eyes finally focused, I noticed he’d scratched himself on the face. Relieved but still recovering from the fright my mind manufactured, I hold him close (I think more for my comfort than his) and start to wash his face with some cool water. Then changed him and his sheets. By the time we put him back to bed, I was furious!
Is this normal? Should a baby with eczema really go through this? I am using the hydrocortisone, I am using the emulsifying, is this the best we can do? There must be a better way…..I finally drift off to sleep. After months of unsuccessfully working on keeping his eczema under control that defining night was the catalyst to find a resolution that improved his (and our) quality of life.
Shortly after this, my dad, suggested I try fresh Aloe Vera on Isaac’s face. I very reluctantly agreed (expecting the aloe not to work) and allowed my dad to apply some fresh Aloe to Isaac’s face. Surprisingly the Aloe cleared up Isaac’s eczema! After months of eczematous skin on Isaac’s face, seeing his clear skin was just unbelievable.
Unfortunately, the Aloe only kept Isaac’s skin clear for a week. My excitement didn’t last long. During that week, I’d shared my partial success with my antenatal girls and one of them suggested a Kawakawa balm.
In desperation, I sourced some Kawakawa and beeswax and made up a balm, not really expecting much to happen. Upon using it, it surprised me that Isaac’s skin once again started to heal and clear. I’d stopped using all other products and focused on using this balm. I went on to research it and found that Kawakawa has anti-inflammatory effects and knowing that eczema was an inflammatory skin condition, I began my understanding of how this natural product worked. The balm worked well for maintaining his skin when there were no flare-ups and upon discussion with the eczema nurse, learned to use very mild hydrocortisone to control his flares. The flares I found weren’t as severe as when I was using the balm, so shorter courses of hydrocortisone were needed and there were more eczema free periods as the integrity of his skin improved.
As a mum who's been through sleepless nights because of eczema, I felt that the product had potential to improve health outcomes in children with eczema and would love to make a difference in the lives of those families.
PS: If you are wondering who the artistic talent behind the photo is: check out