Identifying the cause of eczema, psoriasis and dry skin conditions
It’s so hard seeing your children in pain. Eczema and psoriasis can be caused by a wide range of things and while you can use creams and ointments to help manage the itch, finding a way to avoid flare ups is even better.
Often whether the response is to something in the diet or environmental there isn’t a reaction straight away, but over the days following exposure. This can make it really hard to identify the cause or any patterns in flare ups. Epaderm has a tracker you can download to help keep a record of reactions and as a prompt for treatments. I have recently started using the tracker with my eldest daughter (M) to help us get a better understanding of her eczema.
My Daughter’s Eczema
M developed eczema in the summer shortly before she turned 2. Looking back at the photos I took back then I can see some blurry glimpses of it, but I remember that when we went on holiday she had nasty red patches on her inner elbows, back of knees and her face. We started to cut out dairy and by the time she returned to nursery there was a definite improvement so we changed her diet to be mostly dairy free.
As M got older we gradually increased the type and amount of dairy she was allowed and she would get occasional skin flare ups when she had a lot, but nothing as bad as that first summer. As she got older it felt unfair to refuse her the pleasure of ice cream and cakes at birthday parties when her reaction was only mild so we made the decision that she could choose what she ate as she would be the one suffering the consequences.
When M has a flare up now (aged 9) it tends to be on her upper legs and we no longer know what causes the reaction. I suspect it is mostly caused from what goes on her skin rather than what she eats so I am careful about what bath products she uses, washing powders and sun cream. She spends half her time at her Dad’s house and seems to think she is an independent teenager who can do whatever she wants so it is becoming increasingly important to work with her to understand what causes her problems and to let her lead on it because I can’t be there for her all the time.
Tracking Skin Flare Ups
The tracker Epaderm created is designed to help long-term management of skin conditions rather than provide a quick fix. There are a few boxes to complete each day and it gives a good overall picture of what is going on. Epaderm found from feedback that over half of parents reported it took up to 6 months to find the right treatment routine, so we are going to stick with it and provide updates during my time as an Ambassador for Epaderm.
I have talked through the information on the tracker with M and we filled in the first few days together. It is now stuck on the fridge and I am encouraging her to go to it each day and record how her eczema is doing.
The tracker is based on research findings from a year long study with 200 parents of which 60 % found that tracking the skin’s appearance, treatments and triggers improved their child’s eczema and 89% said that using the tracker made them more confident in managing their child’s skin condition.
There is space on the print out to record a quick note each day on the skin condition, triggers and treatment as well as a monthly review about how the skin is doing and what is working and not working. If you would like to join in the journey with us you can download the tracker here. I would love to hear how you get on.