After spending most of yesterday at the hospital, I had enough time to think about what I wanted to write next, unfortunately my phone battery was dead so it pretty much was all up in my head until this morning. I knew I had to write about my battle with Zoe’s dry skin (eczema, dermatitis,), you name it, we’ve seen it.

If someone had told me this will be something I would have to deal with, I wouldn’t have believed in a million years! Aside from chicken pox, I rarely have any skin issues and I don’t look after my skin half as much as I should. I guess I took it for granted my daughter will have flawless skin (which she’s still set to have as I hear they grow out of this phase).

Zoe came out all flaky after spending 2 weeks extra in my tummy, so the first few weeks it was more dry and flaky skin we had to contend with and being the typical Nigerian mum I was ready with my Shea-butter at my side but to my surprise, my little miss reacted to Shea-butter so we had to stop and moved over to Oilatum. After 4 weeks of using it, her skin was still getting dryer and flakier and she had a breakout of rashes which started to itch her badly; making for an uncomfortable mix. Another visit to the GP and we were advised to start using Aveeno and Bath her once every week (we were doing once every other week at this point).

Aveeno worked wonders, brought moisture back to her skin and helped with the rashes – it was great, I had found my magic portion. By month 5 she had this bad skin irritation at the back of her head, down her neck and for the first few weeks the GP misdiagnosed it, we were treating eczema with Cetraben, when later we found it was an infection and we were later prescribed Canesten HC (to be used lightly and sparingly). After a lot of back and forth I stopped using it as it wasn’t getting any better – it did help with the itching I have to say but that was about it.

Fast forward on month later till date she broke out with a bad case of eczema, it was so bad that it covered her had like an extra thick rough layer of skin and she was itching like a junkie. It gradually spread down to her legs and trunk. I have never felt more helpless a mum, it drives me crazy. Anyways, we went back to the GP and they asked we stop using Aveeno and prescribed, Aqueous cream (for bathing as well). After 2 weeks I was back to the GP (saw a different one this time) as there was no improvement. We then moved to Zeroderm and Dermol for her bathing water and Hydrocortisone to be applied to affected areas.

The combination worked wonders for the first 2 weeks and but after that it came with full force; like nasty rebound effect. At this point, a couple of mums advised me to skip Hydrocortisone (not the best for black babies) and every mum seem to have something they used personally or a friend used when their baby had the same issue. I’ve also come to realise that in the UK a lot of Black babies suffer from excessive dry skin. I still can’t figure it out – Why? Some say is the water, my mum says it’s the air 🙂

We are 4 months into this journey and I’ve done more research on this than anything else I have in a very long time. I’ve also done a bit of trial and error to work out the perfect solution – below is my game plan for the next 3 months;

  • Continue bathing once a day (it helped dramatically with the dryness when we started), so I’ll keep at it with Dermol in her water to make it skin friendly
  • I’m going back to Aveeno (complete care set). Experimented with it for 2 days and I’ve seen way better result without a doubt
  • Warm rinse her laundry after every machine wash
  • Increase her veggies intake and cut down a bit on diary

Not a very long list, but let’s see how it goes for the next three months – I’ll keep you posted. If this gets us to the point of an itch-free, clear skin baby, that is a “Bigly Win”.