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Deneen Carter is a licensed cosmetologist and has battled eczema for many years now. Her daughter, Kya has suffered from terrible flare ups and has even contracted cellulitis – a common bacterial skin infection.
A few weeks ago, Deneen asked to share Kya’s story with us. Full disclosure – some images might be graphic to some readers, but it’s the terrible truth of this often debilitating skin condition.
If you’re dealing with a toddler eczema rash at the moment or want to learn how a diet for eczema can heal your little one’s eczema, then we recommend reading this blog post.
By Deneen Carter (see bio below)
Many Americans nationwide suffer from this roller coaster of a skin disease every year. Unfortunately, it has become more common in the most recent years. The onset of eczema can start anywhere from birth to adulthood. For all age ranges, it is one of the most challenging skin conditions to have and treat.
I would like to start from the beginning of our fight. My daughter, Kya, was just about 15 months old when the battle between her and her skin started. The constant up and down with her skin flare ups was not only frustrating but more-so heartbreaking.
Watching my baby girl in constant agony and the non-stop scratching at her skin was the hardest part for me. At this age she was not able to voice to me what she was feeling or how bad it bothered her. She would just be miserable during the times when her skin was the most red and irritated. However, she couldn’t have understood why her skin was always feeling so itchy and dry.
Most children who don’t suffer from this chronic skin disease have the softest skin. Which is where the term, “soft as a baby’s bottom” comes from. This was never the case for my little one; she had rough dry patches all over her body. As soon as she was 18 months old, we had an allergy test done to determine what could be making her skin flare up so bad.
Once the test came back, it was determined she had an allergy to cow’s milk protein. We went through many doctors to try to find a solution. Cream after cream, topical after topical, nothing seemed to be working. This was starting to create an issue when it came to her missing day care, not to mention the time I had to take off work.
ILW Recommends: What Triggers Eczema? With Dr. Peter Lio
Collectively from 2015 to mid-2018 we had over a dozen different doctors’ appointments, with about 6 or 7 different opinions on what the best treatment was for her skin. This became very exhausting and ultimately, I was beginning to feel defeated. My daughter, as you could assume is my whole world, she is my reason for everything. Defeated or not, I was more determined to win this battle for her.
I spent countless hours researching the internet, reading articles on other people suffering from the same skin issue. What I found to be the best way to keep her symptoms from flaring up was a diet for eczema. DIET IS KEY! I began changing the foods she was consuming, making her drink mostly water, and started watching her symptoms subside.
ILW Recommends: Eczema and Diet: Healing from the Inside Out.
“GREAT!” I thought to myself, after seeing her with clear skin and being able to moisturize her skin with natural lotions and creams ; I thought we had it under control. Sadly, enough we had another severe skin flare-up. This time it was extremely intense, the worst I have ever seen. I couldn’t understand what caused this.
Two days later (at school), her teacher informed me that she had been scratching herself nonstop. My daughter dug at her skin until it is cracked and bled. Because her skin was open and susceptible to infection, she ended up with cellulitis on top of the eczema. “What a nightmare!” I thought to myself, “My baby girl just can’t catch a break!”
You can only assume what happened next. That’s right – more missed time from school as well as more missed time from work. Before we took her in to yet, another doctor’s appointment, I took some pictures. Her skin looked as if she had third degree burns on her knees and legs. I was concerned knowing that cellulitis can be so dangerous if left untreated.
The first few days were the hardest for us. Her legs became so swollen and sore that it was difficult for her to walk. Simple things like going to the bathroom, or getting up and down out from bed, even her daily chore to feed her cat was all was too much. Talk about your heart hurting. All I wanted to do was to take away her pain.
The next ten days, I made sure to keep her hands away from her sores and kept her to a strict skin routine. She had to take both strong antibiotics as well as very potent medicated topical treatments and creams. Finally, I was able to see her skin begin to clear up again.
Since the cellulitis incident, we have adopted a more strict diet for eczema and we try to stay away from “junk” food. Since doing that we’ve been able to pin point the things that I believe are triggering her skin to break out.
To this day, her eczema remains an unpredictable roller coaster. There will be times that the ocean water makes her skin heal and we have no issues, but other times when salt water makes her scream bloody murder!
Kya is now 4 years old, almost 5. While some children grow out of eczema, others will continue to ride this rollercoaster until they reach adulthood, or possibly for their entire lives. Eczema is a skin disease with a mind of its own. Every person is different and each person has a set of different triggers.
My daughter’s half-brother Liam has severe eczema and is allergic to just about everything. In order to keep his skin calm, he needs to pay close attention to his diet. Environmental stress also will cause break outs. Kasey (Liam’s mother) is a close friend of mine and has been riding this roller coaster with me for the past 4 years now. Having a good support system and staying positive for my daughter is what helps her most.
Do you have a story about yourself or a little one you’d like to share with us? Contact Us.
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Bio: Deneen Carter is a licensed cosmetologist, healthcare writer and a mother of a young child who has a chronic skin disease. Deneen is very passionate about Eczema awareness & discovering different treatments and preventatives for this skin disease. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, spending quality family time with her daughter, boyfriend and his two sons as well as continuing her education in the beauty and skin care industry.
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.