hidayat: the eczema expedition ii

during raya last year, my aunties were going all, “you should sleep now before your baby’s born! after that, there’s no full-night of sleep for you until he goes to school!”. i believed in it, and the night hidayat came into this world, i knew what i had to expect from then onwards.

with him having eczema though, it’s prolly a tad bit e x t r a in comparison to having a normal baby.

despite having eczema, my baby’s pretty active. he’d jump from one person to another, try his best to reach out for everything within his grasp, and attempt to pull it into his mouth for a little taste (or gumless bite): practically marking his territory on every single item in the house (you name it, the tip of chairs, mirrors, the floor, pillows, everything). all in all, he’s been getting on pretty well, being a baby.

his development may not be as quick as i’d expected it to be. he started turning/rolling over, both sides, at 3 months. when the eczema kicked in though, everything became slow.

up until today, i still bundle him up with a swaddle (up to his knees) so that he wouldn’t end up bleeding in the morning from all the scratching in his sleep. i still have to monitor him during tummy time incase he gets frustrated, then, resulting in another scratching fit. he practically scratches his face whenever he gets frustrated, angry, hungry or sad.

it’s really tough, having to watch his development being slightly stunted due to all these restrictions. he can’t be left on the floor for tummy time more than two minutes, he still has to put his mittens on occasionally too, hence, the fact that he still looks at his hands and fingers in awe whenever we remove his mittens.

to all the mothers of babies without eczema, be grateful. however cranky, demanding or quiet your baby may be, just be grateful you’ve got a normal baby. to those who are in the same place as i am (and even those with tougher conditions), i suppose all we need is faith and a lot of perseverance. we can do this 🙂

as for hidayat’s current routine, i’m on a roll. being a desperate mom, i joined tonnes of facebook groups for mothers with eczema babies, read up a whole lot about eczema and its causes, the types, the remedies and thank goodness, i found a ‘remedy’.

it’s called: remdii. you can read up about it by clicking the link. formulated by local researches, specifically ideated by Dr Lai OiMing whose son had terrible eczema. initially, when i’d stumble upon it while conducting my research at 4am, i was a bit skeptical about trying it out- but when i glanced over to all the creams i had lined up on my table, fact was: none of them are actually working. the moogoo msm? funny story. my probably-still-pregnant-brain went an left it in the breastfeeding room at kpj damansara whilst changing and reapplying the creams on hidayat’s face. so i scrapped the moogoo routine.

i thought to myself: all, or nothing.

so i went ahead with it. bought it through one of their agents and decided to try it out. the moment the remdii arrived at our doorstep, i immediately tried it out.

patch tested it on his ankle and saw no negative reaction to it after 24 hours, so i proceeded with his routine. with remdii, my routine on hidayat’s face would be as so:

  • if he scratches it (accidentally? purposely? whichever fits, so long as it’s wet or weeping), it would be necessary for me to dab a cloth over the weepy area, then, dab 0.9% saline solution using a gauze or cotton pad, allllllll over the weepy areas (only), as often as i could, until the weepy area becomes dry. the reason as to why 0.9% saline solution is crucial in terms of treating weepy eczema is because the saline solution assists his skin in providing a preferable and optimum environment, as to expedite the repairing that’s going on, hence, why it dries out all the oozing water.
  • once the weepy area becomes dry, start on the remdii routine:
    – apply vaseline all over the dry areas
    – apply remdii all over the applied areas
    note: if it’s weepy even after remdii is applied, repeat the saline, vaseline & remdii cycle.
  • the vaseline + remdii routine should be applied every 2 hours, and extended to 3 hours once he’s healed.

as to my surprise, hidayat’s skin miraculously improved within one month over! of course, it comes with other preventive measures such as my extra-discipline gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free diet with tonnes of greens and omega3. i started taking more vitamins and supplements, took probiotic supplements to help with hidayat’s gut and tried my best to keep his bedsheets (or where i lay him for bed) clean by having it changed often (1-2 days).

i admit, it’s been excruciatingly tough for me, but i guess with all that’s happened, i could say that i gained a whole lot of experience in handling an eczema baby. he’s still not fully healed, and he still has red spots and patches all over his face when i don’t moisturize him in time, and when he scratches his face, but what’s most important is: i know how to have it controlled.

there’s no true shortcut to managing eczema (especially when a super active baby’s having eczema, not only on the knooks and crannies of his body, but his face), so i’ve managed to learn how to stay calm whenever an outbreak or a flare up occurs.

i don’t mind being physically challenged by eczema, but what’s been heartbreaking for me is the fact that i can’t even plant a kiss on my own son’s cheeks. all my life i’ve been imagining, planting a kiss on my baby’s cheeks every morning, afternoon, evening, night, and whenever necessary (this imagination pretty much faded away when i was going through the takmo kawen phase though ehe). other mothers can easily kiss their children’s soft, supple and normal cheeks, but here i am, wishing i can plant a kiss on my son’s red cheeks without him wanting to scratch it right after.

it’s alright. maybe one day, Godwilling, when he grows out of it. i know, now, to plant as many kisses as i can, every single time i get to.


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