Life is diaspora has meant different things to us as a family. One of the many things we have learnt and embraced is eczema. Yes the severe dry skin. It may sound trivial but this dry skin showed us through our daughter that it can be a menace.
Our beloved daughter was born with beautiful baby skin, the soft smooth skin that you expect in babies. Four weeks after birth, she woke up one morning covered in flat well spread rash. I didn’t think much of it, continued our bath time routine as usual. Two weeks later, she was crying and scratching her face. Like any diligent mom, I neatly trimmed her nails hoping that would solve the problem. A week went by and whilst breastfeeding, I noted the tiny scratches that she had made onto her face were yellow and crusty.
By this time I was in second year nurse training, so I quickly indentified that there was infection somewhere. Our GP was amazing in prescribing the topical antibiotics, steroid cream as well as to apply into her skin and some moisturising cream for ‘dry’ skin. Indeed within a couple days, we could see a marked improvement. Relived and delighted, we were. After all, it was Christmas by this time and the all important Family Christmas pictures!
That was the beginning of a very long journey. A journey, we are hoping is taking us somehow remarkable and to a destination. We soon learnt about eczema from our lovely health visitor who had taken an interest on the condition. Bewildered, overwhelmed and stressed I was. I read as much as I could about the condition, diagnosis, side effects treatments etc.
Both me and hubby had not heard of this ‘terrible’ condition. I prayed, each time I thought about it. I cried every time I read about the bio-psycho-social burden of the disease. I couldn’t understand why and how she had got it. I had kept healthy throughout my pregnancy, if anything, I was a freaky healthy eater. Some friends explained that it was the mackerel fish that I loved so much during pregnancy.
Anyway, God is faithful, over the years we continued with the moisturing regimen, paying attention to the change of seasons. It was well managed and we didn’t have any problem. As soon as we saw the inflammation of joints, we diligently started the moisturising regimen.
Our challenge and testing time came when we moved house. The poor girl just woke up on new year’s eve with pitch black lips and eyelids. Initially, we thought she had eaten something that coloured her lips. Within a week, there was an aggressive flare up that got infected and wouldn’t respond effectively to steroids. It was time to see a dermatologist. What a fight that was to get GP to refer.
Even then, we needed antibiotics, days off school/ work. It was heartbreaking, stressful and frustrating.
It turns out amongst cat allergens our baby girl had very low vitamin D levels. Since then we take Vitamin D supplements religiously in our house. Rightfully so! These sun pills are good for mental well being, reduces SAD and bone density in both young and old.
Who knew what the magical African sun meant to us when we were growing up. Now I understand and appreciate why africans are able to smile through life’s seasons 🌞🌞
The department of health, recommends that people of African and Asian origin take vitamin D supplements throughout the year. You can buy these from the supermarket, boots or health shops such as holland and barratts. It’s important to follow the dose and stated by the department of health guidelines.
When the sun is out, enjoy it.
Vitamin D Guidelines from NHS-UK: https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/the-new-guidelines-on-vitamin-d-what-you-need-to-know/