Life goes on: Chronic Atopic Dermatitis

Dear Readers,

Clarke is in an acute AD (eczema) flare right now. I’m happy to say that her skin care has finally assimilated into our regular routine. Making it less jarring to keep up with. We’re getting used to it. Our collective emotions, while still sad for her, are not on the rollercoster they once were. Over these past several weeks, Clarke has had some really good times with her skin. I’ve finally seen some good come from revisiting some of the old topical emollients/moisturizers that didn’t serve us well in the past. Continue reading Life goes on: Chronic Atopic Dermatitis

AD Care: Treating the Skin while Bludgeoning the Wallet

Dear Readers,

I bet you’ve heard that kids are expensive. I didn’t agree until we started financing treatments for Clarke’s AD (eczema). As I begin my career as an ND (naturopathic doctor) I understand how important it is to help patients work out a practical budget for care and treatment. This is something that has been sorely overlooked by all of our practitioners. Isn’t financial health a part of the wellness and healing journey! As Clarke’s AD has proven recalcitrant to most treatments, I’ve often felt like we are throwing hundreds of dollars at her condition in vain. Continue reading AD Care: Treating the Skin while Bludgeoning the Wallet

Implementing changes for the best AD care

Tiny Scratches by Zora Madison Heath

Dear Readers,

We’ve been having some really tough days at the M. Heath house. Clarke continues to pull at her hair, scratching the scalp, and scratching at her skin every chance she gets. Needless to say, it’s been frustrating. There have been so many recent changes. Including starting Clarke on solid food ~3 wks ago! We also tried using the steroid creams for 7 days straight. It helped a bit, but its not a cure. And I find that the more we use steroids on Clarke, the more we need to use them just to maintain the baseline care they provide.

Continue reading Implementing changes for the best AD care

Clean Eats for AD #2

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Dear Readers,

I’m happy to share another clean eats with you! While research is divided over the roll of food sensitivities on AD (eczema), many people find benefit from eating a hypoallergenic diet. This is a diet devoid of foods found to be troublesome to the individual. Those foods may cause digestive upset, skin irritation, fatigue, and more.

This recipe for Mai Tasty Lentil Soup is devoid of all the major allergens: gluten, dairy, corn, nut, soy and eggs. Just keep in mind I cook from the heart, rarely using measurements. Let your taste buds be your guide!! Continue reading Clean Eats for AD #2

What corticosteroids can do. Risks and Benefits

Dear Readers,

I’m happy to share with you that Clarke has been much better these past 2-3 days. She’s sleeping better, scratching less, and less red/inflamed. While her signs and symptoms of AD (eczema) are never fully absent, she is fully present. Whole and complete. The largest contributor to her current picture is a stressing one. Corticosteroid creams. Why is this troubling me? Because of all the harm that corticosteroids can do. Continue reading What corticosteroids can do. Risks and Benefits

To eat or Not to eat, that’s the AD (eczema) question

Dear Readers,

My thoughts turn to my 2 year old girl, Zora. The successes we experienced with her skin care duped us in for Clarke’s.

30-80% of childhood eczema is food-induced [a concept that is nearly 90 years old!]. But researchers are not in agreement as to the nature of these reactions [I’m not surprised!]. For decades conventional treatment of AD (eczema) in children has been topical corticosteroid creams, moisturizers, TCLs (topical calcineurin inhibitors), oral antibiotics for infection, sedating antihistamines for sleep, and to a lesser extent, phototherapy. Continue reading To eat or Not to eat, that’s the AD (eczema) question

Who is this child? Emotional management, acceptance, and AD

Dear Readers,

It is well known and documented that AD has great potential to adversely effect family dynamics. This past week was a really challenging one for us. Clarke’s AD woke her up nearly every night. On one in particular, Mark had to put her to sleep every 20 minutes for nearly an hour. And her skin health continues to be inconsistent. It saddens me to say that there have been times when it has hurt my heart to look at my daughter. Her infantile hands, gloved for her own protection, batting at her itchy face. The open weepy wounds and red crusty¬†papules hurt my heart. The hair she’s lost as she scratches at her scalp and pulls at her hair. I wonder, “Who is this little girl?”. This was especially the case at the beginning of the condition. Before we really knew what was going on or how we would handle it. Continue reading Who is this child? Emotional management, acceptance, and AD

Go straight to Emergency! Your child has eczema: AD and Superinfections

Clarke at 1 day old

Dear Readers,

Managing AD is a full time job. After we found out that Clarke didn’t have erysipelas, 5th disease, or meningitis (yes all on the DDx/consideration list) we got a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis or eczema. This wasn’t until a walk-in clinic doctor had us rush 2 month old Clarke to the nearest hospital as her face swab test results showed an overgrowth of the bacteria Staph aureus on her skin. Her trunk was inflamed and her cheeks were covered in large, angry, red wounds. It was an erythromycin-resistant strain and the doctor was afraid of sepsis. Continue reading Go straight to Emergency! Your child has eczema: AD and Superinfections

Clean Eating for AD

Dear Readers,

While there is debate and controversy about the efficacy of diet therapy on AD, my family has found some benefits in modifying our diet. Once Zora stop consuming corn, wheat, and apple (either by mouth or thru mommy milk) her eczema decreased by 75-80% (by our estimation).

While it’s easier to find meals devoid of one item (dairy, wheat, corn, etc) it’s much harder to find tasty recipes devoid of ALL the most common allergens. Here’s a rare gem. I hope you enjoy this dairy, corn, gluten, apple, banana, egg, nut free, vegetarian (vegan perhaps?) recipe [remove the tofu for a soy free option!].

Tofu lentil curry by Mai Continue reading Clean Eating for AD

The Itchy and Scratchy Show: the beginning

Dear Readers,

I’d like to share with you how AD (atopic dermatitis or eczema) came so aggressively into our lives. I’d like to explain how this all began. But really, that’s not possible. I’d think, some thought I had, some energy placed in me or Mark planted this seed. Or perhaps Clarke came to us with this ticking time bomb. Maybe she chose us to share this journey with. Thru all the speculation, I won’t be able to tell you how this all happened. Continue reading The Itchy and Scratchy Show: the beginning