Tag Archives: skin asthma

Coping with skin asthma (Atopic Dermatis)

It’s not easy for my son and my family to cope with his skin asthma.
coping with skin asthma

Nate is in the midst of what could be his worst and longest skin asthma flare-up yet. And it is breaking our hearts to see him itching, oozing, struggling, wanting to do so many things in school, but not being able to do so. Even simply joining P.E. class is hard for him because sweating makes him itch. And sweat on his broken skin  – very very painful. 🙁

Sometimes, I think I’d put a sandwich sign around my son’s neck. It will read:

I have skin asthma.

No, not contagious.

Yes, very itchy. And painful.

Yes, I have meds. Lotions too.

And creams. And ointments.

And salts in my bath.

Nope – chips, candies, chocolate and Coke not allowed.

Yes, a little compassion please.

He’s been getting really bad flareups lately. And things get very frustrating at times. Today, he is absent in school again because the skin on his neck is oozing, and just turning his head is painful.

I really did not need to see the horrified look on that mommy’s face in school when she saw his neck yesterday. Pfffft. Or hear from Nate that some classmates think he looks like a zombie. (That’s rude, kids. But, oh well…)

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Healthy living starts at home

Since I got myself into working for the Philippine Online Chronicle’s Health and Wellness channel, Ive been very busy. Yes, no doubt about that. But no, that’s not the point I want to make.

Again, again, again…

Since I got myself into working for the Philippine Online Chronicle’s Health and Wellness channel,I’ve become more and more inspired to live healthily. The article on organic eating inspired me one day to buy organic eggs.

My son, Nate, has skin asthma and is allergic to a whooooole lot of food, including eggs. I learned from the article that organic eggs have no antibiotics, synthetic hormones, have higher Omega-3 fatty acids, and thus may not be as allergenic as ordinary eggs.

Surprisingly and to my amazement, Nate did not break into a rash with the organic eggs! So we’re definitely sticking to them. So far, for my family: brown rice, check! Organic eggs, check! No beef, check!

I’d like to slowly move towards semi-vegetarianism, or pescetarianism. But with kids to feed (one of them allergic to fish), I am sure I can only do it gradually. On my last supermarket trip, I bought more chicken breast than the legs that I usually buy, more fish, and just a kilo of pork! So far, my family has not noticed that we have not had a fatty pork dish all week! And Nate isn’t allergic to chicken breast anymore!

Now if only I can convince hub to quit smoking and use an e-cigarette instead…

That is the real challenge, because Hub is the most hard-headed person I know. Tsk, tsk. But that is for another story for another blog post.

Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis

Even as a parent of an atopic child, I sometimes still get confused between eczema and atopic dermatitis. They are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different. I have a child who suffers from atopic dermatitis.

Eczema is a general term used for a group of skin inflammations or “dermatitis”. Atopic dermatitis is a specific skin condition marked by dry, itchy, scaly rashes that generally appear on the face and scalp (especially among babies), elbows, back of the knees, neck, wrist, ankle, hands, and feet.

Atopic dermatitis is caused by several factors. The leading factor is heredity. As early as infancy, I myself suffered skin allergies. This carried on until I was in grade school. Up to now, I’d get itchy breakouts around my wrists and on my forearm once in a while.

So it’s not a wonder why my son suffers the same condition.

The environment also has got a lot to do with risks for atopic dermatitis. Living in an urban area with a lot of pollution increases the chances to develop the skin condition.

Atopic dermatitis can also occur, and is more likely to occur, with asthma, hay fever and other allergic conditions.

Living with an atopic child has led me to read up more about the condition so that I can better manage him. Right now, he is on relative remission, with sporadic breakouts only once in a while. (His scalp rashes are more recurrent and challenging though.)

The two tricks that has worked best with my son are: 1. Food trigger avoidance. 2. Skin moisturization.

Learn more about eczema and atopic dermatitis on www.eczema.com.

Living with an allergic child

Having an allergic child in the home is not easy. But we have somehow gotten used to it and we are all coping well.

I use “we” because the management of skin asthma is a family effort.

We don’t eat the food that Nate is allergic to. (At least not in front of him, anyway, hehe.) Food with preservatives – hotdogs, bacon, Spam, stuff we’d really, really love to have for breakfast – are off the table.

We minimize allergens so every other day, the bedroom and the living room –  everything upholstered and with fabric in those rooms –  are vacuumed. Not with an ordinary vacuum. Hub bought a special anti-dust mite UV vacuum cleaner/fabric sterilizer on his last trip to China. The nifty gadget seems to be working well.

Ah, Nate’s skin care regimen is something else too. His monthly budget for skin lotions, creams, ointments surpass mine by a huge amount! Right after taking a bath, and about 2 more times a day, his skin is slathered all over with Cetaphil lotion. Nothing else can touch his skin –  not colognes, not powder, not shampoos and soaps. It just has to be Cetaphil (cleanser and lotion).

These three things are the things that the family seems to be doing right: food, environment and skin care. Nate’s allergologist tells me these 3 are essential to managing Nate’s skin asthma.

So far, so good. 🙂

Continue reading Living with an allergic child

Atopic dermatitis update: flare alert!

Nate has skin asthma (atopic dermatitis) – he’s had the condition since he was a baby. But his allergy episodes seem to have gotten worse at the start of this year, and then after typhoon Ondoy struck.

It must be the air. You know, how there are more allergens (molds, mildew) in the air when it’s rainy, damp or cold.

We have taken out eggs, fish, chicken, chocolates, cheese, nuts and processed food such as hotdogs and chips from his diet. Recently, I have been minimizing his intake of cookies and crackers that may have wheat (a possible allergen) and preservatives. (WOW! It’s a wonder that he is big and heavy despite all the restrictions!)

Nate is also on maintenance meds – montelukast 4mg tab, and desloratadine 5ml every single day!

But he still gets these rashes. He has had severe episodes several times since the rainy season began in early June. Unfortunately for Nate, this year’s rainy season has extended well into the current month. 🙁

Severe as in weeping lesions on the scalp and dry, itchy skin all over the body. It really is so frustrating when I see him scratching all over, and I can only offer an extra pair of hands to help him.

Anyway, we’ve been seeing a new allergologist. She seems to be managing Nate well. We went on our second visit today. Last week, on our first visit, Nate had an active allergy episode, so she prescribed meds and gave specific skin care instructions.

I am happy that the episode is resolving. Today, the doctor noted remarkable improvement of his skin – smoother and more hydrated than last week.

And here is better news: we got the green light to re-introduce freshwater fish, egg yolks and white chicken meat! *wooohooo*

Of course I will be doing this gradually – one type of food at a time; observe for 3 days; if no flare-up, proceed to next food item.

I am so glad things are looking better, and I found a doctor who is working with me and Nate to manage his atopic dermatitis.

Let’s see in a couple of weeks when we go back for another follow-up with the doc. I hope by then, I would have successfully re-introduced fish, chicken and egg yolks to Nate. Wish us luck! 🙂