This post is sponsored by Paladin Labs, distributor of Dermakalm. The opinions on the blog, as always, are my own.
When my second son was just 2-years old, we noticed a small pink spot on his leg, about the size of a quarter. It was raised, rough in texture and my little guy had obviously been scratching.
“That’s eczema,” my family doctor said.
“I thought it was a rash?” I countered. “Don’t rashes itch?”
“Eczema is the itch that rashes,” she explained. “Just put a little hydrocortisone on it.”
(Usually, the first symptom of eczema is intense itching. The rash appears later and is red and has bumps of different sizes.)
We followed her instructions and didn’t think much about it. Neither my husband nor I had experience with eczema, as our older son had been spared and we didn’t have family members with the condition. However, within days, the eczema spread across one leg, then the next, and appeared on his elbows as well. Soon, almost 30% of his body was oozing, red and unbearably itchy for the little guy. It broke my heart.
For four years, for at least 15 days out of each month, we applied a prescription-strength steroid ointment to the affected areas. I won’t lie; it bothered me, a lot. I worried about the side effects of long-term use. I worried that his skin was stuck in a never-ending cycle of inflammation. And most of all, I worried that his eczema flare ups may prevent him from doing the things he loved most, like swimming, sports and getting dirty like little boys do.
So, at the end of 2016, I made a promise to myself: 2017 would be steroid-free. We aggressively researched ways to manage eczema to make it more tolerable, with the goal of getting his skin to baseline clarity. We loosely followed the following prevention checklist (source):
Choose loose cotton and soft fabrics over rough, tight, scratchy clothing.
Take lukewarm baths and showers; favour mild soap or non-soap cleansers.
Gently pat skin dry using a soft towel.
Learn what triggers eczema and try to avoid these.
In dry or cold weather, use a humidifier.
Keep fingernails short.
Overall, we found we could be lax on almost everything except keeping my little guy’s skin hydrated, the key to relieving the dreaded itch. We became obsessed with finding the most effective cream – one that was non-greasy, free of corticosteroids, fragrances, parabens and artificial colouring – and of course, easy to obtain at a Canadian pharmacy.
Introducing Dermakalm. The Dermakalm Eczema Cream for Infants and Children, like all the products in the eczema line, is developed with dermatologists to temporarily relieve symptoms of eczema, like itching, red spots, dry skin, scaling, oozing, abrasions and hardening of the skin. But there are a few key characteristics that set Dermakalm apart –
1. The cream can be used on children as young as 8 weeks old.
2. Only a thin layer is required. Dermakalm is a cost-effective solution even with repeated daily use, as a little goes a very long way. You’ll be surprised at how hydrating it is!
3. Dermakalm is formulated without corticosteroids. It can be used safely for up to 4 months (after which you should contact a physician).
We’ve been using Dermakalm on my son’s skin for almost 8 weeks now. We began when his skin was clear, and it has remained clear throughout use with no flare ups – even after swimming lessons (chlorine has been a trigger in the past). We really like it.
The formula is easy to apply and doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the skin. Dermakalm is also completely odourless, an added bonus!
Do you know someone living with eczema? What are your tips for managing outbreaks?