When Ezra was only a few months old we discovered that his skin was slowly getting red patches on his face.
At first I thought it was just baby acne, but it started to spread and it quickly got really bad. Like really, really bad. It started covering his scalp and the oils from his scalp would make his hair sticky and crusty. Washing it with mild soap or even water would cause his hair to fall out. He was so itchy and so miserable. When Ezra's skin was at it's worst, it looked like this...
It was terrifying. It was overwhelming. I felt completely hopeless, defeated and so sad for not being able to take his pain away. I stopped taking the kids out because I couldn't take the questions and the judgmental stares. I started washing Ezra's clothing and bedding in free and clear detergent and no dryer sheets (something we learned from my husband's dermatologist). Ezra had to wear socks on his hands to keep him from scratching his red spots raw. He would scratch them so hard they would bleed. He wouldn't sleep long stretches because he would wake up scratching his itches. I would nurse and rock him to sleep many times during the night. I would cover him with aquaphor and wished I could take every itch away from his tiny body. He had just recovered from having RSV where he needed breathing treatments with a nebulizer every few hours and now this?
When we got home I started his lotions and potions (what my mother calls them) and did as much internet research as I could. I had already looked up a lot while waiting for the dermatologist appointment, but now I had names and a diagnosis. I researched car seats and their coatings and found out that Britax and Orbit Baby were the only two manufacturers that agreed to not sell car seats with those harmful coatings staring January 1, 2013. So I went to Buy Buy Baby and searched every car seat box in their rafters to find a car seat that was manufactured in 2013. The salesman thought I was NUTS. I was so sad to get rid of Ezra's car seat because I had spent so much time revamping it from when it was one of the twins' car seats, but I didn't even hesitate if it would make Ezra better.
Immediately Ezra started feeling better. He (and I) started sleeping better. Things were working.
(Ezra's fancy and new no-harmful-checmicals car seat!)
Ezra ended up needing two rounds of antibiotics to clear up the staph infection, but he was progressing. It was slow, but it was progress and I was jumping for joy.
(the car seat i made a new cover for and had to get rid of)
A year later, we still have to use creams/ointments on him daily, but he doesn't have to use the oil anymore and the concentration for his two creams have decreased with one now being an over-the-counter hydrocortisone. A few things I've learned with this whole thing:
1. What works for my baby/your neighbor/your internet friend's kid may not work for you. Everyone is different with different skin issues. It's a process to find out the right products used in the right combination.
2. We wash anything and everything before it touches Ezra's skin. If not, he gets red bumps wherever he comes in contact with that fabric.
3. If we miss one application (some creams were twice a day in the beginning), it would set us back DAYS of progress. So I never skipped applications if I could help it.
4. After I applied his creams I would slather his body with aquaphor. His doctor said he has the kind of skin that can never have too much lotion on it, but aquaphor really helps. We tried CeraVe creams and lotions, but aquaphor works the best by far. I keep a tub of it on his dresser/changing area and put some on him with almost every diaper change. It really makes a huge difference applying it consistently.
5. Mustela Stelatopia Cream Cleanser is a really good body wash for Ezra. It doesn't dry him out or make him oily. (They're not paying me to say this [neither is aquaphor], but if you're reading this Mustela, you can totally send me free products, thanksssssss.)