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Posts tagged ‘eczema book’

6 Steps to Improve The Confidence Of Children With Eczema

By Aradhana Pandey (Bio below)

Preparing your little one for school ought to be one of the proudest moments of your life. It seems like just yesterday that you held them in your warm embrace for the first time. Today, you see them all grown up and set to face a brand new chapter in their life. Until now, your child mostly spent their time playing with you or a few friends that they made at a park down the road. School will expose them to many other kids who may not quite be like them. It’s only now that your child will begin to notice that not everyone has eczema and not all are troubled by the constant itching. As the other kids start to point it out, your child may lose confidence and go into their shell. Ensure you are aware of the possibilities which may arise, and take necessary precautions and action to keep your child from losing their morale. Here are 6 simple steps that can help improve the confidence of children with eczema. Read more

6 Things You Can Learn from My 10 Years of Eczema


By Harrison (Bio below)

I’m really happy to be featured on Jennifer’s blog today. I would like to share with you the lessons I learned about life when I had eczema. Let me introduce myself. I’m Harrison and I have had eczema since the age of 6. I developed this horrible skin disease and never grew out of it even when I got to high school. I prayed to God every night and hoped that he would help me grow out of it too. But I guess I wasn’t lucky enough. Until in the 10th grade of high school, the social consequences of having terribly scratchy, bleeding wounds had greatly reduced my self-esteem to the lowest point possible. I was very embarrassing when asked “jeez, what happened to your skin?” And, as you know, sweating can cause an itching frenzy, so having eczema also cut out any physical activities. It felt unfair when all I could do was sit back and watch my friends shoot hoops on the court. I hated my restricted life. I realized it was time, I had to get serious about getting rid of this skin problem.  It had to go. So I began hours of internet research on possible permanent treatments that were not steroid-related or overnight fixes. Read more

Eczema Book Review & Giveaway- Malcolm Finney Medical Detective: The Case of the Itch and the Rash

“The Case of the Itch and the Rash” is a new eczema children’s book, part of the Malcolm Finney Medical Detective Series, for children ages 6-11. It was written by Registered Nurse, Erika Kimble and is available for sale at

…but, we’re giving away one copy of the book to one reader. To enter the contest, please simply add a comment to this post and tell us about your child’s eczema. Contest ends April 30, 2013.

malcolm finney medical detective the case of the itch and the rash

About the book

“The Case of the Itch and the Rash” takes some of the medical jargon typically used when discussing eczema and explains it in an easy to understand format along with illustrations. The story is about Malcolm Finney (a forth grade medical detective) and his mission to identify what caused his friend, Carlita, to develop a rash and itchy skin. In the end the two sleuths are able to determine that Carlita has eczema and with the help of Carlita’s doctor, they find the right moisturizer and skincare program to clear up Carlita’s skin before her ballet recital.

malcolm finney eczema book

reading eczema children's book

Although the book is targeted for slightly older children, my 4.5 year old was really interested in the book when it arrived. He “read” it cover to cover alone and then asked me to read it to him. He listened intently through all 50 pages. I thought the medical explanations would be too much for him, but he was interested and asked questions. I guess he’s heard the word eczema in our house for so long and had never really seen a medical diagram of the condition or heard the condition explained in terms he could understand, so he was enthralled.

Don’t forget to add a comment to enter the giveaway for a copy of this book! Contest ends April 30, 2013!

Mark gets better with The Combined Approach to Eczema Treatment


By Dr. Christopher Bridgett

Mark is 2½ and lives with his older sister Jennie who is 4, and his Mum and Dad in a flat near the centre of town. He has had eczema since he was born, coming and going, but never clearing up. It disturbs everyone’s sleep, and he spends a great deal of time rubbing and scratching, day and night. Mum has had eczema too, but Dad is OK and so is Jennie. Mum found a book called “The Eczema Solution” by Sue Armstrong-Brown and with the help of her doctor found using The Combined Approach described in the book really worked for her. So she has decided to use the same approach for Mark. The doctor explains it needs planning, but it would be worth doing. The Combined Approach is for atopic eczema that never seems to clear up properly with creams alone. It includes “habit reversal”, a treatment to help with the habitual scratching that causes damage to the skin that will not heal with creams on their own. (Click HERE to learn more about habit reversal.)

The doctor explains the programme for Mark will have to involve everyone! A plan is needed, and first over a few days it is important to make three lists. One is of all the things that seem to make Mark’s eczema worse: house dust, oranges, woollen clothes, and getting too hot all seem important, as does when he stays with his grandparents – perhaps the cat is the problem! The second list is things to do with Mark that he enjoys doing, and especially anything that keeps his hands busy! They list: playing with someone rather than being alone, sitting on a lap listening to stories being read aloud, drawing with crayons and doing his jigsaw puzzles, playing with play-dough and with his plastic building blocks. Finally, after watching Mark for a couple of days, Mum makes a list of all the times, situations, circumstances and activities that she can link with Mark’s scratching – getting dressed and undressed, before he goes to sleep, while he is asleep, waiting in his chair before meals, sitting on his potty, watching TV, and being on his own playing with his toys – all these seem important.

The doctor gives them a booklet called “Living Without Eczema” The Handbook for Younger Children and their Parents, which explains what needs to be done. It explains how the programme works – especially by replacing scratching with healing, but also how the moisturizers and steroid creams work, and how to use them correctly. Scratching for Mark is now as much a habit as caused by itch. Habits needed to be understood before they can be changed. The booklet explains how to do it all. The list of things that Mark likes doing is for everyone involved to refer to. It gives some ideas how to help Mark get his eczema healing, by leaving his skin alone for long enough. The doctor also makes sure Mum has the moisturizers they like best, and a good supply of correct steroid creams. He reviews with them how to use the creams, and especially says it is important to use the topical steroid for long enough: not to stop too soon.

As well as using the creams correctly, for the first few days everyone possible has to be available to help with the programme, taking it in turns. They decide to start on a Friday, so on Saturday and Sunday Dad will be there to help. Dad also arranges to be there on Monday too. Mark’s Grandad and Granny will help, as will Mum’s friend Sue, and their neighbour Carol. The idea is that for four days and nights Mark is to have someone with him all the time. Mum draws up a rota, and gives everyone a copy of the list of things to think about that will help keep Mark’s hands off his healing skin. They all have to understand how important it is when changing behaviour to keep all interventions positive.  When any attention is given directly to undesirable or negative behaviour, the effect can be the opposite of what is wanted: the undesirable can become re-inforced and then more likely to happen, as it is attracting attention. So it is very important never to say “Stop” or “Don’t”, but to focus always on encouraging Mark, diverting and distracting him with talk, & play. For three nights they take it in turns to stay awake through the night next to Mark as he sleeps, gently lifting him up and cuddling him every time he starts to scratch or rub his skin. (Click HERE to learn more about why it’s important to avoid saying “stopscratching.”)

By the end of Monday Mark’s skin is looking really great. He is definitely scratching so much less that everyone agrees he will now sleep OK again on his own, and from then onwards the “sentry duty” of the first four days is no longer necessary. The correct use of creams is the important thing now, and even though after another few days the skin looks as if it is healing really fast, or in some places has healed altogether, it is important to continue both moisturizers and topical steroids for a few weeks in total, to make sure the healing is through and through.  How long this takes is worked out by seeing when it all looks healed: “the look good point”, and then continuing for the same length of time, to do what is called “hidden healing”. Otherwise, all the other things that have helped during the first four days are important still, especially watching out for rubbing and scratching, and diverting and distracting again when necessary. Also now Mark gets lots of praise and attention for playing without rubbing and scratching. He is much happier now he was sleeping better, as is everyone of course!

When they go to see the doctor after four weeks all his eczema has been healed for a week. It is decided to reduce the frequency of the topical steroid to once a day for two more weeks, but continue with the moisturizer as needed: three times a day at present. The importance from now on of catching any eczema flare-up quickly is agreed. This treatment  is called “Zapping The Relapse”. Any redness, dryness, roughness or itch will now be given prompt extra steroid and moisturizer for a few days, exactly as it says in the booklet “Live Without Eczema”. By referring back to the list of factors that seemed important in making Mark’s eczema worse, it is possible to see how flare-ups can sometimes be predicted, and the quick “zap” treatment is easier to give. It is especially important to always have available the creams needed for zapping, even when the skin seems perfect, so that they are always ready for when a new flare-up happens. The doctor helps with this. With this follow up plan the skin settles further, with flare-ups getting less and less troublesome, bit by bit, as the next three months go by.

Everyone agrees following the programme has been well worth the effort. Now little Mark and his family enjoy living without eczema. They no longer have to live with it!

Bio: Dr Christopher Bridgett has a special interest in using behavioral interventions to help people with atopic eczema. DrB trained in medicine at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, then as a psychiatrist in Oxford. He now works in a private practice in London. He has co-authored several publications on The Combined Approach, that recommend using habit reversal to stop habitual scratching in atopic eczema. To find out more about behavioral dermatology, click here to read DrB’s interview with Peter Norén MD, the Swedish dermatologist who created The Combined Approach.



Live Without Eczema – The Handbook for Younger Children and their Parents by Christopher Bridgett and Peter Norén 1996,

The Eczema Solution by Sue Armstrong-Brown  2002     Vermilion,  London

Top Distraction Techniques to Prevent Toddler & Baby Scratching

In How to Prevent Baby & Toddler Scratching With Eczema Clothing I discussed scratch protective eczema clothing for babies and children, which are a lifesaver at night to prevent baby scratching, which we all know can majorly disrupt sleep. But these clothes with attached mittens are also great for “emergency” itch relief for babies and kids during the day. Though it’s not ideal to keep children’s hands covered for too long during waking hours as it could cause development delays. Children learn with their hands and it’s critical we don’t restrict this educational growth. When their hands are not covered, distraction techniques can be a great way to keep your itchy baby from scratching. Read more

Eczema Blues, a Light-Hearted, but Info Packed Blog for Stressed Parents

It’s my first guest blogger! Welcome to Marcie’s Mom! Hers was one of the very first eczema blogs, Eczema Blues, I came across that was targeted to parents. I particularly like her cartoons about how our life, dealing with eczema, is quite different from other parents. And she has just started a support group for parents in Singapore. I’ve asked her to share her story and the inspiration behind her blog.

Marice with her Mom

Hi! I’m the mom of baby girl Marcie, who has eczema from two weeks old. Her eczema was pretty serious, all over her body and she had to take a one-time oral steroid course before it became manageable. It was very stressful taking care of her as a stay-at-home mom – apart from the usual stress faced by first-time mom, there’s additional stress with stopping Marcie from scratching and figuring out how to manage her eczema. When Marcie’s eczema got better, I decided to start a blog to share tips on managing eczema and offer a light-hearted approach to it, keeping to my blog’s motto “Turning Blues to Bliss”. Much of the motivation came from remembering my own experience of researching on the web late into the night, and often ended up even more tired, confused and worried.

From Information Posts to Cartoons
Sometime in August, I decided to offer my readers who are mostly stressed out parents with a weekly cartoon series “101 things that Moms with Eczema Child do Differently“. I always loved cartooning, dreaming of one day being a cartoonist, and this offers an excellent avenue for me to draw, and for a purpose – to give parents a good laugh to lighten their day. At the same time, it offers a friendly way to inform the public how much eczema affects the parents’ life and hopefully, they will be of better support to their friends or relatives who have to deal with their children’s eczema.

A Unique Book for Eczema Children
I also created a picture book “A to Z Animals Are Not Scratching!“, and all the animals in this book were drawn by me on Adobe Illustrator. I love graphic design as well, and almost set up my own stationery store, selling of course, all the stationery designed by me. I haven’t sold any stationery though, but I have designed and donated over 10,000 bookmarks featuring different Swahili bible verses for missionaries to bring to Africa. The inspiration for this children book really came from Marcie, because she loves reading, especially books on animals and alphabets. So once again, my creative self needed an outlet and I started creating the picture book.

Turning Blues to Bliss
Making life better for stressed out parents gives me the motivation for the blog – even if it’s just for the few seconds they laugh at a cartoon or the few minutes they save researching a topic. I’ve also started a support group in Singapore to offer parents a safe place to share with others who’d understand. I’m also passionate about lower income families with eczema children as I can’t imagine how to manage the eczema without money for treatment or moisturizers or having to work shifts to make ends meet. To help this group, I’m working with a non-profit to set up a fund to subsidize their medical costs. Hopefully, all eczema children will have a better quality of life, along with happier parents.

Thanks Marcie! I’ll be sure to pass along the information on her new non-profit, once it’s established. What a motivated mom!

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