Caden’s Terrible Eczema

This is the story of a boy who is sweet as honey, funny as three stooges (combined), mature as his mother, brave as a lion that I am proud to call my son.

I want to share Caden’s story, in my first attempt to reach out to parents who might need some help, like I did, for an extreme/horrendous case of eczema.  I am not out to win any contest for who has worse eczema, but I will say, this is not your “run-of-the-mill” eczema that crops up occasionally in small patches.  This is type of eczema consumes the entire body from scalp to toes.

Caden started with eczema at around 9 months of age: at that point it wasn’t too serious, more like the simple eczema behind the knees kind of eczema.  Then, at the age of three, things started spiraling downward and didn’t stop.  One morning he would wake up with red swollen skin on his arms, then his legs, then it would retreat and come flaring back worse and worse.  Every night Caden was up 7-10 times a night.  My friends would say, “Gosh it’s like having a newborn again”.  Not really.  Because there are no newborns that I know of who wake up with half of their skin scratched off then are hospitalized from dehydration because so much of their skin is gone, they can’t maintain normal body temperature.  More like a burn victim who is fighting for their life, than a newborn needing a warm bosom for milk.   But I digress.  I am not here to vent, I am here to share what I learned.

What I learned is that it was hard to find resources for kids with this serious eczema- and I would like to invite anyone who needs help or has experience to contact me directly or refer me to your friends.  I took Caden to a place called National Jewish Health in Denver, CO.  They taught me how to handle his situation in a consistent and proven way that has given us some hope.  Mostly, their treatment consists of multiple baths and immediate and ample moisturizing with vanicream to protect his skin and keep bacteria from finding a home on his skin.  But there are so many additional facets to the treatment.

Ultimately, what I want to share with readers is that I have a new perspective on life as a result of Caden’s struggles.  I have a new level of respect for anyone who deals with chronic illness.  We have struggled for three years, and it feels like a lifetime.  If your child struggles from eczema, please feel free to comment, question or contact me.  I will responds quickly.  I can tell you that we tried MANY things to no avail.  As for Caden, since we returned from Denver, he has been improving but they’re still not great.  Kids and adults still stare and ask him why has sores everywhere or why he is so red.  He is incredibly well adjusted with his reactions and responses and I am really proud of his confidence.  Of course, he seems fine, but it breaks my heart each and every time someone someone stares at him.

5 thoughts on “Caden’s Terrible Eczema

  1. Hi Kristin,
    I’m so glad I clicked on the link to the eczema post! Ok, I had patchy eczema growing up and it went away completely when I went to college – at the same time I stopped drinking milk. My oldest daughter had it while I breastfed her (I was eating dairy again by then) and it got horrible when I put her on cows milk at age one AND when I switched her to soy too. So since age 16 months she has avoided dairy and soy and her skin is eczema free. I don’t know if this would work for you but it could be worth a try. IN my experience eczema is an outward sign of some allergic response inside – it will not go away by moisturizing your skin or anything else you can do to the “outside” of your skin. Hope this helps! Your boys are so cute! Also, by the way we all still test negative to dairy allergy on the skin prick and blood test so dont rely on those.

  2. Thanks Candace. We have tried some eliminations and dietary adjustments. Some seem to help and some don’t! I really appreciate you taking the time to read Caden’s story and leave a comment. He is such an amazing kid :-)

  3. Hello,
    Im so terribly sorry your son is going through this;( My son started to get eczema around 6 months, starting on the face and then spreading all over his body.. We tried creams, medication, vaseline anything and everything. Nothing seemed to work long term. My nurse recommended a lotion called DML. They have it over the counter in pharmicies like Costco or Target. At first it did not work, but we used it twice daily after “Cool” baths and it began to slowly work.. With the exception of a few patches my son is eczema free. Side note, I have eczema as well as beginning psoriasis, i use this lotion at the onset and it definitely helps if i stick with it. Mind you, it is not a cream, just a lotion and I was skeptical at first, but was desperate to try anything…
    Hope you can find something to calm it down!

  4. Hi Kristin,
    So sorry to hear about Caden’s eczema. I’ll keep my comments brief and if you want more info you can contact me privately. Even as an infant I always had what the doctors called “sensitive” skin (hives, rashes, breakouts) and I ended up with terrible eczema too, although it arrived in my adulthood. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was and it took the doctors awhile to figure out as well. By then it had spread to my entire body, like Caden. I came up with a few things that helped immensely (nothing bizarre or difficult) and now I’m eczema-free. I don’t think they’re miracle cures; you may have to fight it for awhile, but I think you can get it under control and nip it in the bud when Caden feels (or you recognize) another episode coming on.

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