Eczema storyA mother gave a moving and personal account at JFHC Live 2014 of the difficulties of living with a child with severe eczema.

Rachael Fagg explained how her son Adam’s condition had affected family life and at times left them all feeling in the depths of despair. The unrelenting need for creams, oral steroids and immune suppressant tablets to soothe the raw, inflamed skin, the need to change bed clothes several times a night and sleep by her son’s side to apply treatments was a daily and extremely waring daily routine.

Her son would regularly only be able to sleep for two hours every night and even when he did he did his skin would “itch and peel like a snakeskin”.

Sometimes the recommended treatments (i.e light treatments) would make the condition worse. Alternative treatments such as homeopathy were tried but also provided no relief. In fact, homeopathy has now been recognised by the NES as not being a suitable treatment and last week Margaret Cox, chief executive of the National Eczema Society (NES) decided to remove the homeopathy fact sheet from the NES website. 

Fagg recounted how in spite of the severe sleep deprivation his son wouldn’t miss a day at school, even though he hated it with a passion.

The school itself was largely unsympathetic to Adam’s condition and the school nurses were not very helpful but she acknowledged the support of several other health professionals in providing support and care, saying “Health professionals who care are a massive lifeline”.

Adam was 15 “terrified” when he took the train journey up to London to meet the health professional who would transform all their lives. Dr Helen Cox looked at all of Adam’s symptoms (the allergies as well as the eczema) and “dealt with all his ailments with loving results”.

The treatment plan she offered would work within a week, if followed to the letter. It did and Adam blossomed. His sleep has drastically improved and now he plans to go to agricultural college. “No longer does the itch rule his life”, said his proud mum.

Figg was also keen to voice that the support of the NES and other parents she met through the NES helped her cope through many dark and difficult times.

For more information on how you can support parents and children living with eczema please visit the NES website at www.eczema.org/