Little Emma's rash
My family has always been prone to have allergies, especially skin allergies. My sister and I have been very careful about what is put on our skin as we had learned the hard way so many times in the past. I remember I had puffy fisheyes for months until I finally found out it was a commercial cream that was causing my allergy.
Little Emma and her brother have had poor skin since they were little, but we weren't too worried as we knew it was probably genetic. Then Emma's skin started getting worse and worse. She got rashes more and more often, and the allergy area was also getting bigger and more spread across her body. From forearms to elbows, across her whole arms and even hands, shoulders, and back, until almost her entire body was covered in rashes. Emma started to lose her confidence because of her skin appearance. She once looked at my sister’s skin and said “Mummy, I wish I could have your skin.” (That really broke my heart and I still have tears while I am writing this…)
Emma couldn't sleep well at night. The itchiness and scratching just keep interrupting her sleep. Her skin becomes very thin, and the wounds from over-scratching even cause bleeding sometimes. She couldn't eat properly due to food restrictions and couldn't go out to play as then sun also irritates her skin. She couldn't take showers properly because the water stings her skin wounds.
We started to be very careful and cautious of everything around her. No wheat products (no bread and biscuits), no artificial sugar (no candies), no soy, no seafood, no colourful veggies (tomato, pumpkin...). We also use very simple laundry detergents in case there are any residues left to irritate her skin. But her skin condition still didn't get better and her growth rate stopped. Her brother, Leo, kept getting taller but she remained the same height. It was at this point our entire family started to worry sick.
Doctors have tried all treatments available in the clinic, mainly steroids and antihistamines. Her conditions sometimes get slightly better but often her symptoms re-occur with unknown reasons and get worse every time. We got really frustrated and felt helpless for her.
After doctors ran a few blood tests and discovered her white blood cell number was all over the place, they finally suggested to use Dupixent for Emma. Dupixent is a fairly new drug used for severe eczema patients who have a poor response to traditional treatments. It targets specific receptors on white blood cells that wreck the entire immune system. It was known to be very effective and have very little side effects (if any). But the downside to this miracle treatment is that it is very expensive and requires an injection every other week for 6 months.
Emma has had Dupixent treatment a few months now and we do see some improvements but her rashes are still on and off. We are hoping she can start to live a fairly normal life after a few more treatments. Meanwhile, we still need to be conscious of what she eats, touches or even breathes to find out what triggers her severe allergies.
I know my soap is not a cure or treatment but hopefully it can provide her a sense of comfort and joy. It pains me to see that she can't enjoy a bubble bath or even just a normal shower like every other child. I put it upon myself to make a soap that has natural ingredients with no chemicals, so at least, if she gets an allergy, I would know what's inside and we can rule that out.
If you have someone you love who also suffers from severe eczema, please see the link for the information of Dupixent that Emma is being treated with.