Caring for a child with moderate to severe Atopic Dermatitis


Written by Cassie Larkin, as informed by Stephanie Watson

Our son, Kian, has been handled for atopic dermatitis (eczema) lengthy lasting. He was about 6 weeks outdated after we first seen he was breaking out in a rash. That was in Might or June 2013. We simply realized he is delicate to warmth.

Kian was a choosy child. We tried turning him into completely different formulation, however his pores and skin did not enhance. Between a flare-up and a rash, we examined it out. That is when he was recognized with eczema.

I had eczema as a child, however it cleared up fairly shortly. At 2 or 3 years outdated, my pores and skin was clear. This was not the case for an entity.

By the age of two, his complexion was getting worse. Eczema was in every single place. We tried each cream, each lotion, each ointment. We put him in cotton pajamas and gloves. We rubbed his head with oil to assuage his itchy scalp.

The pediatrician who was taking good care of him saved telling us, “That is regular. We have now quite a lot of children with eczema. Simply attempt these lotions.” However the lotions didn’t contact the eczema and didn’t disappear. It was mounted.

take a small piece of you

As a father or mother, your job is to deal with your kids and attempt to make them really feel higher when they’re sick. When you may’t make them really feel higher, it takes a bit piece of you.

Watching an entity in ache captured a big a part of me. His pores and skin was open and cracked. He needed to be taken to the hospital because of a staph an infection. We bathed him in diluted bleach, which burned his pores and skin to the purpose the place he was screaming and crying, however it was the one solution to cease the infections.

Our every day eczema routine was once two and a half hours. At bedtime, we’d bathe an entity, then apply ointment throughout his physique to cut back irritation, after which apply lotion to seal in that moisture. Lastly, we would put him in moist pajamas to assuage his pores and skin sufficient so he might sleep. Our morning routine was virtually lengthy.

We have tried quite a lot of medication, together with the immunosuppressant methotrexate, which mainly smashed an entity’s broken immune system to attempt to rebuild it. Each two weeks we had to attract blood to see if the drug was harming the kidneys and liver. We mainly needed to maintain him in a bubble to maintain him from getting an an infection.


Eczema affected each a part of Kian’s life. His palms had been so sore and cracked that he could not maintain a pencil or bend his fingers to jot down in school. He was so itchy and uncomfortable that he could not listen in school. His academics thought he may need autism or ADHD as a result of he could not focus, however he could not focus as a result of he was so uncomfortable.

Kian suffered not solely bodily, but additionally emotionally. The kids annoy him. They did not perceive why he wore gloves to high school. They didn’t perceive why his face was so stained. His academics seen the lifeless pores and skin cells on his head and the way in which he scratched his scalp and saved marking him for lice, which solely made the inconvenience worse. Many occasions he would come dwelling from faculty crying.

The eczema was relentless. It did not cease and it wasn’t getting higher. I knew I needed to be an advocate for my baby. What we have tried thus far hasn’t labored.

We had been referred to pediatric dermatologist Sheilagh Maguiness, MD at M Well being Fairview in Minneapolis. She simply collapsed in Dr. McGuinness’s workplace. I stated, “I am unable to do that anymore.”

New hope

When Dupilumab (Dupixent) first got here to market, I keep in mind Dr. Maguiness saying, “We have to get Kyan on this drug.”

The issue is that dupilumab is pricey – about $3,000 for an injection. We struggled for 2 years with our insurance coverage firm, which would not cowl the price as a result of the drug had not but been permitted for an entity age group. Then in 2020, Dupilumab was lastly permitted and we had been capable of get our insurance coverage firm to pay for it.

Medication was big for an entity. We noticed outcomes inside 3 weeks. There have been no extra open sores. We stopped having to do bleaching baths and steroid lotions. Inside a number of months, his pores and skin grew to become clear.

Right this moment, we give Kyan one injection each two weeks. And we put the lotion as soon as a day at evening.

We did not simply understand how a lot atopic dermatitis took up our lives as a result of it was our nature. Discovering aid for an entity has been an enormous enterprise. It was surprising how a lot freedom we had and the way a lot better he felt.

Kayan has superior a lot, each emotionally and educationally, that it’s virtually unrealistic. Now he’s within the second grade. He excels at school. It makes new pals. He doesn’t need to put on gloves or keep away from touching sure issues. He is like everybody else now. And he has confidence he by no means had earlier than.

Seeing how Kayan flourished and thrived as a pupil and as an individual was superb. I used to be lastly capable of eliminate the ache. I lastly managed to make it okay. That is all you need to your baby, to make him really feel higher.

Hopefully, Kian will overcome allergic reactions and atopic dermatitis sooner or later in his life. The probabilities of that are not nice, however we maintain our fingers crossed. For now, we simply need to give the opposite households some hope and assist them see a lightweight on the finish of the tunnel they usually’re not alone on the journey to get there.

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