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Atopic Dermatitis Caused by Lack of Mommy Instincts?

After hearing from my doctor that the light spots and blotches all over my (then almost three-month-old) baby’s face were evidence of healing, proof that the Selsun Blue that the doctor suggested I use on her face was clearing atopic dermatitis up, I felt temporarily relieved. I felt that perhaps I had done the right thing, made the right choice for my child.

Everyone has an opinion

In the weeks that followed the light spots on Tamia’s face attracted a lot of unrequested advice and opinions. Amongst the many suggestions were these: put Magnesium or Epsom salt in her baths, put calamine lotion on her face, try oatmeal baths, use coconut oil after baths. One mom suggested I use breast milk and even offered to provide some for me, as I was no longer able to produce my own.

Then came the accusations and blame. I was told by some relatives that my child’s face was “changing (or losing) its natural color for the same reason they thought it had broken out because I stopped breastfeeding. I received numerous questions about why I stopped breastfeeding, why I didn’t try harder to continue feeding and keep producing breast milk. I received many suggestions about what I could do to produce more milk, natural remedies, suggestions of pills I could take such as milk thistle, fenugreek, blessed thistle and so many others.

Others still found fault the laundry washing powder I was using to washy daughters clothes. I was using Dreft baby laundry detergent. But, that wasn’t enough, I should be using some Free and Clear. The dyes and fragrances in the detergent could be the problem. Other relatives and friends said the exact opposite. They said that the Dreft Baby detergent was exactly what I should be using on her clothes. Some people said her soaps were the problem.

Suggestions, suggestions and more suggestions

After so many relatives had suggested that Johnson and Johnson’s body wash and lotions were the best to use, that they were gentle on her skin because they were made for baby soft and gentle skin, others had entirely different opinions. Some said that those products were terrible for baby eczema. That the perfumes and dyes in them were very likely contributing factors to all my baby’s problems. That I should know better because I had some skin and eczema problems myself and because all my siblings had more severe eczema problems and I had watched and seen all the things they had to use for their skin.

Some said that the powdered artificial milk she was using was likely having adverse effects on her face. Others commented that the generic brand of milk I was using was even worse than regular milk. Those who knew the entirety of her break out and how I used Selsun Blue as suggested all informed me of how unwise it was of me to even entertain the thought of such a propositus suggestion. That somehow my mommy instincts should have kicked in and told me that it was a terrible idea.

Every solution and opinion provided was different, but they had one common denominator- Me! It was all my fault no matter who I asked. It was something that I did or did not do, once again. All I knew for certain was that I had to do something, be more active and do better.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.