First Time Mommy's First Struggle with AD
On April 24th, my Angel, Tamia, entered this world. She was two weeks earlier than doctors projected and one week earlier than I expected. But, she was absolutely perfect, I thought. The most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Though I must admit, I may have been (and still am) a tad bit biased. She was gorgeous, with the most beautiful, flawless, soft skin. But that flawlessness would soon change.
The doctor's orders
When babies are born their adjustment to their new life often brings changes in their body, from their skin pigmentation to baby acne to skin redness to even the way their pupils look. With so many changes it's hard to tell what's "normal" and what's "abnormal", especially as a new mommy. So when Tamia developed what appeared to be a rash on both sides of her face at a few weeks old, my emotions ran high and confusion ran higher. When we took her to the doctor, they told us that it could be eczema, an allergic reaction, or even "a form of cradle cap on her face." The doctor told my husband and me that no matter which one it was, they could all be treated the same way. She said that the best way to treat it would be to put a little bit of Selsun Blue on it when we give Tamia her bath every other day and to mix hydrocortisone and Vaseline and put them on her face twice each day.
So many opinions
In the days following the doctor's advice, I would receive advice from and receive the opinions of many other people including mommies, friends, family members, associates, even random strangers in stores and restaurants. Almost everyone who gave advice or opinions was convinced that the rash came from something she was or was not receiving, which clearly meant it was something her mother was or was not doing. I was convinced it was my fault. Among the many opinions I heard: we were kissing her and our "adult saliva" was causing her to break out, or we were allowing her to be kissed too much; the washing powder we used was too strong, maybe the baby lotion was too harsh, maybe the baby soap wasn't mild enough, maybe she was allergic to her milk (after all, I should have never tried to breast and bottle feed, because "breast is best"). With each new opinion came a new suggestion on how best to treat her skin. We heard everything from just letting it heal itself to using eczema products, to using oils, to seeing another doctor and getting something prescribed.
Hindsight is not always 20/20
With so many opinions and assumptions and so much uncertainty about which was best for me and my child, I thought it best to just take the doctor's advice and try the Selsun blue, hydrocortisone and Vaseline.
In the weeks that would proceed my first experience with my baby girl's skin condition, the only things I would become certain about was that it was eczema and that my decision to follow the doctor's advice was not the best one to make for my Mia.
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Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?