Parent and child's hands shown holding each other

It's Worse Than We Thought

Last updated: July 2022

Finding out that Harry is in the 1% category of severe atopic dermatitis hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. I know Harry's skin condition is really bad, but I didn't realize it was that bad.

Also, hearing from his immunologist that part of his condition she had never seen before was not comforting. My first thought was, 'So she will be learning from Harry.'

What's causing his severe eczema flares?

My husband and I knew there was more to the cause of little Harry's skin flares. We know he is highly allergic to dust mites, but we wanted more testing done to confirm our thoughts. Harry went to the immunologist again to get more skin prick testing done, and this time, we focused on environmental contributors.

Are asthma and hay fever next?

His dust mite allergy has increased quite a lot from only six months ago. They were surprised that Harry didn't have hay fever or asthma (yet). We will have to keep an eye on him, as he most likely will develop them when he's older.

We found out he is also allergic to molds, pet epithelia, trees, grass, and weed pollens. The problem is we don't know how much of these contribute to his atopic dermatitis, as eczema is a defect in the skin's barrier, which may be exacerbated by exposure to allergens, or if it will be what causes his asthma and/or hay fever.

We got a second opinion

We then saw a new dermatologist for a second opinion as nothing was helping with Harry's skin. We told her about Harry's intense skin routine that he has in place. She gave us a new skincare routine to try out for four weeks, then come back, and she'll assess his skin again. She was really surprised that his skin didn't clear at all, even with steroid cream. There is no change. If anything, it gets worse.

What's next?

Harry's dermatologist and immunologist are meeting this week to discuss the best treatment plan for little Harry. I am so thankful that they will put a team together for this. Not only that, Harry's first dermatologist will head the team as he runs the whole pediatric skin department down here in Sydney. So knowing Harry will be under some of the best specialists is very comforting.

What's best for Harry?

Now it's the waiting game on finding out which treatment plan they choose and if my husband and I are happy to put a 3-year-old boy through it.

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is choosing what is best for your child. In this situation - what type of treatment to do and if we should do it.

We are all exhausted

We need to have a normal life. We can't go to a lot of places because Harry flares. We are constantly stuck at home as it is a safe place for Harry to be. Not being able to go to places is hard for the whole family. Harry is so fed up with all this, and so am I. I am so exhausted.

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