As a health and wellness professional I think of myself as well informed and a good clinician. I encourage people to be thoughtful with their wellness and think about all aspects of a situation when making decisions. I even offer my services as a wellness consultant to help other with this process. This morning I had a moment when I was reminded that no one does it right all the time – especially when dealing with family.
One of my stepsons has eczema. Until this fall he had been symptom-free for about two years. Then he had a flare up Since that time we have been struggling to bring the symptoms back under control. They have abated at times and are in a moderate level of irritation right now. We have tired some corticosteroid cream with not great results – for either the itching or the state of the eczema itself. He is oatmeal bathing frequently which offers temporary relief. We have got him off of dairy – mostly – as that helped in the past. I modified some of my bare bottom bum cream with different essential oils, which has helped as much as anything. I got him to add an Omega 3/6 supplement as that helped with some itching I had during pregnancy. Overall, some symptom management has been our best outcome.
How does that moment I described fit into all of this? I was putting cream on my own legs and thinking how dry they are with the colder weather, which led to thoughts of other skin drying activities, which led to thoughts of my stepson being in and out of hot baths multiple times a week. Suddenly I wanted to kick myself. In all the other suggestions we have tried, in all the recommendations, I couldn’t remember ever saying “moisturize after your bath”.
Such a simple concept, one anyone with dry skin will tell you is a necessity, and it never crossed our minds. We shall see now whether it is the missing piece. Will some intensive moisturizing help? Post bath and – if I can convince him – overnight will be the next phase of treatment.
Now eczema isn’t deadly, no permanent harm is likely to come of this, but as my stepson would attest, it is a pain, very distracting and not helpful to life as a whole, but why make this a blog? I keen on reminding anyone I am imperfect, but I did want a reminder of what happens when I don’t slow down and think things through. The other reasons are: to help others remember that lesson too, and to remind them too that when dealing with family, it is easy to forget some of the most basic things. Dealing with family we can often be both more concerned and less careful than normal. Not careless for their well being, but sometimes, in the rush of daily life, if you never sit down and give proper, systemic thought you can miss the obvious. Next time you or one of your family members comes up against a wellness issue, give it the thoughtfulness it deserves. And if the issue is a larger one be sure to give it its due and if you need too, get some support.