This is not quite a cat in the hat blog or an Agatha Christie mystery but something stopped me in my tracks last week and got me scratching my head! A cute little baby called Kit came into see me last week at my practice nurse/GP job. She had a really bad, red rash, on her forehead. When I touched it, it felt warm and very dry and scaly. Now I know these pictures don’t quite do it justice and I’ve posted them with mums permission. And she is sooooo cute isn’t she?
Now remember in our Southern Hemisphere, of the land of OZ, it’s winter. Get the picture? Feeling warm? No? Well it suddenly hit me! As soon as I realised it was winter I knew exactly what had caused that inflamed dry forehead and no it wasn’t cradle cap – not a scale in sight. It was of course the beautiful pure wool home knit hat! Wool (ust like acrylic) has rough fibres and can trigger eczema in those that are prone to it or have a family history of atopic disease (asthma, eczema or hayfever).
So what did I advise mum to do?
Use a mild steroid such as DermAid, over the counter from the phramacy. It’s 1% hydrocortisone so use sparingly. Apply a pea sized amount over the affected area up to 3 times a day for 2-3 days. In between times use an emollient 4-6 times a day such as sorbolene, aqueous cream, MooGoo or an ointment based product.
Work out which works best on your babies skin. Never let the skin dry out as once it dries out it can crack and then get infected. If it doesn’t improve in a couple of days seek medical advice from your GP. I’m also a fan of Jurlique’s Calendula ointment. I have eczema and whilst this stuff is not cheap its a winner. Like I said find out what works for the skin type.
So does that mean Miss Kit has to abandon her hat wearing? No, mum just needs to try it out with a cotton one underneath or just use plain cotton ones full stop. The same goes for cots and prams. You can still use the wool blanky on top and put a cotton one next to baby’s skin. Another win-win. Mystery solved!!!
See links below for more on eczema