Saturday, 1 September 2007

Rashes : Know the difference

So, do you know the difference between a fungal infection rash and an eczema rash? Well, I don't. But I expected my GP to know. Let's call him Dr Bat.

We brought Shean Wenn to see Dr Bat last month for treatment on some rashes on her face. The GP at that time, Dr Bat, had a look at it and diagnosed her as having a fungal infection. I even asked him "Are you sure it is not due to lactose intolerance?". He confidently and reassuringly told me it is not lactose intolerance because :

1. She is gaining healthy weight,
2. Her poo is normal for her age.
3. Her appetite is good.

So, with this diagnose, he prescribed Clotrimazole with Hydrocortisone Cream to treat it. Using this cream, her rashes subsided dramatically within 3 days. It did go away completely though, and after 7 days of usage, I stopped applying it as Hydrocortisone is a mild steroid and might cause thinning of the skin (and as per instruction on the information leaflet).

During our next visit to Dr Bat, I brought the matter up, perhaps he should prescibe a cream without Hydrocortisone? He then prescribed Clotrimazole for the fungal inf*ction. I applied this for a week and her rashes DID NOT subside, infact.. her rashes spread to her left face, and subsequently, the whole face (eye brows, near the ears). It has gotten so bad that Shean Wenn was grumpy for a few days and was crying non-stop during her night feeds. At that time, I had no idea she was itching badly..

It had gotten so bad, it was oozing yellow liquids (called "weeping").

I was worried, petrified, even. How can fungus be THIS STUBBORN?

I booked another appointment with the GP - as luck would have it, Dr Bat was not available for consult so I made another appointment with another GP. It is very lucky that we got this 2nd opinion, as the Dr told us when she had one look at Shean Wenn "She has eczema". And is this due to allergies? Most likely! She might be lactose- intolerant. I was aghasted!

I am appalled that Dr Bat did not make an accurate diagnose eventhough I had suggested that it might be due to lactose-intolerance since I told him *I* was lactose-intolerant as a baby, and still am! He confidently, INSISTED it was not. I am so mad. If he had not make such a mistake, Shean Wenn's eczema would be arrested earlier and while creams cannot totally cure eczema, at least it will help suppress it from spreading to her whole face and made her quality of life better. She did not have to suffer from severe itch and peeling of skin (esp one at her earlobe).

Argh! I hope by using the hydrocortisone, it will stop the eczema and in time, she will be able to overcome it naturally. Her eczema has subsided quite abit, it is not as red anymore but it's still "around".


Some sufferers of eczema will have a flare-up of it when they eat something they are sensitive to.

Which foods cause eczema?
The common perpetrators are : milk, cheese, beef, eggs, citrus fruits and chemical food additives (with the E-numbers). Although different people will invoke different reaction to these food and not all listed here may aggravate your eczema.

Daily management : Ensure that skin is always moisturised.
• The first essential step in caring for skin is regular use of moisturisers daily. You should apply moisturiser regardless of whether eczema is present or not. (This prevents skin from drying out and is effective in controlling mild cases of eczema)

Creams / Ointments : Usually the GP and skin specialist will recommend a treatment course of hydrocortisone or steroid-related creams and oitments.

Oral administration :Antihistamines To help control chronic itching, antihistamines can sometimes be prescribed by the pahrmacist/GP. There are two types of antihistamines available : Sedative ones to aid in restful sleep and non-sedative anti-histamines.

The British Skin Foundation has suggested that early introduction of solids to a baby increases the risk of eczema. Which means, for a baby with eczema, it is better to introduce solids as late as possible (ie, instead of giving her solids at 4 months, to try to do so only at 6 months). And again, they say "Breast is best".

Of course, genetics play a very crucial role. The statistics are (From the British Skin Foundation Website)as below:

As a rough guide:
>> If you as parents and any other of your children do not have eczema, asthma or hayfever, there is probably a 1:10 chance that your baby could develop eczema.
>> If only one parent has eczema, asthma or hayfever then there is a 1:4 chance that your baby could develop eczema.
>> If both parents have eczema, asthma or hayfever then there is a 1:2 chance that your baby could develop eczema.
>>If another child has eczema, asthma or hayfever then there is a 1:2 chance that your baby could develop eczema.
>> If your child is going to get eczema, he / she is most likely to develop it in the first 2 years of life.

Shean Wenn enjoying 20mins each day on the playgym we bought her!

The moral of MY story : Always seek second opinion if your symptoms do not go away after consulting a specialist (GP or otherwise).


Praveen said...

Oh dear, sorry to hear about your ordeal. Glad that Shean Wenn's getting better. Very detailed post; very soon you'd be able to compile your postings into a practical hand book (and I'm not kidding on this one -- think about it!)

*sooyin* said...

Oh dear, poor Shean Wenn! Hope the rashes are clearing up by now!

Tsu Lin + + said...

Haha Prav, you humour me!

sooyin : it's cleared up, most of it! Now having some dryness (of the face) where eczema once ruled. Hopefully she'll outgrow it, though.. :(

Carrot said...

oh no, sorry to hear about that!
at least it's mostly cleared up ya


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