Protopic

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been battling with eczema on my hands for several months now. You might think that the stress of having a baby with a serious heart defect, combined with the constant hand-washing any newborn demands could be the cause, but it didn’t start until February 2012, when the Jam was 16 months old. (Having said that, the skin on my hands has been dry and often cracked since he was born, so maybe they are contributory factors.)

After several visits to the doctor who repeatedly prescribed emollients and steroid creams, saying there wasn’t anything else that could be done, I demanded either a second opinion from his colleague or a referral to a dermatologist. Diva-esque I admit, but when the thought of bathing your child fills you with horror, you can’t do finger-painting or baking (or hold a toothbrush on a bad day) and even baby wipes sting, enough is enough!

The second doctor was much more understanding of the impact on my life, and the Jam’s. She decided to take the offensive with a relatively new treatment (for skin conditions) known as Protopic. It’s pretty serious stuff, made from tacrolimus, an immuno-suppressent used for transplant patients and linked (though not conclusively) to lymphoma, amongst other unpleasant side-effects. Short-term use is considered safe – fingers crossed!

The good news is that after using it for two weeks (twice a day for the first week, then once a day) I can now actually cross my fingers! My hands are better than they have been for months – not quite ‘normal’ but much much better. I have been instructed to use a simple over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for the next week or so (initially daily, then on alternate days and so on) and hope the my skin remains in a reasonable state. Again, while I still can, fingers crossed! The idea is to break the cycle – eczema causes stress causes eczema causes stress – and get to a manageable situation rather than a miracle cure.

I’l let you know how it goes in few weeks…

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