Dear Ian,

I’m happy to say that after years of fighting, we finally have an upper hand in controlling your skin conditions.

This skin condition seems to be on quite a pandemic scale, there are so many books written about it, there are so many articles in the internet written about it, so many medical professionals talked about it. Well, all this attention to find cure and solace is understandable; on a minor case, we all have some degree of skin irritation that one can generally classify as ‘eczema’. I have some, your mum has them, sometimes I gets it in the feet, sometimes elbows, and one time I remembered vividly, the cheeks of my butt. But taking it all in, it has never bothered me much, it came, it went off, it comes again, some other time, some other spots.

For your case, it seems to be quite bad, bad enough to have almost your entire body covered with scabs, scars and scratches. More often than not, you are bleeding somewhere, some place, scaly, flaky, dried skins pocketed your body. It affected your psyche as you can’t seem to keep still and there is a tendency to scratch them to your hearts content, at the expense of broken skin, irritation and sometimes, infection.

We, like most parents of course tried whatever we could, moisturizers, steroid creams, essential oils, diet controls, abstaining from milk, we gave you soy, which you hated. You’re a milk person, but we couldn’t give you too much of that. There were hypothesis upon theories of allegations on allergies. Life was not good.

Of course, there are many, many well meaning folks who tried to advise us on how to handle your conditions. I know it was bad, but not bad enough, yet to seek serious medical treatment. So we treated you with the usual topical cream. It did help, but it was like guerrilla warfare with you. You break the skin and scar yourself on the legs, we cream the legs and it healed, then you go and scratch yourself raw somewhere else, on your chest, and neck,  we went there to fight the itch and heal you, you went to scratch your hands, and wrists. It never ends.

Until recently…

Things seems to get a bit better, and better, the scars healed…

I cannot specifically put it down to what we did ‘right’. We tried topical cream like Hydrocortisone, we tried Diprocel, we tried Egocort, we tried Betasone,  we tried Dermasone.

We even tried essential oil, like Lavender, which helped to ease the inflammation, and heal the scarring.

For moisturizers, we tried Cetaphil, Aqueous Cream, Johnsons and Johnsons and many other brands.

For soaps,we tried Pears, Cetaphil, Seba Med, children’s soap, moisturing soap and a lot of other alternatives

Sembawang Hot Spring

In early July, we had an opportunity to visit the Sembawang hot spring, more like to look and explore parts of Singapore we’ve not been before. There’s many. many stories about how the hot spring water helps to cure many various forms of skin conditions, even rheumatism, and other ailments. We didn’t believe much in it, but your grand parents and 4th grand aunt, wanted to give it a shot on your skin.

Why not? After all, it is just hot water (very hot water) from the ground, and we used a wet towel to soak in the water and rub it on you. We didn’t think much of it, and still don’t. Your skin conditions of late has taken a turn for the better. For me, as your skeptic dad, the verdict is still out there, and I wouldn’t bank on the hot spring water being the SINGLE source of cure for your skin conditions.

But it has indeed became much better.

Collage_Fotor hot spring

Sembawang Hot Spring

Then and now

ezcema 1

This was your leg more than a year ago, at the height of your eczema, and I can remember vividly, fighting a losing battle. The scarring was bad, your inability to stop yourself from scratching was making a bad situation worse.

ezcema 2

And this was your leg again, back then, and now.

ezcema 3Your neck, was another source of our headache, a familiar battleground where your scratch to no end.

What I did

Eventually after years of trial and error, I finally settled on 2 of these.

DSC_0244

I cream you every night before you sleep and make sure your skin stays moisture through the night. Somehow this regime works and together with the topical cream, your scabs started falling, and the wounds started to heal. now all we have left are shadows of your woulds, nothing a little sunshine and swim can’t heal.

In a nutshell, I cannot conclusively say that there is one specific thing we did that helped, was it the hot spring water? I honestly don’t know. But all these started happening after that July outing to the hot spring. Perhaps it was, but I’m still not willing to bank my last buck on it.

The creaming regime is something we had done before, again with mixed results, sometimes it works, sometimes, it didn’t.

Growing up stronger

I also want to give credit to your body’s own immune system. Perhaps, Ian, you’ve grown old enough to heal yourself, and the body is now stronger to fight the allergies that is causing these flare up. But again, there are arguments and adults out there who are still suffering from eczema.

What I’ve just said won’t mean a bat crap to many people. Some of these friends I know still suffers from very bad bouts of skin breakages and irritations. So how are you brought up different that you’re able to heal yourself when you’re older now, when there are other older people who cannot yet heal and recover from their own skin conditions?

Keep going strong, and stronger

All I can say is that we have declared victory over your skin conditions, but it is not over, your skin will flare if we falter on moisturizing you, marinating you for top to toe with cream. Making sure that you are clean and continue to fight these outbreaks where ever it happened.

One thing for sure, right now, as your dad and a parent, I’ve never been happier to mark this as one of my milestones, helping you heal your body, so much so that you say you feel like a ‘normal boy again.’

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