Monday, April 13, 2015

Dr. Aron - The First Month

This is part of a series of posts about Penny's eczema story.  To start at the beginning, go here.

At the end of our first week with Dr. Aron, I was excited to see how Penny's skin would hold up as time went on.  Would Dr. Aron's tapering method work where my own had failed?  Would the flares and itching return?

Make no mistake.  Penny still has eczema.  Dr. Aron doesn't promise a cure.  But my definitions of "flare" and "itch" are completely different than before. 

When I say the itch is gone, I don't mean she never, ever scratches.  For example, one morning at breakfast, Penny started to scratch her wrist.  Like any eczema parent, my brain went on high alert.  I was used to seeing her to scratch, then scratch more and harder, digging into her skin with a manic intensity. 

But this time, she casually scratched one wrist, then the other, and stopped.  She went back to eating her breakfast.  I think I simply stared. 

A post-Dr. Aron flare.
By four weeks in, Dr. Aron had us down to two apps a day on most of Penny's body and 4-5 apps a day on the stubborn spots--her wrists, knees, ankles, and ring finger.  Even these spots were doing remarkably well.  Occasionally they itched or a few bumps popped up, but nothing like a flare before. 

Frito flare.

Now that so much of her skin was clear, it was easier to see her skin react directly to allergens. A few weeks in, I ate some Fritos after she went to bed.  I had suspected for a while that these might be a problem because they have cross contact issues with sunflower seed oil, so we hadn't had any Fritos for a while. We will be done nursing when Penny turns four soon, and right now she only nurses once in the morning.  The next morning she nursed, and a few hours later, a flare popped up on her leg. 

Since our main goal is healing right now, I've tried to keep food experimenting to a minimum since then.  But even when they happen, these tiny flares go down with just a few applications of our prescription and hardly even bother Penny.  

It was hard to see direct correlations before Dr. Aron because many of the flares we saw then were from the staph on her skin and from steroid rebound.  Also, raw, inflamed skin seems to be irritated by almost everything even if there's not a real allergy or intolerance. 

Penny's skin is still sensitive and we have a long list of food allergies to avoid, but I'm not on a constant trigger hunt anymore

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