As I have mentioned before on this blog, my daughter Lexie suffers from eczema (exacerbated by her allergies) and has amblopia. Since she just turned five and it has been about five months since I wrote about them, I figured it was about time for an update.
Lexie was diagnosed with amblyopia in June of last year. We started patching her “lazy” eye at the end of August. At the time, her vision in her lazy eye was 20/60. We started with four hours a day of wearing the patch and then after two months the doctor dropped her down to two hours a day.
Getting Lexie to wear the patch has never been a problem, and we have been diligent about her wearing it though on a rare occasion we have skipped a day (due to illness or just plain forgetting) and we have sometimes left the patch on for longer periods (usually because we aren’t watching the time).
The ophthalmologist has been seeing her every two months to monitor her progress. Even I can see that she is doing better on the eye exams. At her appointment earlier this month, he finally said we are almost there. After 6 months of patching we are at 20/30. (The goal of course is 20/20.) If all continues to go well, we may be done with patches and glasses. Lexie will be thrilled. She doesn’t mind the patch (and even asks for it), but she hates to wear her glasses. I think some of that comes from the fact that no one in her preschool class or any of her friends wear them.
Lexie was diagnosed with eczema at three months old. It has been a continuous battle to find a way to make her comfortable. We relieved a lot of her itching through NAET, but of course, she still has eczema flare ups. In October (during a particularly nasty flare up), we took her to see a new dermatologist who ended up prescribing some treatments that her previous doctor had already tried.
She set up a new routine of applying Derma-smooth oil (Fluocinolone acetoninde .01%) to Lexie’s wet skin. We followed up with 2% Mupirocian Ointment (antibacterial cream) on any open areas and prescription hydrocortisone cream (2.5%) on the flare ups. And since all lotions bother Lexie, we put petroleum jelly on top to lock in the moisture. Since we were already wrapping her feet to stop her from scratching at night and it was working, the doctor said to keep it up.
At a check up three weeks later, they prescribed an oral antibiotic to clear up any infection on her feet. As soon as we gave her that and continued with the above treatment, she cleared right up. I know doctors don’t like prescribing antibiotics without cause but every time her feet are that scratched up I can pretty much guarantee you that she has a staph infection. And I know from personal experience that the infection increases the itchy feeling. It is a vicious cycle – scratching causes the infection which leads to more scratching.
So from the end of November through the end of December, Lexie’s skin looked good. And then she got the flu. Any time that she is sick, her skin always gets worse. Back came the medicines. Throughout February, her feet and legs ranged from okay to border-line when we would need to begin wrapping them again. Lexie is adamant that we don’t wrap them. Of course, she is not a fan of treating her skin at all. She vividly recalls all the lotions and creams that weren’t supposed to sting or hurt but did. Also every time you put lotion or medication on her legs, it causes her to scratch. It is a Catch-22 – if you don’t treat her dry skin, she scratches. But the mere application of lotions or creams causes her to scratch too. I don’t think she is necessarily allergic to them but the sensation of something on her legs bothers her.
Surprisingly, her feet are still doing fine after both her birthday (lots of sugar) and Spring Break (going to places we don’t usually go which usually means extra scratching). Anyway, we will continue to control her eczema and patch her eye daily until it improves enough for the glasses to be removed.