About

Eczema Blues is inspired by baby Marcie, who has eczema since 2 weeks old (considered very early). Marcie Mom stayed home for the first year to take care of Marcie. Now, Marcie is 8 one-year old and her eczema is under control, though bad scratching or picking skin habits are scratching (till blood) is still something that the family has to deal with.

This blog is written by Marcie’s Mom (aka Mei @MarcieMom), a 33-year old (erm.. not updating my age! lol) Singapore lady living with Marcie’s Dad and Marcie.  Here you’ll find not only information on eczema but also real-life tips on coping daily.

A few questions frequently posed to MarcieMom:

Why Eczema Blues?

Having eczema is no joke – Marcie’s Dad has it and his mother and brother also have eczema. Being a first time mom, relocating from Shanghai to Singapore, being alone at home most of the time taking care of a baby who knew how to scratch her scalp with blood-stained fingernails (even before other babies know that they have fingers) is certainly NO JOKE.

I think of those days as the “dark times” when I question God “Why make a small baby suffer from severe itch?  Is it to mold me? Is it for a bigger purpose?”. Nothing makes sense and few people can understand how severe eczema is and how helpless the parents are, often offering ‘miracle solutions’ when there are none. What I needed most then was confiding in someone who would understand, who would affirm that I was doing everything right and that the stress I faced was real. This blog aims to be that confidante, and hopefully by visiting this blog, a little feeling of blissfulness can keep you from feeling blue.

How is Marcie now?

Marcie’s eczema is under control now, though she scratches whenever it is warm (we’re talking about a seat not below the air vent in an air-conditioned restaurant considered warm). She also scratches when she’s tired or can’t have her way. Rashes appear on and off on her hands, neck, back of head, waist, behind her knees, but don’t aggravate to lesions. This is at 3 two-year old. At 6-year old, Marcie’s eczema has not flared up badly for long periods but we’re dealing with bad scratching/ picking skin habits and a few instances of skin infections.

2018 update: Marcie has been doing very well in primary school, with no eczema issues despite the hot weather. Thank you to all who were concerned with how she would cope in grade school.

Who is taking care of Marcie?

Me and my hubby and with God’s blessings, the infant care teachers ever since I started work when Marcie was 11-month old. Sending Marcie to infant care was a tough decision, particularly as kids with eczema have a higher chance of developing asthma as they fall sick with cold more often in school. The first 3 weeks were tough with blood stained collars and even a ‘hole’ in her scalp; but once Marcie adapted to the environment and started walking and playing with friends and toys in school, she didn’t even have to wear mittens. Marcie later attended preschool to Columbia Academy and currently in Grade 3.

How long has this blog been running?

This blog started in January 2011, with over 850 posts published, covering a comprehensive range of topics (which you can view from menu bar Eczema Tips – drop down list). I took a break from Feb 2016, as I didn’t feel a need to post for the sake of posting (and the blog already had in-depth posts on all relevant topics for parents of eczema kids). And here’s why I’m coming back in 2018.

More about Marcie’s Mom?

I feel strange publishing my life on the web and this blog is more personal than I ever have been online. I’m still resistant to social media stuff so you won’t find me on Facebook. (I got on Twitter in Nov 2011! @MarcieMom and set up G+ Eczema collections) I’m totally paranoid about publishing my face online, so you won’t find me posting pictures of myself on Instagram nor videos on Youtube, Vine or Snapchat (even if it’d self-destruct).

I enjoy designing and cartooning; it’s a blessing that 10,000 of my bookmarks have been sent to Africa for missions and my cartoons have been included in a few church bulletins. I have also illustrated children book “A to Z Animals are not Scratching!” and co-authored a book “Living with Eczema : Mom Asks, Doc Answers”. My latest interest is in hand-lettering.

I also love going to the library and Singapore has many libraries and I often borrowed baby sign language videos for Marcie when she’s young to distract her from scratching. My favorite drink is latte and it’s burning a hole in my pocket after it’s warmed my stomach.

Coffee - Bible inspiration
It’s a rule of life to make time for coffee ~ MarcieMom

Join the Conversation

67 Comments

Your sharing will help others!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hi Mei

    Thanks a million for your prompt and detailed reply. I am not sure if my baby doesn’t scratch because she doesn’t know how to scratch or because it isn’t itchy. Can I ask when did Marcie started scratching?

    We were at PD on Mon for her 6 in 1 vaccination and PD confirmed it’s eczema. It looks really red when she cries but otherwise it’s just a darker shade and looks and feels rough in most areas. Some areas on her chest have small red dots. Some are brown oval rough patches – the periphery of these looks and feels rough but the internal area looks smooth. I may just bring her to your Marcie’s specialist.

    I just saw that you’ve set up an eczema fund. Wow that’s a wonderful initiative and I’ll put a contribution soon.

    Many of said this but I’d like to reiterate what a great blog this is. I always thought the red mark above my baby’s eyelid is a birth mark of sorts. Didn’t know it could be eyelid eczema. Thanks also for the link to yr page on reflux. I wouldn’t say she’s got very bad reflux – she regurgitates now and then sometimes a small mouthful but usually it’s more like a biggish drool. I am breastfeeding and usually have yogurt for breakfast. I’ve cut out most diary and she’s much better. She was given Zantac for reflux. Ive since taken stopped the medication.

    You sound like a very dynamic and cool mum. I would love to meet you one day. Thanks again for your help. Take care and keep Marcie’s cheeky smile going. Love the pic of the both of you.

    Xxx, yn

  2. Hi Mei

    Thank you for publishing this blog. I hope you can help me with some questions.

    My baby girl had eczema at 6 weeks and it seemed to have flared up after some medicine she took for reflux.

    Most of the patches are not red, just rough and scaly if we’ve not applied moisturizer. We use a calendula cream and sometimes jojoba oil. Was this Marcie’s condition too?

    My baby doesn’t scratch. Did Marcie went from not scratching to scratching?

    Can an allergy test be done now? She is almost 2 months.

    Some areas of her skin feel quite rough but looks normal. Do you know if these will become darkened and red eventually?

    Prior to consulting Dr Hugo, did you try any alternatives? Any success?

    Sorry for the numerous questions. I am feeling extremely sad for her even though it’s only been 2 weeks. Thank you again for sharing. Like all others, I’m so glad to have found your blog.

    1. Hi!

      Thanks for dropping by and below are my 2 cents to your Qs!
      1. Reflux medicine- reflux is more common in eczema babies, but I haven’t heard of medicine worsening the eczema. Eczema comes and goes, so it’s very difficult to try to link it with something, which may not be a trigger at all. For more on reflux, read nutritionist Judy Converse’s interview
      http://eczemablues.com/2013/03/eczema-kids-nutrition-with-judy-converse-infant-reflux/

      2. Eczema is itchy, inflamed skin that often appears red, rashy. Do put on moisturizer, you can shower her in colloidal oatmeal bath oil.

      3. Eczema is itchy and scratching is there all the time. If she isn’t scratching, it’s good! But I don’t know of any not-itchy eczema, so you may want to bring her to doc to get a proper diagnosis.

      4. Allergy test is usually done at about 6 months. So the answer is no, you’d have to monitor the common child allergens yourself like dust mites, cow’s milk, and for irritants like soap and detergent (best not to use, wash baby’s clothes twice or choose a longer cycle, sun the clothes, the mattress)

      5. The darkening of skin is usually caused by scratching and on lesions that have repeatedly been inflamed and scratched. If your child isn’t even scratching, then my guess is no permanent damage to skin. That having said, I’m talking from viewpoint of eczema skin, but if it’s not eczema in the first place, then I wouldn’t know the long-term effect.

      6. I moisturize, bath my child in bath oil, remove soap and detergent, and wait for appointment while minimizing damage to scratching.

      Take care!
      Mei

  3. Thank you for your blog!!! Jack has been suffering with eczema since he was 3 months, he is now 7 months and the condition has got progressively worse. We have had numerous doctors & health visitor apts and even private consultations. At the beginning the doctors wouldn’t listen to me and on one occasion where jacks skin was swollen and hives where present I was asked why I bothered to make the apt as it was JUST eczema!!! Three days later we ended up in a&e and jack was admitted for two days, the drs took him straight off boobie milk and onto neocate formula due to a cows milk protein allergy. He has since been privatley tested and he is allergic to milk, dairy, eggs, peanuts and wheat. He doesn’t have any of these in his diet and yet even with the constant skin care routine the eczema has got worse. I believe I could cope with allergies going forward as I make all of his food and I also feel I could cope with the applications of creams, seroids, bathing, sewing mitts on to his baby grows, keeping his nails short etc etc etc but its the constant clawing and sratching that I find so hard and so heart breaking. It’s got to the point where we can’t go out in the car unless someone is in the back with him and I even struggle to go to the bathroom through constant fear that if he’s left alone for a second I will come back to a little boy covered in blood. I’m exhausted, and I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m grateful for your site because unless you have a child with eczema/allergies you don’t understand what its like. I look forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Kel,

      I know! I even have a cartoon about finally having toilet time! Hang in there, and if you’re in Singapore, join me at NSC on 23 March 🙂 10am

      Cheers!
      Mei

  4. Hi Tun,

    HUGS! I know! We’ve got a sheet of paper after delivery saying rashes are normal, so assumed my baby’s eczema to be baby acne 🙂 until she went to her one-month checkup then we knew.

    Feel free to browse around, subscribe to my newsletter, join my support group via the contact form, and email me too!

    HUGS xoxo,
    Mei

  5. Hi Mei,

    I’m glad to find this amazing website. My little girl turned 4 months a few days ago…. I’m from U.S and we got to know she has eczema on her 2 months visit. We went to emergency for rashes at one month but the hospital just said that’s baby acne (later it worsens and diagnosed as eczema). I’m coming to this website when I want to know more about eczema. Let me send personal e-mail to you later to share about me and questions.

  6. Hi Mei,
    I stumbled upon your website while researching my son’s eczema (he is 5).
    We are also having early success with “Irish Eyes by Lorena” products. They are only available from the website, I think, and I was skeptical for the longest time, but the name kept popping up so I finally tried it…it has only been a few days, but so far so good. The other things we have had some success with are hemp oil (we got that through Amazon, it can be hard to find the pure stuff). The Body Shop sell a hemp hand cream that is good, but I wanted pure, strong stuff.
    I also wanted to mention that undiagnosed food intolerances can play a huge role in eczema, as you no doubt know. We recently had a blood test called Immuno 1 done through a Florida-based company, and discovered my son reacts to MANY foods, so we are eliminating those in the hope this will allow his system to calm down. Often foods they love and crave can be an issue, but without the testing we would never have figured it out, since we don’t see the reactions for days (except for eggs, which triggers itching within 24 hours).
    Other things we tried that seem to help: a humidifier to add cooling moisture to the skin at night; “wet” bandages – 2 layers of Tubifast bandage, with a thick layer of paste/cream underneath, and the layer closet the skin is applied wet (damp, squeezing out most of the water). This does bring some comfort and makes it hard to do damage during itching.
    I hope your little girl is doing well, and some of the comments people leave give you other ideas to try.

  7. So glad i found your site, Mei. My son will turn 1 in a few days, and he has had eczema since he was 5 months old. He had his first full-body flare up 4 weeks ago, triggered by a viral infection (i think), which turned into eczema (again, we think, because no doctors were very interested in figuring it all out apart from telling me to put some steroids on him and give him antihistamines). I feel so desperate sometimes and live from hour to hour staring at him wondering if he is turning red / not turning red. So glad to hear that Marcie is getting better. This gives me hope for my son!

    1. Hi NS 🙂 Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, try to relax as stress can be passed on to our child too 🙁 Keep positive and drop by every Monday for a cartoon! Blessings for 2013!
      Mei

  8. We are a new parents with 7 months old son who had really bad eczema. We live in Brisbane-Australia where my wife stay at home and i am working on 2 weeks on and off shift. Its been really hard especially when i was out for work. I really hope your blog shine a light for three of us over here.
    Regards.
    Ari

  9. Thanks diana for leaving comment, sorry that you had to leave it three times 🙂 comments are moderated, rather than published immediately. And thanks for your kind words for my blog.

  10. Hi! I have a little boy who also has eczema since 2 months . I have found this wonderful blog, and i feel identified with all of your testimonies. I have read your post -Melina Johar- and I can tell you about electromagnetic waves therapy, I have tried so too and there was no results over the illness. Now i’m using an immunomodulator named Cromus, the skin have been improving slowly. Maybe if you try it of your son’s skin it could be helpfull to him like with mine. Try it! and then you tell me how it works with you.

  11. HI, you have an awesome blog here, if you would be interested in syndicating your posts please contact me. I am the health editor on beforeitsnews.com and would love to have our readers, read what you have to say.

    Thanks Neill

  12. hi there thanks so much for sharing your story. we are in the early days of eczema – just got diagnosed by a GP about 2 weeks ago that he has this condition and it’s getting worse. i’m also from singapore but we relocated overseas. my son is constantly in pain and itching. and it’s been tough but i’m glad to read about other people’s stories…it can be so isolating for us.

    look forward to more posts. thanks mei.

  13. Thanks Melina for your sharing 🙂

    This ‘About’ page was previously not open for comments, but so many moms have emailed after reading this and wanted to share with another mom who’d understand the journey of caring for eczema kids. So, I’ve decided to open this page so that we may all find some comfort in our sharing, keeping true to the motto of ‘Turning Blues to Bliss!’

  14. Reading your story is just like reading mine. I have a 2 year old boy who has eczema since he is 2 months. The triggers for his eczema are dairy, egg, dust, heat, seafood, gluten, fruits like strawberry. we also went to Prof Hugo for skin test. His condition now is up and down. We recently found out that stress has become the main trigger for crazy scratch episodes. He can scratch from head to leg non stop or until he’s bleeding. Because he is a boy, he scratches really hard (even with no long nails).

    It has been tough for our family (lack of sleep, constantly worry about new foods or triggers) and the worst part is that we live in Jakarta where people have no awareness at all about eczema. They just say that my kid is high maintenance and spoiled and I’m an overprotective mom (adding to my stress). We have to find all moisturizer, shampoo, and soap from Singapore or Sydney (I used Dermaveen). That include his biscuit, only available in Singapore. We’re having trouble findings baby food for him at the supermarket, so all his food are cooked at home.

    Finding your blog is like having a friend who understand what we go trough everyday…your cartoons are funny and so true 🙂

    Currently, we’re trying additional treatment using electromagnetic wave, a friend recommend it to us. It helps to balance out energy in your body, just like acupuncture but without needles. We only went for 2 sessions and have not seen visible result on Oliver. Will keep you posted on the result