Support Group

Eczema Support Group – Sharing over Lunch

Eczema Support Group, Singapore

On 30 November (last Friday), the Eczema Support Group held its 3rd sharing session and it’s the 1st over lunch! We had Subway sandwich and indulged a little in their yummy cookies too 🙂

Having it over lunch allows working adults to join during their lunch break and I’m happy to meet new people. We talked about food, what we feed our children with eczema and while we were munching on our sandwiches, I shared Julie Daniluk’s video, here. She has another video on eating organic food and I found another interview she had with Dr Oz on craving killers here.

I’m taking a break in December, but will hold another sharing session on 26 Jan (Sat) and 23 March (Sat) 2013. Check back for updates and meanwhile, please feel very free to drop me a comment on how to improve the sharing session! Thank you to everyone who came, including NSC staff!

Support Group

Eczema Support Group – 3rd Sharing LUNCH Session

Eczema Support Group, Singapore

Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s time for our 3rd & last monthly support group sharing session for this year!

A quick recap: Our Eczema Support Group kicked off with an inaugural event on 14 July 2012, held the first sharing session for parents with eczema child on 22 Sep to discuss moisturizing and held the 2nd session on 20 Oct to share our scratching distraction tips. For this session, it will be a sharing over LUNCH (Provided) to discuss on What We Feed Our Child with Eczema!

30 November 2012 (Friday) – Venue, NSC Room 401, 12 noon to 1pm

Wait! Before I go on to talk about what is happening for 30 Nov lunch sharing, I’d like to first explain why it is on a Friday and at lunch time – Reason (1) Some parents feedback that Sat morning is not possible for them to attend as their kids have classes; Reason (2) lunch time, with lunch provided, can hopefully give parents who are working near town a chance to attend, i.e. slip out of office earlier, enjoy lunch when having fun meeting other parents and get back to office by an acceptable time (which is why this session is an hour, while Sat morning’s session is 1.5 hour)!

1. 12.00 – 12.05pm Introducing Ourselves – This will be shorter than usual, so for those of you who have not been attending because you don’t know what to say, just remember your name!

2. 12.05 – 12.30pm I’d be playing two videos relating to food and inflammation, so that everyone can eat your lunch without worrying of speaking with your mouth full. My hubby, who attended both previous sessions, will not be present to help entertain the younger kids but I will still bring along balloons for sculpturing, puzzles and coloring.

3. 12.30 – 1.00pm We would be discussing ‘What we Feed our Eczema Child’; I’d be sharing some advice from the nutrition experts I’ve interviewed. This is the time to share what food, supplements we have fed our kids in the past and thought it helped a little.. somewhat… maybe. With everyone’s inputs, we can even decide to try cooking a certain food for the next month and report back in January if our child is healthier!

Same note: No doctor present, so don’t expect to ‘Ask the Doc’. Information shared is not medical advice, please still see a doc. No selling anything or pretending to be a parent of eczema child. Information on my blog is not pre-approved by NSC.

4. What’s for Lunch – Very likely, Subway. Because it can be purchased at nearby Tan Tock Seng Hospital, we can eat it without messing the floor and you can visit their website to know how many calories you’re consuming (for those of us concerned with weight gain!).

4. YOU MUST RSVP – Our medical social worker who is helping with the Eczema Support Group will be in-charge of confirming your attendance, which isn’t confirmed till she says so! If you’re coming, please email me ([email protected]) your name, mobile and email, number of adults & kids coming, so that I can get her to contact you.

Look forward to seeing everyone!


Support Group

Eczema Support Group 2nd Sharing on Scratching Distraction

Parents noting child is scratching (picture credit Chapter 5 of the habit reversal manual was the giveaway! Thanks DrB!

Last Saturday, the Eczema Support Group met for the 2nd sharing session and everyone had warmed up to each other and shared tips freely with one another!

For those who are new, I’m hosting monthly support group session held under the Eczema Support Group, for parents with children.

Once again, for those who missed the session or STILL waiting at the sidelines before taking the jump to meet up, below is a glimpse of how the sharing session went.

1. Cosy turnout – It could be exam month for kids, so we’d a smaller turnout compared to the first session, but it’s cozy and getting to feel like family!

2. Topic was distracting from scratching and everyone shared about their tricks but as we all know, it’s easier said than done.

3. A video was shown of the successful 2-week wet wrap program under National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (I’ve learnt of this as many moms in US shared that their child’s eczema became manageable after the program).

4. People brought food and everyone was happy! Thank you to everyone including NSC staff for making it so!

– – – – –

Dr Mark Tang, one of our doctors on the Eczema Support Group’s advisory panel, came and interacted with our members. No medical question posed to him in this session.

Support Group

Eczema Support Group – Sharing session for primary school kids!

Eczema Support Group, Singapore

For those of you who are new to the Eczema Support Group’s sharing sessions, do check out this post and this post on how the first sharing session went!

I’m excited by the response and feedback received after the first meeting, and decided to be ambitious and hold 2 sessions concurrently – one for the parents and one for the kids! It wouldn’t be possible without the kind help of volunteer, Norah, a mom with eczema herself who is helping to facilitate the primary school children’s session. Here’s the session program!

Update Notice on 15 Oct: There will be no separate session for primary school age kids because less than 4 RSVP. Kids are still welcome to come, but will join parents in same session.

20 October 2012 (Saturday) – Venue, NSC Room 401, 10-11.30am

So, What’s the Program? Topic is “Distracting Tricks & Tips!”

1. 10-10.15am Introducing Ourselves – Feel free to bring your spouse, your helper and especially your primary school age child as there’s a special program for them this session!

2. 10.15-11.15am Parents will be in one room sharing all the tricks and tips we have to distract our child from scratching, while the primary school children will go to an adjacent room for their program, facilitated by Norah, a mom who has eczema and is passionate about learning about skin, allergies and eczema. My hubby will be present to entertain children of pre-school age with balloon sculpture, puzzles and coloring.

Kids’ Program – Mölnlycke Health Care representative, the company behind wet wrap Tubifast, will share a video teaching kids about wet-wrapping. This will be followed by a game and quiz that will center on moisturizing and distracting your child from scratching. As additional resources are required to hold the kids’ program, it will be cancelled if less than FOUR children from age 7-12 RSVP for the session by 12 October (Fri), so please if you’d like your child to meet other kids, you’ve to RSVP and bring him/her. Cancellation Notice, if any, will be updated in this post by Monday of the week of event.

Kids’ Program has been cancelled – update on 15 Oct.

Parents’ Program – Sharing about ways we distract our child from scratching and a chapter Working with younger children, from “Atopic Skin Disease – A Manual For Practitioners” will be made available to you. It’s copyright material which Dr Bridgett agreed for a hard copy of the relevant chapter be given to you! You can learn more about habit reversal through Dr Bridgett’s Combined Approach series on my blog.

Same note: No doctor present, so don’t expect to ‘Ask the Doc’. Information shared is not medical advice, please still see a doc. No selling anything or pretending to be a parent of eczema child. Information on my blog is not pre-approved by NSC.

3. 11.15-11.30am Food – I’ll bring some and everyone feel free to bake or bring whatever you like yourself/ your kid to enjoy! Last session, everyone was happy eating cakes!

4. YOU MUST RSVP – Our medical social worker who is helping with the Eczema Support Group will be in-charge of confirming your attendance, which isn’t confirmed till she says so! If you’re coming, please email me ([email protected]) your name, mobile and email, number of adults & kids coming, so that I can get her to contact you. REMINDER – KIDS’ PROGRAM WILL BE CANCELLED IF INSUFFICIENT KIDS RSVP. Kids’ Program’s cancelled.

Look forward to seeing everyone!


p.s. It could be primary school exam time but we don’t have enough primary school age kids to run a separate program. Hope to see more of you next time!

Support Group

Happy Eczema Week! From around the world!

OOPs #1 – There’s nothing to be happy about when you’ve eczema

OOPS #2 – I just found out that it is Eczema Week! I didn’t know and just assumed that everyone holds their eczema events this week around the world, just as I’m holding a sharing session this Sat! There’s still some time to RSVP if you like to come, RSVP by end of the day.

Three of my best allies on eczema online are collaborating in the NHS Online Skin Clinic where you are free to ask any skin condition and the doctor panel will answer. Here’s the link.

OOPS #3 – I’m not supporting parents on facebook yet (I know! I’m a resistant dinosaur-ess!) In fact, I need your help to share my content if you use facebook and you can share my latest, just brewed eczema newsletter too.

Support Group

Eczema Support Group – Sharing Sessions

Eczema Support Group, Singapore

As you might have read, Eczema Support Group, Singapore, kicked off to a successful start with its inaugural event on 14th July 2012.

Thank you to the close to 100 attendants who filled up the feedback forms, from which we  got a better understanding of the needs of our members & participants. The top three are (1) eczema information, (2) raising awareness and (3) sharing. As all of you know, I’ve been passionate about running support group sessions and will now do so under the Eczema Support Group.

Mark Your Calendars for Sharing with Parents with Eczema Children! 

22 September 2012 (Saturday) – Venue: National Skin Centre (NSC) Room 401; Time: 10-11.30am

20 October 2012 (Saturday) – Venue, NSC Room 401, 10-11.30am (tentative, check back to confirm)

30 November 2012 (Friday) – Venue, NSC Room 401, 5.30-7.00pm (lunch at noon)

So, What are we Sharing?

Since this Eczema Suport Group is the first in Singapore and I assume, a sharing session like this is also the first! – we are all pioneers in this and so everyone got to bring a little patience with a big open heart.

We will be:

1. Introducing ourselves – a few words about your child’s eczema and better still, bring your child! (I would be bringing my toddler and hubby! I don’t have a helper/maid, but if you have, feel free to bring her along if she can help to take care of your child while you attempt a decent conversation!)

2. Topic of Sharing – Moisturizing! Do feel free to bring along your favorite moisturizing lotion/cream/ointment (if you’re like me, I’d suspect it’s already in your baby bag) and we can all share how we moisturize, when we moisturize & what we moisturize with. Mölnlycke Health Care representative, the company behind wet wrap Tubifast, will be on-hand to help out with your questions on wet-wrapping. There will be no doctor present, so don’t expect to be able to ‘Ask the Doc’. Information shared is not medical advice, please still see a doc. If you’re a product company checking this post, please don’t masquerade as a parent and attend the session to promote your product, you will be asked to leave.

3. Goodie bags – We have goodie bags with some sample-size creams from Ego, maker of QV as well as hard copies of my picture book ‘A to Z Animals are not Scratching!‘ for giveaway.

4. Food – I’ve a little budget, courtesy of National Skin Centre Health Endowment Fund to buy food. If you like to bring a cake you bake to share, do feel free. Or I heard this thing called cake-pop is really ‘in’ now, so anyone who like to make some and bring, we’d be more than happy!

5. Toys – I’d be bringing my toddler’s color pens, puzzles to occupy our kids. If you’ve a toy that you know would occupy your own kid, please please bring along.

6. Setting – It’s not cosy but we can make it so! It’s a meeting room 401, with a big table and chairs. There’s a sofa and a little (small area) where your kid can sit and play. Hmm.. if everyone bring your kid, there may be overcrowding, well, please wash their hands before coming and make sure they are not down with HFMD or flu.

7. YOU MUST RSVP – Our medical social worker who is helping with the Eczema Support Group will be in-charge of confirming your attendance, which isn’t confirmed till she says so! If you’re coming, please email me ([email protected]) your name, mobile and email, number of adults & kids coming, so that I can get her to contact you.

8. Ok, I’m long-winded, but so excited! Bring lots of patience please… for bearing with me and any hiccups that may happen on that day.

Look forward to seeing everyone!


Support Group

Update on Inaugural Eczema Support Group event – A huge success!

A successful Inaugural meeting of the Eczema Support Group!

The event was a huge success with the 150-person auditorium packed! This was despite the heavy downpour and the traffic jams along various expressways! And NSC staff were excellent – so many volunteered their Saturday, and all of them are earnest and positive! Hurray!

Some notes that I took, based on talks by doctors – Prof Giam and Dr Mark Tang.

Prof Giam’s speech – Eczema Made Simple

Shared on:

– The mind being very important to have the right attitude to managing eczema

– Genetic condition and linked to other conditions like sinus, asthma

– 2-3 times increase in eczema over last 30 years, affects 21% of Singapore school kids

– Related to filaggrin gene, read more in previous post here

– Usually starts with lower filaggrin gene, followed by exposure to environmental factors, allergen sensitization, staph bacteria colonization and sensitization to proteins.

– Also mentioned need to see doctor if infection due to herpes virus, not to self-medicate, see previous post here.

Dr Mark Tang’s Speech – What Works, What Doesn’t

What Dr Tang conveyed was the thought process and general guidelines that eczema patients can use to determine if they ought to explore another treatment.

– Chronic condition, so beware of ‘cures’ – sometimes, the pictures on the blog may not be of eczema, may be artificially altered or it could have got better cos eczema comes and goes (and the better picture is taken on a good day)

– Good thing is 70% outgrow – could improve to a localized, manageable eczema

– Assess treatment on whether it has been subject to clinical trials, or it is based on collective experience or personal experience (decreasing reliability, obviously!)

– Differentiate between safe vs no known side effects – esp. for TCM or magic pills (which may turn out to be steroid)

– Guard against severe diet restriction – foods are assumed safe, unless proven. A picture of a child in developed country having a nutrition equal to that in undeveloped country was shown, due to severe restriction to just rice milk

– Use steroid under supervision, not just buy and use at your own discretion

– Moisturizing has proven to reduce risk of eczema relapse by 1/3 – read more here on outside-in hypothesis

In Panel Q&A

– Question on differentiating heat rash from eczema – child’s sweat glands not fully developed, thus easier to have heat rash. Need to be confirmed by doctor.

– Phototherapy – for adults, cos need to stand in a box, wear goggles, thus more suitable for adults and teens; a specific spectrum of UV rays that is studied to reduce inflammation is shined onto the patient during therapy.

– Steroid cream not working sometimes could be due to not using the right strength, amount/frequency or if there’s infection. (I always clean my girl with chlorhexidine before applying steroid, particularly on bad days)

– On Protopic – Been in market for 10 years, thus far, no evidence on increasing cancer, read more here

So, above are the notes I took! And I’m so so happy (and a big phew!) my speech was delivered well (though my hubby commented it’s OK LAH cos Prof Giam and Dr Tang spoke so well!)

p.s. this blog post, as all blog posts, are written by me and not subject to vetting by any doctor. So there’s a chance I may not be 100% accurate in my note-taking, well, to be very sure you heard right, you’ve to attend the next event yourself!

Support Group

Don’t Miss Inaugural Eczema Support Group Meeting at National Skin Centre

To all you wonderful parents in Singapore who has been supporting my blog or joined my support group, do turn up for this Saturday’s (14th July) inaugural meeting of the Eczema Support Group, a peer support network for eczema patients in Singapore supported by the National Skin Centre’s Health Endowment Fund.

I’m the co-chairperson for this group, and I look forward to meeting everyone because I know you will make it a meaningful session where we ‘band’ together with the benefit of esteemed doctors sharing eczema information and a supportive NSC team (nurses, medical social worker, HR, communications/publicity). Registration starts at 1.30pm and run from 2 to 4pm.

See further details below as RSVP is required!

Come for the Inaugural meeting of the Eczema Support Group!
Support Group

Eczema Forum Notes – Good Overview on Child Eczema

Last Saturday’s Eczema Forum in Singapore presents a good overview on child eczema, explaining the various causes, factors and treatment options. It was well attended by over 100 people, and I’m amazed half of which looked like grandparents who were wanting to find out more information for their grandchildren (how proactive they are)! The other half were parents with eczema children and what I’m even more puzzled is how everyone except me and another family managed to find alternative childcare during the talk! Marcie was the only (sometimes noisy) toddler in the room!

So here are my notes for those who wanted to attend but missed it!

By Dr Mark Koh, Dermatologist at Changi General Hospital – Why Does my Child get eczema?

Emphasis was on eczema being a chronic condition, without a cure but possible to control.

Common skin condition – affecting 20% school-going kids with no gender bias

Common eczema areas – Flexural areas – behind knees, elbows and for the older patients, ankles (with lichenification), around the mouth for infants with saliva, face, hands

Appearance of eczema skin – pictures were shared, generally, red, patchy, inflamed (a point was mentioned about eczema skin being unable to tan, thus more likely to look whitish), read this post to learn more on eczema skin color.

Eczema Causes – Multi-factorial, genetic factors, environmental factors

1.  Defective skin barrier that is more susceptible to water loss and unable to form an effective natural barrier and  lacking in filaggrin, lipids and proteases (read post on cause-skin barrier) – point was made that no oral medication can improve skin barrier, but moisturizing remains as effective treatment. Best moisturizer? One that the child will use, can be used frequently and affordable, brands such as QV and Physiogel were mentioned. (Side note: Two parents feedback that Seba-med didn’t work for their child)

2. Inflammatory cells – Immune system incorrectly attacking the skin, triggered by allergens and leading to production of chemicals that trigger itch (read post on cause-auto-immunity). This can be treated by steroid cream in most cases. Relevant posts on steroid:

Is Steroid Cream Safe? (shows table with various steroid potency)

Are you Suffering from Steroid-Phobia? (a table was shared on what’s a safe amount to use, and on the face and neck, up to 10g is safe on a child in 10-day period, twice application. Striae (stretchmarks), skin thinning, elangiectasia, hair growth are some side-effects of steroid but generally reversible)

Friday Dr Q&A with Prof Hugo – Steroid Cream

3. Hygiene Hypothesis – Body is prepared as a defense against bacteria but with increased use of soap, anti-bacterial wash, the body mistook skin to attack (read more in post on cause-auto-immunity).

4. Environmental Factors Weather changes (individual will react differently in different weather), Sweat (irritant), strong soaps and chemicals (Dettol and Johnson & Johnson baby were mentioned), House Dust Mites (that can be trapped in carpets, pets, stuff toys), Insect bites

Read these relevant posts:

What Triggers Itch?

What and How Much Detergent to Use?

How to Shower your Child? (mentioned that can bathe twice a day in cool/lukewarm water, soak in bath oil for 15 minutes, can choose one with antiseptic if not open to bleach bath. Water loss after shower is high, so be sure to moisturize immediately after. Bath oil can help maintain moisture better than soap.)

Should you be worried about House Dust Mites?

Top 10 Cooling Places to go with your child in Singapore 

Swimming recommendation – Not longer than an hour, not from 10am to 4pm, use SPF50 sunscreen, try not to go once the pool has been chlorinated nor before the pool is due to be clean (too strong chlorine or too much bacteria), always shower immediately and moisturize thereafter! Also good to find out cleaning schedule and % of bacteria, amount of chlorine used.

Relevant posts:

Do not drink pool water!

Swimming Q&A with Doctor Bridgett

Block Sun, Irritate Child’s Skin?

Other Triggers for Eczema – Eczema flares can also be caused by staph bacteria (read post on cause-staph bacteria), virus (including herpes simplex virus, read post on eczema herpeticum) and fungus. Stress (read interview with Dr Bridgett on stress, read post One more reason not to stress your child). Allergy (read post on cause-allergy where you’ll see the table of common allergens for infant, pre-schoolers and older children), food is mentioned as unlikely to play a major role in eczema and a skin prick test can be performed to check on common allergens.

Posts on Allergy tests:

Friday Dr Q&A with Dr Liew on Allergy Tests

Friday Dr Q&A with Dr Liew on Elimination Diet and Allergy Tests 

Friday Dr Q&A with Prof Hugo on Skin Prick Test

Taking the Fear out of Skin Prick Test

Is your child wrongly avoiding a tested-positive food in skin prick test?

To control eczema well, will allow the child to break the itch-scratch cycle; read this post on ‘Why Scratching Feels so Good but is so Bad for your child‘.

The second talk was by by Dr Ang Seng Bin, KKH ‘How do I manage my child’s eczema?’

The contents were somewhat similar to Dr Mark Koh’s talk, so I’d just focus on the more interesting points:

Eczema statistics: 25% get from 0-1 year old, 22.7% by 7 year old and 17.9% by 12 year old, thus there’s a likelihood of ‘outgrowing’ the eczema

Costs of Eczema: Financial costs – direct cost of consultation, treatment, moisturizers and indirect cost of taking leave; Stress – in family of severe eczema is higher than that with children of type1 Diabetes (read popular post – 10 reasons why parents with eczema child have a tougher time)

Characteristics of Eczema Skin – Some interesting points mentioned:

1. Unable to regulate temperature effectively, sometimes feeling too cold in air-con while feeling too hot in the sun.

2. Sensitive to Fever, eczema flares during fever with rashes resembling punched-out ulcers. See post on eczema herpeticum, generally if eczema get worse rapidly, with fever, lethargy and distress, should see doctor rather than continue to self-medicate/treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed by doctor and can treat inflammation and thus, also reduces inflamed skin.

3. More susceptible to conditions such as viral wart and Molluscum

4. Some contact allergens include (from most common to least) nickel, thimersol, colophony and lanolin.


In all cases, moisturizing is a must. Mild cases require mild potency steroid, and increasing potency for more severe cases but always under doctor’s prescription. Wet wraps and calcineurin inhibitors (which are immune moderators) can be used for moderates cases. Read this interview ’Easy to Use Wet Wrapping to Keep Child’s Skin Hydrated‘ on using Tubifast Garments for wet wraps. Azathioprine, cyclosporine and UV light therapy (for adults) may be prescribed in more severe cases.

More on moisturizing:

1. Moisturizing can reduce amount of steroid used and reduce frequency of eczema flares.

2. It may have some preventive measure, as an unpublished study that tracked 75 newborn being moisturized from birth showed none of them had eczema.

3. Moisturizing is to be used both during eczema flares and when there aren’t any, for the maintenance of the skin barrier.

So What Moisturizer?

Let’s cover the NOs – Fragrance, color, soap, protein, Seba-med mentioned by parents to worsen the skin and a patient was sensitized to aloe vera and started being allergic to it, Aqueous cream contain sodium lauryl sulphate that is an allergen. Nothing that the child will complain painful, itchy or sticky after application. For more posts on moisturizers:

Sensitive Skin Product Series – What Ingredients to Avoid?  

Sensitive Skin Product Series – Understanding Ingredients and Patch Test

How Much Moisturizing is Enough?

Help! What Moisturizer to Use on our Eczema Baby?

Managing the Scratching 

Various tips – Delay the scratching, Distract the child, Drink cool water seems to help some kids (read this post – Giving my Eczema Baby Cold Water), De-Stress and Divine intervention (meaning using religion, Marcie and I do pray every night using the prayer hand from church where each finger represents a category of people. So we pray for eczema babies often!) Not to say (or shout) stop scratching! to your child, read my post here.

Q&A Time

There were many questions and I do feel like declaring, ‘Read my ECZEMABLUES.COM for answers‘ as really all of the questions have been tackled in my blog. And if you haven’t realized, there’s a tag cloud on the bottom of right sidebar where you can choose the topics you want to find out more about.

Some Q&As below, others are collated with doctors’ talks summary above.

1. Can Moisturizer and steroid creams be kept in fridge? Yes, no issue with that if child likes it cooling. Also mentioned that steroid should be applied before moisturizer and if can be done at the same time. Moreover, inflammatory skin cells tend to be more widespread than the visible eczema patch, so not an issue to have steroid spread more than the original application area when moisturizing.

2. For scalp eczema, can try anti-inflammatory shampoo such as Coal Tar or SebiTar. Read this Dr Q&A with Dr Bridgett on cradle cap shampoo.

3. Is probiotics helpful? Answer was generally no effect, but can try if start taking pre-natal up to child is few months old. May delay eczema. Refer to posts:

Do you or your child take probiotics? Is it what you ate during pregnancy?

4. Is omega 3/6 helpful? Answer was no conclusive research. Read my posts on Kids’ Nutrition which I’m working with Toby Amidor, a registered dietitian. You’ll find links on antioxidants, fish, fluids and inflammatory foods to avoid.

5. What to do when air-con dry skin? Read this post on Keeping Cool with Air-Con and Moist with Humidifier.

Support Group

4th Support Group Meeting comes with Snuggle Paws Giveaway! 28 April 930am

It’s time for our 4th support group meeting and it’s scheduled on 28 April (Saturday), 9.30-10.30am at Long John Silvers, 1st floor of Tiong Bahru Plaza (see pictures below). I’ll be there with my hubby and baby and this time, there is a special giveaway!

Giveaway Details

One (1) Tiger Travel Top (as per picture above) worth UK pounds 16.99! (Color is white with pink seams and size is suitable for 2-3 year old)

To be eligible for the giveaway:

1st – You must have filled up the contact form here and be invited to join the support group mail.

2nd – You must RSVP for the meeting by 26 April to [email protected], stating ‘I’m interested in getting your Snuggle Paws giveaway – a travel tiger top for 2-3 year old”

3rd – You must turn up for the support group meeting for the lucky draw – everyone who RSVP will be given a number and I’ll just randomly draw a number during the meeting!

More about Snuggle Paws

Snuggle Paws is a company based in Kent, UK that designs and sells clothing suited for eczema children, protecting their precious skin and allowing the skin to heal. You can learn more about Nikki, the mom who founded the company, designing clothes for her child with eczema here.

If you are making an online purchase at, 10% of the price (excluding delivery) you paid will be donated to the Singapore’s Eczema Fund, the very first fund that pays for treatment for low income eczema patients. Remember to indicate in the “Source” at checkout – Mei or MarcieMom

A Note on MarcieMom’s Independence

The giveaway is paid for by MarcieMom, and not given free by Snuggle Paws. Our support group meeting is not sponsored by any company and in no way, has your details been given to Snuggle Paws or any other company. Simply put, I own a new Snuggle Paws and Marcie doesn’t like long sleeves, so I’m giving it away, esp. when it’s so precious and not cheap!

Meeting Details! (Don’t get too excited with the giveaway and forget about our meeting!)

Long John Silvers Breakfast Meeting:

Date – 28 April (Saturday); Time –9.30 to 10.30am

Click this link if you want to see the breakfast menu

Venue – Tiong Bahru Plaza 302 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-31, Singapore 168732

Support Group

Join me for Long John Silvers Breakfast on 11 Feb, 930am

Tiong Bahru Plaza

It’s time for our 3rd support group meeting and it’s scheduled on 11 Feb (Saturday), 9.30-10.30am at Long John Silvers, 1st floor of Tiong Bahru Plaza (see pictures on left). I’ll be there with my hubby and baby and as always, have sticker packs ready to occupy your child. Appreciate if you RSVP by 9 Feb to mommarcie[at] See you!

Long John Silvers Breakfast Meeting:

Date – 11 Feb (Saturday); Time –9.30 to 10.30am

Venue – Tiong Bahru Plaza 302 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-31, Singapore 168732

Guest Interview Support Group

Building a Vibrant Support Group in Today’s Society

Amanda Roberts, the lady twittering for @EczemaSupport

@MarcieMom met Amanda Roberts, the lady who listens and writes to close to 3,000 followers over Twitter for the Nottingham Support Group for Carers of Children with Eczema (NSGCCE) under the name @EczemaSupport. As MarcieMom has just started the support group for parents, and seeing that @EczemaSupport is so effective in engaging its followers, MarcieMom invited Amanda for a blog interview, so that both support group organizers and members can learn how to partner and build their support groups.

Marcie Mom: Hi Amanda, thank you for taking time to answer my questions. First, tell us a little more about yourself and how you got into twittering for NSGCCE in 2009?

Amanda: Our group, Nottingham Support Groups for Carers of Children with Eczema, was started nearly twenty years ago.  It is a joint initiative between carers of children and health care professionals.  These healthcare professionals have so much knowledge and experience, and have made an impact on eczema services locally and nationally.  Everyone involved works on a voluntary basis. This is lucky because it means we have never had to raise funds from commercial sources, so our information is demonstrably uninfluenced by corporate concerns.

I am just a parent of two boys with eczema.  There is, as you might expect, a family history of atopy – I have eczema, so does my mother: we have asthma, hay fever and anaphylaxis to contend with too.

The group used to meet face to face every other month and we had carers attend from all over the region.  But we knew there was a big need further afield which the meetings were not addressing.  We developed our website and started to move toward providing support and information through web based applications.  Twitter is so appropriate for reaching out to those within the Twitter community who are managing eczema within their family.  It allows us to share and to learn.  Fabulous.

Marcie Mom: In today’s society where nuclear and double-income families are the norm, parents usually find it difficult to find time to meet other parents. Personally, I feel that it’s even more difficult to find secondary caregivers for eczema children because they require more care and attention. Do you think this is a factor that contributes to support groups being difficult to take off?

Amanda: That is a good point.  It has to be a factor.  Meeting a need for eczema support in a time and a location convenient for the carer is one of the advantages we have found with moving to Twitter.

Marcie Mom: Do you think parents prefer to participate in private group mails where only other members of the same support group can view or do you think they prefer public forums?

Amanda: Parents and carers will have different feelings about this, and it will depend in part on what they want to discuss.  There has to be a place for both scenarios. It is not necessary for a support group to provide both but if a person responds in a private group setting, they should be able to trust that their response will not be broadcast outside the group.

Marcie Mom: What advice would you give to someone like me who is trying to grow a support group?

Amanda: Growing a support group takes time and dedication; ideally you need a team to share the burden.  Your situation will be different to ours, but we have been really lucky to have a group of people who have put long hours on an ongoing basis, into a variety of tasks and the group has grown and adapted to things.

Marcie Mom: From your experience, what do you think a support group member can do to contribute to the support group he/she is in?

Amanda: Support group members contribute by just being part of the group.  Everyone is different, with different experiences and family needs.  Sharing and learning from everyone else’s experiences has to be the value of support groups.  Some may have skills they wish to contribute (which is great but not something that should be expected).

Marcie Mom: Here’s the last question that I’m very passionate about. I organize face-to-face meetings and usually at affordable places near to public train stations because I want families that can’t afford cars to also be part of the group. It’s the same reason why I print the calendars to be distributed free in hospitals – Lower income parents may not have the time/resource to connect online. What do you think support group organizers can do to reach out to this group?

Amanda: Undoubtedly hard to reach groups will need support.  Personally I am very wary of solutions being imposed from outside, however.  It is important that we are alert to opportunities to help, support and facilitate such solutions – but the start has to come from within.

Marcie Mom: Thanks Amanda for this interview and supporting me with encouragements over twitter.

Support Group

Join me for Coffee Club Breakfast on 19 Nov, 10am

Coffee Club, Raffles Place branch

It’s time for our 2nd support group meeting and it’s scheduled on 19 Nov 2011 (Saturday), 10-11am at Coffee Club, Raffles Place branch (see pictures on left). I’ll be there with my hubby and baby and I’ll have 10 sticker packs to giveaway for the first 10 families who turn up. Appreciate if you RSVP by 17 Nov to mommarcie[at], so that I can make reservation and we can sit together. See you!

Coffee Club Breakfast Meeting:

Date – 19 Nov (Saturday); Time – 10 to 11am (breakfast ends at 11am)

Venue – No. 7 Raffles Place, Singapore (If you’re taking MRT, just exit to the ground level and find the stand-alone coffee club outlet, next to The Arcade.)

Support Group

First Support Group Meeting on 17 Sep, 4pm

Hi to all parents with eczema children!

It’s time for the 1st meeting for the support group and it’s scheduled on 17 Sep 2011 (Saturday), 4pm at the basement (Children’s section) of the National Library. I’ll be there from 4pm to 5.30pm with my baby Marcie, and I have a little gift for all who RSVP you’re coming by 14 Sep (and actually turned up). (It’s a small sticker pack as stickers are really good for occupying tiny fingers!) So, be sure to email me at mommarcie[at]gmail[dot]com to get your sticker pack.

So see you at the Children’s section at the basement of the National Library, at the following address:

National Library Board
100 Victoria Street #14-01
Singapore 188064

The agenda for the meeting is simple, to get to know everyone else, so SEE YOU! (and don’t forget to RSVP me that you’re coming to get your mini sticker pack)