Jo and James Clackett with Lola
National Eczema Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of a condition which affects one in five children in the UK. An Upchurch couple whose daughter suffers from the condition tell of the help they have received...
At just four days old, Lola Clackett started to get small red blotches all over her skin.
When the problem persisted, parents Jo and James, of Crosier Court, Upchurch, thought it could have been caused by the warm summer weather. But things gradually got worse.
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The youngster’s cheeks started to weep and she developed severe cradle cap – yellowish, scaly patches on her head.
Mrs Clackett said: “I tried changing our washing powder and did everything I could think of.
"But by the time she was four months, her skin had become red in all the creases of her body felt like sandpaper.” The 33-year-old made an appointment with Claire Jennings, of the dermatology team at Medway Community Healthcare, who diagnosed Lola with atopic eczema as soon as she saw her.
She said: “Claire was so good, very patient and wrote everything down as she showed me how to use lotions and a steroid cream.
“Within two days of using the creams, Lola’s skin had improved, her cradle cap had cleared and she was sleeping better too.”
The first-time mum was so grateful for Mrs Jennings’ support, she nominated her for a Recognising Excellence award, run by Medway Community Healthcare to highlight staff who provide the best care to their patients.
A nutritionist later helped them discover Lola’s eczema was severely affected by cow’s milk.
Mrs Clackett said: “As I was weaning Lola, I handed her a small stick of cheese and her skin inflamed as soon as she touched it.
“Finding the trigger meant we were able to avoid flare-ups.
Lola Clackett when her eczema was at its worst
“We discovered it took quite a while to get all of the dairy out of her system. I would say maybe six months.
"But after that her eczema really started to clear up.”
Mrs Clackett and Mr Clackett, 35, who works as an electrician, apply moisturiser to their daughter once a day and she has baths with emollients, which help treat dry skin.
Mrs Clackett added: “Lola is now two and the eczema is under control having replaced cows’ milk with a soya-based milk. She is much happier. She used to scratch at her skin at bath time but now she giggles and laughs.”