It's happened with each of her children. Beck Vass shares her struggle with "Mum Eczema".
I have "Mum Eczema" on my hands. Almost every mum I know has suffered from this.
Our middle child also had severe eczema on his face and head which started wjhen he was a 4-month-old baby. It's stressful and painful.
There are so many things you can try but really it becomes just another parenting wave you have to ride until you're out.
At the start, I had hope. I would buy each cream.
This time it will work, this will be the one. I was always sorely disappointed.
Some seemed to help hydrate the skin more than others, but that is about all.
Everyone's body is different and responds to everything differently.
My doctor said: "Are you moisturising every time you wash your hands?"
Oh how I laughed.
It has happened with each of my children at this exact point.
For the third time, we're in the Highly Messy stage: 11 months. Our large baby boy is so messy every time he eats, which is a lot.
This will plateau soon but for now he is pooing about five or more times a day – sometimes much more with teething, which causes some interesting bowel responses.
So, I'm washing my hands every time I change a nappy, and then again most times I have to wash a cloth out to wipe him/the high chair/the floor below clean, which can be multiple times each feed.
"Are you wearing gloves every time you wash out the dishcloth?" someone else asked. I refer to my earlier reaction.
Another doctor's suggestion was to moisturise heavily, get some plastic gloves, and sleep with cotton gloves on top.
That's handy for getting up in the night to deal with the kids.
I'm not saying they're not good suggestions. I'm sure most of it would help. It's just not that realistic and so here we are with ugly, burning, sandpaper hands.
Everyone suggests a cream that supposedly cured someone they know.
They mean well, but there isn't one. I have pretty much tried them all, natural or not, both for myself and my son (now 4, who like many kids, thankfully grew out of his eczema around age 1):
Manuka honey creams, kawakawa balms, emulsion oil from the doctor. Aveeno, Cetaphil. Vaseline. Sudocrem, Manuka Biotic. Coconut oil, olive oil. Rhino Repair. Among others.
And the final (very hyped-up) straw: Hope's Relief. The only thing that relieved me was in fact my last sliver of hope and my bank account.
I also tried probiotics, went gluten-free and dairy-free for months.
Even the dermatologist I visited sympathised with my struggle:
"Some of those creams are very expensive."
I appreciated her concern, but it seemed a little strange considering 40 minutes of her time cost us $315.
In the end what works for one will not work for all. But for us, what worked was good old-fashioned drugs. Yes - the hydrocortisone cream prescribed by the doctor (very low-strength for our boy and a little stronger for me).
In the end, I had to sit back and stop worrying about finding a cause because at the end of the day it was more stressful trying to do that and find a natural solution when there was a medical one right there that worked immediately.
Now, I just have to wait for our baby to move through this stage so my hands can get the break they need to heal properly.