The First Signs of Eczema
Our daughter was an itty-bitty girl when those doggone patches of red showed up on her face. At first, I thought the rash-like appearance with its tiny white polkadots was caused by the baby formula that leaked onto her cheeks as she drank her baby bottle. Or maybe she had a virus. Or maybe she was allergic to the soap we used in her bath water. Turns out she had eczema. It took us a long time to figure this out (along with a trip to a dermatologist), but when she was around four years old and the rash began to worsen, I knew we had to figure out a game plan.
We’re not the only parents in the world to have a baby with eczema. About 90 percent of people who develop eczema in the form of atopic dermatitis experience the symptoms by the age of five, and 60 percent of those children experience eczema’s symptoms by the age of one.
Our daughter most likely has at least one of her parents to blame – infants with parents who have allergies or asthma are at highest risk of developing eczema. So it’s a tossup. Was it her father’s ragweed allergy that sealed the deal or was it my allergies to pretty much every tree in the Great Northwest that was the culprit? Probably both.
Allergies and Eczema
Turns out allergies play a second part in the world of eczema. Though this form of eczema isn’t caused by any type of allergy, it is often associated with the development of food and environmental allergies. And boy, oh boy, does our daughter have pollen allergies. Maybe some food allergies, too. We’re still trying to figure that one out.
Back when our daughter was four, the dermatologist set us up with a care plan that helped a bit. But just a bit. Time was the greatest healer. Like many children, our daughter’s eczema has pretty much disappeared now that she’s an adult. Other folks aren’t as lucky and the symptoms linger for years, even lifetimes.
Adolescents and adults can develop the condition and live with the symptoms for the rest of their lives, too. Those symptoms can be pretty harsh.
To give you some perspective, the term “eczema” comes from the Greek word meaning “to boil over.” The itch from eczema can disrupt sleep as well as daytime activities. School-aged children may have a difficult time paying attention in class because of the itchy, burning discomfort of eczema. If you scratch the skin too much, infection can develop.
That’s part of the reason why eczema research is so important. That’s part of the reason why PlasmaLab is always looking for individuals, ages 16 and above, who experience allergy-related eczema/atopic dermatitis to take part in our Allergy Research Program. The antibodies in your plasma may hold the key researchers are looking for to develop helpmeets, medications, and possibly a cure for this frustrating condition.
The pay is good – $185 for each Qualified Plasma Donation. Each plasma donation only takes about an hour and a half of your time – time where you can play games on your phone, read a great book, listen to tunes, and just relax. And the best part? The possibility of answers. And cures.
Happy trails, everyone!