Kirstie McCall’s baby daughter suffered from eczema so badly that she began to despair of it ever clearing up. Like many parents before her, Kirstie spent months battling the terrible patches of sore and weeping skin, trying one cream after another - both prescription and alternative - to no avail.
She even ended up terrified to put clothes on her little daughter’s arms for fear that they would rub the skin off and the wounds would never heal.
We talked to Kirstie about the harsh realities of life as a mum to a baby with eczema.
*Image 1: Kirsty's daughter before using Skin Salvation
Image 2: after 48 hours
Image 3: after 16 days.
Balmonds: Hi Kirstie! Can you give me a little bit of background to your story?
Kirstie McCall: My daughter was around 6 months old when a small patch of raw skin developed on her shoulder. She has cows’ milk protein allergy, and eczema/skin complaints tend to go hand in hand with this so we assumed it was all related. I took her to the GP who said not to worry, it would clear on its own.
Within a few weeks it had spread to a size which covered her entire shoulder. She couldn't wear clothes over it as it would strip the skin, but left open it was susceptible to infection.
We were prescribed every antifungal cream, steroid cream and antibiotic from our GP you could possibly think of; swabs and skin shavings were taken which all came back normal, and eventually we were going to a community clinic daily to have her wound washed and redressed.
We were referred to a hospital specialist at this point and they put her on three different very strong steroid creams and three different oral antibiotics. But still nothing cleared this patch which just got larger and redder. Obviously I was worried about infection, and couldn't take her swimming, and was concerned about all the strong medications which were entering her body.
Nothing would fix it. Honestly, we turned into recluses as I had to cut holes in the arms of all her sleepsuits and was scared to dress her as everything she wore used to rip more skin off.
So how did you discover Balmonds?
A little Facebook ad popped up after one of my many desperate online searches for natural skincare solutions to eczema. I was dubious as I had already spent a small fortune on products to try to help, but I so worried about the fact her skin was so raw and sore I bought it anyway.
What happened when you first applied the ointment?
After one night the redness had significantly reduced, but I was so desperate to see a change I thought it was probably just my eyes deceiving me. But a couple of days after starting to use the ointment, her skin began to heal. The border of the sore patch became less ragged and for the first time in months and months it stopped weeping, which in turn helped the skin to heal!
Do you still use Skin Salvation?
We do, only usually when she’s having a slight flare up. But I do use Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream on her and the Bath & Body Oil, which means our flare ups now are so rare. I have also started using it to help the healing process with cuts and grazes etc.
I’ve recommended it to so many people, and I’ve even bought it as gifts for baby showers. If somebody would have told me after six months struggling and two months under a consultant dermatologist that a balm from Boots would have solved all my anguish and worry about not been able to fix this, I would have laughed in their face. But sure enough, it did!
What's your top tip for managing a challenging skin condition?
Trust your gut, and don't be afraid to stand up and say no when something isn't working. Also don't think medications are the only way to heal the problem, different things work for different people but be open minded.
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If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.