Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mommy Dermatologist

Well! Who knew that moms have to be so well versed in dermatology? People, I'm going out of my mind with these various childhood skin disorders! I may as well go to med school, given the time I'm spending recently on Internet medical sites.

Thank you, Liz, regarding the hydrocortisone tip. I hate the thought of using that around her mouth area, but I'm desperate and starting to worry about the condition leaving her vulnerable to a skin staph infection. Daniel happens to have an appointment for a physical on Friday, so I made arrangements for them to fit Emily Rose in as well. I'll use the OTC 1% hydrocortisone until then and see what happens.

My skin nightmares don't end with Emily's mouth area. She also had these small spots on her thighs that looked like eczema. She's gotten dry spots before on her thighs, and Aquaphor or Norwegian Formula Neutrogena always worked, as long as I applied it right after the bath and one other time during the day. This time, however, it didn't seem to be working. I went online and looked up pictures of various types of rashes and decided it looked like ringworm. Ringworm! Gross! I feel awful now! I should have started researching right away, when it didn't clear after a few days. Eczema is a huge pain, let me tell you. But ringworm, for some reason, just seems so much more gross and upsetting.

As I researched, I learned that the same cream used for athlete's foot also cures ringworm. They're caused by the same fungus. Then an awful thought occurred to me. Guess who has, every summer and fall, a terribly stubborn case of athlete's foot? Daniel! So, did Emily Rose get it from the bath mat, only it manifested on her thighs as ringworm, rather than on her feet as athlete's foot? None of us has ever gotten the foot fungus from Daniel, even after three years, so I wasn't concerned about transmission. It definitely raises another question for the doctor on Friday. Meanwhile I bleached the bathmat tonight and had the boys take showers after Emily's bath. Daniel will henceforth be given his very own bathmat, during athlete's foot season.

But, my nightmare doesn't end there either. Remember me writing about Emily's cradle cap (or dandruff)? Well, today I read that children can get the same fungus that causes athlete's foot and ringworm ON THEIR SCALPS! And it is often confused with cradle cap or dandruff! I just wanted to cry! It indicated that toddlers are usually too old for cradle cap and too young for dandruff.

Three months ago Emily was at the doctor's for a check-up. I told him about the flaky scalp then. Not even bothering to look at it, he just told me to get some dandruff shampoo. I've been using it all this time. First, only a few times a week, but when that didn't help, I began using it everyday. I know toddlers don't normally need frequent shampooing, but she was getting food in her hair everyday, making the daily shampooing a necessity.

Needless to say, I was upset for hours today about her having ringworm on her head - all this time! Most sites said it's accompanied by hair loss though, which she definitely doesn't have. One indicated that if it's the type that comes from a pet, hair loss will occur. If it's transmitted from another person, hair loss wouldn't necessarily occur. It would then just manifest as really bad dandruff. The pictures were horribly ugly and didn't look anything like what she has.

After putting them all to bed tonight I wasted more time researching, and found that some babies can continue to have cradle cap for several years. One puzzling thing is that Emily NEVER scratches her head, which would seem to rule out both dandruff and a ringworm fungus, since they both entail itching.

After tonight's research, I'm feeling a little better about her scalp. She definitely had horrible cradle cap as an infant, and quite possibly never totally got rid of it. Perhaps when her hair started to grow, I somehow failed to notice it?

Anyway folks, I'm worn out! I've seen my share of gross skin-infection pictures. I really don't know how anyone chooses a career in dermatology! Quite unpleasant stuff. All I can say is that my little girl better not have scalp ringworm! I may choose another doctor, if that ends up being the case. He should have looked at her scalp when I brought it up three months ago.

He's been a good doctor for us in many respects. He's always happy to answer questions, always respectful, and always able to fit us in on the rare occasions when I call needing a same-day appointment. The fact that he looks young and probably hasn't been out of med school for very long didn't really bother me until now. If toddlers are too young to get dandruff and too old for cradle cap, shouldn't he have been more curious about her scalp?

And to think I have another baby coming soon! Yikes! Here we go again with the bad baby acne and bad cradle cap. They all had both. And the latching to the breast issues! God help me. I want to meet my new baby girl so badly, but I confess I do wonder how we will handle it all.

And my hair has been itching all day today, since reading about scalp ringworm! The same thing happened to me every time lice would go through my first-grade classroom. I never ending up getting it, thank God, even though it showed up a few times every year.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Stop it -- you're making MY head itch just reading your post! :-)