"Living with Eczema"

About: Bristol Royal Infirmary / Dermatology Royal United Hospital / Dermatology

(as a parent/guardian),

It is incredibly painful and upsetting to tell this story. I have to make it brief for this reason as emotionally it is extremely draining.

My son had a patch of eczema on his face 24 months ago. I was nothing serious as he had suffer severe eczema for a long time. We visited the doctors because he had asthma and stomach pains but he was not treated for that and we were bullied into using steroid creams after we had previously experienced problems with it.

After using the steroid creams my sons eczema got better - but after a week it got worse again and creams made no difference. We took a break from the steroid cream for a week and the eczema got really bad. When we started with the steroid cream again it got better, but if we missed one day of application (which happened often as the application was distressing for my son as it made him very itchy) it got very bad. Soon the steroid cream was not working again and instead of a small patch of eczema he was covered in it. It was so bad we got frightened and got an appointment with the dermatologist. We told him that the creams were not working and that my son felt itchiness and pain with it. We wanted to try an alternative treatment, we thought the steroid cream might be causing the problem. The dermatologist was rude, and made us feel unwelcome and stupid. Gave us stronger steroid creams and said we could not try anything different.

We stopped using the steroids and my son went through a horrendous withdrawal process. He scratched every night and there was blood everywhere on his clothes in his bed. It was awful, yet when we visit the doctors we were practically laughed at. He is nearly better now and his skin is in better condition than when we were using the steroids. We believe our son was suffering from steroid induced eczema, or topical steroid addiction. But my son had to go through this (and is still going through this) without help or treatment from the NHS. We are angry that we were prescribed something that worsened his condition. We are angry that we were treated like neglectful parents. We only wanted what was best for our son and he was hurt by your treatments and worse yet, when we reported this we were not believed.

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