A BOY whose eczema was so bad his skin would “tear off” has been “cured” using a spring-water treatment.
Aidan Moffett was diagnosed with severe eczema when he was just six months old.
As well as suffering with severe eczema the 14-year-old has multiple allergies including; wheat, dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood and seeds.
Aidan’s skin flakes at even the lightest touch and from a young age his face has been covered in red rashes that would peel and weep.
His mum, April Moffatt, had to be careful picking him up when he was a baby because even a gentle hand could tear his skin.
As Aidan got older he became self-conscious about his skin and had to quit primary school and be tutored at home because he was in and out of hospital with infections caused by his eczema.
In February 2013 Aidan, from Texas, was hospitalised with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), a type of superbug that’s resistant to antibiotics.
Aidan’s body began shutting down and he became severely malnourished.
But it all changed in August of that year, they were invited to attend a hydrotherapy centre called Avene Hydrotherapy in France, where Aidan had three weeks of treatment.
April, 48,believes the treatments cured Aidan’s eczema – and he’s just completed year nine at secondary school.
“This truly broke my heart. Although Aidan didn’t really notice when he was younger how people would stare at him and make faces, I did, and it made me angry,” April, a secretary, said.
“As he got older he really started to notice people’s reactions and that made it harder on him mentally. He would always tell me how ugly he was and why can’t he be normal like us.
FIND OUT MORE What are eczema and dermatitis, what are the signs and causes and how can you treat the painful skin condition?
“He was pretty much bedridden for years. His skin got so bad that he sometimes couldn’t walk and would have a hard time moving any part of his body.
“When he was little my husband and I would have to carefully scoop him up from the couch to take him to another part of the house.
“If we tried to lift him up like you would any other child, his skin would tear on his torso and he would scream in agony.
“Bath time was pure hell. He was so dry, and his skin smelled of bacteria; we needed to cleanse it, so he wouldn’t get staph, but it was excruciatingly painful for him and he would scream in agony if I tried to bathe him.
“Sometimes it was so bad that I would have to get into the bath, clothes and all, just to cradle him and help him feel secure.
“Those were truly dark, dark days for my baby and us as a family. We couldn’t plan vacations or outings without thinking about how it was going to affect Aidan.”
Aidan was prescribed topical steroid treatments until he was nine years old.
But nothing seemed to ease his pain.
“I cleaned daily with natural cleaners, I washed his clothes and linens separately with vinegar and double hot rinse to help get rid of dust mites. None of it helped,” April said.
“Before we went to Avene, anything and everything triggered his flare ups.
“We would drive ourselves crazy trying to find out what caused the flares, but later realised he was reacting to everything.
“His body was slowly shutting down and we were out of options other than putting him on another immunosuppressant with horrible side effects.
“He was underweight, looked malnourished even though he was eating healthier than he ever had and he wasn’t growing.
“Now he flares up with seasonal pollen and occasionally dust mites will irritate his skin and sinuses.
That’s when April and Aidan were invited to Avene Hydrotherapy centre in France for treatments.
Aidan was told to drink the Avene spring water for three weeks and now showers in a specially designed filter to control his eczema.
Avene Hydrotherapy centre is the first of its kind dedicated solely to dermatology, according to its website.
The water is “anti-irritating” and has low mineral composition to sooth the skin.
Avene products can be bought on the high street for as little as £10.
“It works by treating the skin with daily bath treatments with the Avene Thermal Spring water as well as drinking the water daily for the three weeks,” April added.
“This water passes through rocks and soil which dissolve to add minerals to the water. Since going there in 2013, he has improved dramatically.
“He went back in 2014 and his last treatment was in 2015. While at home we use all the products that he used at the hydrotherapy centre and it has continued to help.
“He is actually growing and the food that he is eating is actually nourishing his body. For the first time in his life he was able to participate in sports with his schoolmates.
“We as a family can finally plan vacations without having Aidan’s condition be the first thing that we worry about. He can play outside with his friends whereas before his friends would invite him to go places and he couldn’t go.”
MORE ON ECZEMA
According to the British Association of Dermatologists: “Complete emollient therapy is the mainstay of treatment for all patients with eczema – this means regular application of a moisturiser [also known as an emollient] and washing with a moisturiser instead of soap.
“These should be applied several times every day to help the outer layer of your skin function better as a barrier to your environment.
“The drier your skin, the more frequently you should apply a moisturiser. Many different ones are available, varying in their degree of greasiness, and it is important that you choose one you like to use.
“Moisturisers containing an antiseptic may be useful if repeated infections are a problem.”
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