|If it's not slapcheek, then wtf is it???|
Charlotte developed a nasty rash on her calves in early June, and it spread to other areas of her body over the course of a few weeks. The back of her head was scratched bloody, and the backs of her arms/elbows looked as though they'd been severely burnt (they were scaly, hard, and hot to the touch... despite my worries about her condition, I couldn't help but joke that she looked like she was turning into a dragon, which, consequently, would make me the Mother of Dragons*).
We'd isolate her for a few days and it would start to get better... but then it would flare up again. We took her to the doctor twice; unfortunately, both times our personal doctor was on vacation so we had to see on-call doctors. The first one diagnosed eczema, and the second doctor diagnosed slapcheek. She basically said it was viral and it had to run its course, so we spent the next two weeks trying to make Charlotte as comfortable as possible.
It just kept getting worse, and I couldn't help but freak out. I kept telling Will: "This isn't right! This isn't normal! What the fuck!???"
As soon as our own doctor was available, we took her in. Dr. Harris seemed perplexed by the severity of the condition and said that it wasn't an allergy, virus, or bacterial infection. She said it looked like a major skin irritation and prescribed prednisone. She also said that if it wasn't better in two days, to call her and she'd refer Charlotte to a dermatologist.
|Please figure it out so I can stop wearing socks on my hands!|
The next morning, Charlotte's rash flared up again - and I suddenly realized: IT'S HER FUCKING CAR SEAT.
Suddenly it all made sense - the weird way the rash only spread to certain, exposed parts of her body - and always on the back, never the front. And the way she always got worse after long car rides...
We bathed her and found a cover for the seat. We kept her out of the seat for a couple days and the rash** is completely gone now. I've done some research, and apparently she's not the only baby who's had a skin reaction to the flame retardant chemicals they spray on car seats... in fact, a couple in Pennsylvania actually sued the manufacturer of our car seat for what it did to their baby!
I feel awful that it took me so long to figure it out. Poor Charlotte wore socks on her hands for weeks to keep her from scratching herself bloody... now she's sans socks, and her fine motor skills have been making up for lost time! She's grabbing everything. She's back to her normal cheery self, we're all finally getting some sleep, and I can't even describe my relief at finally being able to help her.
And now that her skin is better, we get to lounge poolside and take infant swimming lessons! Hooray for summer!
|Hats. Why? Because: hats. Duh.|
*Game of Thrones joke, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
**I think technically it's called contact dermatitis, but it LOOKED like chemical burns.