After a trip to the pediatrician’s office, we’ve learned that Dante’s dry skin isn’t just from the Colorado climate. He’s got… BABY ECZEMA!
Apparently what this means is that his skin isn’t doing a very great job of retaining moisture. Over the holidays it really looked pretty bad, with dry, patchy red spots all over his arms, legs, and neck. It doesn’t seem to bother him — in fact, he seems to be totally unaware of it, but it’s still not good. Heather (our pediatrician) hooked us up with some steroid cream to calm down the outbreak, and advised that we give him daily baths and slather him up with Cetaphil afterwards (and a couple of other times in the day) to lock the moisture in. We’ve been doing this program for a few days now, and already his skin looks a lot better. The daily bath thing is definitely a paradigm shift for us, but of course we’re adjusting.
The day after this appointment, we discovered that our cat Random has a patch of skin above his right shoulder blade where all the fur is rubbed off and his skin is raw-looking. The current theory states that he did this to himself in response to some intense itch or perhaps in a drug-induced fervor (he got a bunch of catnip for Christmas.) We took him to the vet, and the current solution is twice-daily applications of ointment, which let me tell you is a whole lot of fun to apply to him. Cats just LOVE having gunk smeared on their fur.
Actually, I’m rather catlike myself when it comes to that kind of stuff. I have sort of an idiosyncratic reaction to lotions and stuff — I can’t stand the feel of them on my skin. So this sudden flood of ointments and creams really doesn’t play to my strengths as a caregiver. However, on the plus side, I am now washing my hands way more often!