Wallington two-year-old's struggle with rare photo-sensitive eczema
A mother whose daughter has a rare skin condition caused by a sunlight allergy has spoken of the struggle she faces.
For most children, summer is a chance to enjoy the outdoors and play in the sun.
But not for Bethany Wagstaff, two, who suffers from photo-sensitive eczema, where exposure to sun and heat causes severe reddening of the skin and an itchy rash.
To be exposed to sunshine for just two minutes, even when wearing high factor sunscreen, causes the condition to flare up.
Light from lamps can also cause severe redness, and itching, which can also be increased by heating in winter.
Her mother Amy said the condition caused her daughter so much irritation she scratched her skin until it bled and she barely slept.
Miss Wagstaff, 23, from Belmont Road, Wallington, said: “I just want Bethany to live her life like other children, but she just cannot.
“Even the simplest thing people take for granted such as walking to the shops can mean she will probably spend the next two to three weeks scratching.”
She said she was frustrated by treatment that saw Bethany switch between different creams, each with a minimal effect.
She said she was having to spend £150 a fortnight on antiseptic bandages, which needed to be changed constantly, and Bethany pulled them off to scratch herself.
She has now set up a Facebook page, which has more than 1,300 members, looking for help and support.
She said she feared if Bethany’s condition did not improve, it could seriously affect her development and drastically limit her chances in life.
The Facebook page has already cleared up a misunderstanding with her doctor, which means she will now be able to obtain bandages for Bethany on the NHS.
She said she hoped others with experiences of a similar condition would come forward with advice and support.
Search for the Support and Understanding for Bethany page on Facebook.