“It looked like a regular mosquito bite and he didn’t seem to have any itch”, Joey reminisces about the swelling on her son’s foot. He was 8 months old then.
“We thought that just like any other bug bite, it would heal on its own”, Joey goes on, “however, it did not, and after around 2 weeks, we realised that the bite mark looked like a blister. Yet it didn’t really feel like there was fluid in there.
So, we decided to leave it to itself and see if it dried up within the next 2 days.”
Bug bite wouldn’t go away
“When it showed no signs of going away, we went to the family GP. He prescribed topical cream containing steroids. After 1 week of application, it still didn’t get any better, so we turned to a paediatrician at Raffles Medical for help. By then, it had started looking like a fungal or bacterial growth. So the doctor prescribed an antiseptic cream and recommended to see a skin specialist if it didn’t help.”
“Another week went past, and there was still no respite. Hence, we went to the skin specialist at Raffles Medical. The skin specialist prescribed a different cream with stronger steroids, accompanied by a dose of antibiotics. All failed.”
Surgery the only option?
“We were then referred to the paediatric surgeon in the same hospital for review, as by then, the growth had swollen up quite a bit.
The paediatric surgeon assessed that there must have been a bacterial infection somewhere, and the baby’s body had probably over-reacted to it. It also seemed like scarring tissue to the doctor, hence she prescribed some Dermatix cream for scarring treatment. Nothing worked. It continued to grow in size.
During the 3rd review, the doctor came to the conclusion that it must be Juvenile Xanthogranuloma.”
What is Juvenile Xanthogranuloma
According to the wikipedia, Juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG) is a rare dermatological disorder that mostly affects infants under one year of age, but can also be found in older children and adults.
The doctor recommended surgical removal of the growth. Joey recalls, “As our son had not even turned 1 then, we opted to wait to perform an excision, as he would have to be sedated. Sedation is not recommended for infants and we were worried that it would hinder his brain development. Since it wasn’t life threatening, we opted to wait till he got older to remove the growth.”
“We finally got it removed surgically this month, and thankfully, it was a smooth process.”
Yikes! That’s not a bug, it’s the ‘bug bite’ growth!
For the first 2 days, my baby was obviously favouring his foot, but by the 3rd day onwards he started to walk around. It is a sizeable cut with 7 stitches, and by the looks of it there might be a scar, but I guess we will continue with the scar treatment cream.
“These days we exercise more precaution. Whenever he gets an insect bite, we use regular bite cream like Lucas Paw Paw. If by the 2nd day there is no improvement, we proceed with the cream that the doctor has prescribed.”
This experience was shared by Singapore mum Joey. She and her husband Eric both work in the travel industry.
Although this happened previously, their story proves relevant to all mummies and daddies out there who might face such a problem with their children. Always stay alert and never ignore even the slightest signs.
ALSO READ: All you need to know about insect bites and stings!
We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and comments with us in the Comment box below.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from sg.theAsianparent.com
Join the theAsianparent Community community for Q&A among parents-to-be, parents AND experts!