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Slapped Cheek Fever.
You might laugh. Here at Murphy Towers, we are afflicted with the slapped cheek disease. Its symptoms are a raised temperature and hot, livid, red patches on the cheeks. You do not feel particularly ill – just a little bit hot and bothered – but you do look like Aunt Sally. And your cheeks do sting. In addition, if you are not careful, and you scratch, your cheeks may become sore and infected. And if your name is Conor Aunt Sally Murphy, you might have skin that tends to eczema. If your slapped cheeks get sore and infected, it is quite possible that the infection will leave a lasting legacy of skin problems on your face. And we can't have that, now can we?
Enter Mummy the Medic and her tube of Savlon.
Small boys might look a little silly with a good lashing of Savlon smeared across their sore cheeks several times each day but small boys are in quarantine anyway, so there is no one to see. After a week of having Slapped Cheek Fever and a face smeared with Savlon, Conor's slapped cheeks are as smooth and problem-free as they were before the naughty virus found him. Kieran Aunt Sally Murphy has less sensitive skin, but his slapped cheeks have endured equal smearings of Savlon. They might well be red slapped cheeks, but they are not hot, sore, or infected. Phew. If you have a child with skin problems, you will know what a nightmare it can be. You must be vigilant because if you are not, before you know it, things will get out of control. Slapped Cheek Fever was a worry. Thank heavens for Savlon then, stalwart item in any parent's skin-care medic kit.
You will not have to wait for the dreaded slapped cheeks to strike your house before you find further uses for Savlon, you know. Its little blue tube is in weekly use at least chez Murphy. A brief round up of its uses in Mummy the Medic's skin-keeping resume includes:
● Nappy rash
I never really got on with Sudocreme. It seemed to dry out the skin on Conor's bottom. I guess that was a portent of the sensitive skin to come. Instead, I used Vaseline for each nappy change and Savlon on the odd occasions when those dimpled other-cheeks got sore. I never needed to use it more than once – by the next nappy change the soreness had always disappeared.
● Milk rash
Dribbling babies – and mine drank so much milk they were definitely dribbling babies! - often get sore cheeks, usually called milk rash. A quick lick of Savlon always did the trick.
● Insect bites
Kieran and I are both magnets to all nasty, flying, biting, stinging things. Midges love us. If there is a midge within biting distance, it will bite us both. Savlon takes the itch away and stops us itching and scratching at the cursed bites. If we are too late and we have already itched and scratched, then Savlon will reduce the sting and the lump.
There is no reason or excuse to go out in the hot sun without sensible protection, and certainly no reason or excuse to send your children out into the hot sun without it. Nevertheless, we all slip up from time to time. Far better than aftersun is Savlon because it not only reduces the soreness and heat, but it also has an antiseptic effect. This will reduce any chance of blisters or infection.
● Speaking of blisters!
If I have told Conor to make sure to wear socks with his trainers, I have told him a thousand times. He is always in so much of a hurry to get out of the door and start playing though, he never remembers. Luckily for Conor, his blisters, and me, Savlon prevents weeping and infection.
Ever had a major plucking session with soreness to follow? Aha. Take away the throbs and the stings and the itches with… you've guessed it… Savlon! It really works.
● Keeping eczema at bay
Left unattended, one of Conor's armpits has a tendency to eczema. I have a steroid hydrocortisone cream to use on it but I prefer to keep it for emergencies only. As he has both a mother and a grandmother afflicted with immune-related cancers, and as they are possibly genetic, and as eczema is an immune-related condition, I am unwilling to let his body become accustomed to steroid applications at such a young age. One daily application of Savlon keeps the condition under control almost all of the time.
● Looking after new tattoos
I cannot vouch for this one – I used Vaseline to protect my tattoos – but my husband swears that Savlon is by the best emollient for a new tattoo. And when I look, the tattoos he has looked after with Savlon have certainly retained more colour than the others have.
Moreover, these are just some of the uses for this stalwart, versatile antiseptic cream. It has been around for years, Savlon, and sometimes the oldies are the goodies. It can also treat burns and scalds, cuts and grazes and – apparently, although I cannot vouch for this – even teenage spots and blackheads. The preparation is a mild one, but it is effective. You should remember the active antiseptic ingredients – cetrimide and chlorhexidine gluconate – may well be gentle and mild, but they will irritate eyes and upset stomachs. So keep your applications away from eyes and mouths. It smoothes easily into the skin and a little goes a very long way. Don't go squeezing out inches of the stuff! It smells "medicinal" but not overwhelmingly so. In fact, I find the smell quite pleasant and certainly reassuring. A 60g tube will set you back a little over two quid and a 30g mini tube about a pound and half. Given that it will do the job of an emollient, an aftersun, an antihistamine cream, an insect bite cream and goodness knows what else, I would call that cheap at the price.
Mummy the Medic's "medicine" cabinet consists of Calpol and paracetamol to treat fevers, peppermint oil to treat headaches, Olbas Oil to treat colds and tea-tree oil to keep young boys scalps free from both nits and eczema. With these few items, we aim to treat almost every illness that does not require a trip to the doctor's surgery. The only other "medicine" it contains is a tube of Savlon. This little wonder in its familiar blue tube takes care of any skin complaint that equally does not require a trip to the doctor. Conor's eczema still requires the odd emergency prescription for a steroidal cream, but I truly believe that using Savlon has kept those times to a minimum. Five star stuff, don't you think?
I am not playing Mummy the Medic with you though. What kind of a girl do you think I am?
I must agree with your husband - Savlon is the wonder of wonder creams for healing a new tattoo, I've used it on all 3 of mine. Brilliant OP by the way, you're an amazing writer.
disneyeyes 28.05.2004 16:52
Thanks for the tip - I sometimes get a bit of eczema at this time of year and hadn't thought of trying Savlon on it... There's some in the cupboard so am off to slap it on now!
anthmack 26.04.2004 00:08
My mam used to use savlon. I hated it. Smelt like hospitals. She used to use Germolene as well and that was worse!! I`ve got the old slap cheek syndrome as well. I look like drunk all the time (have a bright red nose). Anyway, again nice op. I`m beginning to like your writing style. All the best Antony.