A mum struggled to hold her young baby due to the pain caused by painful eczema, which left the skin on his body 'open and weeping'.

Chiara Berry and her husband, Jonathon, discovered their young son Angelo had the condition when he was just six-weeks-old.

The family, who also have a daughter - six-year-old Rosa-Maria - and another baby due in December live in Newton-le-Willows.

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Shortly after Angelo, now four-years-old, was born they had taken him to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Chiara told the ECHO: "It was around his six week check-up, we noticed his skin was very dry and that's how it started out."

The mental health nurse describes her son's skin as "red and bloody, dry and flaky," with doctors warning her that the severity of her son's eczema could scar him for life.

In photographs, you can see the painful condition covered all of Angelo's body, including his face.

Chiara said it was a struggle to hold him as a baby as the condition had left her young son "in so much pain".

The skin on Angelo's body would crack and weep, making even holding him difficult due to the pain
The skin on Angelo's body would crack and weep, making even holding him difficult due to the pain

To help treat the worst effects of the eczema, strong steroid creams were applied to Angelo's while being wrapped in bandages.

Chiara said: "He had to have bandage therapy for three weeks all over his body.

Rashes would cover baby Angelo's entire body
Rashes would cover baby Angelo's entire body

"They have special cream they put on the skin and special, strong steroid creams in the bandages themselves.

"They wrap them like a mummy so it soaked in and it had to be changed every other day."

Now four-years-old, for the most part Angelo's eczema can be treated with steroid creams and he is no longer covered head-to-toe in painful rashes.

Chiara said: "He still gets in behind his knees, his elbows. It tends to just be a flare up but the creams we have at home target it immediately.

"They told us as he grows older he should get better. And we have noticed in these four years massive improvements already.

"He's brilliant, he's currently off with chicken pox at the moment. He's just started school last week and we're really happy with his progress.

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"Even when we talk to people about Angelo's story, they just can't believe how bad he was.

"We've got all the pictures on my phone because sometimes his skin would be back and the doctors would say that he might be scarred for life, but we can't see any scars on him."

Chaira Berry's baby son, Angelo, had severe eczema all over his body which meant even holding him would cause him pain.
Chaira Berry's baby son, Angelo, had severe eczema all over his body which meant even holding him would cause him pain

Last week (September 11-18) was National Eczema Week, when the National Eczema Society called on people to talk about their own experiences living with the condition.

According to the society, Eczema is a non-contagious, inflammatory skin condition that can affect people from early infancy to old age.

The most common form, atopic eczema, affects one in five children and one in 10 adults in the UK.

Chiara and Jonathon Berry, with Angelo and Rosa-Maria
Chiara and Jonathon Berry, with Angelo (now four) and Rosa-Maria (six)

The condition can cause the skin to become unbearably itchy and the urge to scratch can be irresistible.

During a flare-up it can also be red, cracked, sore and raw.

Alongside the painful physical symptoms, many children and adults experience related sleeplessness, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.

More information on living with the condition and treatments can be found on the NHS website and at the National Eczema Society.

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