My Eczema and How I Deal With It

It’s Eczema Awareness Week! I didn’t know until I saw it in TheUglyMoment’s post. So to make sure you’re aware, here’s a depressing post about my experiences with eczemaaaa. I kid, a bit of a spoiler but there’s a happy ending and secrets to be revealed. If you cbfed reading this very long post, just skip to the red letters for le secrets, otherwise read on!

Childhood

I’ve had eczema since I was born, it was a hereditary thing for me and it hasn’t been the same throughout these twenty something years. My childhood was typical, I had eczema primarily behind my knees and behind my elbows. Yes, it was itchy, yes, the rashes were bad but it didn’t stop me from doing what I needed to do – run around like a maniac kid. No probs there!

Growing Up

Then came highschool and I think it started creeping upwards towards my neck and scalp. I remember scratching multiple layers of skin off my neck and it was just a patch of raw flesh and not to mention, it was infected. Grooooosss and incredibly painful. I even remember when the wind blew and I halted, standing there frozen like a dumbass. The sharp pain was similar to what I thought a knife slicing across you might feel like. Not fun. But no worries! I was just given stronger creams as I go.

Giving Up

Then came uni and I went through what I thought might have been months and months but may have only been weeks, I forget, of hell. For whatever reason, my eczema had evolved through my entire body. Spending a few minutes in the sun or even a few minutes of exercise meant feeling like a sea of ants had just invaded my skin and it would be randomly inflamed. There was something seriously wrong and I didn’t know what to do. We tried all sorts of things and unfortunately the only thing I remember is sitting in a bath full of something that resembled piss. Nothing helped and I would cry in my showers while scratching. The scary thing was not knowing whether this would continue for the rest of my life or just a momentary thing, but not being able to be in the sun for more than 5 minutes? Nothing that can cause sweating in any way? I was bloody scared shitless.

Then it just went away. It. Just. Went. Away. You can imagine the jooooooooyyyyyyyyyyyyy. So what happened? Fuck knows! Piece of random shit! But that’s eczema for you. It hasn’t come back so far and I pray that it doesn’t.

Control

Now comes the good part, I have found my remedy to keeping my eczema in control! Holy ##)98 #()*$@)(#*$)@!! I mean I no longer regularly get any more rashes and inflammation and it’s only just dry.

SO WHAT IS IT WHAT IS IT?

CUTTING MY FRIGGIN NAILS AND FILING THEM SO THEY’RE SMOOTH AROUND THE EDGES.

Do you see that? That’s not short, that’s LONG.

This means as soon as I see the white part (pictured above), I cut it. Off it goes, motherfucker! And keeping it clean as fuck. I noticed once I started doing this religiously that I wouldn’t be itchy anymore. Huh? But. Well, most likely something to do with the germs and goo that you build up when you have naaaaaails. Those dirty little shits. (In case you missed it, I really hate nails with a passion now). This is my short and long term strategy.

What else what else?! I took Zyrtec, an anti-histamine! Although I no longer have to take these because I’m feeling preeeeeeetty damn good now, but it worked. It generally kicks in an hour or so later and stops the itchiness. So if I know that I’ll be going to the beach and may get sunburnt, then I better have this ready.

And and and? Diprosone.

Goddamn Diprosone, damn, I love you man! My bff. Yeah alright, it’s a prescribed medicine from le doctor but it’s the best prescribed cream ever. HOWEVER, it is a topical corticosteroid and it’s one of the stronger ones so I use it sparingly and only apply a thin layer because… well, it willdamage or thin your skin permanently if you use too much. And I won’t ever use it on my face or neck. Still, it works like magic and nothing else beats it. I use diprosone whenever I start getting itchy patches and putting it on at night meant getting rid of it by morning. Case in point –

20120905-140828.jpg
Left Arm | Right Arm

I took this picture today – may need to click on it for a closer look. Had a little bit of eczema few days ago because I didn’t cut my nails, on both arms and it’s almost gone. Right arm was predominantly worse than the left arm so I used diprosone.  SEE HOW IT’S CLEARED compared to the left arm? HELL YEAH.

It’s a strong cream, so should be the last resort after all the other ones – celestone, elocon etc.

The only thing I’m missing in my awesome formula is a body lotion for my dryness.

Besides what I went through in uni, I would say my eczema has been mild to moderate considering where and how much of it I get. Now I would classify it as very mild. Eczema is now my least problematic disease because I know how to control it. I really do believe everyone can find something that works, just have to keep looking. :]

If by any chance my methods work on you, then please please tell me. I might even shed a tear because it’s such a life changing thing. Shit’s serious yo.

Do I have Rosacea?

I probably do. And it’s pronounced roh-zay-sha according to the Internet.

You know, it never occurred to me that I might actually have another skin condition other than eczema. And hey, if you already have eczema, you would assume anything weird happening to your skin would most likely be eczema right?

So of courseeee I brushed the frequent redness, the red bumps that aren’t pimples/black/whiteheads and dry flaky skin aside as eczema, even though it had crossed my mind that they were incredibly weird for an eczema condition considering it wasn’t itchy or anything like normal eczema. But hey, whateves right?

I think I have mild rosacea.

What is rosacea? Weelll, a picture paints a thousand wo…

That’s what it looks like on my cheeks, it’s mild but nonetheless can be annoying. The lil red bumps are called papules. Comes and goes, the little f*kers.

You see, besides the red bumps and redness and flaky dry skin, the other symptoms and ‘initial’ symptoms are apparently flushing and blushing! I flush and blush like crazy when under pressure or heat. And when I have a sip of alcohol, I turn into a tomato… so maybe it isn’t the Asian flush after all EH EH EH?

Although having said that, does that mean I had rosacea when I was a baby!?

Who knows? And here people were jealous of my ‘natural blush’ back in the day hohoho

Am I going to a dermatologist to properly diagnose this?

Nahhhhh, I’ve seen two or three dermatologists in my life and frankly, that’s enough. I don’t like them. Rosacea, like every other disease I have is non-curable and can only be ‘treated’ individually. So far, they haven’t helped. So what am I going to do? Find my own bloody solution and you bet I’m working on it (and blog about it).

Do you have any skin condition? Do you think you do? If you haven’t, like me, had eczema all your life and think you have ‘something’… please, go see a doctor. Sheesh.

P.S I bought a Clarisonic Mia recently and have so far used 3 times in a fortnight… I think it’s actually working but I’ll post about it later when I’ve tried it a few more times!

Seeing a chiropractor

I can’t believe I haven’t been taking advantage of all my health insurance’s benefits. You know, the remedial massage, physio, chiro… all those extras. I’ve started using it this year, but only because I’ve had a crapload of issues with my body.

But anyway, I’ve never seen a chiropractor before and only now that I’m desperate because of my lower back pain and neck pain that I decided I need professional care and not some temporary relief from massages. Had my first consultation and adjustments yesterday. I’m not sure what I expected, but I didn’t expect it. Those adjustments, holy crap it scared the shit out of me. My spine isn’t straight, and I’m not standing straight, nothing seems to be straight these days. So these ‘adjustments’ are meant to help get me back into shape.

Doc: “Wow, this (middle of my back) is like a rock, okay breathe in… and out *CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCK*”

My mind:

In reality, I started laughing. Anyway, the doc went ahead and cracked a few more things. Asked me how I felt. “Dizzy.” And I was. I was underwhelmed and overwhelmed. Overwhelmed from those cracks and underwhelmed because I felt the same and my back was still aching. I was so dazed, I just kept nodding.

Post one night now and I AM FEELING AWESOME. MY BACK PAIN… actually I should have told you upfront that I was experiencing some pretty terrible back pains, BUT now it’s gone, as in no more pains!? Magic.

I encourage everyone to review their private health insurance benefits and TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM. I mean, who doesn’t want a nice massage once in a while? And with online services these days, they’re friggin easy to claim.