Riding alone on this Emotional Roller Coaster of Eczema

The physical pains of eczema can be exhausting on us both physically and mentally. When my eczema is flared, dry, flaky, weepy and bright red, not only am I physically sore but I’m emotionally hurting too.

After a few days of a flare-up I find myself in this little hole I’ve created for myself where the sunlight hardly penetrates and I can’t see a way out. It’s just me and my eczema (and my creams!). In the past I have sat in my little hole for days. Hardly seeing anyone or making social contact, hardly spending any time out of the house or even my room really. I guess it’s my ‘safe zone‘. I always think that if I hide away and don’t go out I will feel better. But I don’t.

When my eczema is bad, I become a recluse. I don’t want the world to see my eczema so I hide away instead. But what I’ve realised is that being a recluse, hiding myself away like I do doesn’t help me, it just makes me feel more alone if anything. Makes me realise how little the people in my life really understand me and my world. Makes me think of all of the downsides to my problems . So why do I do it? Why do I keep all of this in and not just share it with the people around me? I can’t blame them for not understanding if I’ve never let them in when I’m at my lowest point, so why don’t I just let them see.

Well there’s the problem right there, letting them see. Letting them see my eczema, letting them see it in its fullness. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. Letting people see how scarred, rough and wrinkled parts of my skin are because of this. They don’t understand my urge to scratch let alone what it is doing to my body and to me mentally. The ”don’t scratch” lines get tedious and frustrating to hear when people don’t truly get it.Do they really think scratching is fun for me? For us? If it was as easy as no scratching, I’d be eczema free.

Another thing that stops me speaking up about it, is that honestly I find that most people choose to ignore it and this stops me speaking up about it even more. They see me standing in front of them with my face dry, red, cracked and weeping at its worst and yet they act like everything is fine. I guess I should be glad I don’t have to explain it to everyone, but sometimes I wonder where is the care? The concern? The empathy? They don’t wonder why I don’t want to go out, why I can’t drink, why I spend half the day in bed. Does noone care?

It’s frustrating for me to know that, behind closed doors, I’m dealing with all of this. The tears when I look in the mirror, the anger when I can’t wear what I want when I should be able to, the sadness when I look at other people’s skin and wonder ”why can’t that be me”. You understand me, but who else in my life truly does? I wake up and put a smile on my face (be that a real smile or pretend) when all I really want to do at times is curl up and cry because I’m just wishing that it will go away, that I can have my life back, a normal life. I want to worry about my career, my friends, my family, not my skin. Not something which others get to take for granted.

That’s the depressed me talking and it comes out when my eczema comes out or I just feel frustrated about having to deal with this. When I just can’t understand why I have this, what causes it and why it won’t just go away!

Right now, I’m going through a good patch with my eczema, but even then I still have the scars, the self consciousness and the fear that a flare up is just around the corner. And still I get THAT itch! I hope that the positive changes to my lifestyle will help to manage my eczema during the upcoming winter. I’m fearing a flare up as I get them worst in winter. No matter how good my skin is, I’m constantly dreading having to go through the flare up ordeal again. My skin is taking up so much of my time and that’s the worst part!

I try to live life well, live positively and appreciate that there is worse I could be dealing with. But it really is hard to think of others when you deal with it and it ruins your confidence so much. It really is mentally scarring. But its an issue I deal with mostly alone. Noone truly gets it! Its not something people are educated about and it makes this an emotional journey for each of us. We have each other, but I find that those closest to me don’t have a clue. My smiles fool them into believing I’m a strong person who doesn’t care what their skin is looking like. If only it was true.

Comments
40 Responses to “Riding alone on this Emotional Roller Coaster of Eczema”
  1. Inge says:

    Hey! I had to cry reading this. This is just me and how i feel atm! I’m 27 and dealing with eczema since i was born and im tired! Can you contact me via e-mail? I would love to talk with someone who has the same as me:). X Inge

    Like

    • Selina says:

      Hi Inge. How are you doing? Email me at Selina@myeczematales.com and we can chat. Always happy to talk. Try listening to the latest audio i posted it helps me sleep xxx

      Like

    • Melia says:

      I totally understand and I feel like nobody truly cares… The worst part is that its on my face. Summer comes and it starts to heal, but never enough to disappear. Winter comes and it darkens and flakes. Others don’t understand my pain. I, unwillingly become envious of my friends and feel like I’m losing my confidence everytime I go outside, and so, my home becomes, as previously said my ‘safe haven’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Selina says:

        Hi Melia, it sounds like your eczema makes you feel like you’re living in a conscious cycle without any real relief. Interestingly you mentioned it gets worse in winter! Please read my posts on eczema and vitamin d3! If your eczema is worse in winter it might also be that you’re not getting enough vitamin d like me, and for me taking vitamin d3 then helped to conquer the eczema! I hope the articles help . Please don’t feel you are alone though, there is a whole community of us here and we’re always here to support others going through this

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    • Selina says:

      Hi Inge

      How are you doing? I’m glad the post is something you can relate too. This wasn’t at a nice point in my eczema journey. If you would like someone to talk to, my email is always open 🙂

      Like

  2. J says:

    I suffer from the same thing! I can’t stand it. I end up only getting two to three hours of sleep every night and people asking me why I didn’t sleep more and sometimes I just can’t understand why it has to be like this. People without it always ask what it’s like and all I can say is “Imagine bug bites and poison ivy and rashes everywhere an there all the time. You can’t control it.” I keep trying to find people like me at my school or in my town but it’s impossible! I can’t go to Walmart without getting looks from people and I try to ignore them but its so hard! Sometimes it hurts emotionally more than it does physically. Just moving hurts, water hurts, sunlight hurt, EVERYTHING HURTS!

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    • I feel your pain so much!! Are you at school? I found mine tough at school too…where is yours bad? Have you had allergy tests? What do you use?

      My current most up to date post on holidays shows how I feel about having my eczema on show…but trust me you are strong enough to not let this get you down. You can get through this. It can be emotional torture at
      Times but you’ll be okay.

      It’s tough as It seems were all alone but you truly aren’t. When I first started this blog I never expected to have so many people share their stories and it just shows how many of us are affected by this.

      You always have us here
      For support

      Like

  3. Maren says:

    Hi
    I was searching for eczema info last night and came across this blog. Reading the blog and some of the comments brought me to tears. I can completely relate to virtually everyone who has replied here. It would be impossible for me to not leave a comment. I, too, have lived with this skin condition all of my life. I was bullied in primary school because of it. It was all over my lips, on display for the world to see. Kids wouldn’t like sitting next to me or standing next to me. I remember dropping down every night and crying, holding my knees to my head, and praying to God until I had no more faith left. I just wanted to be like the other kids with normal skin. I felt like it was me against the world. I was on the edge every single day. Eczema stole away my childhood happiness. Nobody else I knew had this, and I felt like an alien. I didn’t have many friends, let alone anybody wanting to be near me. I rarely even got the chance to talk to any of the other kids. By high school, the eczema contained itself to areas I could easily hide (except my hands). So I led a fairly normal life after the age of about 11, ignoring the eczema throughout the day and only itching violently in bathroom cubicles.
    I also forgot to add that I have always had problems with digesting food, and I think this might have a link to eczema.

    But when I turned 16, I was trying all these new makup products on my face. I wish I NEVER did this because soon after that, I broke out on my face. It was terrible. I didn’t have the courage to even look in mirrors anymore. I was terrified of my own reflection. Being south Asian, I had greenish/brown patches all around my mouth against my light brown skin! A monster in the mirror? I know it made me look ugly, because nobody would ever tell me I looked good, no guys would even give a glance of interest. I felt like everyone was looking through me, and judging me by my skin. My confidence lay flat on the concrete pavements whenever I had to go to school. I remember briefly dating one guy, who quickly left me because of this.

    But then I met someone who saw through the eczema on my face, and loved me for who I am. There are amazing people out there! I felt true love for the first time. But I felt so unlucky that he had to see me like this! I had the urge to rid myself of eczema once and for all! I wanted him to see me without it, I wanted him to see my inner and outer beauty. In addition to that, I wanted to go out with him on dates without having to worry about my skin. He was my inspiration to heal! I just would like to share how I healed myself.

    I ordered a bunch of books about eczema and also went on a google search frenzy, also going to a doctor and dermatologist. I finally found out that the main cause of eczema wasn’t what I was putting on my skin, but rather what I was putting into my body. Doctor and dermatologist just put me on high strength steroids and antibiotics but I refused to take these.
    I know this is NOT a revelation cure, it is just I deal with my eczema. And please don’t take my word for it, see a doctor or qualified nutritionist if you think certain foods are aggravating your eczema. I found out these foods I can only eat with great restriction. In addition to this, I also follow a completely natural and organic diet.

    My diet:
    I avoid foods with a high sugar content. Our digestive system is not meant to handle so much sugar (espicially refined). I found once keeping my sugar intake under 30g a day, I began to clear up.

    I try my best to avoid dairy and gluten when possible.
    It doesn’t mean I can’t ever have dairy or gluten (it isn’t an allergy) but just restrict the amount. Once every two weeks (or leaving a 4 day gap at least)

    I never drink alcohol, coffee, caffienated teas. Alcohol is known to have high histamine levels (due to the fermentation process), and histamine is highly linked to eczema flare ups. (I know you mentioned how alcohol leaves you itchy so I suspect you may have a similar problem to me)

    I try to avoid foods with high levels of histamine: citrus fruits, vinegar, yeast extracts, pickled and canned foods, mature cheeses, most fish and shellfish (except fresh salmon or cod), soy beans and soy products, CHOCOLATE, wheat, ready made meals etc.

    The fresher the food, the lower the amount of histamine it will contain. This is because histamine is released by various bacteria as a byproduct of the disgestion of amino acid histidine (which is present in many foods like fish). You can not smell histamine, you can not taste histamine. For people with inflammatory eczema, it may or may not be helpful to keep on a low histamine diet for as long as it takes to heal. I find that I have to adhere to this diet. Any deviating will leave me with an itchy rash!

    I also steer clear of artificial colours, preservatives and flavourings. We don’t know the long term effects these new industrial chemicals could have on us.

    I use natural creams and natural makeup. If not, I try to keep to hypoallergenic products.

    I jog 3 times a week, and I feel this makes me feel a lot healthier. The release of sweat feels like a detox, and jogging is a great way to deal with stress.

    I want to start a blog myself because I have literally not one bit of eczema left on my body. My skin has cleared up and I want everyone with eczema to at least have the knowledge that diet can change your life around! Maybe we are all suffering the same diet problems. Maybe we are not. But we will never know until we can get diagnosed professionally and properly, instead of masking the symptoms. I am tired of going to doctors only to leave with a prescription of steroids. And to think I was using these on my lips and mouth at such a young age! The prevention of eczema for me was simply a change of diet and lifestyle.

    Maybe our skin break outs are a signal for what we put into our bodies as well on our bodies?
    I am now 20 years old, at university. I couldn’t be happier and more confident.
    I have had to sacrifice eating many foods people eat on a daily basis, but I find this is so much better than sacrificing my skin for food.
    I guess we all have eczema due to genetics, and some day maybe with gene therapy, we can finally get cured. But until then, my diet stays.

    Please visit this website for more info. I hope you heal yourself of eczema once and for all!
    http://www.allergyuk.org/common-food-intolerances/histamine-intolerance

    http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk/

    You are not alone!

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    • Thank you so much for your post Maren and for sharing your story!! I am so so glad that you have found a way to reduce your eczema. Has it completely gone?

      I feel like I need to change my diet, exercise more as I believe too that keeping our bodies healthy is the real cause not what we put on!

      Your post is truly inspiring and really makes me believe that with hard work we can keep eczema at bay! We may never (unfortunately I know) be able to eat, drink, do what we want but I think that being eczema free is reward enough!

      Our bodies work in mysterious ways and I think sometimes my eczema is a way of my body telling me there is something wrong. So I believe what you have done is what we should all try.

      Thank you for your post, please update us!

      Like

    • EczemaUnite says:

      Omg. This was like reading about my own life. I feel for you soo much. I have lived it more times than I wish. Luckily, medicated creams help me a lot and living a healthy lifestyle help me even more so that I can at least keep my eczema to a few small areas on my body that, although still very annoying and shitty, allow me to live a somewhat normal life. I remember when I used to get it suuuper bad on my face and literally every part of my body. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wear short sleeve shirts nor shorts in the summer time. I never wanted to have to expose any part of my body to anybody because all I saw was dry, disgusting, oozing, painful, and worse of all, ITCHY, skin. Eczema is an on-going battle for me. It rules my life, it destroys my self-confidence (especially around women) and it puts me in severe discomfort. As I grow older though, I continue to learn that, for now, all I can do is do the best I can and, that I wasn’t given a choice in this matter and that I must accept myself for who I am. I still have faith that there will be a cure someday. I also have faith in the kindness and understanding of people because, although they may not understand completely, many still have empathy and they still choose to see you for who you are on the inside, not the outside. We must stay strong!

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    • Just want to say thanks for your dietary advice! Camborne believei didn’t try it sooner!!!! Cutting out sugar has been amazing less itch for definite. I have fairy and Gluten but not as often. I drink only one cup of tea otherwise stick to herbal tea. Im taking Omega3 and 6 supplements too. Not cleared. .. But definitely better…. Meditating to try and get mental wellbeing .

      Just wanted to say thanks.hope you read!

      Like

  4. downtownpedestrian says:

    Thank you for this blog. I found it when I googled “eczema self conscious.” Haha. I was feeling down about a friend pointing out that she noticed I had some eczema on my face. Ive had eczema since I was a baby. It generally got better in my teens and 20s. Im now in my mid 30s and for some reason the past year has been really bad. I did steroid creams which made life better for a short period but then I became tolerant and my face looked worse. I noticed that a lack of sleep is #1 cause of flareups….hard to prevent once youre already having itchy nights. Have you tried antihistamines? I found that whe it gets really bad, taking a hydroxyzine will calm itching and maoe me drowsy. Just cant take it too often bc of the tolerance issue.

    Like

  5. Yuuko says:

    Hi,

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this on your blog. It really helps in trying to understand what people with eczema have to go through, as my boyfriend has a really severe case of it and many of his experiences do sound quite similar to what I’m reading here. Repeatedly he would say “you wouldn’t/can’t understand,” but I’m trying. I’m sorry that you guys have to go through all of these different struggles, and I hope that a solution can be found as soon as possible. I’ll be sure to share this site with him!

    Like

  6. widya says:

    hi… I’m Widya from Indonesia. Reading your blog, I really thank God for telling me that I’m not the only one in this world suffering from this embarassing skin desease. I do really feel alone because no one in my family suffers from this eczema, neither my friends. All of them have a great beautiful skin so they can wear beautiful girly skirts & hotpants all the time. The city where I live is 12months “summer” in 1year, so I always feel painful when I see the other girls wear their skirts&hotpants without any scars on their feet, while me?? Even if I must wear it for some occasion, I always put my eyes to them who looks my down part body to see my scars and it goes along for 25years. Now the eczema isn’t as horrible as my previous years, I can sleep pretty well now but I still have quite much scars. I love swimming since I was a little kid but after knowing that I don’t have normal beautiful skin like the others, I choose to stop swimming and you must know how I feel everytime I see a swimming pool but I don’t have any bravery to wear swimsuit! Sometimes I think for me having clean skin is just a funny dream & I don’t want to born this way. But it’s nice to know that actually I’m not really alone 🙂 thanks!

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  7. Hugh Tang says:

    Hi everyone, I’ve experienced some good success in controlling my eczema for the past few years and want to share some info on how I treat me foods and what I stay away from:
    I stay away from all junk food including spicy and fried foods, eggs, and all dairy. Most importantly, I’ve also replaced wheat with rice-this has helped me a great deal.

    I eat meat that has very low fat content such as chicken and fish. I also eat pork but I cut it into thin strips free from fat then I boil the meat in a pot of water; I then skim the fat off the surface–I’ve found that eating high fat content foods such as red meats contributes heavily to my flareups.

    Medications I’m currently using: Tacrolimus/Protopic–this is very good and it not steroid based; so there’s no thinning of the skin.

    Lastly, I’m on chinese medicine every month or so.

    Yes my lifestyle is extreme but most of my suffering is gone and I have this disease under control. I hope my observations will be helpful.

    I wish everyone the best of luck.

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  8. dnfl says:

    Hi there. I found your blog by accident, and I’m so glad I found someone who can truly relate to me.

    I’m a guy living in Canada, and I’ve been suffering from severe eczema (not the mild type) for my whole life… which is around a little more than 18 years. It basically covers my entire body, from head to toe. As a child, I had gone to the emergency department of my hospital because my eczema was so severe during that time, not once, but twice. When I was small, I was tested to see what I was allergic to. The results came back, and it showed that I was allergic (to a certain degree) to almost all foods. (I have to eat though, right? The doc advised me to eat the things I was least allergic to) I have seen countless doctors (those who prescribe Western medicine, as well as those who prescribe Chinese medicine), and skin specialists in my lifetime, but I am still suffering greatly from eczema.

    Many a time I become very depressed thinking about how I’ve never experienced what it is like to have clear, healthy skin, and how this skin condition has seemed to rob me of my happiness and joy. When I look at everybody else who has nice, smooth skin, normal skin, I can’t help but cry and feel sorry for myself. I get very unhappy when I see that I am the only person who is different from everyone else. Every time a flare-up occurs, I feel as it if is the end of the world. I understand how you feel. I, too, do not feel like doing anything. I don’t feel like moving, I don’t feel like talking, let alone doing my daily activities. I just want to sit there and not be bothered. Especially during flare-ups, it gets in the way of my performance at school. I started my first year of college in September this year, and that was also the time I had a terrible, terrible flare-up. It lasted until about the middle of November. During that time, I did not feel like going to school, doing any of my school work, and I was so depressed and unmotivated that I constantly did not attend class. Even if I was present in school, I did not focus at all. Doing everything became a pain, because my skin hurt whenever I moved a part of my body. My skin felt so tight and taut. I ended up bringing a jar of cream during school and I would always go to the washroom stalls and apply it all over my body. But after a few hours, my skin would become dry again. I was always in pain. I also have trouble sleeping, especially during a flare-up. I always get frustrated when I’m lying in bed, feeling tired, but just can’t fall asleep! This especially takes a toll on me the next day, I end up feeling so tired all day during school and I end up dozing off in classes (hence not being able to focus). Having a lack of sleep also affects my skin in getting the rest it needs to heal, so it ends up becoming a downward spiral. It got to the point where I had to call my mom during school and ask her to pick me up. We ended up going to the doctors, where the doc prescribed steroids. I had no choice, as my flare-up wasn’t subsiding. Since then, it has been feeling a bit better.

    Often, especially when I’m suffering during flare-ups, I’ve thought of ending my life. It is hard to cope with my skin and how it is affecting every aspect of my life. I feel terrible that it affects those around me, as well. My family has had to take care of me, worry about me, spend a good portion of their hard-earned money treating my condition. Especially my mom. She is the one who takes care of me the most, worries the most about me, brings me to the doctors. It makes me feel so guilty that during these 18 years, she has had to do nothing but worry and take care of me, when she should be enjoying her own life. I feel so embarrassed of my own skin, and I hate exposing any part of my skin, especially since I have severe lichenification (thickening of the skin with many pronounced, exaggerated skin markings) on many parts of my body, including my neck, hands, stomach, feet, legs … all due to constant scratching and rubbing. Having lichenification, especially on the tops of my hands, makes me so sad and so depressed. Whenever I see other people’s hands and how normal and smooth it is, I just can’t help but compare it to my own ugly hands. If I was no longer there, then all these things would go away, right? But I think of my family and friends, and I know that it would be selfish of me to end my own life. And frankly, I’m too scared to. I still think of how things would turn out if I were no longer living, though. I just can’t help it.

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    • Hi Daniel,

      How are you holding up? I’m glad you came across this blog and I hope that you will share your thoughts with me and others who read as everyone really is supportive who comes on here! We know what you are going through so you always have us to turn to! Suicidal thoughts have always been minor for me in the way that I feel that I can’t let my skin lead me to end a life which hasn’t even been lived yet but its so hard to cope with eczema at times that I literally sit there crying, thinking of how I’m going to cope through life with this =/ people just wouldn’t understand us though as they don’t realise whateczema does to you mentally as well as physically!

      But then I try to count my blessings (yes so hard when you’re in that low mood!) and think of what I can do to fight it. I sometimes hate how hard we have to try for something others take for granted, but that isn’t going to change soon =[, but we can work at fighting eczema so that it isn’t destroying us emotionally like it does. It literally drains me just constantly worrying about it, trying to hide it etc and I know you must know what that is like, so that is why I try to now fight it head on. Trust me it can be hard, your mum sounds supportive so get her to help you to as support and encouragement should help too as it can be tough, but try and find a routine that works for you to keep the eczema at bay. Trust me, it really helps me to feel more positive that I am helping to fight it as well as the fact that it really has helped! It isn’t gone but if you had seen me a year a go, you’d realise it is a vast improvement.

      Always here to support you though so keep in touch!
      Hope you’re well

      Like

  9. Susan H. says:

    Hi again! This comment is for the benefit of Gareth, Mike and my eczema blog: My son who is now 15 years old has had atopic dermatitis since birth. He also has multiple food allergies to dairy,egg,beef,fish,shellfish,peanut/tree nuts, raspberry and mustard. I believe he had leaky gut syndrome as a child from the anitbiotics he had for his multiple ear infections. He has been on probiotics for years. I truly believe in them. Get off all dairy products…studies have proven a direct link to eczema! Look into Vitamin D and Omega 3’s and 6’s. My son did light therapy, NOT sunbeds. They are not the same thing. Light therapy does not involve the bad uv rays and is prescribed by a dermatologist and carefully monitered. I beleive it was the key to clearing up my son’s skin as well as the healthy diet and supplements I have had him on. I write a blog about our journey with recipes that do not contain any of his food allergens. I hope this helps…Susan H. @ the food allergy chronicles

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  10. Eric says:

    im 16, i have learning disability,emotionly depressed, eczema, and asthma. parents divorced, mother is going through chemotherapy, oldest brother finds me irritating because of my eczema, middle brother bullies me about everything in me life, the only girl i truly loved because she saw me for who i was is now dating someone eles. it’s like im on the edge of a cliff and im about to jump off.

    Like

    • Hi Eric,

      I’m sorry that you are feeling so low right now. I hope you can see from this blog, that you can always speak to me and others who come across this page! Though we cannot relate to everything, we can relate to the eczema and hopefully we can support you through your fight with yours!

      Its hard to have the people in your life understand. Trust me, my family aren’t the most supportive, I support myself mostly and to be honest, all the comments and support from this blog have been so great, that I hope you can benefit too.

      Like

  11. Jackie says:

    Once again you have read my mind,
    I feel like I have noone to talk to about all this, I’m the only one in my family who has it and all my friends are clear-skinned, slim, bikini wearing babes
    not to mention I live by the beach in Northern Australia, so all people do in summer is go to the beach, while I’m stuck at home lying on cold tiles or in an ice bath as the salt water aggravates my skin.
    I’ve sat here reading your blog for the last hour bawling my eyes out, cuz this is the first time in my life I feel like someone understands what I’m going through
    Thank you so so much, you have no idea what this means to me

    Like

  12. Ryan says:

    After reading your blog I feel compelled to reply. And for the first time in my life, I can truly say “I know what you mean.”
    I have had eczema (atopic dermatitis) for over 4 and half years now. I remember before the first onset of my condition I never really went out of my way to look after my skin (not like I do now anyway) long story short… I have experienced everything you said in your blog from sitting in my room for days on end to not being able to sleep with the constant urge to itch myself into another bad cycle.
    As I type this its 1:52 am in the morning here in Ireland, I can’t sleep and over the last few days my skin has started to go back to its worst. Notably I have not been using any steroid cream (epaderm ) and try not to use it for as lost as possible. (tip: only use them when you really need too)
    Over the last few years I have compiled a lot of information on the condition and short of saying I live a somewhat normal life now, during the months of April May June July and August my skin is fully clear and looks better than most people’s!!
    I attribute this to constantly applying moisturiser to my face 2-3 times per day throughout the year and although I’m now 22 I still get ask for ID (so Eczema does have at least one positive)

    *Always wash your face first thing in the morning with Luke warm water
    *Apply a good cleanser, this is what I use – http://www.victoriahealth.com/product/Daily-Gentle-Cleanser/9192/0/ its 99.6% natural
    *Apply a good moisturiser, I suggest – http://www.boots.com/en/Simple-Kind-To-Skin-Replenishing-Rich-Moisturiser-125ml_8366/ again a very natural product
    *Don’t smoke (this one goes without saying)
    *Exercise 3 days per week
    *Fish oil! Omega 3 & 6 this stuff is the game changer the problem is most people try it and find that it doesn’t work for them, this is because it’s hard to find proper 100% fish oil on the high street but believe me it does wonders, this is what I use – http://www.amazon.co.uk/BioCare-52790-Mega-EPA-1000/dp/B0015D1H7Q you might also find this article useful to understand what I mean – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1086799/Is-Omega-3-fish-oil-supplement-good–load-old-codswallop.html
    * A great multi-vitamin to be taken twice a day with food I use – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Solgar-VM2000-Multi-Nutrient-tablets-Tablets/dp/B0016K56UW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1317173468&sr=8-2 there are better multi vitamins but it means taken like 5 pills a day and I think that’s a little bit over the top as you should already be getting enough from your meals the one list above is 8th in the world
    *Drink about 8 pints of water per day
    *Don’t drink coffee, red bull or anything with e numbers or added flavour as it dries out the skin
    *When showering let the shower run for a while like 5m to steam up the bathroom this will open your skins pores, pat dry your skin and right away apply a good moisturiser because your pores are open your skin will absorb the moisturiser faster and it feels great! Also this should stop the itch cycle and sort out your skin
    *Get 8 hours sleep per night
    *Always read the product information on any creams or body washes never buy anything with SLS (sodium laurel sulphates)

    Can anyone suggest a good body wash? Or face exfoliant

    Like

    • Incorporated many of your points into my life.Thanks for these.Omega 3 and 6 seem to be helping as well as staying away from anything too unnatural basically ie fizzy drinks.

      Just wanted to say thanks.

      Like

  13. Yan.D says:

    Hi all, I found your blog when I was around looking for the “cure” and patients’ networks. Firstly, just wanna say that you wrote right straight into my heart when it comes to the frustrations and embarrassment we face as eczema patients. I used to be really active in my school and social groups but my eczema worsened severely in the past 3 years, my doctors had been prescribing various brands and dosages of steriods to me and they ignored my doubts on the side-effects related to overusage of steroids, but I had no choice but to put the poison on my body. My eczema spred from my leg to upper body and arms coz every time I use the cream, the condition is relieved but worsened after I became tolerrant to it. It’s doing a huge damage to my life now, physically and mentally. I couldn’t do outdoor sports and I became afraid of letting my classmates see my flares, so when it is so hot in Singapore and everyone tried to wear as little as possible, I tried to cover up my body. I’m doing my A’level this year, that is why I’m really worried now as I can’t sleep at night even with the antihistamine prescribed, and thinking of the path that lies before, I don’t see any chance of finding a girlfriend or living a proper life. For many times I thought of commiting suicide, but the thought of my parents and family members stopped me from doing so. I will live with it, and knowing you people really gives me a good boost in the moral. Let’s face this together! Oh yeah, just wanna ask what are the really natural and effective treatment methods you had tried? I really don’t think corticosteroids is a long term solution. Thanks people!

    Like

    • Hi,

      I’m sorry to hear that your eczema has affected you so badly too =[. It frustrates me when it interferes with everyday life and literally stops you enjoying the things you love to do. Firstly, don’t feel so negative about finding a girl who loves you for who you are. Someone who doesn’t understand this isn’t worth it so be patient =]. Trust me there are people who, even if they can’t completely understand, look past the eczema and see us for us. They understand what we go through. It is hard to let people in though as it kind of makes me feel really vulnerable. I have a really strong front so I think letting people see me break down is hard. I know its hard to think anyone could like you when your skin is so bad, but I’ve been there too and realised that, though most people I meet are too vain to go there, there are a few guys I have met who don’t make me feel uncomfortable, don’t make me feel like I should hide it and act like it’s not there. They make me feel okay about it and you’ll find a girl like that too!

      Concerning school, I had the exact same problems with sleep etc when I was at university!! It literally affected my exams so much that I had to resort to steroids (feel so guilty) just so I could concentrate! It was affecting my sleep and I would constantly feel itchy when I was trying to revise! Right now, I’m really trying to find completely natural ways of combating any flare ups so that 1) I’m not having to harm my skin with steroids and 2) I don’t have to deal with the full blown side of a flare up. I dread my next flare up constantly. How is your eczema right now? and where do you get it? I find that different products work for my face compared to my body! Also wondering what you have tried for it that was natural? You also mentioned singapore? What is the weather like there?

      For sleep, I do a few things. Firstly, I don’t get into bed until I know I’m tired. Otherwise its just me awake and getting itchy all over so that leads to a scratching frenzy! If I’m tired I don’t have time to think about itching! Secondly, I try to keep a good routine, not having lie ins which are too long as then I find it hard to sleep again the next night! And it helps to have some routine when you’re feeling horrible. If I force myself out of bed on the bad days its better as otherwise I literally waste the day half sleeping just so I dont have to get up =/ After I’ve showered I feel a lot better. Also, I put a few drops of lavender essential oil on my pillow. Not sure if it has worked for anyone else, but its supposed to be helpful for sleep! Hope that helps!

      And you know there are many people who have replied just like us in the same boat. No matter what type of eczema people have it changes your stance on life and outlook. If you ever need someone to talk to you just have to post!

      Like

      • Yan.D says:

        Hi,
        It’s really heartwarming to read your reply, thanks a lot, really, that’s more than all the doctors I have met so far are willing to talk to me. I’m having eczema on my legs and lower arms as well as main torso, it’s like everywhere (sad 😦 ), it’s this bad coz I’m trying to quit steroids too. Well, I had tried quitting it three times in the past three years but all failed after a months or so, I guess you can try Chinese medicine if you can find near your place, it worked pretty well for me when I first used it, my eczema actually healed for around half a year then it slowly started to come back. I went back to steroids that time because I had to go overseas for some voluntary projects so I put some to temporarily relieve the symptoms. I really think we should try to stop using the steroids because just as you mentioned above, I’m really affraid of the full blown side of flare up everytime we stop using steroids, and also, I just don’t think it’s a good idea to depend on steroids for another fifty years or so right? But it’s really painful to live without it. Oh right, just wanna ask you if you have tried or known anybody else who have tried the UVA and UVB phototherapy? I’m thinking of trying that but am a little affraid of the side-effects from it, the steroids are giving me a lot of mental skepticality when it comes to using western medicine. Also, I’m eating completely vegetarian food now, there seem to be many personal accounts online that told stories of how people treated their years long eczema by switching to vegetarian diets. Wonder if you tried that before? But I believe the effect of changing diet habit will only surface in the long run, so I’m planning to give it a try for the next half a year as long as it does not worsen my condition. Really thanks for the tips given, I think I might take a look at the lavender oil in the shops around my place. Thanks!

        Best wishes
        Yan

        Like

      • Yeah every eczema sufferers reacts differently but anything that works is worth a shot, its all about trial and error sadly!

        For me if you read my post about sun exposure you’ll see the sun does wonders for my skin but not if its too humid (though that helps to keep my skin from getting too dry too) I don’t feel like high humidity actually clears the eczema like dry heat! Dry heat is amazing for me. Places like Dubai! (This also works well for my friend with eczema and we both have different types of eczema!!)

        Sunbeds work for some people and I have thought about trying them properly. I know they are bad for you but when I weigh up I’d rather use those than steroids. But its a personal decision! I just feel like steroids are not for me. Like you said if we continue to use them it will be for life and that can’t be good and I am so put off from visiting the UK doctors and all they say during a flare up is you need to use steroids to clear any infection. Its like I don’t want to what’s the alternative?!

        I did try chinese medicine once too btw but I think the herbalist I went to was just ripping me off I paid 75 pound for one weeks worth and it worked for a few days then my eczema returned. As a student back then too I had to save for that so it wasn’t worth it! I think chinese medicine has been known for having oral steroids in it so please do be weary! I’ve heard that in the UK that does tend to happen since the ingredients aren’t in english and we can’t tell. But I assume authentic chinese medicine may be better? I have seen it work for one person but maybe it only works long term for those with slight eczema not more severe like mine and yours.

        Let me know how the diet goes though. I am thinking of drinking vegetable and fruit juices to help as I’ve heard they can too!

        Like

    • Mike says:

      Hey Yan. You sound like you’re in a similar boat to me. I have actually tried Chinese medicine a few times too. The first time was quite unsuccessful. The second time however, I also saw an improvement for a few months… eventually it kinda wore off me too.

      One of the best things that seemed to have been working for me was eating a healthier diet and taking digestive enzymes and probiotics. But by “healthier diet” I was going to quite an extreme. I ate 80-90% of fruit and veg every day, and about 10-20% meat (mostly fish). I avoided all dairy products and general snack/fried foods. My eczema was literally MILES better during this period. And at this time I wasn’t even using any topical treatments. For anyone who hasn’t tried it, it really IS worth a try.

      Whereas before I couldn’t sleep at night, I felt fine during the night and I felt the best I’d felt for a LONG time.

      For some reason after a while my condition deteriorated again. I think it might be because I have moved back home now, and my parents just cook me normal food… I really HOPE it is, because that means when I go back to university next month I might be able to get my skin back on track by eating a ridiculously healthy diet again :/

      But yeah like you I have worried about not being able to find a girlfriend etc, I know EXACTLY how you feel. But the blog owner is right when she says that you should not give up hope. I nearly have too.

      During my time in Hong Kong last year the weather was extremely hot and humid, and that really didn’t help my skin. Humidity is a nightmare for eczema – well at least for me. I really feel for you, because I’ve been to Singapore and I know how hot it is!

      Like

      • Hi Mike, thanks for your info!

        I did read about a diet of 80% fruit and veg and 20% meat etc. It sounds like its been good for you? I may try it but when I went vegetarian I didn’t find that that helped. But I do think I don’t have enough fruit and veg so that could be why it didn’t help as I didn’t actively eat healthier and swapping to quorn probably wasn’t wise since its so processed! I read about how we should have a 80% alkaline diet and only 20%acid diet. Is that what you did?

        Concerning heat, I think eczema sufferers are mixed in this area! I find that when I go abroad to places like spain my skin gets better completely. Dubai was amazing!! I think the hot, dry heat is good for me personally so when my skins bad I wish I could live in a place which helps keep my eczema at bay! UK weather is so changeable :(. I went to teach in China for a few months last summer and found that though my skin stayed stable my eczema didn’t comepletely disappear (like it did in dubai and on other holidays in europe)and I think it was because of how humid it was!! Like I still had some patches though they stayed calm.

        And yes, I know you can’t imagine anyone wanting you with this (I’ve been there) but trust me though there are some people way too vain to even want to try and understand there are those who understand and don’t judge you for it. They want you for you not how perfect your skin is! But saying that whenever I meet people I do fear they will see my eczema and think what’s wrong with her. Something I don’t think will ever stop as we get so worried about what they will think. Guess its human nature!

        Like

      • Mike says:

        Funnily enough, during the period of my extreme healthy eating, it was exam period. It was probably one of the most stressful exam periods I have ever had (2nd year university fml). I should have had a *horrific* flare up, but instead I was feeling the best I had felt for the entire year!

        @my_eczema_blog Yeah I guess I was eating 80% alkaline (fruit and veg) and 20% acidic (meats). At least I *think* that’s how it works. I asked a nutritionist anyway. And in regards to heat, I think dry heat is probably a great way to go – unfortunately for most of my life I’ve been on holiday in Asia (my family being from Hong Kong an’ all). The wet heat really killed me last year.

        The reason I started the extreme healthy eating + supplements was because I read on several websites about how eczema may be caused by improper digestion. They say that eczema sufferers may suffer from a leaky gut, so food that hasn’t been digested properly goes into the bloodstream and ends up acting like allergens (which causes the skin flare ups). That must have been why I felt so much better when I started taking the probiotics and enzymes along with the food.

        What I’m quite certain about is that eczema needs healing externally AND internally. I think we can all agree that the topical treatments can keep things under control for a bit, but when a flare up comes along there is basically nothing we can do about it… Like now for example 😥

        I’m tempted to start writing things in my own blog so that I can keep track of what does/doesn’t work for me… It was a great idea for you to start this one!

        Like

  14. Gareth says:

    Maceboy2k1@hotmail.com

    I allow permission for my address to be shared for contact to be made to me to discuss the issues in this article!

    Thanks

    Like

  15. Mike says:

    Is there a way to contact you via e-mail? I’ve left my e-mail address in this comment (and the one before) – please drop me an e-mail if you have a minute or two. Would be nice to speak to someone who is of a similar age, suffering from the same problem! I have questions to ask about several things.

    Like

    • Gareth says:

      Hey both! I want to post you my email but i don’t know If the moderator will allow? Eff it I’ll try it on a separate reply now!

      I know how you both feel and it’s hard to stay positive, when I’m positive however I do feel better but it doesn’t last long! Lately I’ve been trying to heal with my mind more than the daily slog of creams and baths etc! I’ve been told that where the mind thinks the body wil follow so I’m trying to think of a under control skin situation and hope I get there as right now its relentlessly bad! I’m on the sick from work coming up to five weeks, I can’t sleep hardly, I have no social life and it’s all down to eczema!

      I feel like sharing my pain with others like me Is going to help us because I’m sure you are tired of talking to people who have NO clue the pain this causes! I hope you see my email on my next comment and feel free to contact me

      P.S
      I am a 25 year old male from the united kingdom and I have had eczema since birth!

      Gareth

      Like

  16. Mike says:

    Hi… I’ve suffered from eczema my entire life. Every time I try a new treatment it seems to work wonders for a week or two then I relapse 😦 I know EXACTLY how you feel about being a recluse. I have it quite bad on my face and neck, and I don’t want people to see me when I’m having a really bad flare up 😦 It’s honestly ruining my life.

    Like

  17. Gareth says:

    Hi there,

    I just read your blog and honestly felt like it was something I had wrote about my life, my skin and my struggles! I know exactly how you feel and right now I’m in one of the worst flare ups I’ve had on years! I’m currently on my fourth week of being sick from work as I simply couldnt face work and the stresses it brings when handling a skin as complicated and delicate as myne is stress enough!

    I’m in the same boat as you so much with your thoughts and feelings! All we want is this miracle cure and with technology where it’s at I struggle to understand why we haven’t found this cure yet, it makes me wonder how much a cure I being looked for! I get you however when you see others and I also so wish I had your skin!

    In regards to your comments about letting people see your skin i understand that too and am so lucky right now to be in a relationship with someone who I finally can feel comfortable showing my skin too! Even though I know she doesn’t understand how it feels waking up and feeling like we do I know she understands it’s not something we have asked for!

    I wish you luck my friend and if you need someone who KNOWS how you feel I’m sure we can exchange contact details!

    All the best again

    Gareth, UK

    Like

    • Hi Gareth, I’m glad you can totally relate to me! Saying that I don’t wish eczema on anyone! How is it going for you at the moment? I’ve just graduated so I’m dreading the flare ups as I work in a job as stress isa major factor in my flare ups =/. At uni I could just not go in when my skin was bad but its different with a job. Its like I’m not ill when my skin is bad but my skin is sore, I’m tired because I haven’t slept and because its totally draining to have to deal with it at the same time, and I literally HATE people being able to see me with such bad eczema, so I hope your eczema gets better!

      What are you doing for it right now? Miracle cure would be so welcome! When I first got eczema 5 years ago I really thought it was just a ‘blip’ but now I’ve had to accept its just part of my life now. That completely sucks but I’m just trying to stay positive, as I really don’t want to go back to the days of being hauled up in my room for days on end! Thats why I’ve started to be more proactive as it just makes me feel like I’m helping more than anything at times! I’m so glad people have been able to relate to my blog as I started it just for that reason.

      Like

  18. mafxyn says:

    hi there… I found your blog while searching for people who suffers from eczema… like you, I’m also suffering from this skin problem. Though I only have it on my feet and legs.

    Like

    • Heer says:

      I felt such a kinship with you after reading this. Because this is exactly what I go through each year when the winter starts and it stays till the start of summer. My eyes are swollen, my face looks as if it is sunburnt and on top of it I have to go to work where I have to deal with people telling me to stop itching or go to this doctor or something. I understand that they are concerned but damn does it irritate me. My face and neck are always itchy and sometimes I feel I should just hide away and never come out

      Like

      • Selina says:

        Thanks for your comment. It is hard when people think it’s an easy fix! Since you said it starts on winter and goes in summer read my vitamin D and sun eczema posts! Literally sun was the anSwer! Hope that helps and this blog is full of people like us and it made me realise I’m not alone at all. Hope it gives you that same feeling!

        Like

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