New Year, Same old skin….My Skin Story of 2011 and Resolutions for 2012 as I Look Forward

 Hey Everyone,

It has been so long since I posted and I’m so sorry! I started my first job since university finished (and though not degree related just yet) it has been great to get a job and earn! It has been taking up my 5 working days though and I have found it hard to sit with a lot of free time to really concentrate on my blog. I really wanted to get back on track with it though starting now as I’ve missed so many of your posts as well!

Firstly, I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and new year =] and your skin hasn’t been keeping you down too much! I’d like to hear your updates too so please share! I thought this post would be a great way for us to share our skin stories of 2011 and what we hope to achieve (and how) in 2012! I always feel that a new year gives me more motivation to start afresh and for us eczema sufferers that unfortunately tends to surround ways to keep our skin flares at bay!

My Skin Story of 2011

I remember I started 2011 quite positively skin wise, after a christmas break at home my December flare up had literally vanished. I can never be sure why as my eczema is so unpredictable, but after a week at university (literally), it was back with a vengeance and my skin was at an all time low.

  • My face was bright red, sore, stiff, weeped, flaky, cracking
  • My neck was so unbearably itchy, with the creases constantly weeping, and I had a visible line on my collar bone of where it just stopped and presented normal skin beneath. Above this normal skin, it was blotchy, with red blisters and totally flared and raw.
  • My shoulders had a snake like, rough extra layer spreading down my back
  • My arms were constantly itchy, raised in sore patches around my elbow joints
  • I even got new patches of eczema down both sides of my stomach, something that had always remained clear. They were red, raised and the itch was infuriating. 

It was terrible, seeing the difference between the few normal patches compared to the eczema ridden parts was literally eating me up inside. This lasted until I finished university with hardly any relief. I was in tatters emotionally. Surrounded by pretty girls at university with perfect skin – perfect, unscarred skin – was tough. Hiding away was what I tended to do and socialising was definitely not something I did willingly! I used to look in the mirror at times and see the flaky skin on my upper lip, under my eyebrows all crusting after a night’s (bad) sleep and just cry out inside.My face was constantly puffy and swollen looking because of it and it just wouldn’t budge with my creams!

From May to July, I did a case study for a natural, organic company to try out their facials on. One of the founders asked me and I gladly accepted. I had just started to search up natural ways of dealing with eczema so this seemed like a good option. The facials did take place around times I had exams (and drinking alcohol after exams!) so flare ups were fierce. I had resorted to steroids for a few days during my exam time as I wasn’t sleeping and it really affected my revision and concentration, and eczema doesn’t count as extenuating circumstances sadly.So I went to these facials feeling guilty for my steroid use and in hope of a ”cure”. Suzannah really helped. Not only in making me feel comfortable during the facial and treatment (which involved not only my face on show but my legs and arms) but in helping me to see that I could help myself to try and combat what I was going through. I guess I had always taken a back seat before then, relying on homeopathy. thinking it would just miraculously one day cure my eczema. But with her positive words and some tips to get me started, I have really started this blog since that change in my outlook. The facials were great in really helping to  clean my skin, relax me and moisturise my withered skin! I hate to say it but my skin was like a reptile. Rough, scaly, wrinkled and so dark compared to my normal glowing asian skin (the woes of being brown =[). But more than that, the study has helped me to help myself more positively as well as have a range of products to use!

When I moved home after graduation in June, after a few weeks I realised noticeable improvements in my skin. I went on a holiday to Dubai (which definitely helped!!) but I think that leaving education has helped to keep it at bay (in comparison to early last year) this winter too. In addition, small changes in my thinking and eating habits as well as exercise have helped. I think of eczema as something caused internally, something in my body causes it, so I try to cleanse my system. I drink nettle and fennel tea, as well as chamomile herbal teas. I have got used to their taste so have incorporated them into my routine but I know it can be hard for some (but give it a try!! I think skin is motivation enough for me).

My face baffles me. It has done a complete U-turn and is now a mostly oily, acne prone area. I guess I should (and am) glad it isn’t covered in eczema as my upper lip hasn’t been this clear since I was 16!! But the spots are scarring me too and finding moisturising yet acne fighting products can be hard. And weirdly, my neck from my jawline is still one of my most volatile areas tending to be dry and rough and a lot more likely to flare, whereas my face stays mostly calm. I can’t explain it as I use the same products on both and both are exposed to the environments that is really shows just how random eczema can be! My elbows and neck are my biggest problems now eczema wise, though the scarring is tremendous anyway, they tend to flare first and for the longest. I just don’t seem to be able able to control the flares at the moment =[. 

Reflections

I have literally been dreading the moment I wake up and eczema covers me and that is something I want to move away from this year. I think, if a cure is not in my reach, then further ways to keep my eczema at bay will help me to feel like I am doing what I need to do to control it and positively benefit me (hopefully!).

My eczema has not disappeared and that does really get me down at times…but then I think am I doing all that I can to combat it…and the guilty voice in my head always rings out with a no.

Its true. I do some things but its a half hearted attempt, I’m not doing EVERYTHING I could be. I guess sometimes I feel like why should I? My friends, my family…they don’t have to work at having good skin, they just have it. A night out with a few glasses of alcohol leaves me dry, scaly and sore skinned, they just feel a hangover….I miss a night’s sleep, and my skin shows me the damage…How is that fair? 

I guess it isn’t, and I know people are worse off but I can’t look past my own skin at times. Not when it is so emotionally and physically scarring. Even now, when it does clear, I’m left with reminders so ingrained that it would take ages to reduce the scarring. But every new flare up, every oncoming itch cycle that ensues, creates even more scars that I feel like how can I ever work on reducing the scars if the flare ups keep on coming? It is so tough at times. My arms are hardly totally smooth yet anyway, but the scars alone cause me to fret if my arms are on show(which isn’t often!) as the scarring is so visible. (I plan to uplaod photos soon as my friend who suffers with eczema doesn’t have scars like mine and I’m wondering whether anyone else does =[ Mine spread in larges areas (mainly my elbow joints covering half of my arms and my neck). They are so off colour and ‘dead looking’ that I wonder whether any of you suffer from this too and have any solutions?!

So there is my thoughts and feelings from 2011 (and sorry for the long essays I’ve written!), so now the resolutions I want to work on or continue this year. Resolutions to look at and maintain, and while noting my progress on this blog, I hope that I can look back at this next year and see improvement in my skin, my scarring and (hopefully!) see where they have led to. 

My Skin Resolutions for 2012

New product Search:

  1. Find a new cream for my face



    and neck which is moisturising as well as able to help with the new found acne my face is dealing with! Currently looking at a few products and hope to purchase one soon so will review =] (Any suggestions let me know). I’m trying to stick to organic, natural ones so have been doing some research.

  • Find a new body lotion.



     I love my coconut oil, I really do. Helps to stop the itch and mostly moisturises (though I find it takes some time to really sink in and get rid of that rough, scaled feeling) but its annoying to be covered in grease from neck to toe on the days that I have to get ready to leave the house!! It is greasy and it gets all over my clothes, hair etc…not a good look. What I was hoping to find is a cream based solution so that it isn’t just oil, but contains some of the oils that are beneficial. Dabbin

Comments
10 Responses to “New Year, Same old skin….My Skin Story of 2011 and Resolutions for 2012 as I Look Forward”
  1. Stella says:

    Hi, Your blog is very interesting to me, cos I have very dry eczema exactly where you have yours!! On the neck very dry rough and scaly and leathery. My face is clearer but sometimes itchy and flakey. My eczema flared up in 2011 December after I changed to a raw food diet. I had clear skin for 4 years before that after giving birth to my son.

    I have tried everything juicing, liver flushes, colon cleansing, colonic irrigation, eating raw organic lambs liver, avocados and loads of veggies. You carry stress around your neck and shoulders which is why you flared up in university around those areas. I went to college in 2007 and my skin flared up around my neck too. It got better in 2008. After I had stopped the course.

    I use steam rooms at least 2ce a week and slather coconut oil on my skin and sit there for 1/2 an hour to an hour with 5 minute breaks in between. I carry a 2 litre bottle of spring water in with me so I don’t dehydrate.

    When the flare up started this year, I had been eating out for 4 years and was told today by a kind lady, that the raw food diet I did was detoxing me of all the junk food I had eaten.. I too got lazy and used steroids and went to the doctors but no relief.

    So I am doing what I did before which is 3 avocadoes a day with veg and 6 glasses of carrot and parsley juice a day. Juicing makes a big difference to the skin and will heal it rapidly from the inside like no man’s business.

    My eczema was a lot worse than this before and i cured it. So I will just do it again. Only I will be using coconut oil rather than shea butter as i find that in the UK the shea butter just cakes on the skin and makes it very hard for me to turn my neck. (no shea butter on exposed parts of my skin!!) Coconut oil is greasy but it works. Just keep massaging it in until your skin

    I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog and will keep you posted of how I heal this current flare up. Take care and God Bless!!

    Like

    • Hi Stella,

      How has your diet been working out? I’d be interested in hearing more from you!! It sounds like you have gone to a lot of lengths to try and find a cure too I’m sorry you haven’t found something that works yet =[ its so frustrating isn’t it!

      wish you all the luck! and hope you will let us know how you get on!

      Like

  2. Poh Ling says:

    Hi, I am a mother of a son (8 yrs old) who has eczema since a year ago. I can totally relate to the frustrations you face each and everyday although I’m not a direct sufferer. As my son is still young, he does not understand that scratching makes the situation worse and I end up getting frustrated each and everyday in search of a good cream for my son. It is indeed sad to say that up until today I’m still unable to find a single moisturiser that can work. I really need him to communicate with me and he does not seem bothered but continue to scratch himself til red and angry. My son’s eczema started on his neck but on New Year’s day, it started on his face too. It is now red and he looks like he has 2 patches of rosy cheek. Wish someone in the world would come out with a cure for all eczema sufferer. Though I’m an indirect sufferer, but indeed I carry the pain and frustration of an eczema sufferer.

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment. My heart goes out to you as it can’t be nice having to watch it happen. What creams do you use currently?

      And how old Is your son? I try to resist the urge to scratch because I see the scars but he May not yet understand the consequences and even then I know from experience that the ‘itch’ isn’t like a normal itch. It’s frustrating and hard to resist and sometimes it becomes too much . Like you mentioned a cream can help. I think salves have helped me when the skin is terribly itchy.

      Like

  3. sugarpuffish says:

    I have eczema, if you are interested I blog about natural skincare, it really makes a difference to me, perhaps some of the products I have reviewed would be of interest to you?

    Like

    • Hey
      I have actually looked at your blog and its great! I have recently put an order in for the paw paw papaya that you mentioned from Australia.

      Thanks for posting and I look forward to looking at other natural skin care products you have posted about. I wasn’t sure where to start when going natural so thanks.

      Like

      • sugarpuffish says:

        Thank you for viewing my blog & you are doing a great job here too. Let me know how you get on the Paw Paw. I think its amazing so I hope it works for you as well 🙂

        Like

  4. Mike says:

    If you have an interest in trying it out, just drop me an email and I’ll explain in more detail what I’m eating ^^

    I’ll update my blog in a bit when I have a bit more to write about.

    Happy New Year 🙂

    Like

  5. Mike says:

    Hi, nice to see an update ^^ Like you, I’m still not clear either 😦 On the other hand, I’m now very sure that my diet directly relates to the state of my skin — the problem is, it’s so hard to stick to what is essentially a brutally vegan diet O__O (I miss chocolate and bacon T__T). It’s necessary to take some supplements along with the diet to aid digestion though. Every now and then I stray from the diet and my skin worsens…

    So I guess my New Year’s resolution would be to stick to the diet no matter what (until my skin clears 99%, assuming that it can get there) then I’ll revert back to normal eating and see what happens…

    I’d recommend any eczema sufferer to try it out for at least a couple of weeks to see if they see any improvements.

    Like

    • Hey mike the diet seems quite hard to follow so you are doing such a great job keeping to it! Do you not eat any meats then? I can’t think of enough variety to keep me on this diet without feeling like food is Jo longer enjoyable if you get what I mean. I have been reading that green vegetable juices are good for our skin (as well as general health) especially wheatgrass. I was thinking of adding that to much diet to see if it helps. Like you said we have to help our digestion so I drink nettles and fennel tea.

      Do you exercise at all? Some people don’t find it helps. Do you? I’ve been really bad with gym so getting back into it now and I hope it’ll keep helping!

      Like

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