My current skin Story in photos…

So on a scale from 1-10 my skin isn’t as bad as it could be (I’ve ha it a lot worse trust me). But now that I’ve taken photos I see how red, inflamed and scarred it still is. I just wanted to share with you guys as I know I’m not alone.

My neck and arms just won’t ease up. My neck has that unbearable itch but for me this is quite calm sadly. I feel better about it at the moment…but maybe that’s because my face isn’t as bad and with my hair down my neck is more subtle…

Not wearing short sleeves tops is a dilemma but I am not able to show my skin journey to those I work with. I don’t want the awkward stares…

Here goes….

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Comments
19 Responses to “My current skin Story in photos…”
  1. Becki says:

    Hiya, this blog is brilliant! I’ve had eczema most of my life but it’s only really flared up the last couple of years when I was in a student house with terrible damp, and then a house of smokers; moving into a better environment has improved it greatly. That combined with vitamin d and evening primrose oil supplements had stopped flare ups completely.
    The only problem is the itching! Now it’s getting colder I’m terrified I’m going to get worse! Any tips? I’ve been trying to avoid my GP as Johnson’s baby range has helped a lot and I’m fed up with regular trips to the doctor!
    What do you use in the shower? I keep it at a good temp but my skin still feels like it’s been ‘stripped’.
    Thanks for writing this blog! There’s not enough good adult eczema blogs out there.
    Xxx

    Like

    • The itch is tough! I’ve been good this week, no itching of my face/ neck at all and the difference it makes is amazing! Just so hard not to itch sometimes.

      If you’re home try using something cold to cool the area. I don’t like using anything wet as I find my skin can get irritated by water unless I’m properly showering if that makes sense. Instead I use a bag of veg out of the freezer cover it with kitchen towel (maybe an Elastic band to keep it in place) then place it on the area. The cold numbs the itch for me.

      I will be writing a blog post on this soon, but I’ve found a better diet with less refined sugars seems to have had a great effect! It was tough at first as I have such a sweet tooth but my skin is enough to keep me going. I have odd treats but don’t overdo the “bad foods”. That definitely has made the itching reduce. Like you I also take supplements, I take omega 3 which has added vitamin e and a prebiotic drink daily ATM.

      I’ve been considering EPO again as it kept my oily skin at bay last time which is tough when you have eczema too with the heavy creams you need!

      Like

      • Becki says:

        Ok thanks, will definitely try that!
        I’ve found staying away from gluten helps, I did a carb free diet to lose weight and my skin really improved. Now if I have one too many potatoes it comes up again!
        Looking forward to your next post!
        Xxx

        Like

  2. Jodie Emerson says:

    The itchiness of my fingers is killing me right now! I find the texture of seatbelts to be the best to scratch with! Speaking of scratching, have you ever had nail tips? I had fake nails for only one summer and COULDN’T scratch hard enough to break the skin. That was the best my skin ever looked!!!! I work in healthcare in a sterile environment and this is no longer an option. I was allergy tested by means of the skin patch test. That was the worst feeling ever. My mother was just watching as the hives started enveloping other hives and I begged her to hold my hands to keep myself from scratching and screwing up the test. I found out it was cats more than dogs and all the trees and grass, corn and wheat and many of the other things others have written. I found a new one listed above and it’s COFFEE. Could I be allergic to COFFEE? It is my life drink, I have an espresso maker in my kitchen… I think I may need to embrace a food diary again. Thank you for posting pictures on your blog. It is very brave and also a great service for others. The pictures on dermatology research papers and websites are not “real” the lighting is too bright, the area is so close, it is too hard to really envision the amount of area effected.

    Like

    • Your allergy test sounded positive. Has It helped now knowing? I’m not keen on blood but I think I need one doing, yours has helped you figure out what may be causing allergies !!!

      It’s tough as one day mine can be good when I wake up and the next I get a flare out of the blue. I can’t pinpoint the cause.

      Like

      • Jodie from Michigan says:

        The skin patch testing, it helped a little. The problem is there is sooooo much to test for, they wanted me back again. I chose not to go back. Pretty much all of the food allergies are hit and miss. I can usually find from the time I eat something, six hours until I start to get itchy and red. This phase lasts for about 36 hours and then I am dry and flaky for about 4 days. I am allergic to fish (but not shellfish, crab or lobster?????) citrus, tomatoes, dairy. Imitation crab is made from fish so I have to be careful when I go to get one of my favorite foods, CRABCAKES!!!!

        A new cream I have found is Curel (it’s in a tub) called “Intensive Healing” and it is part of advanced ceramide therapy. This cream seems to moisturize the longest of all the creams I have ever put on. I don’t appear as red all the time after application of this cream. I have been putting it right on my face too and I haven’t had any blemishes either.

        I have also seen research from University of Rochester (New York State) that has recently been posted that “we” are missing a specific protein in our dermal layer. Because of the lack of this protein (claudin-1) we “weep”. Excellent article in the New York Times on July 29, 2013 by Jane Brody describing this. I would recommend you look it up and check out the art work, I think it is an interesting rendition of how we are looking and feeling.

        Like

  3. Ari says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I also appreciate your blog! I’m a female in my mid-20s from Toronto, Canada and have been suffering from eczema basically all my life. I have tried everything, from western to eastern/Chinese doctors and my flare ups have been very inconsistent. Last week I had a week of the worst flare ups of my life- it was actually painful and I felt really low. I didn’t want to leave my house or see anyone- it was definitely detrimental on my self-esteem, so I really get what you have been through. So I switched over to organic and natural skin care (I got this 100% hemp balm from the UK that has been really good in moisturizing my skin- and it looks like a lot of organic products that I am interested in trying are from the UK, so you probably have easy access to them!) and detergent products and went on a no meat/diary diet. My skin was so much better for a few days, and then for some reason yesterday and today I started flaring up again.. and due to process of elimination, I think it was because I had eaten soy/beans. So I am going to try to cut those out as well and see if it makes a difference. It is just really frustrating because you can only know if something works for you or doesn’t make you react to it is by trial and error, and that can be really draining both physically and emotionally. So again, just wanted to thank you for starting this blog. There are definitely people who understand what we are going through. Oh by the way, I really don’t think your status now (based on those photos) is really that bad! Your skin looks pretty good to me, but maybe it’s the itching that is the worst?

    I wish you the best of luck and keep us posted!

    Like

    • I think my scarring is one of the worst aspects now mainly on my elbow joints, my uneven skin tone over my body as well due to areas that have been affected and those that haven’t.

      It’s not the worst it has been so I’m grateful but it’s not enough to be content!

      Like

  4. Theresa says:

    At one time my eczema was just as bad as yours. I ended up going to the Hotze health and wellness center in Houston, TX and realized I was allergic to wheat, soy, eggs, milk, peanuts, cinnamon, and coffee. Also, I had an abundance of yeast overgrowth in my system. I immediately went on a yeast detox which made the eczema practically go away and then I stopped eating things that were poisonous to my body (wheat, soy, etc.). Now the eczema is GONE!!! I also NEVER take antibiotics because it causes the yeast to return which causes horrific eczema outbreaks. I hadn’t had antibiotics or steroids for over a year and I had NO problems with my skin. Except last week I had my wisdom teeth removed and now EVERYTHING is back because I was literally forced to take the antibiotics. So I have to do the yeast detox all over again and am taking a probiotic drink called good belly which replaces the bad cells in my gut with good ones. All of those topical creams that the doctor prescribes for us are just to mask the problem while really our insides are trying to fight something. I hope this helped in any way possible. God bless!

    Like

    • I completely agree with you!

      I had two sets of antibiotics I needed then got a yeast overgrowth!! And I feel that flared my eczema!!!

      I might go for an allergy test, I should have ages ago I just have a fainting/ blood phobia which has put me off. And those situations totally knock me out!!

      Did you do the candida diet by any chance? I’m so glad this has worked for you 🙂 you did well!! The diets are hard!! Frustrating when we HAVE to take medicine which we know will make our skin flare!

      Like

      • Gary Gibson says:

        I get what you’re saying about the blood phobia thing, to be honest I’m the same. But it’s over fast, I can say that much for it. And I’m very glad of it.

        Like

  5. Claire says:

    My eczema is no where near as bad as yours but it was all on my face plus it started about 9 month before I got married. I think mine was caused by stress (I would say I didn’t get stressed although my skin would tell a different story) and milk. I work for my dad and he cannot function without a brew in his had. One week he was on site about 4 days in a row so many many brews were made which I also drank to. On the 5th day my skin was itching flaking and I was getting cuts round my mouth. I cut out a lot of milk I would have 1 brew a week if that and my skin calmed down a lot. Since getting married I have started to introduce milk back in to my diet slowly but also along side at least 2 litres of water and I am finding this is helping. I use oilatum natural face repair. At the minute I am just using it when I have had a shower as to much use can bring me out in spots, although I would rather have spots than an itchy face. I would say they were the best of a bad bunch.

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  6. Gary Gibson says:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but if you haven’t already – and apologies if you have – get yourself an appointment with a dermatologist through your doctor and ask them to give you a blood test for allergens. That can make a HUGE difference, if you have an idea what really affects you.

    My blood test – which took less than a minute (but a couple of weeks to wait for the results) told me I was very mildly allergic to dairy, but strongly allergic to dust mites. Funnily enough, I’d since bought a memory foam mattress that happened to come with an anti-dust mite cover (because it’s sprayed with some chemical and sealed with a zip so they can’t get in), and was starting to sleep more comfortably and more itch-free than I had in years. But again, if you proved to be not allergic to dust mites, that strategy wouldn’t really help you. And although only ‘slightly’ allergic to milk, I still find myself more comfortable if I avoid any food with dairy products in them whatsoever.

    But to know what could help you, you really need to get that blood test.

    Like

  7. Gary Gibson says:

    Well, doesn’t that look familiar, he said, glancing down at his own skin.

    Can I suggest something, long-term eczema sufferer to long-term eczema sufferer? I found something that, while not being a miracle cure, does actually reduce the redness and soreness and itchiness a little bit and you can get it on the high street. And I say this as someone who has tried a lot of products and found them all generally to be shite (I hate googling for ideas and reading all these endless glowing reports from people about how they “cured” their eczema by using some random off-the-shelf moisturiser, leading me to suspect they never had eczema in the first place).

    I got a tube of stuff called Teangi Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Cream. It doesn’t mention anything about eczema on the box – I got it in a Saver store here in Glasgow for two quid – but my skin genuinely feels better and less red. I think it has to do with the antiseptic properties of the cream, though I’m no expert. Anyway, I’m not frenziedly rubbing steroids into my skin nearly so often, so figured I could at least make the suggestion. Worth a punt for two quid, anyway.

    Like

    • Hi Gary,

      I totally agree with you about tea tree and witch hazel!

      I used this cheap tea tree wash whilst at uni and it was cooling which was nice and it soothed if only slightly…I started this blog because I felt that genuine eczema sufferers who wrote are hard to find compared to the “read my book…eczema cured” which basically charges you loads. I also post photos very occasionally I know but just to show I’m real!

      My reviewing has been bad of late but Im glad so many of us can relate over this.

      Like

  8. Mogambo says:

    Thank you for sharing, you are really brave and it does help others to see they are not alone! Your skin looks remarkably clear – I think my scarring is a worse than yours as I have ‘rippling’ around my neck though our legs look quite similar. My eczema is under control so am able to use of an AHA gel, am finding skin appearance is improving but not everyone an tolerate this – I use it ony really scaly tought patches. Recently also discovered Cerave which I find is a more penetrating cream that the WSP 50/50 stuff.

    Keep on trooping!

    Like

  9. Rachael says:

    I’d just like to say how brave I think it is to bare your skin to the Internet like this, and thank you for this blog. I have eczema in the same problem areas and it’s a constant pain in the butt to explain to people socially “No I can’t go out for drinks / work today because my skin feels horribly scarred and itchy” – it’s reassuring to learn I’m not alone and your posts are very relatable. On a recommendation I read on here I’ve recently switched from dairy to soy products and its made a huge differance. Thanks very much.
    Rachael

    Like

    • That sounds great! Dairy is my next elimination!! I started with gluten which made some changes but not greatly after 2 months.

      Thanks for your positive feedback and personal experiences. What are the creams you use?

      Like

      • Theresa says:

        I’m not sure what the candida diet is but since I am so allergic to 5 of the top 8 allergies, I mainly stick to eating whole foods such as fruits, grilled vegetables, and grilled meats oh and rice too! The first year was so hard. I cheated a lot I’m sorry to say but ever since I was almost hospitalized for petting a dog, I realized that my allergies were real and I needed to be an adult about my health and take care of myself. If I see something I want to eat I just say to myself, “I can make it at home.” and I follow through with that plan. I have incredible dessert recipes that are gluten free/vegan. Which means they have NONE of the top 8 allergies! I never knew how sick I felt until I completely stopped eating what I wasn’t supposed to and now just the thought of eating bread or cake makes me sick.

        Like

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