rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


It’s been a long year and in many ways a very challenging one but it’s easy to forget the highlights and focus on the negatives. I’m not sad to see the back of this year but I have a lot to be thankful for…

smile and be thankful

Be thankful for the good things

Eczema and Allergy highlights for 2016

Lots of great things happened this year and it’s a time of reflection as well as looking forward, always learning and continually developing.

The New Year gives us focus but this is something I do regularly with my Passion Planner – This is a bit more than a diary and prompts you to review, plan and assess your weekly and monthly goals. More on that in a future blog post…

  1. Protopic was my saviour – as a woman, having facial eczema was really tough. I would often have to wear cover up to hide red, swollen rashes on my face and people would say, “You look great!” while all the time I am fighting to ignore the incessant burning itch on my face. Finally getting Protopic for eczema and flare-ups on my face has been life changing. It’s over a year since I first tried Protopic but I’m still so grateful for being allowed this life changing treatment. Read How Protopic changed my life to find out more
  2. Finalists in UK Allergy Blog Awards! – Woop Woop! I am really proud to be a finalist in these awards. Read ‘Most Innovative and Environmentental blog award finalist’ here to find out more.
  3. What Allergy was voted in the Top 10 Health Blogs – Continuing to be a place of support, advice and comfort we were proud to reach the Top 10 Health Blogs once again – for the third year running!
  4. Countryfile Diaries Hayfever special – I was reminded of this when my eight year old niece asked me the other day, ‘how many times have you been on TV aunty Ruth?’ and after a quick count that would be a terrifying THREE times! And all because of this little blog, my baby, In May this year Countryfile Diaries filmed a special about hayfever in my garden!
  5. My very own stalker – Surely the price of fame! And whilst I am only famous in the eczema and allergy sphere, a really funny experience in February this year is a story of how small the world is, and if you want to meet someone you can! I now have a good friend in Samina Iqbal but in February she was still my stalker, desperately trying to track me down 😉 Read, ‘having a real allergy stalker’.

There have been highs and lows and quite a few allergy rants this year. To check out all my blogs, product reviews and opinion pieces read What Allergy Year in Review here.

I have lots of plans for 2017 so you should start to see more blogs again. I’ve been a bit quiet lately but I’m back now. I want to explore the gut and skin microbiome and also look at mindfulness. How much can our mind affect our skin and allergies and general health? For instance, can I choose not to scratch?

The NHS have also offered me some new drug treatments for my eczema, which scare me and also the possiblity of light treatment which intrigues me. If I can get the time to do this from my employers I will be blogging my progress. Watch this space! Both would involve regular visits to Oxford so will be difficult to organise but nothing is impossible of you want it to happen.

I am going to try harder to avoid processed freefrom food because it doesn’t agree with my skin. I’m going to focus on getting fitter, doing more exercise and drinking less alcohol – it isn’t ever good for eczema skin.

But most of all, this year I’m thankful for all the support from all of you, my readers. Thank you! Your comments make this all worthwhile.

What are you thankful for in 2016? Please share your highs, lows and thoughts for this year and the next.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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