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


It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on here and I apologise whole heartedly for leaving you all so lonely and ignored for so long. You’ll be pleased to hear that I’m back on it!

There is a part of the brain, I call it my blogging muscle, which sometimes gets all used up. It gets full and can’t blog or write any more. For a writer this is painful and I’ve lost my blogging mojo for too long now. Time to brush off that list of blogs I should have written…

And while I’ve been away my eczema has had a major flare up. I’ve managed to keep it under control with very short and regularly filed nails, epsom salt baths, early nights, exercise and just sheer will power. It’s been worst at night. Keeping me awake and the cycle of sleeplessness, stress and exhaustion that eczema can cause just gets worse and worse.

It’s been so painful I have been left almost crying in pain in the night. Could this really be caused just by stress?

Eczema cartoon

Eczema cartoon from the National Eczema Society

I think at least one nightmare of counting sheep through gritted teeth, clenching my hands behind me back in desperation to avoid at least some of the scratching, was caused by the most amazing gluten free falafals you will find out there. Now for most of you these will be absolutely fine. But not if you are allergic to broad beans… oh the pain, the hives and the agony they caused.

If you’re coeliac though or allergic to dairy, egg or wheat these are the best I’ve tried. Check out London Falafel® which is vegan and gluten-free as well as wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, and free from all artificial ingredients and additives. It is 100% natural and healthy!

Damn those pesky broad beans. It was them. I had some more just to really put myself through pain, which meant stomach cramps, bad stomach pains and hives all over, the like that send you deranged.

I always think there is a trigger when my eczema flares and look to my diet, lifestyle and environment to see if I can work out what caused it. The falafal were the culprits on one occasion but not the rest of the time.

These last few months have shown me the power of stress over my body. Sometimes there isn’t a reason other than your mind is under stress and for some reason, those of us with eczema seem to get endless itch, scratch triggers.

Something fires a message from my brain to the pain receptors on my skin and it’s impossible to control once it gets going. It takes practise and wisdom to work out what is causing you stress but it’s not always easy to get yourself away from stress. Sometimes it’s a necessary evil that has be worked through.

This morning I have returned from my second ever ParkRun after a completely itch free night for once and I feel on top of the world.

The eczema has not completely healed but my skin is now much calmer, less inflamed and on the mend. After this morning’s smug ParkRun at Black Park, the usual agony of sweat on eczeme was bearable and I managed not to scracth at all! I have had to resort to some steroids but am now reducing usage once every other day for a week.

We can do this. I may never be totally rid of eczema but I can kick it into touch and take back control when I get my act together.



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.

One Response to Eczema, stress and itching

  1. Janet

    It’s great to see your blogs on talkhealth again Ruth. Enjoy reading them.

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