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Itching & scratching

The itching makes me scratch

I haven't had eczema for many years but I have a flare up at the moment and it is driving me crazy. It wakes me up at night, I don't know what clothes to wear as it is getting cold now I want to wear long sleeves but the constant itching on my arm means that I am forever pulling the sleeves up for a scratch. I don't know why it is that the more it itches and you scratch it the more the eczema spreads. I did have a small area in the crook of my arm. Now it is spread into a big angry red mass which is going up and down my arm. I feel very frustrated with the constant itching and anti-histamines and ointments are not helping.

Theresa, Luton, UK

'The Eczema Solution' has stopped me scratching

I have had eczema all my life and am now free of it thanks to the programme for overcoming scratching as explained in the book 'The Eczema Solution' by S Armstrong Brown. I was fortunate to have visited the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital this summer where the strategy was explained and great encouragement given. The combination of steroid creams and anti-scratching strategy has really worked. I still can't believe after all these years that learning how to stop scratching has brought such fantastic results.

ls de Guerin, Guernsey

I hate it when people say, 'Don't Scratch'

I am a 43 year old female with 2 children who do not have eczema. I have had eczema since my mother stopped breast feeding me. My grandfather died of asthma. I get really depressed about my disease sometimes and it's mainly the fact that it looks awful and there is a lot of ignorance about it. People that say don't scratch, that would be the one I really can't stand. As if any individual wants to mutilate their body, have bleeding to deal with and of course the pain involved. As far as looking in the mirror, I have days where I just refuse to because I just can't deal with how I look. I am quite sure there are a lot of people with eczema that have low self-esteem. The media make such a big deal about skin being perfect and society seems to be afraid of catching such a disease. I guess it's all relative because generally eczema is not life threatening so in a way I should feel lucky, but some days I just plainly feel sorry for myself.Please, to parents out there who have children with eczema, don't tell them not to scratch, they really can't help it, I do it in my sleep, just try to help your child by asking what might help them, or cooling them down etc. I am hoping to hear from anyone else with eczema, thanks.

Melissa, Australia