Curing my eczema... Hopefully

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bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:00 pm

Curing my eczema... Hopefully

Well, I've decided this isn't going to clear up on it's own. I'm going to start recording everything I can about my eczema, and documenting my experiences with different potential cures until I get it solved. I'd really love input or suggestions from anyone reading this. I really don't know where to start on solving it. If anyone has had a similar experience and found a solution, please share. So, here is all of the relevant background I can think of:

I'm a 27 year old male. Back in February of this year, I began to notice my complexion getting rough. I don't recall exactly when I noticed it, but it seemed to happen very quickly. I've seen a dermatologist 3 times now, and he believes it's Eczema. I assume he's correct. I have had rough, dry patches appear on my elbows occasionally, but they don't itch that much, and without scratching, they usually clear up in a few days. This is different.

I guess my Eczema is a mild case. It doesn't look like the photos I see of Eczema. It's not very red, and it's not patchy. My entire forehead, cheeks, and chin are moderately rough, and my overall complexion is a little more red than normal. This is the only place on my body that I have Eczema, except for the rare case on my elbows. The Eczema on my face is constant. It seems to fluctuate up or down no more than 30%, and I haven't had a single day that it's been completely clear since it first appeared 7 months ago. I haven't noticed much itching before, but since I stopped taking Zyrtec a few days ago, the condition has gotten about 25% worse, and I do notice it itching, although it's mild.

Doctor has prescribed me Desonide, Elidel, and Finacea. I've seen little improvement from any of these, and some have caused my face to become irritated, dry, and tight.

My complexion usually looks best in the morning. Each evening, I wash face with Purpose Cleanser, and then moisturize. I just started trying Aveeno Eczema Therapy for moisturizing in the evening, and I'll follow up once I know how it's working. When I first wake up, it all looks about 30% calmer. After I take a shower its back to it's usual level of roughness. I speculate this simply has to do with increased blood flow in the face. I take luke warm showers, and I don't think I'm using any products that contribute to this. The shampoo I have right now is Vidal Sassoon Pro something, and I use Old Spice body wash. I don't wash my face in the morning, just rinse. I dry face with a towel that I only use on my face, and wash all towels weekly.

A couple observations: Sun exposure seems to improve the condition some, maybe 30%. Sweating (I run and workout regularly) seems to make it about 20% worse temporarily.

I understand that there may be some link between eczema and allergies. Interestingly, this Eczema first appeared on my face within a couple weeks of an allergy test I had. I was having seasonal allergies worse than usual, and decided to have it tested. The allergies have since gotten better, but the eczema is still here. Based on my allergy test, doctor tells me I'm in the worst 10% of patients he sees. I'm highly allergic to nearly all of the trees, grasses, weeds, dust mites, molds, and pet danders he tested me for. He was surprised that all of the large hives that appeared on my arm where he tested didn't seem to bother me more. I guess I have a high tolerance to itching. My seasonal allergies (sinuses, itchy eyes) don't bother me that much. I take zyrtec as needed, and flonase if my sinuses get bad. I currently live on a farm, in an old house, with a couple of cats (my roommates). I can't control the allergens I'm exposed too here without living in a bubble.

Also, I've never been tested for food allergies, but I wonder if they may play a roll. From what I've read, Eczema usually flares-up and then clears. Does anyone else experience the consistency with their eczema that I describe? I think it suggests I'm consistently exposed to something that is contributing to my eczema. So, I thought it is worth mentioning that my diet is very consistent. I work out and run regularly, and the only way to get all the calories I need consistently is to prepare meals in advance, and eat the same stuff all the time. My diet mostly consists of oatmeal, greek yogurt, blueberries, eggs, spinach, cheese, milk, whey protein powder, peanut butter, pasta, chicken, brown rice, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and tuna. Seriously, I eat every one of these on a daily basis. The only thing that makes me doubt a food allergy as a potential cause is that the eczema only appears on my face.

Thanks for reading this loooooong post. Please share if you have any suggestions for what I should try first, or if you have had a similar experience with eczema as I have. Thanks!

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:36 pm

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

This week, I will do the following things consistently, and report back on any change in condition next Sunday:

-Take one 10mg Cetirizine (Zyrtec) every morning
-Apply Elidel every morning
-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Aveeno Eczema Therapy

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:42 pm

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

Update:

I only took the 10mg Cetirizine (Zyrtec) one day, and remembered why I tried quitting it in the first place. My seasonal allergies aren't very bad right now, and the Zyrtec makes me a little lethargic. So, I'm no longer taking it.

I have been doing everything else; Applying Elidel in the morning, Washing face with Purpose, Using Aveeno in the evening.

It's too early to comment on results on Eczema. However, I do notice my acne has gotten significantly worse. I have a fair case of acne. I've been getting whiteheads primarily on my right jawline. I have 0-2 active at any given time. They turn over quickly, but I'm left with signs of them for weeks after. Since starting this regimen, I now have 2-4 active at any given time, and they seem larger/more inflamed. I suspect it's the Aveeno Eczema Therapy. This moisturizer is not formulated for use on the face, and is probably clogging my pores, leading to an increase in acne in areas of my face that are acne prone. Instead of the Aveeno Eczema Therapy, I will begin using another moisturizer I have on hand. The regimen is now:

-Apply Elidel every morning
-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Anthony Logistics Oil Free Facial Lotion

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:11 am

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

I've read a lot recently about eczema and acne causes and cures, and one thing that keeps coming up is milk/dairy. Every day I consume about a half cup of greek yogurt with breakfast, some cheese with my eggs, and 2 protein shakes (for a total of about 24oz of 2% milk and 2 scoops of whey protein). I think it's safe to say I consume more dairy than average.

I'm not very optimistic about my current regimen, as I've tried Elidel in the past with little improvement. So, I'm not abandoning it yet, but in addition, beginning tomorrow I will eliminate milk and whey protein from my diet. I was planning to try this out starting next week, but see no reason to wait.

-Apply Elidel every morning
-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Anthony Logistics Oil Free Facial Lotion
-Cut milk and whey protein from diet

Depending on results, next week I may add Zinc Picolinate and Fish Oil supplements, again based on recommendations that I keep seeing from various sources.

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:55 am

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

I've seen some modest improvement in my eczema. Maybe 15% improvement overall. It's still there, just slightly less visible. My acne continues to get worse. There are about 15 visible pimples on my right jawline, although only about 6 of them are currently "active". I also have one towards the tip of my nose, and one above my left eyebrow.

I don't know what is causing it for sure, but I suspect the Elidel. It's not going to solve my Eczema, and may be causing my acne to break out. I'm stopping it tomorrow. The new regimen is:

-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Anthony Logistics Oil Free Facial Lotion
-Cut milk and whey protein from diet

I'm ordering fish oil and zinc supplements to begin trying sometime next week.

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:15 am

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

I've seem some modest improvements in both my eczema and acne. Eczema is approximately 20% improved. Currently I only have 3 active pimples, and they are all on my right jaw line, although red marks are still visible from multiple previous ones. I've changed a lot lately, and it's difficult to tell what is responsible for the improvement. In addition to the regimens I've mentioned in my posts, I've been on vacation at the beach for the last few days. During this time, my entire diet changed and I got more sun exposure, which may be a factor. I received the Zinc and Cod Liver Oil, and began taking them this morning. The new regimen is:

-Take 50mg Now Zinc Picolinate each morning
-Take 5g Carlson Cod Liver Oil each morning
-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Anthony Logistics Oil Free Facial Lotion
-Cut milk and whey protein from diet

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:08 pm

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

Today, eczema is approximately 30% worse. Also, I want to make sure I'm clear when I say "% better" or "% worse", I'm referring to what I consider my baseline. Not better or worse than my previous post.

Potential causes:
Diet- I've returned home from vacation and I'm back to my usual diet. Possible food allergy?
Smoking- The last couple days, I have smoked about a pack a day, which is more than usual (10-15/day), and a lot more than I smoked while on vacation (5-10/day).
Zinc or Cod Liver Oil- I just started taking these a couple days ago, which fits the timeline of the worsening condition.

The next thing I'd like to try is quitting smoking. I've been mentally preparing myself for awhile now, for obvious health reasons. But, if it helps my eczema, that would be a nice bonus.

On the bright side, I currently have 0 active pimples. My right jaw line still has lots of visible red marks that are healing. If I have no new ones for the next couple weeks, it could be completely clear. Not sure which is helping with the acne. I think it must be the cod liver oil, zinc, or cutting milk and whey.

The new regimen is:

-Take 50mg Now Zinc Picolinate each morning
-Take 5g Carlson Cod Liver Oil each morning
-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Anthony Logistics Oil Free Facial Lotion
-Cut milk and whey protein from diet
-Quit Smoking (attempt)

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:18 am

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

My acne is still at bay, which is great. Unfortunately, my face is still dry and rough. So, I'm going to try something I've read online a few places, and I have it on hand. Olive oil. I'll try using it in place of the moisturizer I'm currently using (which clearly isn't working).

The new regimen is:
-Take 50mg Now Zinc Picolinate each morning
-Take 5g Carlson Cod Liver Oil each morning
-Wash face each night with Purpose cleanser
-Moisturize each night with Olive Oil
-Cut milk and whey protein from diet
-Quit Smoking (attempt)

mihelges
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:30 pm
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by mihelges on Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

I told my derm that I was using Aveeno products and she wanted me to stop using them because they also still have chemicals and some type of alcohol which is drying for the skin. She told me to use vaseline to moisturize my face. I use vaseline daily unless I have a bad day and need to use my face medicine Pro-Topic.

bumpyface
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 pm
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by bumpyface on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:34 pm

Re: Curing my eczema... Hopefully

Thanks for the suggestion milhelges. I may give Vaseline a try next. I've already stopped using the Aveeno. I've been using Olive Oil for a few days now, morning and evening. My face has felt somewhat softer and more moisturized from the olive oil, but immediately after washing with Purpose cleanser, it's as dry as ever. Purpose didn't used to dry my face out so much. Also, I've had a couple pimples show up since i began using the Olive Oil. I've seen no improvement in my Eczema, but I have noticed my skin being more prone to blotchiness. Red, irritated areas that come and go. I notice them most immediately after a shower. Even on days that I don't wash my hair or face in the shower, and use no products above my neck, I still come out of the shower with irritated skin. Today, I have some irritated areas on my neck, similar to shaving rash, but I haven't even shaved since yesterday morning.

I think the skin on my face is chronically dry now. I've used Purpose cleanser for years, and it's always worked for me without drying my skin out. It's supposed to be very gentle. I'm not sure if it's contributing to the dry skin I'm experiencing now, or if It is just stripping away whatever moisturizer I last applied and I'm more aware of how dry my skin is. Either way, I'm going to try going without it for a while and see what happens. I'm also concerned that using something like olive oil to moisturize could over time lead my face to produce less of it's own sebum to moisturize naturally. Finally, I'm still trying to quit smoking, but it's easier said than done. I will update on any change in skin condition when I manage to quit.

The new regimen is:
-Take 50mg Now Zinc Picolinate each morning
-Take 5g Carlson Cod Liver Oil each morning
-Cut milk and whey protein from diet
-Quit Smoking (attempt)

I'm using no products on my face now, except shaving cream every 2-3 days.

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