general eczema discussions

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My eczema recovery

Postby tomchambers on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi, I wanted to come and tell people about my experience getting through eczema. Basically it was down to mold (the most serious issue), milk, sodium lauryth sulphate and dust. Since avoiding these 4 I've been able to give up all my medications and have clear healthy skin.

I've always had eczema, as well as allergic rhinitis and more recently exercise induced asthma. A long time ago I stopped using toothpaste with SLS in because it was causing inflammation. It was never a serious issue until about 3 years ago (2015). I went and stayed at a friend's house when I moved to a new city. The only thing to use as a blanket was an old curtain from a cupboard. That night my legs started itching every night and didn't stop until treatment much later.

Although annoying it didn't affect my life too much, so I mostly ignored it and the skin flakes that resulted. Around 18 months ago (2017) however my skin became much much worse. I developed bright red patches of incredibly itchy, flaky skin. My skin dried out so much that it hurt to move some days. As much moisturiser as I used it just got worse and spread to more and more of my body and eventually my face. When I woke up in the morning my pillow was covered in flakes like a dusting of snow. My body was covered in cuts where the skin had broken from scratching. At this time I was using strong steroid creams like Dermovate.

I put myself on a very strict diet - no eggs, dairy, meat, gluten. It didn't change. I went back to my family home for Christmas 2017 and there was a bit of a reprieve and my skin started to get better. Of all the possible triggers I had no idea which one might have changed though, so the problems continued. Finally in the summer of 2018 I got to see a proper consultant dermatologist. By this time the eczema was very severe and I had developed eczema herpeticum (when the damaged skin becomes infected with a coldsore) and had to take 3 weeks off work to recover, plus other days when I just couldn't bear to come in.

I was prescribed more strong topical steroids (still dermovate and eumovate for the face) to be used every day plus an oral steroid (prednisolone or prednisone I can't remember which). Finally the eczema started to clear up and it got better and better each day. However there was still no mention of environmental triggers or diet. When I asked I was told they weren't really important and the medication was the best thing.

However during this period I found a patch of black mold on my windowsill in my bedroom. I lived in an old house and in the colder months a lot of condensation developed. It wasn't huge, just little blobs on the corners, but apparently enough to cause me a lot of harm. Once I had cleared this up my eczema stopped getting worse even once I'd finished the course of oral steroids. My skin cleared and after a month or two I was back to normal, healthy skin.

I've now moved into a modern house with much better insulation and double glazing. A few weeks ago though, a small patch of mold grew and my face went bright red and started flaking. My girlfriend removed it and over the next week it completely cleared up. So I'm pretty confident now that that was the main trigger. I think that the oral steroids probably made the recovery a lot quicker, since by that point the eczema had really set in, so I can't recommend that people avoid them completely. They have their uses, but they have the potential to cause a lot of harm if misused from what I've read, so be careful and do your research.

I hope this provides some encouragement to keep trying things to see if they can find their triggers. I tried absolutely everything, including buying all new sheets and changing washing powder. Best of luck with your own skin.
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Re: My eczema recovery

Postby talkhealth on Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:50 pm

Hi tomchambers

Thank you for your very open and honest post. I hope that some of our members can take solace in seeing the light for the trees in their own journeys.

Kind regards
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Re: My eczema recovery

Postby monifide on Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:53 pm

Hello there, i'm also a part of the eczema suffering family. I would like to share my recovery story, it's not so crazy because i think i am lucky when i hear so many horror stories of how bad it can be. I have also spent a bit of money on trying different solutions and nothing was working just making it worse. It started on the top of my right hand and then slowly crept up my arms, i went to the doctor she gave me betaderm which only made it worse, any cream i tried flared it up and made it burn. So I went back to the doctor now she gave me an immunosuppresant, hmmm. I had to rethink about taking this because the pharmacist had warned me it could have long term effects.

So I eliminated foods out of my diet, kept it simple. One day I had some fish with garlic and boy did the rash burn. So I delved into traditional Chinese medicine, it says that a rash is the first sign of an overactive immune system, hmmm. So then I realized why my doctor gave me the immune suppressant drug, so I looked into herbs/foods that are called immunomodulators, and the one that I am taking is Reishi mushroom (it helps to regulate an over active immune system), and I couldn't believe how fast it started to work, it's almost gone within a few days. I also tried emu oil and this also was amazing, it doesn't burn it, just soothes and keeps it from drying out too much.

One other thing about diet is that there are warming and cooling foods, with an over active immune system your body is on the hotter side so you need foods to cool down your system, the garlic is a warming food, that's why when I ate it my rash burned, so I experimented and every time I ate a warming food the rash would burn. There is plenty of information on the internet about warming and cooling foods if you are interested. I almost feel balanced again and I thank traditional Chinese medicine for actually healing me from the inside out.

I hope this helps anyone to just look into this, I don't want anyone to have to suffer if they don't have to. Western medicine has it's place but it just heals symptoms and not the issues.
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Re: My eczema recovery

Postby talkhealth on Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:19 am

Hi monifide

Thank you for your very helpful and insightful post. I hope our members take heart from it.

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Re: My eczema recovery

Postby Maggie1605 on Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:56 pm

Hi,
I'm also free of eczema :D . It was a long journey, took me almost two years. I've always been suffering with some allergies reactions but , I've never expected something like that. It happen so quick, and the worst was ,that the area affected it was my face. All of the doctors I've seen, weren't able to help me and says that ,, you must learn to live with it'' I asked how …. just to apply steroids all the time, how you can live like that....And I started digging , I've done a lot of tests and one of them it was food intolerance ( alergie to food) that could appear between 8 to 72hrs. When I've got back my results, I was in shock I had to stop eating a huge amount of the food. The first two months was very hard but after when I looked at the mirror I was so happy that I found something that healed me I was so happy. Now I suggest to all of the people which they are suffering with eczema to start with the eating habit, check what you can what can harm you and stop to eating this. So, good luck to all, and all of the news that someone win the battel is amazing, and it giving a hope to the rest of us.
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Re: My eczema recovery

Postby Marcie Mom on Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:58 am

Thanks for sharing this! And yes, I think allergy testing is the right step as part of the puzzle in figuring out what's triggering the eczema. Am so glad that you refused to stop searching for solutions :) I do think that while it is reasonable for doctors to advise that eczema can't be fully cured, that's kind of acceptable when the eczema is not affecting our quality of life, ie occasional flare-ups, eczema not apparent and able to go on with all the activities. Otherwise, something is clearly wrong and we should proactively look for ways to manage it, whether by figuring out allergy, what is causing the inflammation, staph bacteria etc.

So thanks for your sharing!
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