If you have eczema, you're far from being alone. This is where you can hear other patients' experiences of living with and managing eczema. If you’d like to share your own story, please get in touch with us!
Hormones and managing eczema
I developed eczema when I was a baby, as far as I know, and then it near enough disappeared. That was until I hit puberty when it came back with a vengeance, I struggled in school with many thIngs and having dry Itchy skin dIdn't help. I was given every lotion and potion, I found water that got on my skin would even cause my skin to react, It got so bad It became Inflamed and Infected, I couldn't move my legs because the skin was splitting behind my knees and I was In agony, I moved to Scotland when I was 18 and the water seemed to help as long as I didn’t let the water on my body go cold, I avoided steroid creams as I’d find they'd work but as soon as I stopped using them my eczema would flare up ever worse! I started to stick to perfume free shampoos and soaps and sit In the sun whenever It made an appearance, everyone's skin Is different and as I got older I learned what would make mine flare up, I get the odd Itchy bit but It’s never like what It used to be and I definitely think hormones have a huge part to play In why It was so bad, I find stress can make It flare up to, so keep level headed and meditate. I find keeping calm helps the body heal. Be kind to your skin.
Bandaged up like an Egyptian mummy!
I've had eczema since I was two years old and I'm now 56. I think I've had the book thrown at me in terms of treatment - and nothing really works for long. The best topical treatment I currently use is bath oil, because it keep the infection down, and I use very little in the way of steroids. I prefer antihistamine to keep the itch away. Steroids are only necessary for acute inflammation and then for the least time possible. Without my current treatment I would still be bandaged like an Egyptian mummy!!
I have been plagued by hand eczema for 8 years or so...
I have been plagued by hand eczema for 8 years or so. I thought I was allergic to the chalk I was using to write on the chalk board at school. I tried wearing a plastic glove when I used chalk. It didn’t help. I would put Neosporin on it and bandage it up when it would get so raw it cracked and started to bleed. I asked my allergist what it might be and they did a patch test but I wasn’t allergic to anything there. Diagnosis: eczema. They told me at first to use really good lotion every day. Then when it continued they gave me 2 kinds of steroid creams to use on it. Sometimes that irritated it more and I had to use Vaseline until it healed enough to use the medicine on it. Another doctor put me on daily Vitamin B complex and Vitamin D. Neither improved the condition of my hands.
This fall I went to Paris for a week - 4-12 Oct 2014. It completely cleared up for the week I was in Paris. The first week back at home (13-18 Oct) my hands got worse again. I was thinking there might be some chemicals or minerals in the water here that makes my skin dry and crack. Then I asked myself: What do I have daily that might cause this? I drink coffee every day, but I drank it in Paris too. But there I was drinking it with real milk or cream – not Coffee Mate. I thought maybe non-dairy powdered creamer was causing this.
So 19 Oct I decided to quit Coffee Mate and see what happened. They have stayed clear. I have no idea if my little experiment proves that the Coffee Mate causes the skin on my fingers to get flaky and eventually crack, but this is the first thing that I have found that has made it stop. A week of fingers that don’t break out has been amazing.
Coffee Mate Powder – Original flavorINGREDIENTS: CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, VEGETABLE OIL (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COCONUT OR PALM KERNEL, HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN), SODIUM CASEINATE (A MILK DERIVATIVE)**, AND LESS THAN 2% OF DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE (MODERATES COFFEE ACIDITY), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENTS OIL SEPARATION), SODIUM ALUMINOSILICATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, ANNATTO COLOR
Faye Wilcox, UK
Encouraging others after my experience being a first-time mom of an eczema infant
To all first-time moms out there, I’m with you – being a first-time mom is difficult, we are not sure where to begin, armed ready with love to pour out for our new born. If your new born has dry skin at birth and later has eczema, it is double, triple, ten times more difficult to take care of the baby and ourselves. For me, the likelihood of my baby having eczema didn’t cross my mind as my spouse only had mild eczema localized on his shin. Furthermore, I took care of my baby alone during day time and our family had just re-located from overseas back home.
The first year taking care of an eczema infant was very tough – not sure what to do, incessant scratching, witnessing blood, dealing with rashes, reflux and lack of sleep. Emotional stress is significant and quality of life had been studied to be lower for families with young children with severe eczema. We got through it with the help of each other (my spouse and I), a specialist in immunology and with faith and encouragement from parents in my fellowship group.
Once my baby’s eczema was under control and manageable at about one year old, I set out to help other families with eczema children. From sharing information via my blog (with zero ranting and instead lots of help from renowned experts all over the world), setting up a national support group, initiating a national fund to assist the low income, I try my best to offer relief and laughter (via my Monday cartoons) to parents with eczema children. In everyone’s small way, even sharing a simple journey, I’m sure every little bit counts towards making eczema manageable.
Recovered with Aveeno
Hi. This is Susan from Jamaica; I had posted my story about my daughter Rachel, in the moisturizer section I think. Any how I wanted to know if you have or could have on the site a section for recovered sufferers. My daughter has been almost clear now for almost 6 months and the only areas that flares are her knees and elbows. If you were to look at her now you couldn't tell she had it chronically. Six months ago she had a massive flare So bad, head to toe, I was out of Mustela and my sister had given me, an Aveeno moisturizing fragrance free lotion and I decided to use it until I could get the Mustela for her. Her skin kept clearing and I was so elated and she has been clear ever since (except for the places I mentioned before). I would love to say the Aveeno is 100% responsible, but I am still in shock because I used it before when she was less than a year old and, nothing; then of course I did not give anything a chance to work because I was trying everything. Yours truly, Susan.
I know now what to use!
Finally after years of suffering my eczema is under control. I used to scratch uncontrollably. All I could think about was scratching but I finally figured out what is right for my skin. Firstly, for moisturizing I trust Cetaphil cream for the entire body- you do not need expensive cream tomoisturize, trust me I spent enough money on expensive products that do not work. For the face, I have been using Cetaphil spf 15 face lotion for years and with bad eye eczema, this has kept everything under control. For washing, Cetaphil works too but for the body - only put regular soap where you are dirty or else it will dry out your skin. For night time face treatment- Burt's bees evening primrose cream is a hit, always works to clear up skin. It never fails. For bad flare ups- fluticasone ointment prescribed by my dermatologist has solved the case- Protopic does not work for the long haul, it will only solve eczema temporarily. Lastly, in order to get some rest- Benedryl immediately helps me to stop scratching my skin so I can rest at night. Sleep, better diet and having a positive attitude can change it all. I have been at the bottom where eczema had ruined my social life but now things are great. I have discoloration on my inner elbows, armpits and back but at least I do not scratch...clothes can cover up anything but scratching and feeling sad inside can never be hidden.
T B, New York, USA
Robertson's medicated skin repairing ointment made my eczema disappear
Hi. I suffered from eczema for 5 years. My doctor prescribed cortisone creams which worked for a short time, but my eczema always returned. I tried every product on the market and even changed my diet, but again my eczema always came back. After 5 years of searching for relief for my eczema, I finally found a natural product called Robertson's Medicated Skin Repairing Ointment. After a week of applying Robertson's my eczema finally disappeared! All healed. It truly is a wonderful product for eczema!
Freederm and Salcura face wash have worked - Ivy, UK
I've been suffering with eczema on my face and neck since November 2008, with all the flare ups and frustrations that accompany this skin condition. When I ge a flare up I use a cream called Freederm which I bought over the internet . I find that this product works really well with flare ups and results are noticeable in just 3 days or less depending on how bad the flare up is and if used immediately after a flare up. I also use Salcura face wash for sensitive to dry skin, suitable for dermatitis and eczema. I use it to wash my face and neck and it keeps the itching away for the whole day. It comes highly recommended by myself. I am also currently using a product that is prescribed by my GP called Eumovate cream with clobetasone butyrate to prevent flare ups, but this is prescribed medication only and cannot be bought over the internet. I also suffered from depigmentation patches on my face as a result of the dry flaking skin suffered with eczema and with the use of steroid creams and several dermatology clinic visits later I'm happy to say that 6 out of my 8 de-pigmented patches have filled out and the other 2 are slowly recovering as well. Being Afro-Caribbean this is a great relief for me to see my colour coming back and soon I won't have to cover up with layers of make-up anymore. My condition is known as seborrhoeic eczema with fissuring around my lips that are light sensitive that swells up and stings when I go out in the sun. I'm still hoping for a cure, but as yet there doesn't seem to be any.
You wouldn't know my daughter had suffered with eczema
My 4 year old girl had really bad eczema until my doctor put her on Singulair Montelukast Sodium, MSD. In less than a week you could not even see she had ever had it.
How I keep my eczema under control - Laura, Scotland, UK
I find that central heating can cause irritation, especially during the night. I have switched off the heater in my bedroom and find it helps prevent itching. I also find, although not recommended on a regular basis, that the sun or sunbeds (few minutes maybe once or twice a week during bad flare ups) helps clear my skin. Do not have hot baths or showers, keep it warm/luke warm to a bit cold, it helps keep the skin cool.
Laura, Scotland, UK