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!
Vitamins & supplements
Well I guess I have a very similar story to many of the other people on this website! A story of being itchy, 'scabby' - my nickname at infant school and flaky. I spent my whole life being prescribed stronger and stronger steroid creams - which have resulted in thin skin and stretch marks all over my legs - great! My only break through was being put on a milk free diet as a child but as I also have itchyiosis (or however you spell it) as well as eczema, when I reached puberty (which is normally when most child eczema stops) my problems didn't go away. As an adult I have tried the following: Chinese Herbs - expensive, taste horrible, think they work for a bit and then don't. Absolute waste of money unless you are loaded or perhaps if you have an extremely good herbalist but I am skeptical. Acupuncture - pretty much as above. Skin Specialist - What on earth do they teach doctors in this country?? Lovely strong steroids and lard like creams which ruin your clothes and smell bad are apparently the only answer!! I was told by one doctor quite recently that there was nothing you could do to help eczema internally (ie diet etc), all you could do was treat the symptoms - ie more lard and steroids!! Neem Oil - Finally a bit of a break through. This seemed to improve the overall texture/flakiness of my skin but didn't seem to rid me of irritation and sore patches and after a couple of years seemed to have little effect. Also it smells pretty bad so was a bit antisocial and my boyfriend found it a bit of a turn off! Oh I have tried lots of things and in desperation I went to a private skin specialist last year. After analysing some tests he asked me to do on the NHS he told me to take Mega EPA 1000 fish oil, Vitamin C 500 and Zinc Ascorbate from a company called Bio Care. Wow within about 3 days the dry scaly skin started to improve. Nothing has ever been this good. My skin still gets itchy and irritated but now my skin isn't scaly all over, it doesn't look so bad so I am happier and probably less stressed. My clothes don't get ruined and my skin isn't so prone to infection. Now we all know about people with eczema having a zinc deficiency and I have tried zinc supplements before but my doctor explained that some people can't ingest zinc properly without Vit C. I have also tried various fish oils previously but none seemed to make any difference. Somehow this combination from this particular company has done me the world of good. In the meantime, would definitely recommend the bio care supplements to improve skin texture!!!
Jo, London, UK
Omega-3, Vitamin B Complete & Vitamin E have worked for me
The past 25 years I have suffered on and off with eczema but as I get older it seems to be getting worse and worse. It doesn't help the environment that I work in creates disaster for the flare ups with detergents, heat and constantly having my hands in water. Over the years the flare ups would occur on my hands starting with the red itchy patches, gaining momentum by spreading because of itching and scratching. Then cracking, weeping and flaking. I'm sure all of you that suffer with this can relate.However this year is the first that I have had it break out on my legs. Just like the other episodes it started with a scratch, a weep, then spread across the inner ankle to a fairly good size of 2 inches in a matter of two months. All the while I brought it to the attention of my regular Dr who wants to do a biopsy on it thinking it could be cancerous (because when he saw it a week ago) it was quite flaky looking, very dark red around the edges and still a little weepy.In the meantime I took matter into my own hands because I had more then run out of patience with this ... so I invested in a number of vitamin supplements. Those being Omega-3, Vitamin B Complete and Vitamin E. I have been taking the supplements for a week now and it all cleared. New skin is formed where it once weeped and flaked. No more itching. I also applied a thin layer of a very rich thick moisturizer (the Equate brand made for WalMart) but is equivalent to Eucerin. Just cheaper!!!! So between the supplements and the moisturizer I am a believer.
Cindy, Illinois, USA