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!
You really are what you eat!
I have severe eczema and psoriasis. When it's particularly bad my skin bleeds and sheds, I'm itchy all day and my skin sheds on my clothes which makes me really self-conscious. My ears shed and I need to get my ears cleaned out by the doctor every year where the debris blocks my ear canals. I've suffered like this for many years, and now I have been told I have psoriatic arthritis too. I decided I'd had enough and tried to see if diet affected my condition. I experimented for 3 months. Went to see GP about my arthritis and showed her my skin. She was shocked. She asked if my dermatologist had started me on some new drug trials. After trying the new treatment it almost completely cleared my skin. My psoriasis massively reduced. The only trouble is I really have to stick to a diet whereby I eat things which are kind to my skin and totally avoid those which exacerbate my condition. Coincidentally, the diet for my skin is also helping my arthritis and my blood pressure is reduced so I believe I’ve found a good balance. It's not always easy, I have to think before I plan trips etc, and I’ve also had to cut down on some things which I enjoyed, but the trade-off is worth it. It's taken me 50 years to believe this but in my case it's true, you are what you eat!
The worst on my wedding day!
I have suffered with eczema all my life. I was bullied as a child but I learned to manage it. 15 years ago, it flared up again but was contained to my back. I had a bad attack on my wedding day and spent the day with my hand up my back scratching (I know I shouldn't but its unbearable) my wedding photos are all of me scratching yuck. My clothes are often covered in cream that I use to try and calm it, but nothing is very effective. My doctor is of no help and tells me to live with it. It effects my quality of life and I never sleep.
Allergies mean lots of products are off limits
I've suffered eczema since I was a baby. My hands and feet are the worst. Drying, deep bleeding splits that effect my walking. I have the added problem that I am allergic to many so called sensitive products. I can't believe that today the medical profession still underestimates eczema, the pain and reactions. I became hypa sensitive even reacting to dressing on my throat breaking out in red welts. The medical profession needs reminding about eczema and it needs to be more caring toward patients.
Nothing wrong with getting a second opinion
I developed eczema while in high school and ended up wearing bandages on my hands it became that bad. One warning I would give would be to be careful of steroid creams. They can help loads but need to be used with the correct guidance from your doctor. I was left on a steroid cream too long by my previous doctor who didn't warn me about not using it long term and now I have steroid damage on my hands so I tend to have to avoid steroid creams unless in extreme cases. Make sure to keep your hands or effected areas moisturised repeatedly through the day. If you end up getting open sores keep a eye on them and make sure they don't get infected. Can be hard to keep areas clean without making things worse with eczema. If needed, check with a doctor or a chemist. Bandages can often get stuck on dry skin flakes or open sores so they don't always help in some cases. Be careful of what you use to wash up with or wash clothes with. The weather makes me eczema worse too, especially in the summer during hot weather. I also suffer with getting water blisters under the skin which I need to keep an eye on as they can get infected too. Never ignore eczema or think its fine to do without cream if you hands look fine as it can come back very quickly and painfully if you suffer all year round. I need to put cream on my hands multiple times each day all year round. If you're ever in doubt please just see a doctor. If you are unsure with what they have told you, please check with a different doctor. There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.
I was hospitalised
I suffered with severe eczema for 20 plus years. I'd been hospitalised on two occasions and once in my late teens had a complete collapse where my knees and feet swelled up because I had so much infection in my skin. I ended up attending the hospital every day for treatment and was signed off work for a month. I've had times when I can barely walk upstairs because behind my knees were so sore. I had tried every emollient and steroid cream on the market, had a patch test, had a course of uv treatment, you name it, I'd tried it. My eczema had a profound effect on my mental as well as my physical health. As stated above a blood test for allergies (for something completely unrelated to my eczema) revealed that I am allergic to wheat. My eczema cleared up practically overnight. Whilst I still get odd patches it doesn't rule my life like it did for so many years.
Suffering since birth
I have suffered with eczema since birth. I was told I’d grow out of it and I haven't. It’s particularly bad on my hands and feet, with dry and painful skin with deep bleeding splits. Makes walking and using my hands very difficult. I’m also allergic to many products. When I’m ill my skin will also deteriorate badly. I’m recovering from a coma and developed allergic reactions to plasters and creams I’d never reacted to before. As I’ve improved health wise, my skin has improved and calmed down again. I’m also using every forum possible to scream out that there is NO SUPPORT for coma survivors, no wigs when all your hair falls out, no physio to get you walking, no treatment for scars. The nurses kept trying to touch my painful feet and ignored my mouthing as I couldn’t talk due to life support. They applied creams without testing my skin first giving me allergic reactions, no skin viability tests done. So if you can do any research into helping coma patients receive kind, dignified treatment it would be wonderful, taking into account the body’s reaction to trauma.
Living with eczema for 33 years
I was born with eczema and have suffered horribly with it my whole 33 years. I have almost grown out of it except for a few spots here and there, and now my hands and feet have severe eczema on them. I have been on topical steroids my whole life. It got to the point where I was on the strongest steroids and nothing helped. My next step was going to be a biological medication that really scared me due to all the side effects. Then my aunt suggested I take a multivitamin. I went to the supermarket and found one. Since starting the vitamins three weeks ago my eczema is almost completely gone. It is amazing that this could have such a profound effect on my skin. I want to share this with everyone with eczema in the hope that they might have the same results I have had.
Impact on the family
My son who is now an adult, had very severe eczema as a child and had to be creamed and bandaged twice daily for many years. This had a great impact on him and the rest of the family, especially our other children as they didn't always understand that he needed more attention than them. My son was very self-conscious of his skin condition growing up as other children can be cruel with their remarks. My son is now a successful adult and although he still has eczema he is able to control it and it doesn't stop him in anyway.
It's affected how she dresses
My daughter has suffered with eczema since a young age. This has affected her wanting to wear sleeveless tops and in the summer going without anything covering her legs. It makes her miserable and can affect her sleep often waking up with deep scratches and cuts where she has itched along with red patches and weeping sores. She has used several products over the years prescribed by the doctor some having better results than others but our recent purchase and use of the Himalayan bath salts appears to have provided the perfect fix to all these problems and her skin is for the first time clear of any problems.
My life with eczema
My memory of eczema goes back to a very tender age when I was about 6 years old, which was 1999 (Oops! Didn’t mean to give my age away that easily). I was then living in a relatively big township, along the coast in KZN. The temperature in the area was usually very high and pretty much humid, making it almost unbearable to reside in that area, but my parents worked in the nearest towns and I guess as a little girl, my siblings and I didn’t really care that much at times. The only problem is it would get to me, because too much time spent in the sun meant for the next week or so I would not really play outside with my siblings and our friends because my skin would be swollen and “rash” would be all over my body.Read the full story
Minnie, South Africa
My eczema, asthma & allergy story
Hello, I'm Jenny and I have had eczema, asthma and allergies since infancy. It is only in the last 4-5 years that my eczema has peaked, becoming severe and classing itself as a disability, changing my life for the worse. Up until this point I had been able to mostly manage my conditions by applying Hydrocortisone steroid ointment when my eczema flared up. As time went on I was given stronger and more potent steroid creams to try out and nothing would keep it at bay. From wet wraps to light treatment to immunotherapy to hypnotherapy, you can believe me that I tried it all.Read the full story