What I have learnt about Eczema

As an Eczema sufferer I have tried many products, been to many doctors and have seen a dermatologist. All of them have given me different reasons! Its something your eating, no its the laundry detergent and so on. I have been prescribed different steroid and cortisone creams to which none have worked out for me.

I decided to write a post  about what has worked for me, and the knowledge that I now have from over 2 years of suffering…. I am still working on my own treatment’s and prevention. The poor quality photo on the right is of my back 4 months ago, all that is left now is some faint scaring from prescription creams.

At Christmas 2010 I was wearing white cotton gloves because my hands were so sore and the skin so thin, that I had blood plasma seeping out of my palms. The doctor prescribed me with a cortisone cream, which did help heal my hands very quickly but was only a short term fix. It seemed to be more likely a food allergy, and I started to cut out things in my diet to try to figure out what it was. Dairy was the first item, I switched to almond milk and reduced cheese and cream, After 2 weeks there was zero change in my eczema and decided to cut out alcohol, which seemed to reduce my eczema but not completely. After many months of frustration I decided to start a food diary, It had the date, what I ate, and how bad my eczema was on a 1-10 rating. I found that on the days when I ate chocolate and other bad foods I broke out more the next day!  ‘Sugar’ (refined) was then cut out of my diet and I saw a HUGE reduce in my eczema. After drinking half a can of coke one day and having a flare up the next day I realised that I had a allergy to too much sugar, but it wasn’t completly sugar and after cutting out yeast and reducing the amount of artificial preservatives and sweeteners in my diet, my eczema is barely noticeable and I am no longer embarrassed about wearing skirts and showing my arms. I still have some small patches of eczema on my hands and face although cutting out sugar is not an easy task. I now bake my own yeast free bread (I will add the link below) and continue to drink almond milk instead of regular milk.

I found that my eczema goes through stages! There is the itchy red bubbling “swollen” skin which has a build up of fluid forming under the skin, at this point I put on Zinc oxide cream (or nappy rash cream) it cools the skin and prevents the eczema from coming up (as long as you don’t continue to be exposed to your allergy) If I didn’t put the zinc cream on then my skin becomes very red and sore like the picture at the top. This is insanely itchy and I have scratched myself so much I bled and have small scars. At this point the skin is VERY sensitive you need to keep the skin very clean and wear breathable clothing, change to a gentle laundry detergent if you have not already, I use Green Works. A moisturiser is a MUST, I really loved Burts Bees body lotion for sensitive skin, it is a little expensive but it doesn’t sting or irritate the skin at all and I have tried a lot of moisturisers! Aveeno also have a oatmeal bath soak http://www.aveeno.ca/en/products_details.asp?id=3640 I really love this product, but then I do love my baths…

When the skin is at its driest and looks like it is starting to heal, I use my body brush in the shower to exfoliate the dead skin away. A lot of professionals will tell you that that is a awful idea but I believe that we know our skin better than anyone else and my skin feels so much better afterwards. Sometimes the skin is a little too sore so examine yourself, if the skin is painful then don’t exfoliate! and then use your favourite moisturiser. I hope this helped 🙂

Yeast Free Bread http://www.food.com/recipe/yeast-free-bread-67405