Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life with Eczema

I never knew what eczema was until a year ago. What I thought was normal itchy winter skin quickly turned into  raw red angry itchy eczema skin. After the diagnosis, I became a tad depressed. Every time I looked in the mirror my body was red and dry and itchy. I have never been so uncomfortable and depressed at the same time. Knowing there is no cure for eczema, I turned my depression to anger. I told myself "I will not let this depress me or ruin my day. I will treat it somehow!"

So that started my quest of buying every product in the market that was sold as a miracle cure or snake oil. According to my dermatologist, my eczema is a tad harder to treat due to the severity/non-severity of it. This means the light steroid medication does not work on me and the sever steroid creams are too strong. After much research, I realized I could not depend on medication along. As anyone can tell you steroids are never good to use for an extended period of time. One of the side effects is that it will thin out your skin. There was a point when I would bend my back and my entire back felt like there were thousands of paper cuts.

After spending hundreds of dollars on these products, I have finally been able to figure out a regimen that worked for me. I still have occasional breakouts and when that happens I use the steroid cream (only on affected spots).

In the mornings I take a quick shower in luke warm water for 30 seconds. No soap. Just want to hydrate the skin.

While still wet, I apply medication as needed. Then, with damp skin, I apply Cutemol. My dermo suggested I use this because my skin was so dry and flaky that NOTHING helped. I mean even if you poor pure oil on me and I have tried, I would become dry again in 1 hour. Cutemol traps moisture on your skin and prevents skin from getting dry. It's a very pasty texture so your body needs to be moist in order to spread it easily. Make sure to spread lotion in one direction or risk rubbing lots of extra skin off.

At night I take a quick shower (no shower should last longer than 15 minutes and I have super long and thick hair) for 15 minutes.

I have used everything from Aveeno (every version, even for babies) to Dove. This is the only body wash that worked for me. It doesn't smell that great but I was never one for fragrance soaps. With this body wash, my skin actually did not become super dry or itchy 2 minutes out of the shower. 

Apply medication as needed. 

After trying olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin e oil, calendula oil, lavender oil and etc, this is the most moisturizing oil out on the market. I use this on damp skin. This has a light nutty smell but not offensive in anyway. 

After the argan oil, I spread this shea butter on my body. Again, lightly nutty scent. This comes in a grainy texture so it's best to rub it in the palms of your hands and spread it on your body while your skin is still damp from argan oil. 

Depending on the weather (winter vs summer), I might end up putting Aquaphor on my skin right before bed. All the creams in the world won't matter if there is no barrier between the moisture and the dry air. Aquaphor seals in the moisture on your skin. It is the most greasy thing I have ever used but it works. I usually use it at night since it takes awhile for it to skin into your skin and dry. Trying to put on skinny jeans with aquaphor on your legs can be the most annoying and exhausting thing EVER. 

I hope this post helps some eczema sufferer out there! 

1 comment:

  1. My mum has good skin. So I just briefly took one of her SKII( to use, which I assume is a moisturizer. It's good man I tell you! She gave me a small bottle of eye cream before but the effects weren't that great and I stopped using. But my mum's moisturizer is good! I can feel it reacting once I applied it