After a decade of skin being under control (still moisturising daily and after water, but no flare-ups) my skin went into a mini-meltdown. Don't know the cause but I do know the frustration. I looked like a crazy world map.
The weird thing was this colouring pattern was not my normal flare up. The red raised patches were not due to scratching and the colours stayed regardless.
I was surprised with the psychological impact and the fact I felt cold all the time. Freezing cold and couldn't warm up. I wanted to test for allergies but this couldn’t be prescribed through my family doctor, it had to be through a dermatologist, and I hoped they had more guns in the arsenal to target this and sort it out asap.
I was recommended to see a dermatologist but due to a shortage in the city, it would be a 5 week wait. That felt like an eternity! Even a day, an hour felt too long for relief from raw weeping skin, drying cracks and an urge to rip myself to oblivion.
Eventually, my appointment date arrived and I saw the dermatologist. I said I was looking for answers, what may have been triggering my flare up. I made it clear I did not want antibiotics or steroids. Unfortunately, there seemed to either be a lack of options available, lack of knowledge or lack of caring. To put this into perspective, I was in a pretty surly mood. Why had I been stable for over a decade and now reacted? How do we stop its effect? How do we avoid these triggers in the future? I wanted answers.
I walked out with antibiotics and steroids and told allergic reactions are rarely a cause of adult eczema. This made me mad. Give me a 2 litre container of Goody Goody Gum Drop ice cream and I will show you an allergic reaction and a scratchy mess I thought. I had placed so much hope on this appointment. I was gutted to walk out 240 dollars later, very deflated with no answers and a bunch of stuff I didn’t want. Grrrrr. How can they not know? Surely they have more options than this?! I felt like I had been placated and not listened too. Spat out of this dermatologist standard regime with less consideration than their lunch that day with a lets see how this goes approach. I was ropeable and it seriously undermined my faith in dermatologists and medical knowledge around eczema.
To be continued with a different dermatologist, my reflection on what I brought to this appointment, the importance of soft skills and helping the emotional and psychological aspect of eczema.