This blog is to capture my journey with eczema. It has been with me all my life, with periods of control and flare-up. This is the background. I will go into greater depth in further posts plus capture the inevitable highs, lows, self-esteem fluctuations, mental, physical and emotional successes and struggles as I go.
The early years were predominantly asthma and eczema. While the eczema was still being treated, asthma won the attention as someone decided breathing was more important. Once the asthma was largely under control my skin was allowed a chance to be the focus. This involved all sorts of doctor, dermatologist, 20 odd hospital visits etc. For the last 10 years my skin has largely been controlled. That was until a change of house and it flared up big time from May - September 2015. I am still fighting the tail end of it with it refusing to completely die back down to controlled.
This recent incident reminded me how debilitating eczema can be. My hands and my mind was consumed with it. My self-esteem and confidence was shot. I was irritable, short-tempered, struggling to sleep or see past the next hour. It was horrible. It resulted in trips to after hours because I eventually could not take my skin deteriorating the way it was.
In previous years when trying to find a solution to my skin issues, I developed some gloves with my very good friend, Helen. I needed the gloves to protect me from myself when sleeping. I would work really hard to get my skin in good condition. Then one night of itching and I would wake up with cat-like scratches, rough raw wounds where I had scratched the top of a rash or created weeping rubbed raw skin like carpet burn. This would then need to heal but would be a lot more vulnerable to being torn up again and infection while it did.
During this latest bout of flare-ups, I have again reached for these gloves and they have been a lifesaver. It was also really nice to have the sense of control in what seems a frustrating and powerless situation.
When in a flare-up you reach for any solution. Any chance at some reprieve. I also analyse everything to look for a cause or trigger. This is the old needle in the haystack, and I am allergic to the haystack. I will use myself as a human experiment as I try to get to the bottom of what causes my scratching, plus try out the many options recommended for a solution.
I will update this blog regularly as I continue to work my way back to the stable skin I remember. If you have any thoughts, comments, advice along the way, please share as it would be greatly appreciated.
My thoughts to all the other scratchers out there. Though I hate this condition and wish it on no one, it is also comforting to know we are not alone. Thank you for all the support.
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