It sure does.
I know this because I deal with it on a day to day basis.
I get the nasty stuff on my hands and occasionally in the outer corner of my eyes. It’s not nice. It’s surprising how long you put up with something thinking ‘that’s just how it is‘. I knew I needed to take control and become more aware of triggers and how to manage my skin.
I want to share my story and experience in the hope that I might help someone else struggling to control their condition. I am also hoping to hear other stories or get some new ideas on successful natural therapies.
I haven’t always had eczema. I remember when I first noticed the itchy bubbles in a very small patch on my right ring finger. I was probably about 14 or 15 I guess. I woke up one morning and there it was. At the time I didn’t know it was eczema, I figured I had touched something that I had a reaction to. I thought eczema was dry flaky looking skin. My skin was red, swollen, weeping and itchy. Yes, weeping. Not pleasant at all.
I have been managing my eczema since that time, primarily on my hands and progressively covering more of them. Over the years it has fluctuated in severeness, including a nasty infection at one point. I have also had times when my hands have looked and felt ‘normal’. Plus many times when I have been miserable from the inflammation, itching and dryness.
I have used all kinds of steroid creams. They help to settle flare ups but leave my hands looking wrinkly and my skin very thin and delicate. I have also used natural moisturizers; calendula cream, coconut oil, pawpaw ointment…you name it, I’ve tried it. I’m still trying different methods. I dream of not using steroid cream ever again. However I am yet to find a treatment that works as quickly and efficiently to settle angry skin as those creams.
These days I am more aware of my triggers and consequently reduce the flare ups. What’s helped for me? Firstly, cleaning up my diet (less processed food); limiting the alcohol intake (a significant trigger) and avoiding heavily perfumed and chemical filled body washes, creams, lotions, potions etc. If I don’t wear gloves when washing a few dishes I will know about it. If I use a liquid hand soap to wash my hands I will know about it. If I don’t rinse my hands after applying sunscreen….I will know about it.
There is one natural thing that I found amazing and quite surprising in ‘fixing’ my hands; thermal hot springs. I visited some natural, untouched thermal springs in the country side of Spain about this time last year. I certainly didn’t expect after a day of leisurely soaking and relaxing to leave me with hands that were soft, smooth and the best they have felt in years. I was truly amazed.
I love Spain. Hmmm…
Stress is also a player in the game. Last year I had a very stressful time at one point. I ended up with the worst eczema I had had in years, since my final year of high school even. Where possible I try to keep the zen. Not always an easy task in this hectic world. And not only for my hands, but for the benefit of myself and those around me.
Triggers are individual, and everyone is different. I was chatting to my brother recently, he has dealt with eczema over the years too, mostly behind his knees. I was asking if he had any cream I could borrow (for a flare up) as I had run out. He said he hadn’t needed any cream for a while now. “What? How?” I demanded to know. He explained he cut out iced coffee and reduced the lolly consumption (sweet tooth much…?) and he saw a significant improvement in his skin condition. And health in general of course.
I still get flare ups. Often. By no means do I feel that I’ve got the perfect solution to the problem. It’s hard to always remember to put gloves on for ALL cleaning. Or to carry a pair for those situations where I find myself washing dishes at a friends place out of politeness knowing tomorrow I’ll probably pay for it.
I’d love to hear from anyone that has any suggestions for soothing eczema and healing the damaged skin. Is there something I’ve overlooked?
If you know some one who has suffered or is suffering with eczema please share this with them. Sharing is caring.