I am 26 years old and suffer from Eczema. I have suffered from the skin condition from just a few months old and were told by doctors that “it is a spot of baby eczema, she will grow out of it”. I’m sure a lot of you will relate to this… However, 26 years later and I am still suffering today. I’d like to share my Eczema Blog and my story to help others who are going through similar issues that I am with eczema.
During my childhood
My eczema was around the usual areas such as the creases of my neck, arms, legs, and patches around my face. I remember going through bottles of various different moisturizers such as E45, Aveeno, Aqueous and used things like Johnsons Baby and Oilatum in the bath. None of these worked, however, I continued using them. As I got older and was in year 5/6 at near to leaving Primary School was when I think my eczema started to not only affect me physically but mentally too as children would ask why my skin was so red and dry which made me feel like the odd child out of my class. I didn’t let this bother me until I was in year 8 and settled into Secondary School.
My Journey with eczema!
In Secondary School I was bullied
Secondary school is where the bullying began. “Snakeskin” and “Scabby” were amongst other names were usually used and being very tiny I also got the odd “Skinny” and “Anorexic Annie” too. I ignored this and it helped that I had a nice little group of friends who I used to hang around with at school that could see beyond my eczema and were very supportive.
PE was always my most hated subject at school because we would all have to change in front of each other in the changing rooms and felt like I was always being looked at for the marks on my skin. I would say I was a late bloomer as the other girls would all wear bra’s and fancy pants whereas I still wore vests and boxer shorts as they were less irritating on my skin, so alongside my eczema, this didn’t help my self-esteem. As the years went on in Secondary School people knew I had eczema and it wasn’t such a bad deal, however there was one episode where the doctor took me off Betnovate Steroid Cream as it was thinning my skin too much and swapped it to Doublebase Ointment the day before our GCSE Dance class where we were having our photo’s taken for our GCSE performance programme.
I woke up that morning after applying the cream the night before with an allergic reaction causing my body to be red and on fire and my eyes to swell up like golf balls. This set my skin back a lot and took a while for it to calm down, then we were back to square 1.
My life at Uni
In 2009 I spent 3 years at the University of Wolverhampton in order to pursue a career in Performing Arts. Considering that Stress and Anxiety flares up skin conditions and I was under a lot of stress my skin was under control and I was only using my go-to Betnovate Cream during flare-ups and Palmers Cocoa Butter as a daily moisturizer. It wasn’t until I entered the Miss England Beauty Pageant in a bid to overcome my lack of confidence and try something new when I started to notice my skin deteriorate. In February 2014 I won the title of Miss Black Country and was preparing to represent my region in the Finals of Miss England 2014/15 in Torquay that June.
Race for life
After completing the Race for Life raising money for Cancer Research I came down with what I thought was an eye infection… This then spread to my face and after returning to New Cross Eye Infirmary for the 4th time was admitted into the hospital with Shingles in the eye socket. I was put on a drip of Anti Viral medications and steroids to help clear the virus which did flare my eczema up.
Luckily I made a slight recovery allowing me to be discharged and not letting the virus affect my chances of winning the Miss England title and crown I got back on my feet and gave it my best shot. I came 2nd in the Talent Round in which I performed a dance routine live on the Miss England stage and although I didn’t win the title of Miss England 2014 I came 21st out of the 60 Finalists that competed.
The Miss England Beauty Pageant involves a lot of work with charities and whilst I was in the hospital recovering from shingles I started to document my story battling eczema and got some connections. I always try and turn a negative into a positive!
Shortly after the Miss England finals, I was admitted back into hospital with another bout of shingles but this time around my right-hand side of my face and neck. This caused my immune system to take quite a bit of a beating and I haven’t really been 100% since.
I was diagnosed with Erythrodermic Eczema
In September 2016 I was diagnosed with Erythrodermic Eczema. Meaning my skin condition had been neglected by my GP and was allowed to get into a severe state to the point my immune system shut down. To look at my skin you would have thought I was a burns victim. My skin was red raw, flaking off in sheets and my coloring was discolored. I experienced cold sweats, shakes and palpitations. I went o the accident and emergency around 6 times in that month in order to seek help only to be given more antibiotic and antiviral tablets alongside tubs of the same moisturizers I had tried before. After battling with doctors and my own GP I was advised to go private in which we met Dr Halpern at Little Aston who diagnosed me with Erythrodermic Eczema. I was immediately put on a high dose of steroid tablets, steroid creams and antibiotics to fight off an infection I had caught alongside applying a thick paraffin ointment cream called Epaderm 4 times a day to rehydrate my skin.
Dr. Halpern is my hero
I am very lucky that Dr Halpern is on the NHS and is able to see me under his practice. Once I had recovered and finished the course of medications I was given I then went back to Dr Halpern to discuss more treatment to keep my condition under control. Since turning 18 I have tried all kinds of treatments from UV light therapy, to salt baths and many allergy tests. I am currently on a 100mg dose of an immune suppressant Cyclosporine alongside a low dose of Acyclovir to keep the virus I had in 2014 at bay.
I am just finishing a course of Prednisone steroids and Erythromycin Antibiotics after having another bad flare up of Erythrodermic Eczema in which my immune suppressants failed to control. I have a check-up appointment later this month to discuss a more long-term treatment for my skin.
Whilst suffering from eczema both physically and mentally I have always tried and continue to keep a positive attitude and use this to my advantage and help spread the awareness of skin conditions and comfort those suffering like myself. Not only that but help educate those that think eczema and psoriasis conditions can’t be cured by “put some cream on, it’s just dry skin”.
My Blogging Journey
I am extremely lucky to have a loving and supportive family who have comforted me and supported me through the hardest of times and I would like to dedicate my blogging journey to them because without them I would not be where I am today.
I am trying to eczema blog regularly using my Tumblr account which I will link below. Keep your eyes peeled for a ‘makeup routine’ blog coming this weekend. Please also feel free to let me know what kind of things you would like to hear about.
Just the other day I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. We all have days like this when you’re suffering from eczema and feel very low. I have these days every now and then and my son had plenty of them when his eczema was at its worst.
One method of keeping his spirits up when he was younger was to keep telling him we loved him. That’s no1! and secondly telling him he’s not alone in the battle against eczema. Because I also suffered like him when I was younger I could share my experiences with him and show him my eczema did actually get better the older I got. It didn’t completely go away or cure but it was much better and I used myself as an example so he had something positive to look forward to, the fact that it will get better as he got older ( hopefully)
I wasn’t lying either his skin has got much better but it took 19 years to improve, it’s still not great but it is manageable now whereas 19 years ago eczema was in charge of our lives.
There’s always someone worse than you!
The reason I’m writing this quick blog Eczema- Stop feeling sorry for yourself is because the day when I was feeling a bit low and my eczema was flaring-up I was sat at home looking at our Instagrampage, which you can follow by clicking the linkOUR ECZEMA STORY1.
I was reading so many comments and answering questions about eczema in general about my eczema and how my sons condition is, when I noticed a page from a lady in her mid 50’s ( I won’t share her page as it’s set at private) But I’m sure if you search ECZEMA in the search bar you’ll find her story and you can ask to join her group.
This poor lady is going through the worst Topical steroid withdrawal I have ever seen. I recently wrote a blog aboutECZEMA IN OLD AGE( click the link to read this article) where I shared my concern about having bad eczema in my old age and how it worried me. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement and not be fighting eczema until the day I die.
I was telling myself the same things I told my son
After reading this poor ladies story I found myself going back to the old days where I would use other peoples condition and stories to help our own situation. I know it isn’t nice to think some people are suffering more than you, believe me if we could help anyone we would. That’s the whole reason we set up this website, but you use whatever tactics you have to fight your own battles RIGHT? I’m sure the whole reason these wonderful people share their story onINSTAGRAMandFACEBOOKis to help others. So in a way, we’re doing what they want us to do and for that we thank them!
I was saying to myself: “Look at these poor people they are much worse than you, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and crack on”
It didn’t take me long to snap out of my low spell and stop feeling sorry for myself. My eczema compared to many people around the world is nothing, and it’s not just eczema these poor people are suffering from Many are suffering from other illnesses and horrible debilitating conditions as well.
So next time you feel sorry for yourself
So the next time your feeling down, use social media in the way it was intended, TO HELP PEOPLE!
Join social media groups, we have 4 in total all the links are below. Please feel free to join them and chat to people suffering similar issues to yourself. You’re not alone in this battle against eczema.
After I found this ladies photos on Instagram I reached out to her and we are now in communication. So not only did she help me get over my bad day but I’ve also met a new friend.
I stepped up my game!
After hearing what sort of daily routine this amazing lady has to go through each day, my simple routine listed below seemed like nothing compared to hers, so I will never moan again about looking after my eczema.
After all, we can manage the condition to a certain degree and If we’re all honest we do sometimes let eczema win but not following either your Doctors instructions or by not doing the things we know will help us. Mainly because they’re a pain to do and time-consuming.
Here’s my daily routine and the products I use, all available on AMAZON if you’re interested in trying any.
COCONUT OIL: Mainly on my feet, I find it works great on my feet but not so good anywhere else
DIPROBASE:This is my main moisturizer, I use TONS of the stuff. 3 times a day. Full body cream
FOREVER LIVING ALOE DEODORANT:This is not the manliest deodorant ever made but I don’t care it’s the only one that doesn’t make me itch under my armpits all day.
We hope that you find some comfort in this article and remember, WHENEVER YOUR FEELING DOWN REMEMBER SOMEONE IS GOING THROUGH MUCH WORSE THAN YOU.
So pick yourself up and carry on!
Good luck, Reach out to us if you need help and support.
Carl & Lindsey
This website and blogs provides general information and discussion about and medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this website or blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare workers, GP or Doctor.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.
This eczema blog has been sent in by one of our readers who wanted to share her story about her battle with eczema and food allergies. By sharing her story she’s hoping to help others who may be going through similar struggles.
We hope you enjoy it! Please comment at the end of the blog if you can relate to anything Veronica and her children have been through.
I heard recently that eczema is mostly a childhood thing, that most kids grow out of it when they are about 5. I never did. When I started getting formula at 6 months, my skin started getting bad. As a kid, I remember getting prescription Eucerin. I remember it being very expensive for my family and being torn between using the lardy oily goo liberally and rationing it at the same time. I knew I was a drain on them.
I remember being told by a dermatologist to take daily showers but to only wash my armpits and privates. Then to gently pat my skin dry, apply Cortisone to any bad spots, and then Aquaphor or Vaseline to the rest. Ivory soap was the recommendation – because it was “pure” and baby shampoo. I would never use those things on my kids now.
MY ACTIVITY WAS LIMITED!
To help my skin, my activity was limited. Overheating made it worse. Contact made it worse – with grass, cats, dogs, dust, pollen, with sun exposure at the start of each year, climbing trees – normal kid things. I stayed inside and read a lot because of the heat and the plants outside. I wore socks on my hands at night to prevent me from itching. I bit my nails to keep them short.
My allergies were bad too. My eyes were puffy, itchy and pink almost all of the time. When I had an allergy flare, my skin got bad too. I slept upright on a stack of pillows. I remember watching The Elephant Man and identifying with his desire to lay down to sleep. (I wasn’t that bad, but I felt him!) I took a little yellow pill for a long time, then Tavist-D. I remember taking it daily for years and years. I also remember when the FDA recalled it because it was causing stroke, seizures, and hemorrhages in children and in woman. I was both.
( This is my allergy test results)
My mom says they were always trying to balance giving me enough of the right medicine to work but not so much it would make me hyper. Apparently, I’m in that small % of people who get hyper when they take Benadryl. After the Tavist was recalled, I began allergy de-sensitization shots. I took them for 8 years.
As a teen, I remember losing friends because of flaking, red, bleeding skin. They looked at me horrified. I got steroid shots many summers because my skin would just get out of control.
I’m 36 now, and my skin is beautiful, and my allergies are almost non-existent, I take about 6 allergy tabs per year, 3 in the spring, 3 in the fall.
What happened is that I had kids. My son started having bad eczema too, but I just figured it was par for the course. When I stopped nursing him (at 18 months) he started getting a rash around his mouth and bottom. This was a surprise to me. Those are the symptoms they tell parents to look for when they are feeding their kids new food, as a sign of a food allergy. This kid wasn’t eating a lot, he was a fussy eater. He ate raisins, goldfish crackers, and applesauce. I already knew he’d get a rash if he ate cinnamon, so it was plain unsweetened applesauce.
It was pretty easy to do an elimination diet on him – and it turns out it was goldfish. It was wheat. So I eliminated wheat from his diet. We went from shredded wheat for breakfast to Rice Krispies. He was not “as bad” but still not healing like I expected.
The G-Free Diet
It turns out there is something else happening – gluten. So I learned all about Gluten. One of the best resources for me at the time was The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by Elizabeth Hasselback.
It showed me how even a tiny speck of gluten or cross contamination could make my son sick. It empowered me to be firm in the need to keep him safe. It took time, but we switched him over to this diet and his skin was well again.
Then I gave birth to his little sister. Almost from birth she nursed and spat up a lot and had “normal” baby eczema just like my son did. I felt it was “within the range of normal”, but one of my friends mentioned it asking if my son had done the same. As I said, “Yeah, but he had a food allergy” a lightbulb literally went off in my head, that this new baby was probably having issues too. So, I made the switch too. It was very, very, very hard. My daughter stopped spitting up when I cut gluten, but then she got dairy reflux. I cut dairy and moved to almond milk. That bothered her too. At this point, I was an overwhelmed mother of 2 under 2 and afraid that everything I was eating and feeding to my kids was making them sick. I hated it. I resented it, but I was controlled by the desire to take care of them and get to the bottom of their problems. I was living in a different age. I could do for my kids what my parents couldn’t do for me. They didn’t have the food labels or information that I have at my fingertips. I was determined to help my kids.
My son was playing in the yard and I was carrying my 6-month-old and standing in the grass barefoot.
Did you see that? I was standing on the Grass Barefoot and I was fine.
Grass, which used to touch my skin and make it crawl before giving it soft pink welts that itched like madness….. did nothing to me. I actually sat down in it. I touched the soft grass with amazement, I was fine.
It was my first sign that something had changed.
A few months later, it was fall, a friend was complaining that her Oak allergies were acting up really badly. I was surprised. My allergies weren’t acting up badly. In fact, I hadn’t taken allergy medicine in months … since last spring actually. My body skin was a lot better too, I just had this one persistent rashy hand. My right hand had a terrible rash, it would break, crack, bleed, itch. It was the hand I used to open bottles, jars, and wash dishes. It was very hard to take care of.
You have Dumbledores hands
I went to the dermatologist and he said something along the lines of “yeah, moms and dishwashers at restaurants get this, sorry” I got a white cotton glove, some serious steroids and instructions to keep it dry, and Aquaphor it. My husband called it my Dumbledore hand. He would say, “Why did you try to destroy the Horcrux without me” and then laugh. He is mean. I love him anyway.
After about 2 years of pain in my bad hand, it faded. I changed all of my lotions and soaps, no SLS, no phthalates, nothing drying at all. Everything I use now is designed to bring my body back to balance.
I’m trying to heal my body – not just treat symptoms. Especially my liver, which bore the brunt of my illness for so many years with medicines and steroids. I’m working to heal and restore the acid mantle of my skin, and the microflora of my body which was seriously damaged by all of the drugs I took internally and externally almost from birth. I am trying to make my body a healthy and happy place, and being gluten-free is the keystone to that.
Thank you, Veronica, for sharing your eczema blog, It’s very brave of you to do this to try to help others.
In all our eczema blogs you will notice we speak about eczema as ‘A BATTLE‘ and that sometimes you don’t always win the fight, but you can win the WAR ON ECZEMA.
This eczema blog sent in by one of our followers, a 17 Year old who has suffered from birth with extreme eczema. In this heartfelt blog, you can see the struggle they have gone through, but as the title suggests there is light at the end of the tunnel. The endpoint in our journey with eczema may not always be the destination we hoped, but we can always turn the situation in our favour.
We hope you enjoy this eczema blog and please feel free to show the writer and eczema sufferer –eorahv some love in the comment section.
Eczema is it just a word?
Just the pronunciation of the word itself makes me feel uncomfortable, anxious and emotional. The memories of pain, heat, stress, and dirt make me cry instantly. In this article, I would like to share my experience with eczema. Not only because it will be a great relief, but because there were some dangers which I would never ever want anyone to experience.
Four weeks after my birth
I was diagnosed with severe eczema. It was a visitor which would never leave my life without footprints. My mom used to put socks on my hands and tie them with hair ties on my arms, so I wouldn’t scratch my existence away. I would cry the whole night long, to fall asleep at 5’o clock in the morning and to wake up at 9’ o clock. I kept my parents awake and consumed their energy, as I was quite helpless and hopeless being. The burden I had put on them, would, later on, consume me. If I was suffering, why were they condemned to suffer with me?
Being a toddler, I was aware of the pain but I would not think about my physical appearance. The way eczema influenced me, was foremost as great anxiety. I would cry everywhere, just not at home. The only person who was able to silence my cries was my mother. I could not be comforted, even my father could not. Going to kindergarten was a huge hell, as I am a very sensitive and emotional person.
The combination of that sensitivity with eczema would make me want to stay home forever. As soon as I saw the building of the kindergarten, I would cry and throw up and make a huge drama. Just to escape all the feelings and children and unfamiliarity of circumstances.
Then came primary school
This would be the beginning of the darkest years of my life. At school, I saw how children were playing recklessly. I had this friend at the age of four, who had left me for someone else. Of course, I started asking myself what was wrong with me. Why was I being rejected? Then I saw what was wrong with me. I was suffering from eczema.
I started to exclude myself, knowing that I was different from other kids. I was convinced that having fun was something destined for them, and kept asking myself: “Why me?” Why was I inferior? Why was I destined to carry this burden of not belonging to them? All friendships felt like they were doing me a huge favor.
It still feels that way, now I’m at the very age of seventeen.
Poetry became my way out of this suffering.
I could write stupid poems about the things I liked, but as I got older, the poems lost their innocence. The suffering made me destroy everything beautiful I had. Negativity had entered my life.
This happened just for one reason. At the age of seven, my parents decided to tour around the country to find dermatologists. Living in the Netherlands, a small country, dermatologists are not as developed as they could be. Every single doctor would tell me, at the age of seven, that eczema will never go away. It would always stay a part of my life, so I had to cope with it. They did not know what they had done to me. They stole my hope.
I remember a lot. One memory (8 years old) is a bit traumatic. I had scratched my skin, blood was coming out from everywhere. So I took a huge towel, wrapped myself in it to stop the bleeding and I laid down on the floor. Then this thought came up: If I have to live like this, I don’t want to live. (I stopped expressing my pain to my parents at the age of five, out of guilt) As a last hope, I asked God, why can’t you just help me? As things don’t work like that in life, God did not respond.
So I took this ‘fault’ of me for my own responsibility because I had the feeling that God cannot be non-existent. At that moment a little spark of hope came up in my heart. Maybe if I learn from all these feelings, if I can survive, maybe I could just help other people. Just to keep hope.
That kept me alive. It really did. Then a period of time passed in which I denied a lot of pain. I have no regrets because otherwise, I would doubt my will to live.
My behavior did not change at school
We moved to another city and that place was even worse. I excluded myself so bad, that I told my teachers that I could not bear the pain of the sun, or the cold would hurt my skin, so I could stay inside, alone, when all of the children were playing outside. I used to read to escape from my pain.
At the age of eleven, I switched schools again. This place was a horrid place. Horrible feelings came haunting me. Then I started meditating. From origin, I am a Hindu, so meditation was quite normal in my family. I started using it as a way to escape. But instead, I came closer to myself. Too close.
I discovered after five years (16 yrs) what I had done
I was always trying to kill this sensing part of me. It was a very early-integrated self-image. When I changed this image, I started to take every feeling to heart and I took a week to care for every feeling. I solved, and still am, solving all my feelings. If you don’t believe in this kind of stuff, I would recommend just to take care of your feelings. Learn to accept yourself as you are and don’t let eczema take over. Don’t make it so powerful. Believe in your strength and mindpower. You got this.
-eorahv, 17 yrs
I’m sure you’ll agree this is a very brave thing to do write an eczema blog, writing and sharing your experiences dealing with eczema is hard but helpful to others, THANK YOU Eorahv.
It really can help, not just others but yourself to overcome the feelings and memories eczema can bring. Talking and sharing them will help start the healing process.
We have had so many comments from eczema sufferers who have shared their own experiences tell us how much it helped them to talk to people who have gone through similar battles with eczema.
If you would like to share your own experience please get intouch. You don’t have to be a great writer to write good eczema blogs. My writing and English is terrible but I think it shows that our message and stories come from the heart.
Simply write from the heart your feelings and it will help others going through similar battles.
We all know that living with eczema is hard, but one thing you’ll need to do is try and see the funny side to Living with eczema or it will beat you down each day.
Here’s a funny example!
My uniform at work like many is Black smart trousers, shirt, and ties. Nothing wrong with that right? Today is the 16th of December and like many big stores around the world ( I work for one of the largest American stores that sells everything, I bet you can guess which one) They play Christmas music all day long all around the store, This includes the toilets!
So, I was going to the toilet and was sat there listening to the lovely Christmas songs when I looked down at my trousers to see what looked like snow? Because me trousers are smart cotton black ones they show every spot of dirt or dust.
What’s that I thought?
I stood up and noticed as I did, a small snowstorm of dry skin came from my upper body. YUCK ! I hear you say, yes it’s not nice I know.
But at the same time, it happened that famous Christmas song ‘ Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin Stevens ‘ and we all know the main line ‘ Snow is falling all around us, children playing having fun ‘
All I could think of was the skin falling from inside my shirt, so I started shaking my shirt and making it look like snow falling whilst singing the song out loud to myself. If anyone was in the next cubical next to me they must have thought I’d gone mad.
Of course, I didn’t tell anyone at work, I just dusted myself down, cleaned all the flakes off my trousers, washed my hands ( OF COURSE ) and went back to work.
Then to make it even funnier, as I walked down our sessional aisle where all our Christmas decorations are on display a woman was shaking a snow globe watching all the snowfall inside the glass dome. All I could do was laugh, then she turned to me and said ‘ Isn’t is a beautiful thing to watch the snow fall down ‘ Yes I said but some like it more than others. Ha ha ha
Don’t get upset – Living with eczema
We go through many issues day to day living with eczema but you need to see the lighter side of life. Did what just happened to make me upset? No, It happens every day and every time I get dressed so I’m used to it now. There are people out there far worse, and suffering more than me and this is what I tell myself and my son when he’s having a hard time with his eczema.
Don’t get me wrong there are days when it gets me down and eczema wins the battle of mind and body, but it’s not often I let it win anymore.
If I can offer one piece of advice, think of eczema as an army that has invaded your body, you have to battle with it every day. Talk to your self like you’re at war with eczema and try to win the battle each day. Like with every battle you may not win each fight, but you CAN WIN THE WAR !!!
Sorry, if this blog was a little but YUCK in placed and may have put you off your Dinner or Tea but I thought it was nice to share a lighter moment in my battle against eczema.
I hope you win your own personal war on eczema if you feel you would like to share your experiences Living with eczema, then please feel free to visit our GUEST BLOGS WANTED page and get in touch. Sharing is caring!