1.11.14

Getting eczema off my chest


Sugarpuffish Eczema

When a Doctor passes comment that your eczema isn't severe and almost implies that you should stop moaning, it's not easy to take that on the chin. I had terrible eczema as a child. The kind that cracks, bleeds and weeps every time you move. I don't suffer to that extent any more. I am very much aware that my eczema isn't severe. Some may say I am lucky but I certainly don't feel it. Why am I made to feel like I can't cry about my eczema? Surely it does not matter how much or how little your body is affected, eczema is still eczema, it carries the same woes and feelings.

For several years I have been experiencing eczema on my chest. Right there on my lady bumps and sometimes it slowly creeps towards my belly button. I am also experiencing redness under my eyes and shoulders. My eczema is fickle, it comes and goes. It can be mild one day and nasty the next. Eczema anywhere on the body knocks your confidence but I hate that my body decided to chose my boobs. It doesn't make me feel sexy. I hate having bra fittings even after all these years I feel like people are worried they may catch my "disease". I find myself rambling to shop assistants that I have eczema and I am sorry she has to see it. I am mortified when I try on black clothing and it looks like I have dandruff. Sometimes it doesn't matter how much moisturiser you apply it is never enough. 

I dread the winter months. No one likes dark nights and cold weather but for me I have to face my kryptonite. Hibernating does you no favors because if the weather doesn't get you the central heating will. Your handbag is suddenly over flowing with moisturisers, hand and body creams so you can maintain dignity at work because come lunch time you'll have crocodile skin. 

I am stubborn with my skin. I won't resort to prescriptions. I am anti-steroids. My own experience teaches me that these treatments solve my problems in the short term but the long term damage is irreparable. I believe in natural remedies. I see positive results but they are not miracle “cures” and take time to work. I have a routine. I carefully chose ingredients and rotate my products to accommodate how fickle my skin appears to have become. 

I am writing this blog post after suffering a raging skin flare up. My skin is itchy, sore, inflamed and looks like I have a burn. I have narrowed this episode down to three possible triggers. For me eczema is a grieving process. You cry at the pain, you feel sorry for yourself, you bury your head into a bucket of ice cream (dairy free of course!) and then you decide to tackle it head on. You formulate a master plan determined that this time you will see the back of it. 

I am certainly not looking for sympathy or advice. I just want to moan. I want people to understand how shit it is to have eczema. I am telling you, my readers, that even though I write about fantastic products, I am still (at times) looking for my magic “cure”.



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10 comments:

  1. Ahhh Sarah I'm so sorry that you're suffering with that, it sounds horribly painful and uncomfortable and what a pain in the arse to have it in such a sensitive area to start with. Hope that your flare up is on it's way out - I prescribe Almond Dream once a day for the forseeable xxx

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    1. Thanks Hephzibah and Almond Dream for the forseeable sounds like a great idea :D

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  2. Great post. I don't have eczema but am in full support of your need to moan. It is a huge pet peeve of mine that expressions of suffering are often met with dismissive reactions that in turn create feelings of shame or humiliation. As you rightly say complaining is part of the grieving process. I think it is usually someone's fears/conflicts about expressing their own suffering that causes them to react insensitively towards people who are able to articulate their feelings. I'm sorry this has happened to you. And thank you for your blog, I always enjoy reading your reviews and watching your videos.

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    1. Thank you Peony, I appreciate your kind words.

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  3. Oh Sarah, I'm sorry you've had such a rubbish with the eczema time recently. Mine isn't eczema, but the combination of seborrheic dermatitis and (apparently now) keratosis pilaris can make me feel like walking, flaking mess at times. Seriously unsexy! So I totally understand how the way it attacks your self confidence makes it even harder. It's amazing how insensitive some GPs are too. One GP looked me in the eye and told me 'You'll just have to learn to live with it' as if it hasn't occurred to them for a second that I spend every waking minute of a bad skin period doing just that. Another was keen to point out to me that 'there's no cure for this, you know' as if I was somehow being unreasonable asking for their help. I really hope things improve a bit and you have an easier winter than normal. And feel free to have a damn good moan about it whenever you like! x

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    1. Feels better to know I'm not alone with insensitive doctors but it really shouldn't be that way for anyone. Lack of understanding for skin conditions appears to be quite common. Thanks ever so much for taking time to comment and I appreciate your support x

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  4. So sorry that your eczema is causing you trouble again! I remember when I went to the doctors when I had those itchy blisters on my hands & didn't realise it was eczema - the GP basically googled what it was and said "Well this is when it gets really bad" as if to say mine wasn't worth coming to the doctors for but I had no idea what it was. Some doctors really do need to have some compassion!!

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    1. I can't figure out if GP's are disinterested or overworked but it certainly isn't fair to be made to feel like a time waster. I think some forget that what they see daily is new to you and you rightly would have concerns.

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  5. My eczema flared up really bad at the beginning of the year and I ended up with impetigo on my face which lasted two months. I was so desperate I used steroid creams and took any antibiotics they would give me. One day I had an allergic reaction and when I went to a&e they put me on oral steroids which I took for about 7 weeks. Needless to say I was miserable, had moon face but was relatively eczema free (on my body at least). Just to give you some history about me, im vegan and try to avoid unnecessary chemicals and I rarely take even a paracetamol because I don't like putting things like that in my body.

    I regularly had appointments with my dermatologist and she would tell me off for using things like lush dream cream (which helps my eczema when it's not too bad) she would also basically say that I needed the steroids otherwise it wouldn't go away. I was steroid free for a good couple of years before my major flare up and it's upsetting to see the damage left behind from the steroids. I struggle to manage even my mild flare ups now because my body has got too used to the quick fix. I also have damage from steroids on my upper lip which looks horrible and keeps faring up.

    I'm sorry for the rambling but I'm so glad I found your blog, it's a really useful resource for me. I get so disheartened going to the gp or dermatologist because they always have the same answer of steroids. I have gone there countless times asking "how can I prevent the itch?" and being met with no answers. They are not very helpful in preventative treatments.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your skin issues. It certainly can be a mixed experience when seeking medical advice. Since I wrote this post I have discovered my new triggers as I had some tests done by a dermatologist. I know lots of people rely on steroids but also struggle with long term effects they might have. I hope that my blog can help you in some way, keep in touch :)

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