Dealing with eczema………a Few hints and tips Part 1

*I am not a doctor. These are not tips I have learnt from spending eight years in medical school. These are things I have found that work for me*

The other day myself and my mom were stuck in a traffic jam together. She had picked me up from college for yet another doctors appointment. I was ruminating once again over the fact that this boy I had been seeing had rejected me. In a pretty unusual and mildly mortifying way, he had written me a rejection letter and not invited me to his 21st birthday party, and she turned to me and was like ‘Honey, you’re fucked. You are fucked and you’re wrecked’. I couldn’t have put it better myself mom. She is right though, at this precise moment in time I look a little like the elephant mans less attractive cousin. Why? Because my eczema which has been more or less dormant since I was hospitalized with it when I was five has come back with a BANG! After years of being pretty much normal I am now shedding like a snake, have chronically dry skin, dry skin to the point that my lips have started to crack and bleed and I itch myself so much when I am sleeping that I am covered in all these little purple bruises. I have looked better. The worst thing though is that I haven’t slept properly in soooo long that I am operating on about 40% all the time.

What I am getting at kids is this isn’t my first time at the rodeo. The tips I am about to give you all are hard earned and have been garnered through a trail and error system. Maybe they won’t help you but at least you can try them and see if they do!

First things first……..

I hope to goodness you are not using fabric softener, scented detergent or anything that is not non-bio. If you are……well just don’t because that is A CRIME AGAINST YOUR SKIN. Get non-bio detergent, the least abrasive one possible. This goes for your cleaning agents too. Would you be happy to spray zif on a baby’s highchair and let them eat off it? No, (hopefully) if you have chronic skin condition or sensitive skin YOU ARE THAT METAPHORICAL BABY. Go to your local health food shop and see if they have any natural cleaners. Or better yet use hot water with vinegar in it. It does the trick. 

Cleanliness is next to godlinesss………

When you haul yourself into the shower are you surrounded by heavenly shampoos, scented soaps and luscious bath foams? If you are, haul your ass right back out of there. Have you ever wondered what gives those products there scents?? Lots and lots of chemicals. All those boys and girls out there with resilient skin can handle them but we, us sensitive skinned darlings, can not. Use non scented soaps, don’t use bodywashes and get shampoo which is as natural as possible. I use this http://www.jasonnaturalcare.co.uk/ I use the sea kelp one as anything sea related is good for eczema. Very important; While lavender is lovely and natural it actually causes you to shed your skin faster which if you have dry skin is not what you want. For my birthday my mom got me this http://organeem.com.br/us/neem.asp as a present. Its more expensive so if you have the budget for it I would recommend it!

Washing tips;

  1. Make sure it is WARM and not HOT. This is a bitch but heat irritates dry skin so just deal with it.
  2. Keep your showers short. Water drys out the skin.
  3. Pat yourself dry, do not rub yourself dry.
  4. Apply your moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower.
  5. Baths are key. Oats are really good for dry skin. So when you are having a bath place about 200g inside a thick cotton sock. Attach it to the tapes and let the water run through it. 
  6. This will probably make you deeply unpopular with your honey BUT try to keep shaving for special occasions. Shaving drys out your skin and dry skin causes you to itch more which in turn makes it worse. 
  7. When I am wearing make up I take it off with just water and a cloth and then immediately put on my moisturizer. I have chronically sensitive skin so I can’t use anything on my skin but http://www.econatural.ie/eczema-skin-care/481-salcura-zeoderm-skin-repair-moisturiser.html and http://www.econatural.ie/eczema-skin-care/363-biona-organic-virgin-coconut-oil-2-x-200g.html. My rule of thumb is the less ingredients the better.
  8. If you can afford it I would recommend getting http://www.econatural.ie/eczema-skin-care/480-aalgo-natural-seaweed-powder.html. You will have no friends as it smells very, very, very strongly of seawed but it will do wonders for your skin. 
  9. If you guys are anything like me, having such bad skin can make you feel a little crappy, whatt I try to do is keep my hair as clean as possible. This always makes me feel better!
  10. This is possibly the most important tip. Keep your nails really, really, really short. They are carries of infection. Dirt gets trapped underneath them and tehn transferred into your skin while you are scratching. This can cause blood poisoning.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…….

Beauty is a tricky one. At the moment my skin is reacting to absolutley everything so I keep make up wearing for when its really necessary. I only use http://www.laroche-posay.ie/product-treatments/Tol%C3%A9riane-Teint/Toleriane-Teint-Fluid-Foundation-p3999.aspx as it has beautiful coverage and its not a killer on your skin. All of the beauty products I use are La roche Posay as I prefer tehm over Vichy but its a matter of choose. I don’t use any perfumes, scents or deodrants. My skin just can’t handle it. If I am feeling a bit out of sorts and want to something faintly normal girlish I make this face mask

pretending to be normal face mask;

A few spoonfull of oats

enough water to soften them

-apply to face and leave on until it hardens and then wash off. It works as an exfoliator and a face mask.

I will be doing part two of this shortly. One of the most important things I have learnt through all of this is try not to let it get you down. There are some days when my skin is so bad that I can’t wear make up to cover it and people stare and occasionally ask me whats wrong and I come home from college and cry but really……it could be A LOT worse. My advice is find things that make you feel better like watching your favourite films or hanging out with your mates or listening to your favourite music and try not to dwell. 

Stress also aggravates bad skin. I do mindfullness breathing excercises at night to help deal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_(psychology).This helps as does fresh air and walking.

That is all for now but there will be more soon!

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