Thursday, 19 February 2015

May on learning to live with eczema

I am very grateful that eczema didn't trouble me as a child or a teenager (there were plenty of other things to worry about then!) but suddenly being hit with it in my mid-30s has come as a bit of a shock.

I only developed eczema a few months ago but it was already had a big impact on my everyday life. I don't know what triggered it, and I certainly don't know how to fix it. I am currently waiting on some allergy test results to see if there's something in particular that is affecting me. Whilst my optimistic streak occasionally tells me that maybe the eczema will disappear as quickly as it came, the more realistic side of me tells me that I'm now on a path of managing it, rather than curing it.

Having spent many hours researching online in the last few weeks, I am well aware that there are many, many people who have more severe eczema than me. That does not stop me feeling sorry for myself from time to time though. The pain and itching has kept me awake at night on numerous occasions. I am embarrassed about how the affected parts of me look. I am worried that it will get worse, and I am dreading the warmer months when I won't be able to hide under so many clothes. I KNOW this is irrational, and if anybody else told me they felt this way I'd tell them not to be silly and that nobody will think any the worse of them for it. Eczema is not caused by poor hygiene, it is not contagious and millions of other people around the world have it.

It's never so easy to take your own advice though.

Regardless of what is going on on the inside, I am now learning all about how to treat my skin, to ease the pain and the itching and to calm the redness and dry patches. My bathroom cupboard has had a complete overhaul and is now filled with products from E45 and Aveeno. If any of you have any product recommendations, please do let me know, although interestingly my doctor has told me that products sold in the UK are so tightly regulated that they will never contain any ingredients that will be too nasty to cause problems. Hmmm, I guess she knows more than me... I will be doing more posts in the coming months to let you know which products and lifestyle changes have been helping me (fingers crossed!).

In the meantime, I keep reminding myself to look at the plus side (there is always one!). I have the perfect excuse for lots of soaks in the bath, those parts of me which aren't affected have never been softer because I am moisturising CONSTANTLY, and I will look super generous when I donate all my lovely scented bath and body products to friends and family :)

Now, back to looking up the ingredients of shampoos and laundry products...

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