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My Experience of Eczema

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    24 Reviews
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      31.07.2012 23:40
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      not nice

      I first suffered with eczema at the age of about 16 or 17. I started to suffer from itchy hands that developed into round disc like red dry sore itchy skin. I went to the doctors and got prescribed numerous creams which were emoillents - they didn't work. The first cream I remember working was locoid lipocream which is a hydrocortisone cream. I was told to use it sparingly as it thins the skin. It seemed to drag on (I remember buying lace fingerless gloves to wear when I went out so my hands wouldn't be on show) and at 19 I went for skin allergy tests, which involved them testing lots of different things on my back and me not being able to wash my back for a day. I had to take things like hair spray to test, I did say I didn't think hair spray caused it but I did think it aggrevated the eczema once I had a flare up. The results were I was allergic to lots of things in cosmetics and as back then they didn't print all the ingredients on things I spent lots of time writing letters to cosmetic companies asking what was in their products, and if they replied maybe avoiding them. I next had a flare up at about 24 and this time as well as it being on my hands it developed on my shins, it went on for months. The itching, the scratcing and then more itching and never going away. The little blisters being scratched off by myself and the ugly redness. I eventually got rid of it with over the counter hydrocortisone cream. Most summers I have had at least a little flare up as the sun cream and heat doesn't help. When I get a flare up on my hands the itching is that bad that although I know I am making it worse with scratching it, the relief that it gives for just that short time means I can't help myself and sometimes use my teeth when it gets really bad as they can scratch it better and bring the extra short relief; because the relief is short, very short. And then my hands are cut and horrible. My last flare up has lasted months and months it seems to be getting better then flares up again. This has been going on for more than 6 months. As a result the skin on my hands has got really thin and the slightest scratch cuts the skin, so I have tried along side the hydrocortisone vitamin E oil which seemed to moisturise and help for a little bit but then the blisters would appear and the itching begin again. I also tried aqueous but the same thing happened and my hands were still a mess. The moisturising doesn't really stop the itching or scratching especially if its warm because the moisture makes you sweat and then itch. I didn't see the point in going to the doctors (rightly of wrongly) as I feel the only thing that ever works that they give you is the hydrocortisone which I was wanting to stop using. I have often researched eczema and joined the eczema society for quite a number of years but my membership has expired many years ago. Nothing seems to work I do not use bio washing powder, soap and shampoo tends to dry the skin out and prolonged bathing in water don't help but I love my showers. I have recently read about a lot of creams that are recommended have petrol in them which is very irritating and that aqueous that is recommended doesn't help in the slightest. There seems to be more and more websites selling natural things that they claim will help. As I said earlier my last flare up has lasted and been particularly bad but last week I bought skin salvation that I had read about (I will do a review quite soon about it). It has all natural ingredients and although my skin didn't look better it has started to feel better and itch less so fingers crossed. I want to use it for 2 weeks before I review it. Living with eczema is a painful nightmare, I consider myself quite lucky as it is mainly on my hands although lately it has developed on my shoulders and I have some kind of problem with my skin on my arms lately, which I am not sure is eczema. There is different kinds of eczema but none of them are pleasant even swimming has made mine worse so I sympathise with anyone who has it and empathise with people that have it bad.

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        06.01.2012 11:56
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        My exeperience of eczema

        I have a good friend whom has suffered from eczema since she was a baby. She has been in and out of hospital with her skin, and she occasionally gets skin infections which make her very poorly. I have looked after her and been there for her many times when her skin has been bad and when it's really got her down. I have always taken care in my appearance and the way I look and I couldn't ever imagine having bad eczema like she has. I think she does very well with coping and looking after herself and not letting the eczema get to her too much. ***BEFORE I GOT DIAGNOSED*** About 4 months ago, my legs started itching. I didn't actually think anything of this and just thought it was re-growth from shaving my legs, as my legs used to itch a fair bit after shaving in the shower. I did scratch my legs quite a lot and they did go red, how-ever I would just treat them with some moisturiser which used to sooth it for a while. I was particularly itchy behind my knee area on the backs of both legs and this felt quite rough and very dry. I again, just treated it with some moisturiser as I thought it was just a bit of dry skin. Over the next few months I continued to scratch as the itching was unbearable. I tried putting E45 and Eucerin lotion on my legs, and that would help for an hour or so before I'd start scratching again. The patches of dry skin spread across the bottom of my legs and they started looking very dry and red. There was a particular large patch on my right leg. My left leg only had a very small patch on the front of the leg. My right leg was affected the most. I would scratch in the night and I used to wake up with red, sore legs and quite often my skin would break from all the scratching, which was causing some scabs to form on my legs. I wasn't experiencing the itching anywhere else apart from my legs. I hated this, especially with the party season coming up in December and I felt like I wouldn't be able to wear a dress, because my legs looked horrible. It was then that I decided I needed to take a trip to the doctors to see if they could prescribe something and tell me why I was scratching so much. ***VISITING THE DOCTOR*** I visited the doctor and she was convinced that it was a fungal skin infection, so she prescribed me a light steroid cream (Daktacort) which she said should take away the itching. I was told to use this for 10 days and if my skin didn't clear up to then go back again. I started using the cream the same day applying it 2-3 times a day. This helped soothe my skin a little and took away the itching, how-ever a few day's later I was scratching again, especially at night, in bed. I went back to the doctors after 2 weeks and told her the cream only soothed my skin for a few days. I saw another doctor on this occasion and she was also convinced it was still a fungal skin infection. She told me it was important not to scratch as I was breaking the skin and this may cause an infection. She again prescribed me some more cream which was a strong Canesten cream which I was to apply twice a day for 1 week she also advised me to book an appointment in with another doctor whom was a skin specialist. I again started using the cream the same day. After a few days the redness disappeared slightly, and it was itchy but not as much. I continued to use the cream for the 2 weeks as instructed. There didn't look like much of an improvement. My skin was still red and felt even drier than before. I went to the appointment to see the skin specialist doctor and she told me straight away she thought it was eczema. She said she can understand why the other doctor's thought it was a fungal skin infection, how-ever she said they don't normally itch much and she could see I had been scratching a lot due to the broken skin and redness on my leg. I told her I had been using E45 lotion and other things fro dry skin and she said I needed something stronger so she prescribed me a strong steroid cream called Betnovate which I was to apply twice a day, and also some other cream called Cetraben which I was to apply 4 times a day. She said after 2 weeks if my skin hadn't improved to go back to see her again. ***USING THE CREAMS/LOTIONS*** I applied the betnovate cream the same night and again in the morning. After 2 days of applying this cream, the itching was relieved so much and the redness started to fade a little. The skin didn't feel as scaly and dry as it did before. During the day I would apply the Cetraben cream, and also apply this after showering. Within just 1 week my skin, was 3 quarters of the way to being how it was. The large patch on my right leg was now a lighter brown colour and all the red patches had faded. The skin behind the back of my knee has completely healed and was no longer itchy. This was such a relief, and I started to feel really positive and much better knowing that the creams were working. After 2 weeks of using the creams the skin on my legs had completely cleared up and I was no longer itching. The skin specialist was right in her diagnosis and the cream's she prescribed cleared the eczema up in no time. Betnovate - This is only available on prescription and contains a topical corticosteroid to treat inflamed, infected skin conditions which as eczema. The cream helps to reduce redness, swelling and itching. The cream is only for external use and must be applied thinly to the affected area. Hands need to be washed before and after application. Cetraben - This cream is available to buy without a prescription and is available in a range of different sizes. I received a prescription for the large pump dispenser. This is an emollient cream which contains white soft paraffin and light liquid paraffin. The cream produces a thick moisturiser by providing a layer of oil on the skin's surface. The cream is used for dry skin conditions such as eczema. ***FINAL WORD*** Although the dry skin on my legs has cleared up I have been experiencing a bit of dry skin on my shoulders. As I still have some of the cetraben left, I have been applying this cream which has been working a treat. As this is available without prescription I will continue to use this cream for a while as a moisturiser for the small dry skin on my shoulders. I was lucky in that I only had a small case of eczema. Even having a small amount of eczema made me realise how hard it must be for other people who suffer constantly like my friend from the skin condition. I didn't have much of it on my legs and it use to itch so much that the itching used to drive me crazy and I would slap my legs to try and stop the itching. I hate to think how other people manage to cope with the itching. I'm glad the eczema cleared up as fast as it appeared and I'm also glad one of the doctors finally diagnosed what I was suffering from. (review may also appear on ciao)

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          18.05.2011 07:07
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          Look at overall skincare,rather than focussing on yet another 'miracle cream'

          Firstly let us dispel the myth that eczema is an entirely inherited problem! We must take collective responsibility for general skin complaints.Eczema is unlikely to be genetic,more probable pollution is the problem.Consider dairy products in infancy.It is not natural that infants drink cows milk! Therein perhaps lies the first potentially exposure to allergenic products.Look at all the pollution that surrounds us in our daily life! Could it be that the problem? Skin allergies and hypersensitivity are no doubt on the increase due to our filthy atmosphere! On top of that you can become allergenic to absolutely any product no matter how 'pure' it alleges to be . There are many miracle moisturizers out there that claim to be hypoallergenic,but this is a misnomer...... Skin can react to all manner of ingrediants-even seemingly harmless ones! If you already have sensitive skin,introducing any colorings and fragrances can only further irritate the problem. Reduce exposure to these and you are already on the road to a successful eczema cure. Avoid laundry powders with aggressive chemicals,fragrances and fillers Use a simple soap.have a look at www.skinsalveation.com their skincare program does include a tiny amount of Sodium Silicate whose properties are well known in healthcare used in many medicinal preparations for repairing damaged skin. Use a simple moisturizer that has a track record in skin care.The Skin Salveation program includes a cream that has had tested results for over 20 years. Doctors who are specialists in their field worked on the formulations So in summary the Pure potions cream is no doubt another adequate moisturizer but the real success to long term eczema cure is a skin friendly skin cleansing regime. My qualifications for this review?.I'm 53 years old,have suffered with eczema since infancy,found a solution after years of searching,I have followed the skincare program for 10 years and I am entirely eczema free!!. Good luck to anybody trying my ideas, John

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            09.12.2009 16:40
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            Absolute rubbish!

            PS do not read if you are a bit squeamish as I have used details that some may not be too keen on. If I hear the words 'don't scratch' ever again I will scream, even though we know it is for our own good!! Childhood= Mostly it affected my face, leaving 2 huge blistery patches by my nose. In primary school I remember a teacher telling me to wipe the chocolate off my face, although of course my face was clean, it was pretty bad. I cannot really remembermuch about this stage of it although I remember Aqueous cream featuring heavily in my skincare!! I do not remember it affecting any other part of me at this stage. Teenage years= The burning sore patches by my nose liked to come and go but eventually disappeared sort of early teens probably thanks to various creams and maybe it cleared of its own accord. The skin condition on my legs appeared on my legs as a teenager, to this date it is pretty much undiagnosed, it is a mix between eczema and folliculitis which I used to find very distressing especially with cruel comments in the summer when heaven forbid I inflicted my legs on the general public, 'spotty legs' is one that I remember the most, and amongst others, from this moment on I have rarely been able to have bare legs or sheer tights on. Twenties= Eczema appeared on the inside of my left elbow for some reason. You could actually see the splits in my skin often about a centimetre long, this was extremely painful and forced me to ditch my suits and blouses at work and start rolling my sleeves up at every opportunity to let it heal up. I cannot explain how bad it was feeling the pain of your skin splitting apart every minute of the day, this was my skin at its worst. At the moment I can feel both elbows twinging and sore but they are not terrible, although I can see red spots and little splits so I will need to apply some Fucibet cream whichis the only cream that has ever worked for me out of the lots I have tried, hydrocortisone failed to cut it so I started using this and it is amazing. By this time legs were peeing me off so much and were so painful I wanted to see a specialist but of course this never happened, Instead I attempted to cure it by wrapping them below the knee in bandages all day, but of course I could not use the medicated creams whilst doing this as it would have been bad for my skin and sometimes it stopped me from picking and scratching but often I would try and dig in to have a good old scratch. I got so sick of having blood stains on my clothes, knee high socks and bedlinen all the time. My legs still cause me bother, especially when people commented and stared whilst abroad last year, one woman asked me how I'd managed to get so many mosquito bites when in reality I'd had none, not her fault she didn't know otherwise but it didn't do my confidence any good. I am embarassed when I go swimming and sometimes the chlorine can hurt my legs, last year I went to Israel and the Dead Sea, big mistake, unfortunately the sea water absolutely crippled my legs, and was left burning for about an hour or 2 afterwards but didn't want to miss the opportunity. Not sure if it will ever clear up but my legs are loads better apart from about 4 little areas, now if only I could stop scratching!!! Just hope I can go bare legged for next summer or wear a skirt without thick black tights!

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            13.09.2007 09:26
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            Conventional medicine may not be enough. Altenative and quite unconventional therapies may help!

            Having read many reviews on here from members who suffer from this debilitating condition, I just thought it might be worth jotting down my experience of eczema. I am not a medical practitioner nor an alternative remedy guru and do not necessarily advocate trying the things that worked for me. Moreover this does not aim to provide a definitive guide on the disease or how to deal with it. This is just a summary of my journey of discovery over the years and what worked for me. On the National Eczema Society site I was surprised to read that up to one fifth of all children of school age have eczema, along with about one in twelve of the adult population, quite a sizeable proportion. If you want to research further, the National Eczema Society at http://www.eczema.org/ will give you details of the types, the causes, etc. Therefore I won’t go into all the gory details here. Suffice it to say that there are many types and many causes, triggers and degrees of severity. It is a very uncomfortable condition which can be extremely painful, itchy, humiliating and embarrassing. I am fortunate in that I only usually suffer from relatively small, localised outbreaks: for others it is so severe it can be debilitating and affect their entire lifestyle. I first developed eczema after the birth of my first child (28 years ago, ouch!) and it was my hands that were chiefly affected with smaller eruptions elsewhere on my body from time to time. It was so bad that people sometimes asked if I had burned my hands. The GP’s answer was to prescribe steroid creams and ,when these failed, stronger steroid creams. Eventually in exasperation he advised me to go and get pregnant again because that would clear it up. Helpful! In fact two years later, the clearance of my eczema was the first indication that my daughter was on her way and that happened only two weeks after missing my first period. But to embark on further pregnancies seemed an expensive way to cure this particular itch! The eczema returned once my daughter made her entrance. (It later transpired that she started to suffer eczema when reaching around 4 years of age, my son however is unaffected ). The GP again prescribed powerful steroid creams for me and, on one occasion, steroid tablets on a three week reducing dose. The latter healed and made me eczema free for a couple of weeks but produced no lasting effect. I knew the creams were dangerous as they cause thinning of the skin but I tried to use them sparingly. However after nearly four years of constant application, they were causing skin to grow over the affected areas without healing those areas. This resulted in some nasty infections. Apart from the steroids, the only other thing the doctor recommended was to bath using emollient cream rather than soap. This did not seem to help at all. Not only was it impossible to wash off, it made the skin feel very unpleasant and oily. and left a nasty residue on the bath and on towels. It was also impossibly slippery and when I slipped and hit my head in the bath one day as a result, I gave up using it! I don’t know whether things have improved today but, in those days, GPs did not give handy advice on the subject and it was largely left to me to research and discover for myself how I could help the situation. I tried keeping a food diary and avoiding all sorts of food stuffs ( e.g. dairy products, seafood, and even wine) one by one but I could not identify even one trigger food. Deciding that the cause must be contact with certain products I started to research which seemed to affect my skin resulting in the following list:- · All soap and soap products except glycerine and olive oil varieties. I can use shower gels and creams from sensitive ranges such as Neutrogena and Sanex. · Biological washing powders and even some non-biological ones – the only truly safe variety for me being Persil non-biological. In fact when Persil briefly stopped production of this back in the late 80’s or early 90’s there was such an outcry from eczema sufferers and pressure from the National Eczema Society, that they quickly re-introduced it. · All synthetic materials and wool – the best thing next to my skin was, and still is, cotton. · Any number of chemicals in cleaning products · Rubber Gloves which one needs for protection from such chemicals are a “No No” unless I wear cotton gloves underneath.This is extremely fiddly! The disposible thin plastic gloves are a better alternative but can work out expensive. · Any products containing lanolin – including Fairy washing up liquid which did and still does bring me out in a rash although I don’t know if it still contains lanolin. · Most scented products including a number of cosmetic brands · Liquid fabric conditioners –which affect my daughter more than me. She still comes our in a rash on her face if she sleeps in bed linen which has been washed in these. However the fabric conditioning sheets used in the tumble drier seem to have no effect. · Sun tan preparations - I have to be extremely careful to use only sensitive skin preparations. My daughter was allergic to them all even those formulated for babies, for many years although, now 25, she, like me, seems to be able to tolerate the sensitive skin preparations . This was really unfortunate as it’s virtually impossible to keep a young child covered on a hot day and/or out of the sun. · Calomine Lotion – this just dries up my skin and makes it more prone to eczema. · All metals used in jewellery except gold and silver -makes me a woman of very expensive taste but it's not my fault! - Stress –this does not actually seem to cause an outbreak but intensifies any already present. I flirted briefly with some alternative treatments such as Chinese herbal preparations which offered a disgusting brew to drink and homeopathic remedies, mainly graphites, (because homeopathy has helped me in the past ) but neither seemed helpful in alleviating my eczema symptoms so I shall not go into further detail here. With avoidance tactics in place, the outbreaks got less frequent and more manageable over the years but, occasionally, would flare up particularly on my hands where the skin was already thin through application of the steroid creams. In fact my hands by this time were quite unsightly being rather wrinkled and, as some less kind people remarked , looked ten years older than the rest of me! During one particularly savage attack with bleeding, oozing, itchy hands, it was my green grocer who, some ten years ago, made a suggestion which eventually helped me get the skin in that area back to a normal state.(Here I must ask you not to consider me a crank and I reiterate that I am not advocating this remedy, just recounting my own experiences!). He suggested wrapping my eczema in onion skins, the small silvery transparent skins which you can peel away from inside each layer of an onion. He told me that in Poland they use this as cure for leg ulcers because there is something in onions which cleanses wounds whilst at the same time promoting healing. I thought he was crazy but when I mentioned this to an elderly friend, who was a retired matron from a leading London teaching hospital, she was not surprised and explained that onion oil had always been used in her nursing days as a treatment for psoriasis. I decided it was worth a try and, with tears in my eyes, I stretched the silvery skins over the affected areas of my hands and affixed with Micropore strips. And it worked! I tried it overnight and, for a while, it itched a great deal but then the itching disappeared and by the morning my hands looked significantly better and less angry and, after two further overnight applications, they were definitely healing. It has gone on working for me and for my daughter. My father has been affected by eczema on his hands in his later years ( he hates me calling it senile eczema!). He sometimes gets painful rashes and cracks on his fingers which he believes to be the result of some washing up liquids. My mother believes this is a convenient excuse to get out of the washing up but, after my experience with Fairy, I believe him! The first time I sent him to bed with fingers encased in onion skins, he was rightly sceptical but by the morning he was a convert and now uses the remedy whenever necessary. It has also worked for others with whom I have shared my experience. Since then I have only rarely used steroid preparations on my hands. I have also made extensive enquiries in my search for onion oil but apparently it is no longer manufactured. I would add that I told my GP and a skin specialist about this experience and they both dismissed it saying that onion would only irritate any skin condition but this is not my experience. However, it is a very fiddly operation and rather an antisocial alternative as the onion scent is not the most pleasant odour around! Moreover, it is no simple feat to attach onion skins to all the parts of the body where eczema may attack. A few years later, I suffered an outbreak on my chest –below the neck and above the boobs! It later turned out that I had become allergic to Anais Anais, a perfume which I had used for years. Even now I can’t use it on that area but I can use it on my wrists and arms This illustrates how selective eczema can be in its effects! It was difficult to use the onion skin remedy on such an extensive area and so I purchased some 1% hydrocortisone (steroid) cream which, by now, was available over the counter. But it only alleviated the rash, it would not heal! It was very unsightly if I went décolleté and irritated unbearably if I covered it up! This attack coincided with a report, in the local Brighton newspaper, of a salve which had been produced by a local mother when she despaired that steroid treatments were not working on her young daughter. This was not an advertising feature just a news story. She used all natural ingredients with the advice of friends who were knowledgeable about natural remedies and concocted the salve in her own kitchen. So effective had it been in keeping her daughter’s eczema under control that she was now in the initial phases of marketing it. Brighton can be like a village at times and, having mentioned this to a friend who knew a friend of a friend of a friend etc., a small free sample of Purepotions Skin Salvation arrived at my door. I am intending to publish a review of this product shortly. This will give a more detailed account, including its availability, as it deserves more attention. Suffice it to say here that I combined this treatment with a tiny amount of the 1% hydrocortisone cream and the condition cleared up after a week never, so far, to return. Today I am almost clear of eczema because I know many of the personal triggers I must avoid. However I do suffer the occasional attack – most noticeably on my face – where one should not use steroid creams. However, I am never without a 1% hydrocortisone (steroid) preparation (which I only use very sparingly), onions, micropore and my pot of Purepotions Skin Salvation. They have all contributed, and continue to contribute, to making my life more comfortable and rash free. It seems with eczema you must use your own initiative to discover what to avoid and maybe be prepared to go beyond the bounds of conventional medicine to find out what helps you.

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              04.09.2006 17:29

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              i am 13 and i suffer from excema the worst on my face and the doctor gave me diprobase and i had an allergic reaction overnight i had to stay off school for 2 whole weeks my face was so puffed out and the doctor said i should go to hospital but i said i wanted to stay home so i did and i had tablets the started working quickly it was horrible.

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              18.11.2003 00:02
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              (or, alternative title: the end of a nightmare......) Hi. I would just like to communicate my experience with eczema. Until last year I suffered from severe eczema and massive, generalised 'allergicness' affecting my face & upper torso, in response to not just dust and animals, but air conditioning, stress, red wine, spicy foods and even my husband!! My system was completely oversentitised which made it impossible to isolate the exact triggers. I had had enough of using moderately potent steroids on my skin, especially near my face & eyes. This came to breaking point in the latter part of my 20's when my job became v stressful & I was travelling a great deal for my work - and particularly in the run up to my wedding last year. I tried all sorts of therapists: GPs, dermatologists, chinese herbalists, homeopaths. You name it. All failed. In desperation I went to an acupuncturist (very lucky to have an excellent practitioner where I live in York - Hugh McPherson at the York Clinic), and even on my first session, I felt extraordinary relief & an intense release of the itchy 'heat' that was part & parcel of my condition. He tended to target the areas which were full of eczema (particuarlly inner arms..moomin I completely sympathise as have been there myself!!) and face (looking like something from hellraiser with up to 15 needles located on my face), but also general head releasing trigger points elsewhere on the body. Following an intense (& admittedly expensive) 10 month treatment period, I am now the proud owner of new 'happy' skin, and have nothing worse than mild/normal level of allergy, improved by the occasional trip back to my acupuncturist for my '10,000 mile service'. I am sure this would not work for everyone, but, despite the dramatic effect on my life this successful treatment has had, I still see nurses/GPs/helplines citing the same few alternative therapies put forward as treatment options for eczema (herbal, homeopathy, etc), but it does not yet seem to be appreciated that acupuncture can also help. If you cannot pinpoint the allergen, as was my case, and you are looking into alternative forms of treatment, or are as desperate as I was, I would unreservedly recommend this, as the impact that this treatment has had on my life is truly immeasurable. Perhaps this information can help even just one person be free of this traumatic condition as sadly there are so few success stories with skin conditions. However, there is hope out there, so good luck readers! PS. happy to say that I got away with a very nice strapless wedding dress on the big day...!!

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                02.11.2003 14:11
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                For all you sufferers of Eczema here are a few tips on how to try and manage your problem, and what it is that can aggravate it. This review is taken (but not entirely) from the E45 leaflet given to me by my doctor. Firstly The problems may be occurring because of situations in your house. Have you ever looked closely at all aspects within your home that may cause Eczema. Within the Bathroom: Instead of using soap, you can try washing with an emollient wash. Soap can dry out your skin, even though it cleans it. To clean out your pores try using wet cotton wool with the emollient cream or lotion. This method of cleansing can be an alternative to you using traditional baby wipes. Another way of reducing the way Eczema spreads is by dabbing yourself dry with soft cotton towels and not rubbing. The effect of rubbing can make the skin irritable and thus sore. Traditionally, bubble bath can affect your skin, so try and use an emollient bath oil instead. Whilst showering or having a bath always use a non-slip bath mat to avoid you slipping. When you have finished in the bath or shower and dabbed yourself dry, apply an emollient cream or lotion to your skin. This will have the effect of reducing irritation. When shampooing your hair, make sure you have bought a shampoo that is suitable for skin types that suffer from Eczema. With children and babies a tip is to wash their hair in bath water that contains emollient bath oil. Within the Kitchen: Before preparing any food, make sure your hands are clean by washing them with an emollient wash. If you suffer from Eczema then you should wear gloves when cleaning surfaces or washing up, as the detergents can irritate the skin and make Eczema worse. To avoid being irritated by washing powder or conditioner residue, make sure that you use 2 rinses in your washing cycle. If possible buy a non-perfumed conditioner to assist in t he reduction of your Eczema. Within the Bedroom: Make sure you keep your bedroom carpets vacuumed on a daily basis, as dust mites seem to congregate here, (especially around the skirting boards). If you suffer from Eczema then why not think about laminate floor covering. This can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth or mop, which reduces the chances of dust mites appearing. Also within the bedroom try and keep the temperature at around 18 Centigrade. Along with the cooler temperature try and keep the humidity to around 50%. The reason for this, is that dry air can keep the skin dry. If you have moist air, mould can grow and this aids dust mites to thrive. To keep humidity levels monitored you should buy a hygrometer. Also, a dehumidifier will allow the moisture to be reduced, but if the air does get too dry keep a bowl of water at hand near a radiator. Bedding can be another problem area for Eczema sufferers. Use cotton bed clothes and wash them weekly to ensure dust mite levels are kept to a minimum. The use of synthetic filled duvets and pillows will also help Eczema sufferers. To reduce the effect of allergies to pets, make sure that they are kept out of the bedroom, especially at night. Within the Living Room: If you have curtains at your windows (this applies to all over the house), then vacuum regularly and wash them at frequent intervals. One remedy is to buy roller or vertical blinds, as these do not collect much dust, and are easily wiped clean. Dust mites can also thrive in suites. Make sure you vacuum suites at very regular intervals, especially around the seams. I know suites made of leather or leather-look materials may be more expensive, but the purchase of these may help Eczema sufferers, as they are easier to wipe clean than suites made of traditional fabric materials. When dusting around the house, use a damp duster, as this picks up more dirt than a dry duster. Secondly Managing your Eczema in a correct way can reduce the effects. If you take notice of all the above mentioned areas that can cause you problems, you will (more than likely) be less of an Eczema sufferer. Another way is to use all types of emollient creams, lotions, and shampoos. Also, avoid some types of soaps and cleaning agents that can affect your skin. I hope the above review will be of use to anyone suffering from Eczema.

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                  07.08.2003 20:29
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                  Throughout my life so far i have suffered from many various allergies and rashes but the worst one would have to be the severe eczma that i suffered as a young child. Eczma generally means 'enflamed skin' and this is an exact description of what this horrible skin disease is. Every night as a child i would try for hours to get to sleep but i was kept up by the itchiness and irritation on my skin. I knew i shouldnt scratch because my parents had told me it would make it worse but i was a child, i had an itch and as far as i was concerned i was going to scratch it!! Of course my little theory of the situation just made the condition of my skin worse and worse as i would scratch until the flesh was red raw and bleeding. Not only was this extremely uncomfortable but it was also very painful and not to mention unattractive to look at. This was another of the problems because i didnt want people to see my knees and so would wear trousers or tights all the time and the closeness of the material against my knees just increased the itchiness and so the eczma remained just as strong as ever. My parents and i went to the doctors numerous times asking him what we should do about my skins awful condition - he told us the same useless thing every time "Leave it alone and it will calm down". Both the doctor and my family both knew this didnt work. Soon my doctor started giving me various creams and allergy pills to try and soothe the inflammation on my legs. These creams would work for about 5 minutes until the itching returned and i would be up to my usual tricks of scratching like hell! Eventually we returned to the doctor and he prescribed yet another cream. Both myself and my parents were very sceptical of this latest cream as to us it was just another lotion that wasnt going to do anything. How wrong we were!!! The cream i was given was called Diprobase and it came in a big bottle kind of like a liquid soap bottl e with a handy dispenser tube at the top. Every night before bed i would rub a small amount of this cream into the backs of my knees. I was surprised at first because unlike most of the other creams i had tried, i felt no stinging on the raw skin. Instead the cream was very gentle and rubbed in easily. One of the disadvantages is that the cream is quite sticky and can be greasy and this can become an uncomfortable feeling if the cream has been applied in too large a quantity! It would take a few minutes to work but i could soon feel the itchiness beginning to fade off. After using this cream i had very few sleepless nights and my skin was starting to clear up and lose its redness!! After a few weeks of using this cream every night and every time i had an urge to itch, my eczma was almost completely gone and eventually, it did disappear and it hasnt returned since! The cream itself is quite runny and so is easily rubbed in to the inflamed area without causing pain or discomfort. It works quickly to relieve the itching and the stinging sensation and is definitely the best eczma cream i have tried! It is a cold cream which soothes the burning and itching skin right down so you can hardly feel it. Obviously, the cream doesnt work instantly and it takes time for the eczma to disappear but it definitely helps the situation and i can recommend it to anyone with eczma or with a child that suffers from this horrible skin condition! It claims to be emollient and it most certainly is! It also contains no Lanolin or Parabens and can be bought fairly cheaply in large bottles of 500g. This cream is a must for eczma sufferers and it worked for me!! Additional Help - NATIONAL ECZMA HELPLINE - 020 7388 3444 (10am-4pm)

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                    21.03.2003 23:32

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                    eczema can be treated - Advantages: 100% cure, veseline based, 100%natural - Disadvantages: no

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                    23.01.2003 22:00
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                    Eczema in babies is a bit of a nightmare to say the least, because all they know is that the itch and feel miserable. There's no explaining it to them, and no telling them they can't scratch. The good news is that many children grow out of baby eczema. In the meantime, here are some hard learned survival tips. Symptoms: Red, dry itchy skin. It can also look a fair bit like cradle cap sometimes (this threw me as I wasn't expecting it.) skin can become flakey and weepy. Quite often you get little red lumps on the skin - like tiny pin pricks. 1) Go to the doctor if you think your baby has eczema. Your doctor can talk about possible causes, and can perscribe you steroid cream and if there is any risk of infection, antibiotics. From then one you have three priorities - try and avoid contact with anything causing or aggrivating the response, keep the skin moist to stop it from cracking and stop your baby from scratching. What has set it off? Sometimes eczema develops for no reason, sometimes it gets aggrivated by ther things in the environment. Likely causes include changes of washing powder, heat, cold, pet hair, it varies a lot. For my little one, cold and cat fur seem to be the main problems. Looking after skin: Stop using any cleaning products on your baby. Your doctor can give you an emulsifying cream which you can use for washing. Be wary of exposure to any chemical products - washing powders, soap etc. This includes washing powder used on your clothes, or on the clothes of people who have access to your baby. Regulary apply cream to any dry looking bits of your baby. Sudocream (which is also good for nappy rash) is ok, but E45 cream is better and is the only thing that seems to really have helped. Emulsifying cream on prescrption is good, and ideal as a barrier against cold and moisture. Steroid cream only comes on prescrption. Apply very small amounts to anywhere that looks weepy. If at any point it all flares up badly, go back to your doctor. Preventing scratching. This one is tricky. I've heard of pople tying babies hands to cots, which strikes me as being a bit extreme. Scratch mitts do not work however - unless your baby doesn't move much. They are very easy for baby to remove. For better effect, put socks on the hands - being longer they are much harder to remove. They are also easier to get hold of. If baby doesn't have eczema on the head, don't use scratch mitts as they stop little one from exploring and slow down development of manual dexterity. If eczema is only on the body, the best thing to do is keep your baby in sleep suits - anything with open waist or legs can be pulled up to give access. All in one suits make this impossible. Nappy changing times create an opportunity for scratching, and I've found a quite neat solution to this. When you remove the bottom half of the sleep suit, put the feet over your baby's hands! it does actually work and isn't much hassel. I seem to be winning at any rate. Hope the above will be of use to others in the same boat.

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                      25.05.2002 23:01
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                      When we were wee whipper snappers, my older sister had severe eczema all over her arms and legs and even on the back of her neck! More so this caused her great distress because she also had acute asthma and coping with the 2 together when she was only 8 was not a great time of her life I must admit. Once we were sent on a school journey to Dorset for a week and the headmaster had asked our mother to let us go too, she was very reluctant to let us go because of my sisters health problems. He promised her that he would personally look out for us and the minute there should be a problem he would be immediately on the phone to alert her so she agreed to let us go. While we were out there we spent time in the outdoor pool but my sister wasn't allowed to go swimming as mum had given strict instructions that my sister musn't get wet! Of course the school took that literally and wouldn't even let her wash or shower not even flannell wash by a sink! Anyway aside from that her eczema did erupt while we were out there and almost on a nightly basis the poor thing needed her bandages constantly changed which was fine with me and the teachers but unfortunately in those days there was alot of ignorance around eczema and because of that fellow classmates shied away in disgust and made comments about not wanting to catch anything from her. This whole reaction was made alot worse even when the teachers did not allow her to wash at all for the whole week so kids assumed that it was because she was dirty and wouldn't listen to any explanations not even from their teachers! We finally made it home at the end of the week and she vowed that she would never go away on another school journey again due to the humiliation that she had suffered. My friends little boy has eczema now but I am happy to say that more people are aware and are educating themselves about eczema and that it is not just something which is infectious and contagious and he has lots of little friends in his play group that know what he has but to them it's no big deal at the end of the day all they want to know is if he wants to come and play with them!

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                        20.05.2002 05:09
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                        • wounds

                        I am fifteen years old and i do still suffer from mild eczema. I remember i was told that i was first diagnosed with eczema as a baby, having eczema made my young childhood quite a misery and pretty much lowered my confidence in lots of things. Say for instance in PE i would be the only one standing there wondering if anyone was looking at my sore, red legs from constant itching. I would dread PE and try to put a plaster where ever i could. If anyone asked i would try and say i fell over, or something to that extent. I was also told that when i was a toddler, we had the decorators in and me being allergic to dust mite i came out all red and swollen and to top that i had an asthma attack - i was taken to hospital. At night times i would wake up unable to sleep, it is worst when you itch your layer of skin off and it waters. Then you have to try and keep this wound from touching anthing else or sticking. This was especially a night mare come school time as i had to wear tights and come home time it would be painful to take them off. Next time you get an itch try and leave it and see how long you can last then picture the unfortunate with eczema who suffer from at least 10 times the same but this itching remains in the same place until it gets just to painful to bear. As a child i would bathe in these chinese medicine that my aunt would sent over in bulk form Hong Kong. Even my baths times were special until the age of 9 or 10. I was also not allowed large amounts of dairy products until i was discharged from the hospital at the age of 12. During winter i suffered from cold sores and dry very chapped fingers that would crack open when i bend. During my time at Junior school i remember having a verruca. But having ezcema as well - this was a nightmare for me. Some how i got blisters as well and when i itched these they seemed to spread and my feet took ages to recover. Only about a year ago i took up karate this was when my ezcema had cleared up quite a bit. But karate only seemed to injure my feet and it was affecting me quite a bit when i was a bit put off by the kicking as i did not want anyone to see. Now, at the age of fifteen my ezcema has cleared up but leave memories as i have quite a few scars where my ezcema used to be. I still get chapped fingers but it is not as bad. Also i remember that time that i visited my home land - Hong kong in order to get my citizenship and it required a thumb print, mine however was un recognisable from my skin peeling i was was sent home and told to return in two weeks to look after my thumb and heal it, HOW? Prescription. As a child on medication they gave me diprosone, oily as it was but it did help a bit. I also had to take this sickly medicine that was supposed to help my sugar levels or something like that because of loss of blood. Being a teenager i did not suffer from terrible acne as i thought i would because of my ezcema, but, have quite soft skin on my face. I am thinking, is this because my dry skin levels out the pH's from oily skin teenagers get during puberty? If you do suffer from ezcema i would advise you to try chinese medicine, if there are no chinese doctors where you live, you could try china town in London or the one in Manchester. I do not know why either, but the weather conditions in Hong Kong really seemed to help my ezcema when i visited there when i was a child. I tried many medications and they did seem to work. They may taste gross but they do work. In England i was on the same medication for years did it work? NO. Otherwise i would have healed as a young child not as a teenager. I tried chinese medicine in my later years of ezcema. Also i have found that in order to get rid of a itch there is quite a quick way to relieve temporary itching. This was to run the patch under very hot water - tap water not boiling water!!! Very hot baths also seemed to help a bit . Good Luck, do not let it ruin your life or stop you from doing anything that people without ezcema can do!

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                          19.05.2002 02:02
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                          • "makes you think your not normal"

                          Hello, My name is Charlotte Griffiths, and i am 13 years old. i have had ezcema since i was about 1 and a half, and i have to say it has been hell. I have ezcema on my face, neck, arms, wrists, ankles and the back off my knees, and recently it has become very inflamed on my arms and wrists. Because i have been scratching my face so much it has become wrinkly and worn so i feel embarressed to show it. Most of the time a majority of my skin is red and i feel i have to keep it covered as i dont want people to notice it. Any body who has ezcema i know how you feel. The best advice i can give you is to try not to scratch however hard it may be, and try and develop control over it. Try not to hide it, you will not be so ashamed of it after a while, anybody who makes fun of it is not worth knowing so you should take no notice, even though its hard. I have tried plenty of creams and ointments, you name i'll have tried it. I still have a whole drawer full of the stuff. But probably the most helpful was a South African sausage tree cream and if you go into a chemist they should have it in stock. UVB treatment was quite helpful but after a while i started to get burned from it so i gave it up. I've had blood tests done and was unfortunately allergic to practically everything. Keeping off the foods i found that irriated my skin for over two years i found my skin had cleared up alot, but being my age and keeping of sweets and staying away from animals is not easy so i stopped and cant seem to keep it up any more. Try not to think of it and put you mind on other things, it will make it alot more easier to cope with. Dont let it get you down. If you do keep a diary and write your feeling in there or tell a close friend, its very helpful. Well, good luck. luv xxCharxx p.s never tell anybody with eczema to stop scratching!!It will just annoy them and cause them to itch it more! ****** ************************************** hey, i'm back again. i have been reading a few of the other entries since i wrote mine. At the moment i actually have two bandages on my wrists. They have seemed to flare up alot lately and it is unbareable so i have to itch it. i have tried a new cream that i used when i was a baby, called Sudocream.It has been kinda of a help.If you use it though i advice u not to put that much on because it turns your skin a nice shade of white! I havnt been so down lately about my ezcema, my boyffriend has been a great help.If your feeling down, just listen to your favourite kind of music or talk to soeone who you know will be able to cheer you up. It really does help. At nights i hav to wear long socks on my legs and bandages on my arms to stop me scratching, but as i am completly covered up i get very hot and end up scratching myself to bits ne way.So now i'm very tired. Yet again to ne one else with ezcema i feel for you and i no what its like. I'll write again soon. Luv xxCharxx

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                            13.03.2002 18:25
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                            • "Lots more!"

                            I've had eczema ever since I remember. Mostly, I can live with it, but sometimes I reach the can't sleep/ can't concentrate/ don't want to be seen by anybody state. And here's what I find helps: Chinese Herbs I was completely cynical about these. Especially when the Doctor (he's a Western trained medical doctor, as well as a Chinese herbalist) told me a) that the herbs would take 4-6 months to work and b) the price! But the herbs have now worked for me three times, at very stressful times in my life (Finals, a miserable job). They are the only thing that helps at that stage. One major disadvantage is that the herbal Doctor often recommends cutting out some food groups (in my case, dairy, citrus fruits, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine - which doesn't leave much). But this is useful information to have - I now have a much better idea of what sort of things (about from dairy, which is blindingly obvious ;-) ) are likely to effect my exczema and I can cut these out if I know I'm stressed. The one warning I would give is that herbal medicine is a very individual thing. You need to get a good doctor (preferably one also trained in Western medicine) who will ask you detailed questions on a regular basis, and change the prescription accordingly. I think this is the reason why some formal studies have shown that Chinese herbal medicine doesn't work as well as conventional medicine, because the studies tend to use the same dosage of the same type of herbs for each patient (so as to be comparable). Savlon In my experience, hydrocortisone creams will create a lovely covering of new skin... which will immediately turn into eczema again because (by the time you've put the strong cream on) you've been scratching for days and have inevitably got an underlying infection. If you get those very dry and deep cracks on your skin (especially on knuckles etc) a good dollop of Savl on under a plaster, left on for a few days, can really work. Otherwise, liberal amounts of it on eczema night and morning definitely seem to help (in the stopping it spreading even further stakes, even if not in the getting rid of it all together ones). I know people who mix hydrocortisone creams with Savlon half and half, and use it that way, though I haven't tried it. Tar shampoo In my opinion, eczema on the face is worst, but that's followed pretty closely by eczema on the scalp. It feels horrible to have bits of gunk and skin stuck in your hair all day - and also causes what looks like minor snowfall on your shoulders all the time (no dark tops until you get it sorted...). I have found that a tar shampoo really works for this (I use Polytar extra strong, from any big Boots). The disadvantages are that its expensive (better value in the bigger size) and some people find the smell off-putting, though personally I quite like it. Oil instead of soap I've had exczema for so long that I don't remember not using Oilatum or Alpha Keri. But I think its worth mentioning, as soap (even the theoretically hypoallergenic, non-soap varieties) really do dry the skin. And it is possible to have showers with oil, you just need to invest in a sponge (preferably the baby ones that are really soft) that you can pour the oil onto. Also you need to clean the bath afterwards, so as not to send the next user flying (it gets very slippery). Sea instead of swimming pool I totally agree with another writer (sorry, can't remember who) who said that swimming pools set them off while the sea (and sun) helped. I find this is so, even if the pool is not chlorinated but has some other cleansing agent. And it does provide a good excuse to book a beach holiday. ;-) Food I touched on this above, but for me it is very obvious that dairy products make my eczema worse. I think anyone struggling with eczema should have a think about what they're eating. I find that bad eczema makes me want to comfort eat (if I can't go out and I'm horribly itchy at least I can sit here and enjoy this cake...). One warning, if you do try excluding food groups, make sure you're getting enough protein, vitamins etc. Its quite easy to find resources on the net that will help you (I find vegan websites very handy, for non-dairy issues). Congratulations to anyone who read this far - and I hope you find at least some of my suggestions help you.

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