This article in particular is important to me, simply because I have lived through the trauma of suffering this horrid affliction and feel it necessary to inform other people.
Being asthmatic all of my life, eczema seemed to be its constant companion. (Not atopic I hasten to add) When I was younger and indeed up to my early 20′s the doctors concluded that worry or stress brought it on. In my opinion an easy diagnosis, seeing as how the same reasons were given to my constant severe asthma attacks.
What was strange is that when eczema flared up it was not always the same, sometimes it was wet and oozed, another time it was dry
The term “Atopic” refers to a personal and family tendency to develop eczema. What you will find written today! But at this part in writing I have to make it clear that never in over 30 years was my eczema ever referred to as Atopic, simply eczema.
It is best to establish at this junction that although at the time my parents were mystified as to not knowing any family member having either! Until one year at 13 years old, we went on a family holiday through what at the time was referred to as “Eastern Block” countries our destination was Poland to visit my grandfather whom my father had not seen since the war. It transpired that he was asthmatic and also had eczema.
At least the mystery was cleared up. The Irony here though was that through asthma I became familiar with the inside of a Polish hospital. Apparently it can skip a generation, as it did with me and subsequently, luckily, my daughters do not suffer from either, albeit the possibility is there unfortunately for their children.
For the past 25 years my asthma is under control and so is the eczema. At least that is what I thought.
3 years ago, whilst having my 20 minutes sunlight around the pool (the best way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D) read my article on sunlight. My foot started to itch around the heel. My first thought was that I had been bitten, but it did not look like an insect bite and therefore concluded it was a bout of eczema. No need to worry it would pass quickly.
For my sins I have to admit to using cortisone cream, which long term is not a good idea and would not recommend it as it seriously thins the skin(as it has done to my shins) the skin in this area is paper thin.
Days went by and instead of disappearing as it usually did, it started to spread. No amount of cream aided the healing.
It spread from my heel, all around my both feet up my legs, both my arms, back. As it got around the neck area it seemed to have an urgency to make it’s way to my scalp.
Eczema does not like water or soap particularly, so I took to having quick showers using organic and natural products.
Now I became panicky and did not know what to do for the best. In the end my husband made me agree to consult a private skin care professional. (Not cheap) Feeling optimistic, we sat in front of the individual, who quickly diagnosed the problem as being Atopic eczema. He had no idea what caused it, but thought it might be leather shoes, but really was not sure and other than writing a prescription for some cream did not want to elaborate further, apart from concluding by saying, “Should it not go completely or begin to spread again, please make another appointment.” Needless to say I did not.
Bear in mind this was the height of summer and my choice of footwear has always been Dr Scholl sandals. My gut instinct was to dismiss this theory.
After suffering the disfigurement for 3 months it began to subside as mysteriously as it came. Rightly or wrongly I put this down to radical changes made in my eating habits and the choice of products used on my skin.
*I decided to be radical and changed my diet to vegetarian/vegan
*Using natural 100% Aloe Vera to wash my skin
Because it began on my feet, each day I exfoliate and rub Eskimo cream into the skin to stop it from becoming dry.
Note: Even the national eczema society has no idea what the trigger is and suggests each individual learn to manage the discomfort in daily life.
No solace there then! In my opinion you are generally if not always, left to deal with things yourself. Below is what they say may trigger Atopic eczema
- Soap and detergents
- Skin infections
- House dust mites and their droppings
- Animal fur, hair and saliva
- Rough Clothing
Many people with atopic eczema find that there is a connection between eczema and stress, although whether the stress causes the eczema or vice versa is less clear.