Posts Tagged ‘Atopic’

I’ve been itching to share this!!

January 13, 2010

Expect many, many, more bad eczema related puns 🙂

Recently I came to have an epiphany of sorts… in a nutshell my eczema was so bad I was in hospital for 3 days for treatment and recovery. That was my second visit in 4 months and a rather big wake up call as it was the worst flare up I’ve had since childhood!

That said. I started looking into various sources (actually started on Twitter!) for info on eczema and came across a book (which I’ll blog on separately at a later date) called “The Eczema Solution” and in it the author, who also has eczema, mentioned scratching… And in particular the methods and ITEMS we use for said scratching.

Items? Like the stuff I secretly use to scratch with?

No… You don’t talk about stuff like that!!

Now. This! For me, has always been a bit of a no go area. Something you don’t bring up. Something I was, genuinely ashamed of doing never mind talking about!

I don’t know why I was ashamed but I’m betting it has something to do with not talking to other eczema sufferers about the condition. This being the whole point of my starting this blog, so i can share with you my thoughts /feelings /secrets and fears 🙂

But most importantly raising awareness!

Now to the heart of the blog. Itching, is well, itchy! And as such demands to be scratched! Over the years I have developed many ways of relieving the itch… All of which do more harm than good, and all of which i can remember I’ve listed below!

My Methods of “Relieving” Eczema…
– Fingernails
– Toenails
– Scratching against clothing (rivets/studs on jeans was a favourite)
– Back Scratcher
– My Dad scratching my back with his nails
– Scratch using a blunt knife
– Pen Knife
– Scratch using a fork (that’s one of my more recent ones and I’m 24)
– Rubbing my eczema against a carpet floor (favourite as a child – ESP on the wire type carpets)
– Chinese burn of sorts to myself (rub skin until it’s raw)
– Run a red hot bath to relieve itchiness
– Stand under a hot shower and turn the temperature up to silly levels
– Sneakily burn my eczema against the side of a hot cup of tea
– Corner of a door frame or wall
– Scratched scalp with the comb
– Sat against a radiator wiggling from side to side in attempt to burn skin
– Scrape skin with a rough towel whilst getting dried
– holding skin against anything cold or freezing in an attempt to cool down (metal from chairs in work or bags of frozen food)

Twittered the question – who used what to scratch… No answer!

Now I’m either not very popular (Cant see it being that of course!) or the people who read that question had the same taboo like reaction as I once had!

Today’s thought is that if you too have done any of the above or have your own preferred itch relief favorites (please feel free to email and or comment what they are) then you may want to seek extra help because all of those things that I have done or do involve scratching the surface of your skin off or scolding it!! Scolding it!!! Boiling hot temperatures + my skin = i was/ arguably still am, completely mad!!

Both are NOT GOOD, and through experience both just end up drying your skin out and you regret doing it later (even though the relief short term is oh so goooood!).

So yes. Less burny scratchy stuff. And more creamy relief type stuff (Emollient!)

I’ve attached a picture as proof that scratching doesn’t help!

That is all 🙂

Climb Aboard The Itchy Scratchy Express

December 31, 2009

What do I know about eczema? Well, not an awful lot to be fair…

I know how to live with it. I know some of the things that trigger my eczema and i am 100% confident that I could still dream up ways to scratch even if you took away my hands, arms and toes!

What I don’t know is enough about the background to eczema – basically my awareness level currently stands at:

“Oops, was that a bus that just hit me?”

(thats “not” very aware for those who are struggling).

My awareness level is so low because I’ve lived with eczema since birth. Of course i didn’t actually realise i knew so little until a dermatologist asked me what i knew – my best answer was a sarcastic one about it itching!

So for the last 24 years I’ve learned to live WITH eczema, I’ve learned that flare ups do happen and that they will go away eventually. I’ve also learned that other people don’t understand eczema and that goes right from kids (in school I got the whole don’t come near me it’s catching rubbish right to being called an Eczema Man, as in X-Men the cartoon – genius!) right through to adults which lead to my first rant that you may have read!

I now know through the help of others (mainly Twitter – thanks Amanda) and by researching various places on-line that the trick to eczema is not to learn to live with it, but to learn to live WITHOUT eczema, something I never thought possible!

My idea is to tell you what I THINK I know and then you can either tell me I’m right/wrong or I’ll be carrying on looking into things and I’ll report back to you and tell you more – either way, we all win!

The main thing though is to raise awareness and hopefully get people talking to each other (or me – my emails at the bottom if you click my name) as talking has certainly helped me 🙂

Think of this as riding along on the Itchy Scratchy Express to Enlightenment from somebody who may well be very much like you – Clueless (for now!)


Rant “Eczema isnt a real illness”

December 22, 2009


You try living with it for ONE day… One day I challenge you!

It’s not other peoples fault that they have this attitude because they don’t know any better but boy does it annoy me that A LOT of people don’t count Eczema as a serious illness.

Where do I start with this rant?

I suppose if we start with the fact that the skin is the largest organ in the body. If I then told you that my eczema can and does cover anywhere from 10% to 80-90% of my body during a flare up you may then realise how uncomfortable it can get.

How can I help people understand?

I could tell them about the pain and the suffering and the way it can rule your life and decision making…? Noooo… That would (of course!) be attention seeking and I’d never be able to get my point across.

The best way I explained this to a colleague recently is by comparing it to when they have a spot… How annoyed are they when they get a blemish on their face I asked?! Even the mere mention of such horrors got them talking quickly and I sat smiling as the tales of how it was an end of the world type scenario for them and how they suffer a crisis in confidence! Hundreds of pounds gets invested in potions and lotions bought to help it go away or to hide these types of things every year, they may even skip a night out they tell me…!

I wait politely for the quick outburst of panic to be over.

A moments realisation of why this subject was raised and the look of guilt is hard to hide when they suddenly realise that this one spot is but a mere fraction of what I have to put up with on a daily basis!

Now I DONT want you to feel guilty, and I certainly DONT want any sympathy – you have to play the hand your dealt. But what I DO want is my condition taken seriously and not to be made to feel small when I’m suffering just because eczema “isn’t a real illness”.

Rant Over 🙂