I am a LONG time eczema sufferer. My mom claims I was born with eczema and much of my childhood memories are filled with trying to manage my condition. In 2010, my eczema went from bad to very bad. I had it all over my hand, arms, legs and shoulders. It really sucked and I hate my skin!
This blog is to help support my desire to get my story out. Its not easy feeling like you are the only person in the world that looks as disgusting as I do at times. Perhaps meeting other people in a similar situation will help me better deal with this cruel condition. I am not looking for your miracle cure as I know one does not exists. Eczema is a chronic condition, one that is managed not cured. It’s finding the magic solution for your particular situation that is the biggest challenge.
My reasons for continuing to deal with this are: I am married with 3 beautiful (and currently non-eczema ridden) children, some fish, a hamster and a really old corn snake. By day, I am a biologist and project manager who has turned into a policy analyst. We live in Ontario, Canada.
Don’t forget to leave me a message.
Thank you, As a young female I wake up every morning with this all over my face, down my arms, and it is spreading to my hands and shoulders, and have for my whole life. It is definitely a confidence killer. Just reading this sight has made me feel less alone about this. No one in my family has this, and I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “Just go put lotion on it”. Seeing sites like this makes me feel like someone out there understands that “Just go put lotion on it” doesnt help. I have grown up assuming that I will get a skin cancer from the constant steroid cremes and skin care products. This last summer it went from being just a winter thing to a constant thing and to make it worse I live in an extremely cold area. The constant comments about my skin from people break my heart everyday and I just want this to go away. I also wear long sleeves everyday because I am extremely embarrassed. Thank you I hope that this site helps me get over my insecurities.
Thanks for your feedback, Courtney. I really do appreciate you taking the time to let me know that continuing to tell my story can help others even if it is just to say that you aren’t alone (we all need that sometimes). I also get freaked out about skin cancer. I get worried about what the creams are doing to me and than I freak out about the bad media tanning gets. I just go with what I feel is right and what is working in the moment, as you know when your skin is really flaring you’ll do almost anything to get it to go away. And yes, the public (friends, family, co-workers) can be jerks with comments and there “solutions”, kind of a pet peeve of mine (but notably some people are really just trying to help in there own way).
I hope you find a management strategy (and let me know what it is).
Hello there! I not only understand your pain, but have been there, done that. I come from three generations of eczema sufferers and am eczema free and have been for years. If you are interested in my story, let me know. I am here for you. I write on BlogHer and that’s where I saw you were featured. Much Love, Fondly, Robin
How did you manage to free yourself from eczema? Been searching for a cure..and it’s just soo tough. My parents and grandparents have never had eczema and I am not sure why i have them. 🙁
Hello, I can tell you what it work for my girls, they didnt have it as bad as yours but let me know if you want to try something different
I hate my skin too. I am 18 and living in England and being 18 with eczema is not fun when going out and all your friends look prettier than you.
I had eczema at around 1-2 years old very bad all over my body. Starting primary school (age 4+) it became better where I only had it in the creases of my elbows and knees. During high school (age 10+) it was at a stage where I could cope with the amount I had. It appeared worse on my arms, and around my lips and within my hair were new places I had it. I never let it bother me and I still do not but deep down I constantly feel embarrassed.
During my first year of college (age 16) I gained it on my face, and my lips worse. Most of my arms had it too. Towards the end of college (age 17) my legs, back, collar bone area, neck, face and hair had eczema too. I was forever trying to hide it but I couldn’t wear make up anymore because after and hour my skin went to flakes and make it look worse.
Now in my first year of University, although my arms are dry, my eczema does not look as harsh and my back is clear apart from the odd scratch or scab. However my legs come and go and I find when my legs are shaven and free from hair the eczema clears. It’s my face that upsets the most though, especially my lips. It’s constantly dry, flaky or red and my top lip to under my nose is red. My face is the place I moisturise the most though.
I have never had a routine, if my eczema is bad I cream, if its not I don’t (honestly i hate creams i feel they do nothing to help!). I don’t think my diet has changed much either. I used to wear false nails and my eczema pretty much cleared up as I was able to scratch but could not cut the skin, but they were expensive and would not last long due to scratching all day.
Currently I’m going on sun beds twice a week for no more than 6 minutes. I have not seen a major difference apart from scabs fall off easier as soon as I come off the bed making my skin not look as bad.
My main concern though is my face, and how red is can be and how dry my lips can get. Are there any tips or advice you can give me that could help me?
I’m so glad I’ve come across your website and been able to talk about my eczema to someone who has it, its a relief to know someone understands! Thank you
I am also a 30 year eczema sufferer. It all started as hives before developing into full blown eczema. I am 52 now and almost completely cleared of eczema without any drugs, creams or medicine!
Don’t despair, believe me, Eczema can be cured! Your life will change for the better dramatically, health wise
This website is awesome! I am now a 17 year old and I have had eczema since I was 15. It is definitely frustrating not being able to wear certain things because of my gross skin. I miss wearing my flip flops to school like every other teenager. Trying to find cute shoes to wear with fancy outfits while concealing my feet is a challenge. Along with that, my fingers bleed from severe cracks, and it is hard to play my high school sports without pain. This website really makes me happy to know I am not alone:) What might help is that I have noticed I have flare ups after I have been on a junk food bender. Sometimes if I eat well and healthy, nothing processed at all, my symptoms seem to ease up. So diet might have something to do with it and may help a few people!
Wow Tara. Sounds like you really might have a food related allergy which causes you to have an eczema flare. Hopefully it is an easy one so you can have some relief.
I remember wearing long sleeves to school when my arms where bad while all my friends where in tank tops…. hated that.
I am so grateful to be able to read through your personal struggle with eczema, as it is parallel to mines; it helps to know I’m not alone in this battle. Up until recently I was always able to hide my eczema whether it be by wearing long sleeve shirts and pants in the summer or constantly wearing gloves throughout the winter, but this summer, in addition to having eczema on my the majority of my extremities, back and stomach, it has spread to my hands, ankles and neck; this makes it close to impossible to hide my nasty scars and flakes in a summer full of 95° days. Although I’ve had this disorder since my childhood years, at times it is still very hard to cope with and embarrassing. How did you handle the stares and comments? thank you so much for sharing your story! It has really helped me feel a little more normal than I was feeling prior to reading through your struggle.
Thanks for your comment, it is nice to know that there are other people like me around to connect with.
As far as how I handle stares and comments. It hasn’t always been easy especially when I was younger and peer acceptance was so important. As a professional woman I just go about my business as I need to, this means I have presented in front of 30 people with cotton gloves on. What I have found is that many people are curious about why I am wearing gloves and sometimes ask. I usually just confidently say “Oh, I have really bad eczema on my hands”. (or, depending on the person I might joke and tell them first that I am a germaphobe before talking about my eczema)
I’d be surprised by how many people are sympathetic and will tell you stories about themselves or someone they know. Eczema is so common that everyone knows someone.
I don’t notice too many stares. Mostly people are curious and mean no harm.
So glad I found this site! I’ve only been battling eczema for four months but it feels like forever. I’ve spent hundreds at the dermatologist and though my face is cleared up my hands remain a mess. I slather my hands every night with my latest prescription and wear gloves to bed. In the morning they are usually a bit improved but working in an office all day takes its toll and by the end of the day my finger tips are cracked and sometimes bleeding. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to take it seriously so I try not to talk about it much but that just makes things worse as I try to wash the dishes, prepare meals, and do house cleaning without complaining about the pain it causes me. In addition to the various prescriptions I’ve tried, I’ve also tried raw honey and radiation hormesis and I’m getting ready to try fish oil capsules. Now that I read your blog I’ve also decided to try tanning and I start my two week free trial tonight. Thanks again for sharing your story. Just because eczema isn’t life threatening, people who don’t have it act like it is no big deal. If they could spend an hour or a day in our skin I’m sure they’d feel otherwise!
Ok I am not sure if you have looked into this….. My daughter had eczema somthing terrible when she was a baby it was so bad her chest and back would bleed 🙁 It would be all cleared up then all the sudden it was awful. I began to notice it was only when she ate somthing with tomatoes we stopped feeding her tomato products and the ezcema cleared up. now I am not sure if it was a allergy or sensitivity but I think making a food diary may help
Hi, from the pictures I can see this is topical steriod addiction… You are suffering from ‘Red Skin Syndrome’ which is caused by overuse of topical steriod creams and therefore your skin has become addicted. This can be cured by a total cessation of steriod creams however the steriod withdrawal process is HELL.
I have to thank you Scott Pierce for this comment. In my desperate search for which foods might be causing my ‘eczema’ I came across this blog and your note. So I googled Red Skin Syndrome and I know this is what I am suffering from! I am 17 days off my creams now and so far handling it very well. I am hoping that means I won’t have as hellish of a recovery, but either way I am so glad to know that there is a light at the end of this eczema tunnel and it will be full healing!
Hi Scott and “JS” – I can guarantee you that what I am experiencing is not “red skin syndrome” although I’ll leave your post up just in case someone reading is interested in looking it up.
Although I have a post on my large tubs of cream I actually don’t use them regularly (I go many times months on end without them). I can’t detox on something I don’t use if you kwim.
Actually…you can. I used my steroids very sporadically yet went through TSW.
I am almost in tears after having come across your blog! I am 24 years old and had suffered with terrible eczema my whole life as well. At one point my face was so bad I looked like I had second degree burns (complete with oozing) all over it. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this too but I am also totally relieved to know I am not the only one who has to go through the confidence blowing and often incapacitating effects of eczema. I hope you (and I) eventually find the miracle cure that works for us but until then I look forward to following your journey! 🙂
I am a guitar player with hand eczema. Music is my life and this condition has become the worst possible scenario for my career as musician. Need help and support from everyone.
Yikes Richard. That’s a tough spot to be in. I have no suggestion but sympathy. My fingers hurt just thinking of playing a stringed instrument.
Going thru my emails found your response. Thank you Amie. Can’t believe it was 2 years ago. Since then I have been using cerave and is working.
I happened across your blog while searching for an eczema “cure.” My eczema started several years ago (both legs, chest, and hands). The doctor put me on some steroid regime for a month, which was hell. It cleared up my eczema at the time. But it returned every winter after that. Luckily it’s only been on my hands. Sadly, I’m known at work as the “lady who wears the white cotton gloves.” What I’m struggling with now is trying to prevent it from spreading to my arms. I can see the tiny blisters forming at the wrists. Argh! So frustrating. And everyone knows someone who had eczema and did I try such-and-such this cream or that cream. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one.
Wow! You had great success with tanning. Do you still consider tanning from time to time? I’m thinking about it…..
Hi! So glad you are able to share your experiences with us. It takes a lot for me to be comfortable in my own skin, so I appreciate your bravery! How is your eczema as of now? Any improvement? I just started to tan as well. I’ve been so scared to try it but I’d say after 15 years of suffering, I’m ready to try other things I thought I would never try because I always thought another method would work. Here’s to hoping. 🙂 Did it matter what kind of tanning bed you used? The lay down vs the standing up one? On my first tanning experience I was so itchy after just wondering if that’s normal especially the red patches I have were the main ones that were itchy. It subsided after I showered though. lol. Well hope your eczema is under control or hope you found something that finally cured it!!! Let us in on it if you did 🙂 Thank you soooo much again.
My general preference is the stand-up as it is generally quicker but you probably shouldn’t start with that. A few minutes in a “medium” bed to start and gradually increasing in time is what I found the best. It also goes along with the “tanning science” to reduce the risk of over exposure.
I’ve got a post coming on how I am doing.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Thank you for your blog … although I think its no longer active.
I’ve just begun to suffer from eczema and am trying to learn as much as I can.
I’m 53 and have just had some surgery. My surgeon says the eczema is normal response and will dissipate as I heal.
Again… thank you
Hi Ontario Mark, I am still here but haven’t had much to blog about which is great for my condition but not so much for the blog. Hope you are feeling better. Thanks for your comment.
Hello Amie, just as the others, I came across your blog searching for an answer to my Eczema nightmare. I am 43 and had never had any issue with my skin, other than the occasional over dryness- boy! I had no idea how good I had it then!- until I had surgery on my foot to remove what was thought to be a small 1/4″ tumor, which ended up being a cyst. That same week after surgery, my foot began pealing and itching. I thought it was from the wrap they had placed on the spot while healing, sadly.. it was not. From that moment on, lasting for about 18 months, both of my feet had gotten so bad that the splits actually kept me out of work.. something which I NEVER did but they hurt so bad, I couldn’t find shoes that would make it bearable to make it into the office. I am writing this in Nov and in Oct, just last month, my hands started developing this incredibly itchy, blistery rash.. all over, from wrist to finger tips. I never noticed the blisters on my feet before this. Now, both hands have the same thing on them that my feet do, scaling skin, itchiness and splits all across the palms. I have tried every cream, ointment, salve, oil that I could find, only to be disappointed. The moisturizer of this week is organic coconut oil.. yep, you guessed it, I constantly look like I’m ready for the fryer… totally humiliation. I’ve also had to resort to wearing gloves with the fingertips cut out of them.. never even thought about the white cotton glove thing.. my search for them landed me here. When someone asks about them, not really my style before this, I joke and just say its part of the new homeless look I’m sporting.. I’m really not that shallow, I just have no idea how else to deal with it, without going into the drama that is my skin right now. I’ve been advised by the dermatologist to use bleach baths.. I’d be interested to know if they were helpful to you.. the idea of putting this cracked open skin into bleach water has me on pause and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do them. Also, the tanning bed, has it continued to be a help? The way this stuff has creeped up my body.. I’m truly terrified to try something new without doing my research first.. I feel like I am always on the verge of finding a new spot.. Just a side note.. they gave me Humira end of Sept, right after that is when my hands got pulled into this mess and now they have started me on Dupixent.. not fun giving yourself shots but hell, I’d go a lot further if they could give me a reasonable amount of hope for some sense of normal. Not sure if I’ll ever feel like my self again or if I am just going to have to get used to this new me. How does one go from being an assertive to-the-nines, business woman in stilettos.. to someone who hides from interaction and wears jackets, gloves and Uggs.. the struggle is real ya’ll.