Thursday, 23 February 2012

** A week in the sun and blood test results! **

Hello all, I hope you're all well! I've just returned from a week in the Sun, the glorious country of Turkey!

My skin cleared up a treat while I was away, as I knew it would. Now, when I say cleared up, that doesn't mean the scarring has gone, I mean that there were no raised itchy bumps or welts and my skin was very smooth to touch. My lips have also returned to their normal colour!! Imagine, they've been very very dark brown since September. The sun is amazing stuff.

Unfortunately, since I've been back and it's only been two days, the itching has returned. Bah humbug!

Anyhoo, I picked up my blood test results from the doctors and whilst most of the items were normal, my Vitamin D results stated severe deficiency (14 nmol/L). Mind you, I had these done on the 13th, returned on the 21st and haven't had a call from my doctors, even though it says 'Contact patient' So I've set up a telephone consult with my doctor, but he isn't free till next Friday, how annoying!! In any case I'm happy this has shone some light on my situation!

More blog posts coming up very soon to include some pictures of my recent/current flare up. I've also managed to hunt down some results from previous tests which I'll also share.


Monday, 13 February 2012

Excited! : A positive doctors appointment

Well, I had my doctors appointment on Friday and I'm feeling much better gaining more control over my eczema with the support and monitoring of my GP.

Lets start off by listing what I wanted to discuss in the appointment.

  • Vitamin D3 and Starflower oil capsules
  • Aveeno Skin relief
  • Eucerin Cream/Lotion/Bath oil
  • 0.5% Hydrocortosine
  • Topical Immunomodulators
  • Allergy Blood test and dermatologist referral
  • Eczema on my lips
  • Different Breastfeeding safe antihistamines 
Firstly, my doctor knows I'm not a fan of steroids and am trying to wean off them, so this helped with the consultation and heading us off to a good start.

In no particular order, my doctor was fine with me moving down to 0.5% hydrocortisone for my face, as I need to wean asap. My plan with this will be to do one day 1%, one day 0.5%, then the next week drop it to 0.5% daily, then every other day etc etc.

Aveeno Skin relief (contains Shea butter) I explained that my Aveeno cream wasn't very effective at the moment, and this is a common theme throughout the winter, so he was happy to prescribe this for me to try. He mentioned Epaderm, but my skin is not a fan of sticky emollients 

Eucerin, he said it's better to stick to one body cream at a time, so he prescribed Eucerin replenishing face cream 5% urea.  I will try this when I return from my holiday, incorporating the hydrocortosine, as the last thing I need is a flare up due to changing of products on holiday!

Eucerin Bath and Shower Therapy, 20% Omega.  He said I should try switching more to baths rather than showers. It's not that the Aveeno intense body wash isn't good, but I tend to be incredibly itchy intermittently when using it, so I want to give something else a try.

He prescribed me with Piriton (Chlorphenamine) to take a night to help with my relentless night time itch.

Vitamin D3 and Starflower capsules. He said anything is worth a try, but be sensible about dosages. I have been reading A LOT lately about supplements, and I didn't see much of a change with Emu oil or flaxseed, so I'm moving on to Starflower now, however, I may need to wait until I've stopped nursing to introduce Vitamin D3, but more on that later.

My doctor said he didn't see the point in allergy tests and that unless it's contact dermatitis it's not worth the hassle. I'm going to see if I can locate my 2008/2009 results from both a skin prick and blood test.

Similarly, he explained that he was a specialist in the field of eczema and as far as he can see I have mild to moderate eczema, so a referral to a dermatologist at this point is not necessary.

I ran of of time to discuss Topical Immunomodulators.

My doctor wanted a blood test ordered to check my iron and Vitamin D stores. I'm excited about this, as at least I can get started on the Vitamin D if I am very low on them, so I'll be going to the hospital today so the results will be here when I return from holiday.

My doctor recommended I try Blisteze (now called blistex relief cream) for the eczema on my lips. He says numerous patients rave about it.

He also wanted me to purchase some Minadex. It is usually for kids but he said it's a great tonic and some patients have seen positive results.

Lastly, he told me to purchase some tea tree oil to put in the bath if I become very itchy.  He asked me to take a picture of my back in particular so we can compare results in a months time.

I'm really happy about this. His parting words were 'We'll get control of this, we will manage your skin'  I'm so excited about the new products! I'm still using my neem oil at night, and my skin is still relatively smooth I just get bad itchy sessions and it's so disheartening at time, but I must march on and I will!!

I will post the picture of my back (not for the faint hearted) a bit later, or I may just add it to this post later.

I hope this post helps someone and I look forward to seeing how I'm getting on in a months time.

Char. xx

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Concoction: WEEK ONE REVIEW - Neem oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil and Shea Butter

Ok, so I've been using my skin moisturising concoction for a little over a week now and I'm pretty impressed thus far! I have had some itchy sessions, but overall the look and feel of my skin has improved, no red or inflammed areas (provided I haven't been scratching!) so I can ditch the hydrocortosine for now.

When i made up this concoction again I think I may have got the amounts a little muddled as it wasn't as moisturising as the first, plus I added vitamin e, so I added more shea butter which seemed to solve the problem, as the cream wouldn't 'set' properly either after I'd microwaved it!! What I will note though is that today, I put some Cetaphil on my skin FIRST, then used the concoction afterwards and I had immediate silky smooth, soft skin, so I'll be moisturising in this order from now on! I may have to make a bigger amount of the moisturiser as this little jar means having to redo it every week.  And lastly, I'll be adding 1 opened capsule of starflower oil to my new cream when needed.

To be honest, I had a bad scratching session last night which I feel has set me back a bit, but I must march on. I have a doctors appointment on Friday and will post about that shortly.