Monday, 26 March 2012

The emotional toll of eczema

Hi all, I wanted to touch on something close to my heart, something that I don't find doctors can really help with and that is, the emotional toll eczema takes on a person.

The thing about eczema is, it's not just annoying, during a flare up it can be emotionally damaging. I can remember not wanting to leave the house during the summer as I always damage my skin so badly in the winter and the marks are there for everyone to see.  Just to pop to the local shop, I'd have to ensure I'm covered up, making me hot and uncomfortable, but the thought of members of the public looking at my skin in disgust just upsets me to the core. Mind you, this could all be in my head, but it feels very real to me. If I ventured out without a shrug or cardigan, I'd estimate the likelihood of someone being close enough to be scrutinising my imperfections, what were the odds? Was it worth taking the risk? As dramatic as it may seem, I know other sufferers who feel like this.

During a flare up, I tend to be very miserable and snappy, at my family, so support is very key, I'll post about that later. 'Gosh, aren't you hot in that long sleeved top' 'You must be boiling in that cardigan' Sound familiar? I wish people would mind their own business, but curiousity is part of our nature, you can't really blame them! I guess I do look odd in a long sleeved top or cardigan in the blazing August heat!  My confidence was so low that at one stage (When I had a flare up on my eye lids) I wouldn't look my husband directly in the face when he spoke to me, I just couldn't make eye contact.

The staring does get on my nerves though, I mean, you'd have thought I left the house and forgotten my head or something!!! Aaaaaah

But seriously though, that's why I love blogs and Twitter, because you can tap into people who feel the same. People who don't think you're over reactive or super sensitive, people who just GET it.

With all that said, I do have occasions where I just get up, get dressed and go about my daily business as if I had the silky smooth clear skin of a celebrity!! Besides, the sun helps to heal my skin, so it's a win win situation!

Friday, 23 March 2012

So far so good - Week 4 of Vitamin D supplements

Hi all! Well, my skin has done a total u-turn and I noticed this on the 2nd week of taking my Vitamin D supplements. My itching has reduced to once, maybe twice WEEKLY and my skin is clearing.

Pics to come on next post, promise. I have my follow up docs appointment next week and I'll make sure to request another blood test to see how well my body is absorbing the Vitamin D.  I want to know his thoughts on maintaining a 5,000IU daily amount forever, rather than 1,000 as I'm more prone to a deficiency due to my skin colour.

Any fellow eczema sufferers out there who notice their skin improves in the summer, I urge you to get tested. It may just be that you need supplements in the winter.

As for my other items I'm using, I use the skin relief with a few drops of tea tree oil and I use piriton in the evening. It doesn't help with itching, but helps me sleep.  As hayfever season is upon us I'm having very runny and itchy eyes so I've had to start taking cetirizen in the day as my eyes were becoming aggravated (If it's not one thing it's another!) Arrrgggh!! Anyhoo, positive thinking and all that :)

Speak soon. xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Starflower (Borage) oil - Month 1 review

Hi all :) Let me give you some info on the brand and dosage of Starflower oil I'm currently using:

500mg Staflower oil, 104mg GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid), 10.0mg Vitamin E per capsule. I take 2 per day to ensure I get enough GLA, however, I am thinking of upping this to three per day.

The brand I'm currently using is Tesco's own brand.

Starflower oil capsules are one of those things you're not sure is/isn't working as it's an internal process. What I will say is that I believe they are working to help my skin retain moisture. My skin has also been quite smooth lately, but again, this could be attributed to other things I'm doing, but I believe it's partly the starflower oil at work.

I have another three bottles of this which will take me up to June, so I'll definitely keep taking them at least till June. The sun is shining lately, so maybe this could be part of my winter regime to help my skin cope. I may take this oil from October to April. If I feel my skin reacts badly to it's withdrawal I'll surely add it again!

Oh, and by the way, I also pierce and add 1 to 2 capsules into the concoction I make.

Let me know your thoughts and experiences with Starflower oil! Please include dosage and GLA level.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Aveeno Skin relief - 3 Week review

Well, I can definitely tell the difference from my usual Aveeno cream and the Skin relief.

Currently, the Skin relief is moisturising my skin a bit better and doesn't just sink in and disappear, it leaves a sort of protective layer which I really like. At the moment, I'm using this in conjunction with tea tree oil if I'm itchy and on its own if I'm not. So far so good.

I'm still using my regular Aveeno cream with 0.5% hydrocortosine on my face once a day.

Marks out of ten thus far? 7/10.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Coconut Oil review

Well, I will try anything once and I am very much into natural products so thought I'd give Coconut oil a try for my eczema.

Unfortunately for me (I purchased three tubs!) My skin does not like this. Its way too greasy on its own and made my concoction greasy, so I won't be buying it again in a hurry, I had to admit, I only used it about three times on it's own, but that was enough for me. It's great on my feet for.

I use it for both my and my kids hair and use it alongside shea butter for my sons skin, so all is not wasted.

If you want to give it a try its called coconoil and cost around £22 for the three tubs from Amazon :)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Telephone Consultation - Vitamin D deficiency update

Well, although short and sweet, my doctor concluded that my severe Vitamin D deficiency was the root cause of my skin woes.

He is convinced I will see improvement once I get started on treatment. He recommended I start an immediate 8 week course of 60,000IU once a week, look into my diet for any triggers, take in the sunshine when I can and take 2000 units thereafter forever.

I am so glad he is on board with me and our focus is in tune.

I had a follow up appointment booked for the 8th March which I'll cancel until the end of the month. At this appointment I'll feed back how my new items are working or not working (Aveeno Skin Relief, Eucerin face cream etc). I will review those individually over the course of next week. I'll also ask for another blood form to retest in 8 weeks time to ensure my body has absorbed the Vitamin D properly.

So, I have taken my weekly dosage this morning. Wish me luck!
Thanks for reading :) xx