Me And My Eczema.

I commented on someone else's post with a shortened version of my story before I realised I could make my own! New to this you see.

I'm 17, an eczema suffer my whole life. Up until the age of 12 I rarely noticed my eczema, looking back in photos I can see it in the insides of my elbows - completely unaware of it at the time, but I look back and it makes me sad about how I was so carefree.

After the age of 12, my eczema has gradually been getting worse and worse. It began in the insides of my elbows and wrists and the backs of my knees - where my body creases. My mum kept me on a moisturising regime I remember and she helped keep it under control. As I've grown up and become more independent, I have still kept to this strict regime of moisturising after my shower and whenever necessary. Despite this, my eczema has spread. We thought it was down to puberty at first, but now at the age of 17, I don't know if we can still blame puberty for my awful eczema. Has anyone else had experiences of it flaring around this age?

Also, as I have become older, I have become increasingly aware of my eczema. I began covering it up when I entered high school (age 12), I wore trousers and long sleeved jumpers to school and out of school. Slowly, my eczema has spread. Today it is a lot worse. Currently, I am sitting writing this hidden in my room with my arms smothered in emulsifying ointment. My arms are covered in red rashes, along with my lower legs. My chest, stomach and right side have become increasingly redder recently and I often find the itching so unbearable. Now I can feel my back and thighs getting dryer and dryer over the weeks, but my body seems to follow a pattern I have noticed. An area becomes slowly becomes dryer so I apply moisturiser, then it gets worse at an increased rate. So I'm a bit worried about starting on my back, in case this happens! My face is always tight after a shower, but I use aqueous cream and that has been great until recently. The skin is becoming flakier, especially around the eyes, and after my shower I always have huge red bags under my eyes.

Eczema really is ruining my life at the moment. The dryness and redness around my eyes has knocked my confidence recently and I find it hard to have a conversation with someone because I'm so aware of it. I haven't worn a t-shirt in years, not even in the blistering sun. I haven't been swimming since I was 12. I don't wear shorts. I am going to university in September 2013, and I am such a social person, I just want to wear dresses like everyone else without having to cover up. Although at the moment, I find it quite easy to dress up and cover up at the same time, so I still go to parties and have a good time. Just need to stop this redness around my eyes and I'll be much happier. A simple thing like that. One of the WORST things at the moment is showers. I have been known to stand in that lovely warm shower for over half an hour. I used to love my showers. Now it is the worst part of the day. I get up at half 6 for school as I don't like covering my body when it's covered in moisturiser. I have a shower in the morning and at night I obviously must scratch and rub away at my skin that it's so painful. SO painful. Anyone have any advice for this?

I know I scratch at night, it keeps me awake. I can't keep still for more than 5 minutes. It's the same in school than it is at night. I just can't settle. Any tips for this? I know cotton gloves wont work, I've tried socks on the hands. They come off after an hour or so. A lot of the time I know I shouldn't scratch, so I resort to rubbing my skin with my clothing, which ends up in something like a carpet burn with is even more painful in the shower!

Anyway, several trips to the doctors and nothing is really helping.

I don't know why its become so bad now. I've wondered if it's down to the dampness and mould in my room that we can't get rid of. A single mother with low pay means we don't have enough money to fix the leaking roof so I just have to live with it. Could this be making it worse? I also have a rather unhealthy diet (chocolate chocolate chocolate ;) ) but I always have! Even if my mother didn't know, cheeky. Could my diet be playing a part?

Another thing I struggle with, is that I feel so alone. I have never met another person with eczema. Or someone who has a condition like it that affects their life so much - or not that I know of. I live with my mum and she can see it getting worse on my face and neck, but she doesn't know just how bad it is. And I am to embarrassed to show her, the thought of it just upsets me.

Such a long story, and I could still write books about it. I can't be bothered to proof read it either so apologies about grammar or spelling, that's not the reason we're here anyway but yes! So please, does anyone have any advice? I know I've read lots about it but direct advice for me could be helpful. PLEASE, I hate it so much.
jennifeer11 jennifeer11
18-21, F
10 Responses Dec 6, 2012

I've had ezcema since I was about 12, never really been too bad and my oldest brother had it too but has subsequently grown out of it now. Mine started getting really bad when I went to Uni, mostly due to a poorer diet and stress but I started getting really into fitness and boxing which actually helped it a lot at first and with a good diet I was that troubled until it came back with a vengeance for reasons unknown. It's hard, I had to covet up at training and spend nights missing nights out due to covering myself in skin cream but about 6 months ago I started using lyposomal vitamin C and glutathione too boost my health and that appears to help a lot, but it did keep coming back and so I experimented with diet and eventually found that coffee was a culprit, makes sense since at Uni I lived on it and I always thought that dairy cause it, but my skin got better and I've been free of ezcema for about a month now after my partner made sole water (best to google it) from salts and a teaspoon a day as seen a significant improvement in my skin and glow. Combined with hydration and cooler house temps it's really improved a lot

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try raising the humidity in your house. up to 50%. Nothing worked for me. bought two whole house units and i am all better! I live in a cold place with dry heat on. Eczema loves to be scratched. Shower every few days. Do not scratch. do anything you can to NOT scratch at all for 3 days and you will be amazed. Good luck!

Hi there...

I am 30, suffered with eczema as long as I could remember.I had eczema on my face but currently it is on my arms, legs, wrists, and crevices. I can totally say from experience scratching is a vicious cycle. As a kid I scratched until the skin was raw and still wanted to scratch.

As an adult when I feel the uncontrollable, "peel yourself alive", itch, I grab a cup of ice and put it against the area that itches. It is cold burn that helps the feeling subside. But you have to be strong mentally to try not too. Trust me I have failed many times trying.

I have not discovered what makes my eczema go crazy. I have good days and bad months. I agree with some people that diet plays a role. It's just hard to isolate what you are really eating or drinking wrong. I know acidic foods like tomato sauce bothers my skin. That is my only discovery. : (

have eczema im 19 , I had it when I was about 11, it went , and it came back in 2012, both of my brothers have it and so does my dad. Ours was caused by our pet cats, maybe you have pets? this could be the problem. I understand how you feel I wear long sleeved tops like you, and I have it above my eye lids, neck, side of my back, on my legs, its not easy. My brother has extremely bad eczema all over his body he is only 7, he struggles to sleep. I can only say to stay positive and try not to let it get you down :)
I've found that makeup makes my eye eczema flair up, try not to use it if you do, i Know its hard not to.
Maybe try a better diet fruit vege. I'm a chocoholic too I know how you feel. Have you had bathing oils from your doctor as they help to stop your skin drying out after a bath, then you apply your cream.
Cut your nails shorter so you cant itch on the night time, this could help!

Sorry if this is a bit higgledy piggledy hope I've helped

Hi I'm a 51 year old women who has only had eczema for the past 5 years so have been very lucky. I have hand eczema that is now spreading to my elbows and knees. A few years back I paid to see a private doctor as I couldn't stand it anymore I got to the stage where if I'd had a big knife I would have chops my hands off it was driving me that mad. Anyway after all the creams, wearing rubber gloves to shower and wash my hair etc. I was offered a new treatment Toctino (a capsule) which I was given for 3 month. They may have other
types of this kind of medicine now check it out. My exzema went within 2 weeks I had 3 months of no eczema it was wonderful. Yes it did come back once I stopped taking it and yes it does have size effects but I tell people I meet with eczema to take a holiday from your condition you never know it may never come back but if it does at least you have had a rest form the pain and suffering that only us eczema suffers understand. Your GP can give you these tables on the NHS but you may need to get your Mum to go along with you and to insist on them, my own GP didn't want to give them to me, maybe they're expensive for the NHS and they do have side effects that can by nasty but if like me you were right at the blink then this 3 months holiday made it all worth while. Good luck, I feel so sorry for you.

I wear long socks given by the hospital but I the morning all the spots stick on the cloth and I need to slowly pull mom tried to tie my hand but after a few hours it's untied.. >

Hi there!

I have the exact same feeling with you. Cant wear shorts, even on hot days. When going to school I always pull my socks high to hide my eczema and that looks weird. Almost every morning I wake up and my skin are flaring and that makes me not in the mood of getting up and have breakfast with me family.
My mom always keep saying to me,telling me not to scratch, but no matter what I end up scratching at night. My mom told me that if I scratch 1 spot, you will go on scatting the others until all the spots are flaring. So I tried not to scratch until I was asleep. Yeah it works but not 100% . The problem here is I can't seem to sleep, because my living room, when everyone is asleep some small noise will be heard, but it's not what you think it's just like something's will be pushed a bit by the lizards in my house and all that. But when I'm in the bed and hearing all this small noises, I always keep thinking, oh no theres a theif or there's "that". I keep telling myself, c'mon it's just lizards running there n here pushing things.
I join tennis club and I am the only one who wears long pants others wear tennis skirts and shorts. Btw,I have eczema since I was 10 and now I'm 14 .. I go swimming like only 1 time a year cuz of my skin, last time I often go swimming. My mom noticed that maybe the chlorine in the pool can damage my skin. So now I think my mom won't let me go swimming until my skin is all cured.

When I was 3 I suffered from asthma till like 8, and after my asthma fully recovered or under controlled, eczema I am going to see a Chinese medicine shop that I hope it will help me cure my eczema, earlier I have been to 1, and it cured like in 3 months or faster! My cousin also tried before but she past away because of leukemia. And we suspect it's the Chinese medicine and my dad thinks there is steroid in it, so he stop me from eating it and my eczema came back again...

I tried to use Vaseline once and I end up very itchy at night so I stop using it. But then yesterday I read an article of how to cure eczema fast and naturally, they said applying vaseline helps so I tried it again coz maybe that last time I ate something wrong. So I tried again putting vaseline, and at night it itches like hell..I scratch and scratch and now I am writing this, skin all flared up...I drink milk to help me sleep and most people say cows milk can cause eczema but nothing happened..I can drink cows milk I think...but I avoid full cream because my mom said, when I was little, my mom let me drink full cream cows milk and my skin goes all red and rasshy. So now I drink only fresh milk or low fat milk.

The one way that I used that recently work is have a swim in the beach, my dad took me and my family to Krabi(Thailand) and we go on a island tour and we get to snorkel and play in the ocean. It helped, the spots are become smaller, at first when u I bet sea water, my skin all like flare a bit but when it dries, my skin is becoming black and looks smaller. So..sea water works on me ^.^ but now it's flaring cuz I scratched it... -.-

Every night after I scratch I collect the dry skin on my bed and play with can't help it...I wake up and my bed all over covered with blood patches...

Sorry if my story is too long, but thanks for reading the whole story ^^

Hey, you commented on my post :) I have used light therapy treatment and my eczema is more controlled. I was on a Cortisone treatment for 4 years and it really screwed up my eczema which is why I started using light therapy treatment. i would do it for 5 minutes every day for a week, gradually using it less and less. it was UVA I < make sure to remember that if you DO find a chamber. they arent many of them sadly :( anyway I know how you feel about lonely, I have 2 good friends, but they dont understand about my eczema. I really wish i knew more people with it. Alright as for advice, I will tell you what I did when it was like yours was, for itchiness I use Aveeno eczema relief, oh goodness i dont know what i would do if i didnt have that cream it works so well (again at least for me), for redness-- any cream with cortisone, you can even get some over the counter, I ran out of my perscribed cream once and had to use Cortizone 10, it works pretty well for an over the counter cream. if possible try to stay away from the mold :s or as far away in your house as you can at least. I hope what I have learned helps you a bit, we eczema people have to stick together right? :) I have been shaped into a very shy and quiet person because of my eczema, but since its clearing up, I've been slowly regaining my confidence, I dont wear shorts or dresses, i wear pants and jeans and occasionally have red spots. But ive learned to not care what people think about my skin. I was made fun of a lot as a kid being called "cow" because my skin was different colored or "snake skin" because of the flakes. anyway I wish you well in the University, I hope it only gets better from here :) good luck!


First things first you must know that you are not alone in this itchy battle. I know for a fact that its not only physical draining but emotionally draining. I feel the same, I feel as if my eczema has only become worse. I has eczema since i was about 3yrs old and surprisingly went away up to the age of 18. I am now 22 and still trying to cope with this awful disease. I know that my asthma and eczema go side by side. I can give you some tips that has helped me with my skin. Bleach baths have helped cope with infections. When i first heard of taking beach baths I thought it was insane until I tried it. OF course after taking it and rinsing off your skin does feel a little dry but less itchy. Tanning has helped with my skin as well. I use to be able to use a scented tanning lotion but now i can. When you tan you can use either your lotion or even plain ole Vaseline. Diet: That saying "you are what you eat" really is true. After going to an allergist and finding out what i was allergic to helped me to eliminate what triggered my skin to flare up. Little did i know that what I am allergic to is what many people who suffer with eczema react to those things as well. IF you wanted to know what those things are: EGGS, MILK, CORN, PORK. Maybe start eatting more fresh foods. ALSO i know for a FACT that MSGS make me flare up like crazy! Also STAY AWAY from BREAD since its yeast it really can trigger your skin to flare up.

Its important you start a journal and start taking notes in what things make you flare up. Now on to showers I have had to purchase a filter for my shower due to the water making me feel super DRY! It has helped some. Although your skin gets use to that filtered water it gets rough when you take a shower else where. Also when shower NEVER use HOT water since it can make your skin even drier. If you are like me I LOVEEEEEE nice WARM SHOWERS, which is so hard for me to use lukewarm water. After your shower its VERY VERY important you lotion up! I am not sure what creams you might use but it can be a battle and alot of money to figure out what creams exactly works for you. The creams that work for me are Neosporin ( eczema essentials) I also use the body wash, CERAVE , Elidel is my medicate cream that I use. Its quite expensive but it helps SOO much! It is an RX cream so ask your dermatologist or your regular doctor.

Clothing also plays a BIG TOLL! Get familar in what kinds of fabric make you feel itch or make you eczema flare up. I know that wool, certain kinds of cotton shirts make me feel itchy. Also make sure your nails are always nice and short so its less harmful on your skin. Trust me i know when you have that itch a nice soft scratch at it does not suffice. When you get an ITCH get a cold wet cloth or some cream. Because after you scratch so HARD and you see blood oozing out... you then think that scratch was not worth that! Also MAKE SURE YOU SLEEP PLENTY! I know its tough with school and what not but sleeping helps heal the skin!

I want to end this note with some positive vibes! When you are down and think to yourself why do you have to suffer with something so awful, just know it makes you stronger and MORE BEAUTIFUL than sooooo MANY OTHER PEOPLE! YOU are not alone and just know people might stare and make you feel uncomfortable but WHO CARES THOSE people don't matter. Just keep positive because YOU AND I will get through this!


It is very emotionally draining! Yeah I have asthma as well, but it is really mild thank goodness.

Yep I have heard of bleach baths and the sound of them horrifies me too! May give it a go though. How do you go to an allergist? I've heard of people getting allergy tests, but I don't know how to go about doing it. Do I have to get recommended from my doctor? I don't think I'm allergic to eggs because I had a plate of scrambled egg for lunch yesterday and I didn't have a flare up or anything!

Hot showers are the best thing ever! So soothing once my skin eventually gets used to the water in all my wounds. The water doesn't make me feel dry though, if anything I feel more moisturised. Although I do need to slap on the moisturiser afterwards otherwise I will shrivel up into a painful ball of dryness.

Moisturisers. A lot of people recommended salcura to me. I used it once and it burned and ached for about an hour after it because of the condition of my skin at the time. So that put me off that! I currently use a cocoa butter based moisturiser as people have said that cocoa butter is a good remedy. Not noticed much of an improvement, but it's useful before school as it's the quickest drying moisturiser I have! Prescription costs don't matter to me since they are free in Scotland!

I haven't noticed any particular types of fabrics, except wool, that make me flare up. I sleep a lot anyway, I love my sleep.

I guess I should be more positive, but it's so hard! Losing all my confidence over it. Hopefully one day I will be like you, and not care what other people think!

Thank you so much for your comment! :)

Hot shower truly does dry out your skin. You may not feel it but it is true. Many doctors have told me not to take hot showers.