Eczema, how I hate thee!
A quick post to share my hatred of eczema. I haven’t included any photos, not even a reference from Wikipedia, because the pictures are so gross! Up until about 5 years ago I was a normal person, but then the evil Mr Eczema showed up and started eating my fingers! At first it was a small section on my index fingers, no more than a slight irritation, but every summer it has got worse. Several times since early May the rash has popped up with angry vengeance, how I hate it.
Last week it arrived with a particularly nasty plan, it seems the eczema beast wants to chew off my fingers and make me look like a leper! The Leper Look is in this season, right? My index fingers are sore all the time, even the slightest bit of water makes them sting like I’ve been bitten by a hundred pissed off insects. And to make matters worse it has spread to include my thumbs and middle fingers.
Oh and now a couple of small patches have arrived on my knuckles!
I’ve had some cream from the doctor, Betnovate I think it’s called. I teeny little tube with a suggested “apply 3 times a day” plan on the side. It lasts about 3 days and even then it doesn’t actually do much. It soothes my skin a little but doesn’t stop it from stinging.
Itchy & Scratchy
I find it hilarious when people say “just don’t scratch it” – um, yeah because it’s that easy isn’t it? I try, I really do, but when Mr Itchy pops along, crawling up and down my fingers, I can’t help but bring out Mr Scratchy and go to town on the evil Mr Itchy!
I quit after a quick scrape but it’s like an addiction. I don’t want to go into the whole skin peeling, flapping thing because it’s so disgusting! Oh and the cracks. Who would have thought your skin could actually crack open like a field in a drought?
Why does Eczema hate me?
Like I said, I used to be a normal person, happy healthy skin with no strange flaky bits hanging off. I’ve tried to work out if it’s an allergic reaction to food but found nothing that triggers it. I haven’t changed anything about my washing habits, I use the same soap/shower gel I always have and I don’t spray my hands with deodorant or anything like that.
The only link I’ve found is to do with heat or humidity. English summers are weird, it’s not necessarily the heat that’s a pain but the humidity. A couple of weeks ago we had a very humid spell, several days of hot sticky weather, and when that ended with a nice storm my fingers decided it was time Mr Eczema and My Itchy paid me a visit.
So humidity does seem to be a key here, but I fail to see why and how. I’ve read a bunch of stuff online about eczema and haven’t found anything relating to heat or humidity. Sigh.
And why just my fingers? Why not the back of my knee or half way up my arm? I guess my fingers get used the most, so that might be why but after looking at pictures online it seems Mr Eczema can strike anywhere it chooses.
The strange look.
I’ve noticed people at work giving me a strange look every now and then. I’ve just started a new job which means lots of hand shaking, and the odd glance at my hands doesn’t go unnoticed. Because I work in HR it means I have to print stuff off, too much stuff actually but that’s a story for another time, and when I’m discussing figures and graphs and stuff I point to the print outs. I try not to look but I can see people looking at my fingers.
On the one hand I just don’t care.
So what? It’s just eczema. Big deal. Go ahead and take a good long look. I agree with ya co-worker buddy, it sure as shit is pretty gross.
However, on the other hand I find I’m using a pencil or my pinky finger to point at graphs and stuff on the screen to avoid anyone taking more notice of my gross leper fingers than the matter of payroll and budgets.
Hey, let’s work on the problem and not get sidetracked by the alien fingers shall we? What you looking at? Ain’t you never seen a guy with half his skin hanging off? Get over it!
The miracle cure.
Hah! I bet there isn’t one. I’ve read all sorts of junk about bathing in certain oils and rubbing cat placenta on your affected areas, but there’s always a teeny tiny disclaimer that says: “Might not work in all cases, check with your quack before you stick this crap over your body.” There are even companies who promise to banish Mr Eczema once and for all with their Magical Wonder Ointment – Eczema-B-Gone for $49.99!
I’m not yet willing to plunge myself into the seedy world of the eczema war. There has to be something I can use that will make life a little better. After a quick scratch and a bunch of silent curses I remind myself it’s just a bit of itchyness, there are plenty of people with far worse stuff going on with their bodies than me. But it’s my itchyness and I want to police that bad Mr Eczema as best I can.
I’m sure I read somewhere that extra virgin coconut oil is supposed to be helpful.
Or was it extra virgin banana milk?
Or maybe a nice bar of yummy chocolate, yeah, that seems like the best idea.
Anyhoo, that’s my rant for the day done with.