Tuesday 25 November 2014

Dealing with eczema // A ramble

I wrote a post about how I deal with acne, which was a bit more of a "what you can do" sort of post - but I think this one will probably be quite rambly; it's all about having and dealing with eczema.

I've suffered with eczema since I was a tiny new born baby, and every year I tell myself I'll grow out of it - but I never do. Sure, sometimes it doesn't seem as bad and I'm thrilled, but a month or so later it's back to scabby square one. If you don't know what eczema is, it's basically where your skin becomes itchy, red and inflamed - seemingly for no reason. It can appear quite similar to an allergic reaction, but for me and many others it's there almost constantly, and doesn't need a trigger to set it off.

Eczema is a long-term/chronic condition: there is no cure, and not much is being done about that. The British Skin Foundation is the only charity dedicated to skin research, and the field isn't as well funded as cancer research, for example. I would never dream of saying that finding a cure for cancer is unimportant, because it is & forever will be SO important, but I think people forget that millions of human beings suffer from chronic conditions and live in some sort of pain every single day of their lives, and nothing is being done about it - just because it can't actually kill you. I really hope nobody takes that in the wrong way; I am eternally grateful for the amazing things scientists are doing to find a cure for cancer, but it can get a little bit frustrating.

My eczema tends to mostly affect the backs of my knees, inside my elbows, my neck and my eyelids - but lately, my back, armpits and legs have been victims of it. I can deal with looking absolutely vile because I've taught myself not to care what people think, although I imagine for younger girls this can be a massive issue as they're trying to find themselves and discover who they are. It can knock your confidence in a similar way that acne does, if not even more so, because it's less well-known. Nowadays I cover up what I can, and pretend the rest doesn't exist.

I can deal with the pain, just about. Whenever I get a shower it feels as though someone has been attacking with me with a water gun filled with acid rain, or repeatedly throwing nettles at me. When the backs of my legs are covered in a rash, I can barely sit down without it feeling as though I've become a human pin cushion. When the eczema targets my face, the skin is so tender and sensitive that I can't wear make up, and even washing it makes me cry; and of course the tears burn and sting unimaginably.

The worst thing, for me, is the itchiness. Not a moment passes when I'm not desperate to be dragging my nails across my legs or arms or stomach, scratching the skin until it cracks and bleeds and leaves little red lines across fleshy white limbs. Because that's the only time I feel any sort of relief - that is, until I stop itching for a second, and it feels a million times worse than it did beforehand. You never learn, though. I've dragged hair-combs across my legs before just to take away the itch for a few minutes, but the pain is always worse than before. You literally can't win.

There's so many things people can and have suggested as to how to help eczema sufferers; everyone's different, and finding things that work for you is important. Like I know I can only stick to one brand of washing powder, because all the others make my skin worse. I'm currently keeping a food diary to see if there's any foods that seem to make it worse. It's a living nightmare and if you think that's an exaggeration then you obviously don't have a condition that causes chronic pain and discomfort. It's so hard to get excited about Lush Christmas releases because I'm not really meant to have baths, and it's so hard to be happy about fresh bedding when no matter what, the sheets rub and irritate my skin.

I'm sorry that this is such a weird and long ramble, but my eczema is so bad at the moment that I wanted to get all my thoughts down somewhere. I'm currently waiting on a referral to a dermatologist, because despite repeatedly asking if I can see one, I never have (I'm 19, this is stupid). If you have eczema and you ever need anyone to rant to or any advice, I'll do the best I can!

have a smiley selfie, just because :)


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your eczema, I know living with it must be really hard and it must really wear you down sometimes. Your attitude towards such difficulty is astounding, you still sound positive for most of this post. I really hope that the dermatologist can help, nobody should have to suffer like that daily.

    Sammy xo.


    1. Aw thank you for such a nice comment, that's really made me smile! Xxx

  2. As a fellow eczema sufferer, I can relate to every thing in this post. More does need to be done about issues that are seemingly forgotten about because they don't kill you, I completely agree. Great post Katy! Xxx