Now just in case you think I’m permanently bouncy or unendingly joyful, allow me to set things straight.

As I sit here typing this post all I really want to do is grab the nearest cheese grater and shear the skin off my face!!!

No, I haven’t gone mad.

But I have recently developed a sudden, ugly and unbearable case of eczema on my face. And behind my knees. And elsewhere on my poor battling body. Eczema

So you see, even though I’m generally an optimistic little person, I also feel down in the dumps sometimes 😦

I’d never had eczema in my life before, until about two weeks ago when my face exploded overnight in a bright red, itchy, painful and dry rash. My legs soon followed suit. I did some reading online and discovered that patches of dry, itchy, painful skin behind the knees is one of the most common symptoms of adult-onset eczema. I immediately stopped using all my previous skincare products. The only thing I could apply on my sores that wouldn’t set my skin on fire was plain olive oil. Mmm, yucky!

Luckily my Faithful to Nature packages arrived shortly after, so I could find some relief through the Bee Natural honey and propolis balm that I’d purchased. But both the olive oil and the balm only provide temporary relief; when they’ve soaked into my skin, their effect wears off and the uncontrollable itching starts again.

The patches of flaky, inflamed skin also seem to be slowly spreading… up along my brow, closer to my eyes, across to the back of my other knee… 😦 I’m trying my very best not to give in to the urge to scratch, but sometimes the frustration makes it impossible to resist. The rest of the time I just keep my skin slick with oily balm and try to distract myself somehow.

I have to say, this whole thing is making me very drained. I’m tired of the constant discomfort and annoyed by the curious stares I keep getting. A lot of people have suggested that the eczema may have flared up because of stress, and I suppose that could be true. It has been one heck of a year so far, and even though we have the relief of my husband having a new job, we’re still facing the disruption of moving home in the month ahead. Add to that poor sleep patterns, a haphazard diet, virtually no exercise, substantial changes at work, and major internal shifts of perspective inside my heart… and I guess you do have the potential for an eruption in some form or shape.

But of course I also realise that bemoaning my fate isn’t going to solve the problem. Obviously I am praying for answers and for relief, but my faith isn’t the sit-on-your-hands-and-hope-God-will-work-a-miracle kind. I know I have to research this thoroughly to see if there are lifestyle or dietary changes I could make to alleviate the symptoms.

And I believe I’m most likely to find my answers in changing my lifestyle to do things God’s way – using natural products and eating healthier foods, with fewer steps of production between God’s hand and my plate (or my skin). I don’t see the point of going to the doctor if they’re just going to prescribe cortisone, which I definitely don’t want to use. Finding a good natural topical balm was just the first step. Now I need to see what I can change from the inside.


11 responses »

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  4. I think you’re definitely right about the stress! My eczema was worst at points in my life when I had exams etc. It calmed dramatically when I graduated from university!

    If you’re finding it hard to sleep and over think like I do about all the negatives going on in your life, then meditation may be useful? I used headspace as its easy and quick but it gives you just 10 minutes of calm which once you get into the habit of doing it it is great! Helps me sleep better too and just relax for 10 minutes and focus on me.

    My adult eczema was also out of the blue on my face and it has taken me 8 years to figure it out. But I’m sure vitamin d3 has been my saviour, drastically so too. If sun exposure helps your eczema id give it a go? (Think you can also get your vitamin levels checked by your dr). But literally amazing!

    Stress is huge though and it’s so important you try and manage it. It’s okay the stress is there (that’s life sadly) but is more about coping with it better. I began to keep a journal to vent in, an organiser to plan my days and schedule in everything and I really do try and sleep for 6 to 8 hours. I also began to prioritise better and give myself my own time. It has definitely helped 🙂

    • Hey there, thanks for the comment and the helpful tips! I could definitely do with more sun 🙂 And I do hope that once we’ve finally moved house my stress levels will settle down too. So glad to hear you’ve found solutions to fight this horrible condition! And thanks for sharing it; I’m surprised how many people out there are struggling with this :/

  5. Oh dear, you poor thing. I know you have tried everything and have some ideas of what to do. Stress does have a negative impact on our skin and other organs. Before I left a job where I was very unhappy (but nobody knew it) I got hives in June and they erupted off and on until I quit my job and found another one in November. I did go to the doctor though and after the third visit she told me I had to figure out the cause of my stress and get rid of it. Bye bye bully boss, hello relief from hives. I hope you can figure out how to reduce stress and get exercise. That will help most of all. I also took up Bible study and turned up the intensity of blogging. I have not had hives since November 2012 although I’ve had my share of stress. I’m convinced it was having a leader call me names and swear at me caused the hives. I hope you find the cure and that it doesn’t mean a major change in your life to implement it.

    • Thanks so much Jane. I think you’re definitely right; it’s been an extremely stressful year so far and unfortunately I’m stuck for the moment in terms of making major life changes, so I’ll just have to try to find small solutions that I can implement for now. I’m sorry to hear about the hives and the stress that caused it; it’s awful and I think I once had a minor outbreak when I had too much caffeine (I avoid caffeine like the plague now). Glad yours has cleared up though 🙂

    • I haven’t gone to the doc because they’ll just prescribe cortisone, and I’ve read a whole lot of bad stuff about that. It thins the skin and even if it seems to work for a while, the moment you stop using it the eczema comes back worse than ever 😦 So that’s why I’m researching more natural options…

      • It comes back because the cause is still there…. You’ll only read the bad stuff because the people in whom it did work don’t spend time on internet going on about it.
        It may also be the result of something else, with a different treatment.

        Over use thins the skin, yes. But you should get advice along with it.

        Personally I prefer to not start with cortisone actually. ( I’ve been treating my own eczema with baby bottom cream since 2008, and depending on skin type I prescribe a base cream as base treatment, using cortisone as a short term escape.)

      • I hear you 🙂 I’m still very much in the research phase, but it may well get to the point where I turn to cortisone just to get relief, even though I’m not so keen.

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