Hi everyone. I'll start with a little bit of background. I'm 28 years old and I've had eczema and crohn's disease my entire life. Most of my life I was really lucky with my eczema. I forgot I even had it most of the time and the little bit you could see just looked like freckles so no one ever notice. I moved to NYC from Ohio in 2004 and had to move back to Ohio in 2007. In NYC I had no doctors, didn't take any meds or lotions and still had perfect skin.
However once I moved back to my families house in 2007 my eczema flared up and is still flaring. My entire body has been covered in redness and blood for 4 years now. It goes away when I'm on prednisone for my Crohn's disease which is normally 40mg+ but I can't stay on prednisone because of the Crohns and it makes me gain 50lb every time.. Oh and don't forget the back pain it causes.
Anyways as soon as I'm down to 20mg of prednisone the eczema comes back right away. I tried going to a regular Doc and he just referred me to a derm, I went to the derm 3 times but I haven't went back there because its too expensive to pay their office visit when I can't find a job.
First the derm told me to use cetaphil's cream and cleanser which didn't do a thing at all. She gave me a small sample of something called Lipocream or something like that but the sample was really too small to see if it really helped, not that it mattered because that stuff is over $100 a month which I can't afford.
The next visit she had me switch to curavu instead of cetaphil but it didn't make a difference either. She then gave me a sample of protopic which I used on my arms, chest and face and it was wonderful. I have really bad eczema on my legs but didn't try it on them so that it would last longer =\ It turns out that that medication is more expensive that the lipocream so I couldn't get a prescription for it anyways.
I haven't been back to them since then because I can't afford any medications they have my try even though they're aware of the money issue they just have me trying samples for expensive stuff.
Lately I've been trying curel's derm science lotion and it doesn't help. Aloe Vera gel makes it worse, turns out I'm allergic to aloe vera. I've been drinking oolong tea since I read it helps and it did for a little while but it doesn't anymore, for the past week I've been drinking apple cider vinigar since I heard its great for this but I can't tell if its helping or not. I also tried just rubbing it on my skin like people suggest but it didn't help either, the strange thing is that it doesn't burn my skin at all and everyone says it burns really bad.
Some of my known allergies since birth include nuts (deadly), milk, fish, wheat, eggs, coffee, shellfish and aloe vera. I've tried avoiding these items but wheat is extremely hard for me to avoid, it seems to be in everything. However it doesn't seem to make my eczema any better when I avoid these things. I'm starting to think its because this house I'm stuck living in with other people is very dusty and dirty. Does anyone have any ideas on what I could try next? I can't stand this horrible itching. My legs don't even itch during the day but as soon as I try to fall a sleep they itch like hell for 3+ hours even if I have taken the max dose of benadryl.
Protopic's manufacturer, Astellas Pharmaceutical, has a prescription assistance program. You may be able to get Protopic for free or low cost, check into it. Or your doctor might be able to continue providing you with samples. If it helps, you should have it.
Avoid your food allergies. You may have to avoid them for several weeks to see an improvement in your skin.
And yes, eczema can be triggered by things like dust. This time of year, I have terrible seasonal allergies, and my first symptom is itchy skin! My face, ears and neck can actually break out in hives when I go outside. (My eczema is pretty mild unless I do something to trigger it, and then I spend a few weeks wishing I could live in a cold bath forever.)
Other tricks: Shower in lukewarm water, blot dry with a towel, and moisturize IMMEDIATELY. Use only unscented moisturizers. You may have to try a variety of products to find one that helps. (I can only use vaseline, other moisturizers all make me itch, for some weird reason.)
Make sure your laundry is being washed with a detergent that says FREE AND CLEAR on the package. Some fabrics may be too irritating for your skin.
Finally, try to minimize your dust exposure. Wash your sheets every week in hot water. Get rugs and clutter out of the bedroom if possible. A HEPA air filter can help a lot, if you can get one. Clean up dust with a damp rag or a static dust cloth, don't dry-dust.
Hi thanks for the reply, I haven't been able to get on the net for awhile now.
I can't afford to even go back to my derm until July so I can't get a prescription for protopic to try and get into their discount\free program until then or even a free sample from my derm. My eczema has my entire face and neck red and puffy, it itches so much. I've been trying to take oatmeal bathes lately but I think bathing just makes it worse even though I just stay in for a few minutes, pat dry and moisturize right away.
I don't use Cetaphil anymore, it has almond's in it which I'm allergic to and I believe it was making my skin even use. Right now I have Aveeno's overnight oatmeal fragerence free lotion and Curel's fragrence free itch defense. I don't know what to do until July, I have enough prednisone saved to do 40mg for 3 days, 30 for 3, 20 for 3, 10 for 3 and 5 for 3, It always helps my eczema when I'm on it but it just comes back as soon as I start getting around 10 mg.
Hi there. I took Claritin for 6 months with no help from it, then we tried a double dose of Claritin for a few months with no changes. After that I went on Zyrtec for a few months it also did nothing at all for me. I even tried Alegra before it because OTC.