ARGGHH the itchiness. It feels soooo good to scratch but Make it stop! Make it stop!

I’m currently one week into my two-week, no-steroid-cream period and my skin has already declared a mutiny. With every brush I can see tiny deserters flaking off in dry waves.

Banh Mi
Banished from Banh Mi… isn’t this the most yummy looking thing ever? Boohoo. No substitutes.

I’m uncomfortable and gloomy. To sadden matters the first of my allergy test results have revealed… I’M ALLERGIC TO GLUTEN! Noooo… while I was prepared for this outcome I’m still unhappy at thinking of my future involving gluten-free substitutes, limiting my options eating out, and bringing my own food to parties. Why didn’t I eat all the Banh Mi in the world while I still could? I understand my limitations—I had to go gluten, dairy, and nut-free for a few months last year.

It’s been five months since I began this steroid cream on-and-off cycle. I believe Topical Steroid dependence and Withdrawal (TSW) is real so my goal is to wean myself off its use. But DARN it’s uncomfortable during my ‘off’ cycle… but it’s getting better with these cheap, homemade, eczema remedies. I’m not a medical expert and I don’t know the reasons behind the following list, but I’ve held some comfort from them. Some of these are suggestions from my allergist while others come from online communities and still others are just my own discovery.

Grip gloves
These grip gloves are tight enough to let me type easily yet still dull my nails enough to prevent some scratching.
  • Don’t laugh—I’m typing all this while wearing hardware store Grip Gloves. The cloth dulls my nails and help deter some scratching. Compared to mittens, these gloves cling tight around my fingers allowing me to still type at work. It looks silly, but I wear them everywhere including shopping at the store or driving.
    [Top] Ingredients for my mint Sugar Bath Scrub [Bottom] Ingredients for my oil-based Lotion at left
    [Top] Ingredients for my mint Sugar Bath Scrub [Bottom] Ingredients for my oil-based Lotion at left
  • Twice a week I exfoliate my dry skin away in the shower. Instead of paying $8 for some store creation (robbery!) I make a homemade scrub using the formula of one part oil to two parts particles (normally sugar). My skin feels so good afterwards.
  • Speaking of showers, I spend as little time in the water as possible and keep the temperature at lukewarm or cold. Aiiiii—this one’s difficult because I used to enjoy creating a scalding Danny-Pyra soup during showers.
  • You can’t ever have enough lotion! I have a creamy Aveeno or Vaseline lotion bottle at home, work, and car. I try to apply lotion over all parts of my body every four hours or whenever needed. I’m hoping to eventually move to a more natural, well-priced cream soon. At night I use a homemade oil-based lotion to seal in the moisture overnight. (created from Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil) Editor’s Note: I just found out I’m allergic to Coconuts so now I have to remake my lotion formula. Just replace the Coconut Oil with something else.
  • Once a week I take a bath (lukewarm of course) where I soak in Oatmeal or Chamomile Tea or Oils for about 20 minutes. If you grind the Oatmeal yourself make sure it’s ‘old-fashioned’ (not instant) and grind to a fine sand or else it’ll quickly absorb the water and sink to the bottom in an unappealing mess.
  • I ingest a tablespoon of straight Olive Oil every night. Soon I’ll be adding a dose of Fish Oil to that as well to begin moisturizing from within. But build up to those doses or else you’ll get to know your bathroom décor very well.
  • Loose clothing! Sleeveless shirts and skirts are my uniform now because sometimes my skin begins to get itchy when rubbed by the fabrics. Unfortunately I sometimes use the fabrics to further rub my itchy skin resulting in deeper scratching.

And all this in addition to my ongoing quest to eat less-processed foods, using more natural versions of detergent, soap and shampoos, and no fragrances. I only started doing all the above a month ago so it’s too early to determine results and I’m wondering whether the Steroid Cream could also be botching up results.

Whew—I’m still chugging on and trying to remain positive. My self-confidence in my appearance has taken a bit of a dive too. I feel like I look older and more tired. While BF Shoes is saddened about my inability to share certain foods with his glutton self, he’s still keeping things cheerful through compliments—I’m thankful for that. My equally eczema-ed sister has been a great support buddy to share discoveries, triumphs, and trials with.

With the bulk of my allergy tests next week let me raise my water bottle (which I’m sure is also moisturizing me inside) to changes… and hopefully changes for the better.

About Pyra-Danny
I currently have eczema covering about 80% of my skin. Despite having it for all my 29 years of life it wasn’t until last year (October 2014) I decided to really make changes to overcome it. I want to share my ongoing experience with eczema in hopes that I will learn more as well inspire others.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Mandy says:

    I’m sorry to read about everything you’re going through but wanted to thank you! My husband has been suffering with eczema and we’ve been lost on what will help because most of what we try has failed. I recently got him fish oil supplements and several bottles of lotions like you described. I’d like to share some of the other things you mentioned with him and see if we can get some progress. Thank you for sharing your story and the information. Best wishes to you and I hope to read of much improvement in your future blogs!

    1. Pyra-Danny says:

      HI Mandy! Thank you for the wishes. I also with the best of luck to your husband AND to you– I truly understand how eczema forces our loving family to make sacrifices and to sometimes feel helpless.
      Good luck with trying to find out what can help him. I’m still trying to find out myself.

  2. Wow, you’ve got an amazing skin care routine here! And I’ll laugh with you because I know all about wearing gloves on my eczema-ridden hands 🙂

    I pray you find healing and wellness through your journey. And thanks for linking to my oatmeal bath recipe!

  3. Good luck! I have similarly crusty skin – but because of psoriasis. And I also have an intolerance to gluten. I miss bread!!!

    1. Pyra-Danny says:

      Wow – I never even ate a lot of Bread back when I could. It’s funny how I crave it now that I can’t really have it. So far I’m okay with Rudis– at least I can make Cheese Sandwiches and Meat melts. Thank goodness there’s been a recent gluten-free movement of goods we can ride.

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