Is my current skin care routine keeping my eczema at bay or not? Suddenly I’m imagining Chris Pratt holding off those velociraptors in Jurassic World… but I digress.
While my life-long eczema stand is still far from the pre-nose-dive it did 1.5 years ago, these past two months have seen lots of improvement. I know my skin still looks bad from the photos, but compared to last year… My skin is still dry, but I’m not showering thunderstorms of skin flakes everywhere. I’m still itchy, but I don’t face that horrible craving to scratch Every. Single. Minute.
But a warning for the health purists—I’m still taking CellCept (that oral immunusuppresent medicine I’ve been on for seven months) and it’s very possible all my improvements are a result from only that. But my allergist and I refuse to believe that. My routine is a combination of his suggestions as well as my own research. The medicine is just the scaffolding to hold up my shaky skin frame. Someday my body will get stronger and I’ll be able to stand without a medicine crutch. Someday.
My ‘easy’ lotion of choice is Curel. Any kind. I apply immediately after a shower and first thing in the morning. Immediately I add my homemade, oil-based lotion to seal all that in, although I also use the oil lotion throughout the day to no complaints. Warning—it’s pretty greasy but at least I’m not glistening. I melt and mix a combination of Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Chamomile, Magnesium Flakes and then add Peppermint Oil for aroma since the Olive Oil make me smell like a barbeque dish.
At my allergist’s suggestion, I’m also trying Corn Huskers Lotion for my hands and feet. After two weeks I don’t feel or see a difference but I’ll keep this up until I finish more of the bottle.
Besides drinking tanks of water daily, I dine 95% gluten and dairy free. I say 95% since not all items I purchase specifically say ‘gluten free.’ Plus I eat the occasional Chocolate as well as the occasional bite of friends’ gluten-filled food—for review writing. Really! In general I cook healthy—more fruits, veggies, and less processed items.
My inner, mad scientist hippie came out as I started brewing Kombucha in the past two months. Kombucha delivers probiotics (probiotics help your gut which helps keep eczema down). Plus I’m getting to like the taste better than soda.
I try to keep my showers short with warm temperatures but it’s difficult when the weather became cold. I also try to soak in either a homemade Oatmeal or Epsom Salt bath for 35 minutes. I also plan to add a Bleach bath now to that mix. But grrrr– my evenings are already so packed with other things that baths often get pushed aside.
I also swallow one capsule of Fish Oil and a spoonful of Olive Oil every evening.
IN ADDITION TO…
I wash my bed sheets regularly (in hot water cycles when possible) and all mattresses are wrapped in bed bug prevention covers. I sweep my hard wood floors (so much better than carpet!) daily and need to wipe the flakes that have settled onto the furniture often. I hand-wash my dishes wearing gloves. My fingernails are kept short. I only wear loose clothing and have stayed away from long exposures to the sun or sweat.
And by accident– very strange- I’ve discovered I sleep way better (no waking up mid-scratch then being unable to sleep) if the temperature is cold. Grrr. I’m a fan of sleeping in warm temps, but I’ll put up with this if it helps my skin.
BUT I FEEL BETTER
While all these routines have taken over my life, I definitely feel better. Way better. It’s just so… awesome… being able to walk from my room to the kitchen without the constant pain resulting from my skin stretching or bunching up over dozens of fresh wounds.
I’ll say it slowly… I. Can. Move. Without. Constant. Pain. At work I don’t have to debate myself on whether getting up to get water is worth the resulting pain of movement or not.
I’ll keep up this current routine for a couple more months at least. I’ll keep you updated and if you have any questions about any part of my routine, just hit me up. Glad to share! Good luck to you and your own Ezcema journey.