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Thread: Eczema and other skin conditions (warning: icky pictures)

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    Gold Member atrayubrandy's Avatar
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    Default Eczema and other skin conditions (warning: icky pictures)

    I am going absolutely out of my mind!! I'm 26 years old and I have moderate to severe eczema on my right hand. It started about a year ago but has really progressed in the past two months (btw, I was told it is pretty rare to develop eczema after puberty). The itching wakes me up in the middle of the night practically every night. I have tried tons of different products but the eczema is still persisting. Does anyone have any advice or products that you've tried that work? Here are the products that I have used so far:
    Eucerin original formula (which is the best moisturizer I have tried so far)
    Aquaphor Healing ointment (which doesn't appear to do anything except make my hand feel greasy and warm)
    Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair (which made my hand burn so I stopped using it)
    Curel Ultra Healing (It's okay but doesn't provide enough moisture for my hands. I've switched to using it for my body instead)
    Basis soap for washing in the shower
    Cetaphil for sensitive skin (for washing my hands)
    Clobetasol (the only prescription product I've used. Works really well but since it has steroids you can only use it for 2 weeks at a time. My eczema doesn't fully go away when I use it and it often comes back in full force after discontinuing the product)



    My icky eczema hand




    My normal hand, as you can tell the eczema has caused my fingers to swell. I can't even close my index finger all the way and I'm pretty sure it's infected.

    To make matters worse, I have another problem with my skin and I have no idea what it is. This is your chance to play House and diagnose me (I'm pretty sure its not lupus). I have had itchy little bumps show up all over my body. I began noticing them about a month ago but I thought it was some sort of heat rash due to my sun bathing (which I know is bad for you...and especially bad for the eczema but I wanted to be tan for my wedding). Once I noticed this I stopped sun bathing immediately but the itchy bumps haven't gone away.

    In the past week, the bumps and the itching have increased. They are random and don't appear to be a rash, they look a lot like flea bites but I'm pretty confident we don't have fleas since we have a new carpet and we don't have pets (plus, we've never seen a flea in our house and my husband doesn't have any signs of bumps or itching).

    My mother thinks it might be caused by bed bugs from the hotel we stayed at during our honeymoon since the condition intensified during or immediately after our honeymoon stay but I noticed the bumps a few weeks before our honeymoon...so I'm not convinced. Also, I doubt we have bed bugs in our house because I wash my sheets every week...religiously. I recently switched to All's Free and Clear laundry detergent just in case it is some sort of allergic reaction, but it's too early to tell if it has made a difference.

    I don't currently have health insurance so I haven't seen a doctor about it but I would love to hear what you guys think it is. The constant itching is driving me crazy and I'm wiling to try anything to get rid of it. Has anyone suffered from something similar? Could it be an allergic reaction to something?


    Beneath the sun of summer a sea of flowers won't bloom without the rain.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I feel for ya. I had it so bad as a kid that I have permanent white patches behind my elbows. I tried this stuff called Kenalog(sp)cream. The doc said to do that and wrap it in saran wrap. It did seem to subside and it is gone but it does act up during allergy seasons and when I am stressed. Pretty much can't get it wet too much. Makes it worse.

    Just reread your post. The sun would not make eczema worse in fact it does help it dry up. It could have been the combination of sun and sweat. I have had rashes after sun bathing especially if I use certain lotion.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    ick, i have that around both my elbows.. i think my computer chair arms need to be disinfected or something.

    I've got cortisone ointment im slathering on.. seems to be working, but it's damn annoying. I wish i knew what triggered it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Elidel works well from what I've heard. It's non-steroidal as well.

    I don't think it's bedbug bites- not on your hand anyway, but just as an FYI- washing your sheets wouldn't matter a lick if you did have them. They're notoriously hard to get rid of, you would have to get rid of your mattress and carpets. I've read some articles on them recently, as they seem to be getting more prevalent.
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    Gold Member atrayubrandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darksithbunny View Post
    Just reread your post. The sun would not make eczema worse in fact it does help it dry up. It could have been the combination of sun and sweat. I have had rashes after sun bathing especially if I use certain lotion.
    Oh I didn't know that. I actually just assumed that the sun would irritate the skin since heat generally causes flare ups with me. My eczema gets really bad when I bake a lot due to the heat from the oven.
    Beneath the sun of summer a sea of flowers won't bloom without the rain.

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    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    as a kid, i used to have really dry skin under my chin. and during puberty, i had eczema on my wrists & on my eyelids. it caused a lot of redness & itching. i eventually got it under control by using elocom. but probably the worst type of eczema i've got is on my feet. i've got really deep cracks near my ankles (since childhood) and not even elocom seems to work there. my mum used to refer to my feet as granny feet.
    i know that if i spent too much time in the sun without covering my ankles/feet, it quickly starts to itch, blister & eventually bleed.

    my dermatologist told me to switch to body/bath oils & crèmes instead of shampoos & soaps a couple of years ago. shampoos are generally agressive products & even more so for people with sensitive skins. best to avoid them. (i only use shampoo now for washing my hair.) i do notice a difference, my skin is less dry & the eczema seems to stay away longer.

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    Zee
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    Elite Member Zee's Avatar
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    Do you always get it on the one hand only? I get a rash like that when I wear gold with nickel alloys.

    Good luck finding something that works for you. Ellidel is great but extremely expensive.
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    Silver Member Abbey Normal's Avatar
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    I may have your answer. You may have hand psoriasis instead of hand eczema. If you are treating psoriasis with eczema cures, it won't get better...I personally know! Please get yourself to a dermatologist ASAP, there is really nothing over the counter that will help. Topical steroids were the miracle cream sent from the heavens for me (specifically Halobetazol). Once you've gotten it under control, you can go to milder versions. They may need to do a biopsy to confirm exactly what it is. My hands looked EXACTLY like yours! I never had any problems until I got pregnant for some reason. My hands would itch like crazy, I felt like I was going mad, then I'd get these little cuts (like big paper cuts) on my fingers and sometime little teeny tiny clusters of blisters that would itch even more. Yeah, that was a fun ol' time. Sometimes I also get itchy spots on my lower legs/ankles, it's psoriasis too. The same med for the hands usually clears it up. My hands aren't perfect now, but way better. Also, I've used the steroid cream for months on end until I got things under control. The derms prefer you use it for shorter amounts, but mine was a really stubborn case. I now can switch to Cutivate, which is less potent. Good luck, give me updates!

    One other thing...ONLY wash your hands with Cetaphil, mine will flare up if I use anything else. I even keep Cetaphil in my purse.
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    Gold Member atrayubrandy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice please keep it coming. It helps a lot to hear your stories. Calcifer, I have switched to washing my hair every other day and using a dry shampoo on the other day and I only use my left hand to apply the shampoo. I try to keep my right hand out of the warm water, too. It's really difficult but I'm trying to do everything I can to keep it from getting worse.

    Zee, so far it is only on my right hand and my right wrist. Every now and then I will get a few bumps on my left hand but it hasn't moved anywhere else.

    Abbey, it's certainly possible that it's psoriasis. I have diagnosed myself with eczema based on google images. My hand looks more like the eczema pictures than the psoriasis pictures but since I don't have a medical degree I could certainly be wrong. Right now I have a topical steroid that I have pilfered from my mom (who has health insurance). I was approved for health insurance but it won't start until next month so I have to suffer through it until then. I promise that the second I get my health insurance, I will be making a doctor appointment. I just found out tonight that I also have paronychia (a nail infection) due to my eczema. It hurts like crazy. I feel like I'm falling apart.
    Beneath the sun of summer a sea of flowers won't bloom without the rain.

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    Silver Member Abbey Normal's Avatar
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    You poor thing! Dr. Abbey says that you need a huge glass of wine and some really trashy tv. It may not help...but it can't hurt!!

    The derms thought I had eczema for a long while...psoriasis is more rare, but looks exactly the same as the eczema in my case. It wasn't until they did a biopsy that they could tell the difference. I'll tell you that once you get the right meds, your hands will stop itching within a day or two. Also, I had a little luck with over the counter allergy pills helping a little with the itching. Good luck!
    ...of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Get straight to an allergist-not dermatologist. That looks exactly like my sister's arm & hand (also left side only)...hers was a wheat allergy. She had to stay off it for a couple of years,then it never came back. I really think allergist here. It could be something you'd never guess-like one guy I know was allergic to citric acid-in just about everything!

    Try benedryl & clear benedryl lotion & see what happens.
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    Elite Member Jexxifer's Avatar
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    My husband and son both have eczema and your pictures really don't resemble what they have. My husband has it on the back of his neck and he uses a steroid-based for flare-ups and Mimyx cream (RX) at other times. My son's is an allergic dermatitis, so I agree with McJag, it's a good idea to go to an allergist.
    We use Cetaphil for washing instead of soap and CeraVe lotion which is not too greasy. I didn't like the Aquaphor either.
    Good luck - it is a battle to have to deal with this.

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    Silver Member misrule's Avatar
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    I get eczema as an allergic reaction to almost everything - I agree with McJag, see an allergist quick smart. A 'skin prick' test is usually quickest way to check out what it could be - for me dairy and wheat products are a biggie, and most lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfume etc. I wash with cetaphil, or when it's really bad sorbolene cream as soap (and you end up with beautifully moisturised skin where you aren't red and itchy) and a cortisone cream to relive the itch and inflamation. calamine sometimes helps too. Sometimes a mild antihistamine can help, but the non drowsy can sometimes have lactose in them which isn't helpful for a dairy allergy!
    But confirm with an expert if it is as soon as you can - Like Abbey Normal said, or you could make things worse. Once you know for sure the cause and what it is, you'll find the best treatment. Even consider alternative therapies - some essential oils can work wonders, but it can also be just as expensive (if not more) than a mainstream doctor.
    BTW, going out in the sun makes mine much, much worse. Summer can be hell - i'm already flaring up and we've still got two months till summer!
    I haven't fucked much with the past, but I've fucked plenty with the future

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    Gold Member atrayubrandy's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I did a little more online research and I think I have a dust mite allergy. As it turns out, it's one of the number one causes of eczema flare-ups and I have always had allergic reactions to dust. Never thought much about it until now. Whenever I dust, I get really sneezy and my eyes itch like crazy. It also makes sense because I vacuum every week with a non-HEPA vacuum...which based on what I've read online can make the problem worse by making the dust airborne. Since my vacuum is brand new I doubt I'll buy a new one but I'll at least wear a mask while I clean. I'm definitely going to take your advice and go see an allergist just to be sure.

    I thought that the dust mite allergy might explain my itchy leg bites, too, but upon further research I found out that dust mites don't bite. So I got nervous that I might actually have bed bugs. I brought a flash light to bed with me last night and around 6am I checked for bed bugs. Didn't see a thing. I was still a little nervous about it, though, so I had my husband help me take apart the bed. Neither of us found any signs of bed bugs, alive or dead...or any of their waste. Looked like a perfectly clean mattress. Even under the mattress was spotless and the wall around the bed had nothing.
    Beneath the sun of summer a sea of flowers won't bloom without the rain.

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    Silver Member misrule's Avatar
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    could it be a mild case of hives if it's an allergic reaction? sometimes it can look like bites....and be itchy as hell
    I haven't fucked much with the past, but I've fucked plenty with the future

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