Why I've Been MIA + My Eczema Story

Hi guys and gals! I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I've actually laid-low in the blogsphere for the past few months. Apart from not posting blogs frequently, I also haven't been attending a whole lot of events. Yup, I had to decline even those I've always wanted to go to! *sad* Actually, I had to skip even personal meetings and gatherings. But I hope some of you have missed me though. (Just say yes, para wala nang gulo! Haha!)

Anyway, if the title didn't give it away yet, then let me cut to the chase. The reason I wasn't blogging much since August is eczema. Steroid-induced eczema to be exact.

eczema tsw trapped in own skin

So, what is eczema exactly?

According to MedicalNewsToday, eczema is "a general term for any superficial inflammation involving the epidermis, marked early by redness, itching, minute papules and vesicles, weeping, oozing and crusting, and later by scaling, lichenification and often pigmentation. It's also used to refer to the condition atopic dermatitis."

BACKGROUND: MY ECZEMA HISTORY

Okay, so I'll have to be honest. I've always had skin asthma as far as I can remember. They're tiny bumps on my skin (primarily the limbs) that make me look like I always have goosebumps. And while they annoy me (I don't wear shorts, skirts and dresses because of them), they're pretty harmless. No itching, whatsoever. They're just there.

Sumi in stockings
I ALWAYS had to wear stockings or tights when I'd have to expose my legs. Even when wearing open-toed sandals with a dress, I still HAD to wear stockings.
Come high school though, with all the stress I started to accumulate, and all the junk I've been eating, I finally had my first eczema flare. On my feet. And before I graduated from high school, I got them on my elbow crease too. BUT, all those years, I never once went to the doctor to have them treated. Although the flares were itchy and disgusting, they'd always heal and disappear on their own, provided that I didn't scratch them to death.

However, what made me run to the doctor's clinic was an allergic reaction when I had to solder metal wires for our robotics project. (Sosyal noh? May ganun?!) If the flare was on my body, I actually wouldn't react the way I did. But unluckily, it was on my face. It started on my chin, spread to my nasolabial area, down to my neck. And it was hella itchy! The itchiest I've felt back then. I just wanted to rip the affected skin off. I couldn't concentrate in class. I could feel whenever new bumps are starting to emerge. It was just terrible! But after a trip to the doctor, and a prescription for oral steroids later, the itchiness, the bumps, went away.

"Wow! I should've gone to the doctor earlier!"

Clonovate Cream with Clobetasol Propionate
Active Ingredient: Clobetasol Propionate
Used in treatment of different forms of psoriasis, chronic eczema, lichen planus, discoid lupus erythematosus, skin diseases if other corticosteroids were not effective.
And with a strong trust built, I found myself going to the doctor every time I get flares on my feet, on my elbow creases, and on my hands. Treatment was different depending on the severity. Sometimes, I was just given a magic cream to put on my flares. Other times, when I need faster relief and healing, I'm given injections plus cream. There were also rare occasions I was prescribed oral medicine. But my doctor never mentioned that any of those contained steroids. (She just told me she'll give me oral steroid that time when I flared up on my face back in high school.) For me, the following treatments were just safe medicines to curb my eczema. As my doctor always tells me, "There's really no cure for eczema. You'll just have to control the symptoms."

Prescription for Dexamethasone
I only had stubborn eczema on my feet, and I was prescribed this?!
Throughout college, I've probably made over 20 trips to my doctor. Actually, even after graduating from university, I was still seeing my doctor. And when the doctor's out, the assistant lets me buy a jar or two of the cream. They saw me slather it on my skin. They witnessed how I'd clamor for more cream when I'm itching and cream-less. Little did I know that I've already become an addict.

TOPICAL STEROID ADDICTION

I actually just learned about this 2 months ago. But I'm thankful that I did! It was curious how 2013 and 2014 had given me random minor flares here and there. Yes, even on areas where I don't usually get eczema.

Marvin J. Rapaport, M.D. on Red Skin Syndrome: Corticosteroid Addiction & Withdrawal
Please watch this if you have eczema, or share with your family and friends who have eczema.

Just last August, my mom got hospitalized and I was given more responsibilities (work, house chores, budgeting, etc.) on top of the anxiety I had worrying about my mom. It was the latest my fingers flared up. However, I was out of cream that time, and I won't be able to get a jar sooner because I was so busy. Then, it happened. Apart from flares on my ring fingers, I got them near my thumb, between the ring finger and pinky, on both feet...

"What the heck?"

"Just no magic cream for a week and now my eczema's popping everywhere?!"

I thought I was just getting reactions from the new purple shampoo and dry shampoo I've been using. So I stopped using them, and finally got the magic cream. Slathered it on my ring fingers, area near the thumb, between the ring finger and pinky, and on both feet. Since the other flares seemed to be subsiding, I stopped using the cream except on the ring fingers which still looked awful.

Hair blonding products
So sorry for doubting you my trusty hair blonding essentials!
PS: Bought them from RainbowHeadPH; not sponsored in any way!

Then one night, out of boredom and curiosity, I searched the net for info about eczema. And I found ITSAN where I learned that there's such thing as topical steroid addiction.

And after searching "clonovate cream" and "dexamethasone" on Google... BOOM! All the while, I was slathering a potent steroid cream on my skin. I also can't believe that I was given a really strong oral steroid back in 2011 for just a flare on my feet.

According to ITSAN, "Topical Steroid Addiction, Steroid-Induced Eczema, Topical Steroid Withdrawal/Rebound, and Red Skin Syndrome are some of the names used to describe the side effects of topical steroid use. Unless topical steroids were used to treat other conditions, a person with Steroid-Induced Eczema likely started out with true eczema or some other kind of rash. Topical steroids suppress the symptoms of true eczema for a time. Regular use of topical steroids causes the body to develop a dependency on the topical steroids. Once this happens, the rashes that appear are actually Steroid-Induced Eczema and signify the beginning stage of Topical Steroid Withdrawal."

Everything just clicked. The random rashes I get since 2013 is not true eczema or even from food intolerances anymore. So that's why the flares come during the time I'm off the magic cream a.k.a. topical steroids. Those were withdrawal phases!

TOPICAL STEROID WITHDRAWAL

Warning: If you can't take gross skin photos, or have anything against skin diseases, please do NOT scroll down. You can close this tab peacefully.


After finding out what I was going through, I immediately and haphazardly decided to stop topical steroids cold turkey. (Later I found out that it's better to taper off. Toinks!)

And the new wave of flares started...
  • Both ring fingers became red, raw, cracked and bled.
  • Flare near the thumb got bigger.
  • Grew a smaller yet itchier flare on the other hand near the thumb.
  • Flare between the pinky and ring finger got bigger too.
  • Flares on both feet became angrier.
  • Grew more flares on the lower legs and thighs.
  • Grew flares too on the elbows, elbow creases, arms and wrists.
  • Grew flares on both middle fingers.
  • Dyshidrotic eczema on both palms and all fingers.
These were already bad enough. Actually, just having my ring fingers become useless red sausages that cracked and bled when I try to fold them was already crippling. But, the cycle isn't complete without the thing that started it all...
  • Perioral dermatitis on chin. And bonus, on both eyelids!

It's already been 59 days since I stopped topical steroids, and time is really the best medicine... Well, there's diet and natural remedies too, but I'll get back on that later.

Here are some progress photos. I didn't get to take shots when the flares were at their worst (late August to early September), so the "before" on these photos are somehow tamer versions already. Legs, wrists and eyelids not included though as I didn't get to properly document them through photos.

Topical steroid withdrawal eczema on finger
TSW on ring fingers from mid-September to October.
Back in August, they started out with a few small rash that became bigger. After using the cream, the whole thing just turned red, raw, onion skin-thin and oozy (sadly, no photo).
The cracky, flaky stage was already a big improvement!
Topical steroid withdrawal eczema on feet
TSW on feet.
These suckers were hard to deal with. They'd constantly itch,
and more so when I wear any footwear that touches them.
Topical steroid withdrawal eczema on elbows
TSW on right elbow. (Left elbow was basically the same.)
Itchy as hell and would flake off when I'm on bed. Ants seem to love them too! Though I always keep my bedroom clean, ants always found a way to my elbows. To eat the ooze and dead skin. And to bite me.
Sept to Oct TSW Hands
TSW on hands. Back in August, the "before" flares were redder and bigger.
Sept to Oct TSW Feet and Fingers
Flares on feet used to be redder and more raised too.
Ring fingers were "sausage red" and more useless back in August.
Sept to Oct TSW Elbows and Chin
TSW on elbows looks tamer on camera. They were raised, weeping and crusty in person.
Super itchy too! And can you see my itchy, stinging-ly painful and cauliflower-like chin? That's perioral dermatitis for ya! I had some on my eyelids too, but I won't post a photo. Lol!
First day of eczema on elbows
Decided to wrap my elbows so I won't mindlessly scratch them when I sleep. If ever I get sleep, that is.
Sept to Oct TSW Elbows Crease
Elbow creases are tricky (and were redder and raised in person)!
When bending them and the skin from the upper and lower arms touch,
they become super itchy!
Apart from getting inflammations on the skin, I had other symptoms the first 2 months.
  • Felt tired and sleepy all the time when I was using anti-histamines.
  • Iterax always left me with strong palpitations.
  • Got chills for the first 2 weeks.
  • Chills were gone, but I easily get really cold.
  • Had a hard time regulating body temperature. I don't even sweat!
  • After a month, it was the opposite. I was always hot and sweating.
  • I'd still sweat even with the A/C on.
  • After a week, body temperature is more or less normal.
  • Temperature issues gone. Replaced with palpitations.
  • My heartbeat has been faster and louder even until now.
Not as serious, but still worth mentioning...
  • Skin always flaking off the first month.
  • Ants always find a way to eat my flaking skin (esp. on elbows) and bite me.
  • Was always prone to mosquitoes, flies and insects. Although there are other people in the room too, the insects would still choose me.
Although my condition back in August was worse than the "before" of any of these photos, I'm actually one of the luckier ones to not suffer a whole body rebound. I had coin-sized to pea-sized inflammations, but I didn't have ones that were as big as continents on a map. Through reading blogs of TSW warriors, I found out that many have it 50 times worse than what I went and am going through. And I have all the respect towards everyone going through TSW. Big or small, having itchy, oozing, weeping, crusting, scaling inflammations is not a good feeling. If only we can peel them off!

TSW AND DIET

Though my whole body was thankfully not covered with steroid-induced eczema, those that were inflamed were hella itchy. So with feeling unattractive and constant itching, I searched the internet for ways to help ease my journey through topical steroid withdrawal. I also got to talk to a friend who's also going through a different-yet-similar journey. And we both agree that diet plays a BIG role to tame the scratchy monster!

Let me get this out first though. When you're going through topical steroid withdrawal, even without eating foods that you're allergic or intolerant to, you'd still get the itchies. Period. However, eating more inflammatory foods, will surely make you itchier -- flare up even more, grow even more inflammations, make you even more uncomfortable.

PhotoGrid_1414324850338
And even without thorough research, experience told me that my biggest triggers are these four.
Dairy, sugars, crustacean seafood, and nightshade plants.

Since my diet consisted heavily of dairy, sugars (including fruits) and nightshades (mostly potatoes, peppers and tomatoes), it was quite hard to completely cut them out in an instant. I was also really scared of eating, since there might be a chance I'm eating something that will make me itchier than I already was.

Through the power of Google, I learned about the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet, as well as the Autoimmune Protocol of Paleo. These 2 are quite similar in some ways, and different in more. But both are definitely helpful in restoring the balance of the gut flora (lack of good bacterias and presence of more bad bacterias in the intestines) which is linked to a lot of autoimmune diseases (which include eczema).

So for about 2 months, I lived on beef and lamb bone broth...

Oh, and cetirizine and iterax for the first month of my TSW!


TSW alarming weight loss
My alarming weight loss

And TADAAA!!! From 123 lbs. back in February and a stable 114 lbs. since June, I'm now down to a staggering 103 to 104 lbs. It's a great feat for weight loss, alright! But, I've been quite concerned with my nourishment, so now, I've been trying to eat more nutrient-dense food, and eat more frequently like it's a past time.

If you're curious, I'm currently eating the following:
  • Grass-fed meat (beef, goat, lamb) and bone broth as my staple
  • Steamed, boiled or pan-fried fatty fish (including head)
  • Sweet potatoes and sweet potato noodles as my main carb
  • Vegetables especially lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onions
  • Lots of lemon, lemongrass, camomile, peppermint, white, turmeric and herbal teas
  • Fruits (limited to 2 pieces a day, except for lemon)
  • Natto, kimchi and other probiotic-rich food (excluding dairy-based)
  • Olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, virgin cocout oil, balsamic vinegar
  • Ashitaba and probiotic quattro for supplements (I'll add omega-3 asap!)
I occasionally try dishes with some dairy in them. But with sugar, I still find myself itching. Crustaceans and nightshades are still a big no no for me though.

Anyhow, if you don't follow me on Instagram yet (and you should), here are some of the dishes I ate the past week (seasoned only with sea salt and black pepper)...

Beef bone broth with sweet potato noodles, carrots and cauliflower
Beef bone broth with sweet potato noodles, carrots and cauliflower
Lemon-basil-rosemary cream dory fillet
Lemon-basil-rosemary cream dory fillet
Lamb patties, carrots, onions, lettuce and sweet potato fries
Lamb patties, carrots, onions, lettuce and sweet potato fries

With this diet, mainly autoimmune paleo, I found that my inflammations dried out faster. It helped lessen the itchiness significantly too. And until my skin isn't as clear and vulnerable (to itching and resurrecting flares), I'm planning to still follow this skin-healing diet. Though I'd still eat out occasionally and in moderation. :)

TSW AND NATURAL REMEDIES

Back when my inflammations were at their worst, I still wanted to put something on them too soothe the itch even temporarily. Or just to psychologically make me feel like the itching is subsiding. But since my magic cream, the topical steroid, was out of the question, I resorted to using natural remedies after doing some research.

Virgin coconut oil as moisturizer
Virgin coconut oil as moisturizer
The first I used on my skin was VCO. I slathered it all over my body using it as a healing oil for the flares, and just regular moisturizer for the unaffected parts. It made my skin really soft and supple, and my inflammations became less itchy. The downside? My skin felt too vulnerable since it was really soft. I had to wrap my fingers with cling wrap else they would bleed or worse, become infected, if I leave them out in the open.

No moisturizer tsw eczema
No moisturizer routine
My dad was the first to suggest that I don't put anything on my skin. Of course, I cringed at the thought of it since I initially believed that my skin wouldn't heal as fast if I just leave it alone. However, after reading tons of blogs about the "No Moisturizer" routine, I decided to give it a shot. And it's the best decision I've ever made on this journey!

At first, I felt really uncomfortable. My skin, after washing with water and left to air-dry, was really tight. Skin started to dry out, cracked like a desert, and the inflammations became scaly. However, after weeks of doing the "No Moisturizer" routine, my skin didn't dry out like the first time. It still looks dry, but it definitely doesn't feel tight anymore. And the best part, the flares started to thin out and flake off. That's when I saw MAJOR improvements on my elbows and feet. My fingers on the other hand, wasn't as raw and as thin-skinned as it used to. After over a month of being useless red sausages, the skin on them became thicker and stronger. And I can finally bend them little by little.

Epsom salt for eczema
Epsom salt for soaks and baths
I found a lot of TSW sufferers getting relief from epsom salt soaks and baths, so I finally tried it back in September. About 2 tbsp. of epsom salt in a basin with hot (but tolerable) water and 15 minutes of soaking my feet, hands, and elbows in it, left my skin itch-free! It also helped dry out my inflammations SIGNIFICANTLY! After a week of daily soaking, I found my eczema improving at an unbelievable rate that I decided to do the epsom salt soaks twice a day.

However, I've now stopped doing the epsom salt soaks UNLESS my skin feels very, very, VERY itchy. Though my eczema improved a great deal, I found that doing the soaks frequently gave me scary heart palpitations. Just a week ago, after doing my usual soak, my heart started beating really fast and loudly for about 3 hours. It was really scary, and I'm glad I didn't have to be brought to the hospital. So although I highly suggest epsom salt soaks and baths, PLEASE do it moderately.

Apple cider vinegar for eczema
Apple cider vinegar added to soaks
(Organic, unfiltered and with "the mother" ala Bragg's is the best.)
There was a time I started adding half a tbsp. to a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to my epsom salt soaks, and it made the improvements come faster than ever. Now that I don't regularly do epsom salt soaks anymore, I find myself putting a drop or 2 of apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball soaked in hot water, and patting it on my skin whenever I feel really itchy, but not itchy enough to force me to do an epsom salt soak.

THINGS I LEARNED FROM GOING THROUGH TSW

I always get something out of every situation I'm in, and this is no different. Actually, going through topical steroid withdrawal is one of the experiences in my life that taught me many, many things. And these are just some of them...

1. Self-Discipline

self-discipline

Cutting off grains (I ate rice my whole life, FYI.), dairy (I miss my eggs!), sugar (Say hi to ice cream and cakes for me.), nightshades (I used to LOVE potatoes!), and crustacean seafood (Meh, prawns and crabs had always made me itchy.) is pretty hard. Seeing my family and friends eat the things that I can't is even harder. However, what really tested my discipline is this -- NOT SCRATCHING. Do you know how insanely difficult it is to fight off the urge to scratch? Although I scratched in my sleep (I wasn't conscious, okay?), I triumphed and only (consciously) scratched 2x over the past 3 months.

2. Vigilance

constant vigilance

Not sure if this is the right term, but I now learned to be more careful especially with my health. Before I put something in my mouth or on my skin, I check and research first if it's good for me. And although I still respect doctors, I have now stopped taking their word as fact, or as the definitive authority.

3. Self-Confidence

self-confidence

Back in the day, I was afraid of wearing skirts, shorts and dresses that would expose the skin asthma on my legs. They're actually not pretty obvious unless you really look at it. However, I was afraid of what other people would think about it. Fast forward to today, I couldn't care less if a stranger see my inflammations and scars. Ironically, this whole ordeal is what prompted me to start wearing skirts, shorts and dresses, since my legs become really itchy when wearing jeans, leggings, sweatpants, etc.

Sumi first time in dress
1st week of October. The first time in years that I wore a dress without stocking or tights.
(Odd... The lighting made my skin look more okay.)

4. Keeping Calm

keeping calm

People who have spoken to me in person already know that I'm quite a calm person. However, not eating what you want and fighting the urge to scratch, on top of daily responsibilities, can shake even the calmest person I know. And through TSW, I learned to meditate and de-stress on my own. I try my hardest not to let my temper get the best of me. I just had to. I find that when I'm stressed, my skin becomes itchy.

5. Optimism

optimism

Waking up itchy is not a good feeling. So is trying to sleep when your chin, arms, elbows, legs and feet are too itchy to let you fall asleep. However, I've always been optimistic and this experience boosted my optimism even more. My mom would always look at me with worry and pity, wondering if the flares would actually heal. What if they just become worse and worse? But I knew the worst would pass. And just look where I am now. :)

6. Gratitude

gratitude

Instead of loathing my doctor, I slightly feel thankful that she brought me here. If the flare back in August never happened or if I did have my magic cream when it happened, who knows for how long I'll be using steroid on my skin? And who knows how worse the rebound would be when I finally go through topical steroid withdrawal?

I'm also grateful that I'm going through TSW now, and not later. Doing it now just means I'll heal sooner. I also learned a lot of things that I didn't know before.

But my biggest gratitude goes to my dad, mom, boyfriend and even my little sister, who were very caring and supportive of me and of what I was going through. My friends were amazing too! When I started to eat out (with them) again, they'd always take my food restrictions into consideration. I never felt deprived nor judged. Thank you so much! ❤

7. I finally acquired a personality!

personality

LOL. I don't know if it's just me coming out of my shell (or skin, in this case), but I somehow feel like my personality has become more colorful recently. I also enjoyed dressing up more, especially now that I can wear whatever I like, not minding what people will say or how they'll react. I guess when your face has a cauliflower-looking thing on it, and your arms and legs have dry, scaly patches, you just let your clothes, your smile, and more importantly, your personality, stand out and make you feel beautiful.

Wrapping it up...

If you've read all the way to this point, I'd like to thank you for sticking with me and my long blog post. If you have eczema, psoriasis or any skin condition, I hope my post has somehow been of help. Kahit konti lang..

If you think you have steroid-induced eczema, I urge you to please do more research and think of your next plan of action. Going through topical steroid withdrawal needs planning, especially if you've been using steroid creams for a very long time. I was lucky to only have spots on my body. Some people had really big patches, and there are even some whose whole body was flaring. Recovery time is different for every person too. Some can see improvements in months. Others will take years. You'll also need to talk to a doctor if you plan to taper down the use of steroids, as going cold turkey can be dangerous. And if you have other conditions that require the use of steroids (mostly oral), please do not let my post convince you to stop using your medication.

radiate good vibes

Anyway, I'd like to think that I'm now officially back to blogging. :) Though I was still posting backlogs. Haha! I still have some itchy patches on my middle fingers, wrists, arms, elbow creases, thighs, lower legs and feet at the moment. But they're already far from the "before" photos I shared. My chin had some scarring, but it has started fading already. And as for my ring fingers, I still wrap them in gauze as I wait for them to thicken (the use of steroid cream left them with really thin skin).

I know complete healing is well under way. :)

Whatever you're going through at the moment, remember to keep calm and have faith!

45 comments:

  1. OH MY SUMI!!! That's why we haven't seen you for the longest time.. I hope you are doing better now.. and of course I must congratulate you on your road to recovery. PLUS the weight lose.. grabe!!! IKAW NA TE!!! I hope things get getting better from here on out! see you soon dear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm doing a LOT better now! :) It won't take long till I join you guys on your food escapades again. ^^ I miss eating out with a bunch of awesome people! :D Thanks, Jeng!

      Delete
  2. Oh no baby girl! What an ordeal you went through! But I'm so very glad that you're on your way to recovery. I have itches to and I can just imagine the hell you experienced. Please continue to eat well so that you never ever have to go through that again. Love you baby girl & I hope to hug you tight soon! :-*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, mama bear! <3 I hope your itchies will completely heal asap too! Really hoping to see you soonest! I miss you na!!! And I need mah hug!!! :-*

      Delete
  3. RAWR!!!



    Take care, stay healthy, and see you soon : )


    p.s. when's the wedding?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Boss Spanky! :D See you soonest!

      NAKOOOW!!! Matagal pa 'yun! Hahaha XD

      Delete
  4. Glad you're getting better, Sumigirl! Hope to see you soon! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michy! Yes, hope to see you soon! Tagal na din eh! Hope everything's been good on your end~ :)

      Delete
  5. This is forever for us..got eczema too but yours is too much. I used to apply expensive creams before, now I just use BL, Chinese medicine, it works pero not sure kung safe sya since di ako nagvivisit ng doctor. Get well soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh.. I hope you can still outgrow eczema! It's a frustrating illness eh.. :( Btw, I've actually considered traditional Chinese medicine. If my flares didn't subside, I think I would've ran to a TCM doctor already! Anyway, please be careful still with medication esp. creams. I read from some bloggers overseas that even their TCM doctor gave them creams that contains some steroid. :( The worse part is, they didn't know!

      Sending healing vibes your way, Nix! <3 And thank you! :)

      Delete
  6. Shobe! I so want to hug you!! My kids both suffer from eczema and I'm glad that I have a pedia derma who is also diagnosed with eczema! She's very practical and isn't harsh on the steroid! Alam mo ba si Kailee before, gosh - she used to be lathered in steroid creams (cutivate, betnovate, dermovate) OMG! But then when I asked for a second opinion, I was told to just find a lotion that works for them. And I did - and it wasn't those branded ones pa! You know what else helped? I swear - use Konjac sponge! It's normalizes the PH of the water when you shower! Si Connor and Kailee have less flare ups. I was also told to have my showers changed to an Aquasana kasi it really helps with eczema. Now we just stick to St Ive's lotion, QV cream, TruKids Face & Body Lotion.

    If there are flareups - I have a mixture of Mommate ointment + petroleum jelly (less harsh daw) We used to be on *maintenance* allergy meds (Xyzal) but the doctor said, as long as hindi nahihirapan huminga - let it go. If the skin has goosebump like roughness, as long as it's not itchy - let it be.

    Pero shobe, there's a picture you posted above na I think looks like Impetigo Cantigiosa - but that's just me. Kasi si Kailee when we got back from Bohol - she had this *flare up* na I thought was eczema, so I put some mommate ointment and instead of healing - lumaki pa! My pedia derma said that if you put that on a bacterial infection - yung mga bacteria daw they're on *hyper* mode and mas mabilis ang kilos! Tapos contagious pa siya na when you scratch the infections and not wash your hands - every thing that those fingers touch will get *hawa* din! So after 2 days of taking an oral antibiotic - naglessen. We had to put endless *saltwater on cotton and wring out the water* ang patch on the skin for 5 minutes for 5 days! Since saltwater siya - mahapdi! But if paid off naman..

    Dati ako, I always put steroid cream on a small rash that I see. But now, I know better. I wish helped you out!! Si Kailee ang eczema niya is sa fingers narin ngayon! Super nakaka-awa siya if we forget to put lotion.

    I'm so glad you're feeling better!!!! Sorry at napahaba ang comment.

    See you soon Shobe!

    Love, Didi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh interesting Impetigo Cantigiosa pala ang tawag dun. My eczema's used to have the yellowish weeping, spreading and scaly things. It started from pimple size eto about 4x the size of my elbows. My derma just calls it weeping and suggested i treat it with salt water which made it each more and didn't dry out as she said. Tried steroid cream on it which made it heal for awhile but when I stopped it spread more violently. And, since I scratch siguro unconsciously on my sleep, it spread covering all my upper arms, legs, have it also on my face and ears. What eventually stopped the weeping and made it dry is pure clear honey. I'm still using honey on my skin now as my eczema is still far from complete healing. =( Quite surprising I'm having eczema because we don't have any history of skin asthma or eczema.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Achie Didi! <3 Aww.. I could just imagine what your little kiddos had to go through. :( I hope they outgrow eczema! And thank you for the reco. Will definitely look into konjac sponge. Yung shobe ko rin kasi have eczema, and oftentimes, water makes her (rarely, me) itchier. :(

      Not sure if I had Impetigo Contagiosa, but if ever meron, feel ko sa elbows. XD Those were the parts kasi na weeping and would grow big 'pag nadikitan ng ooze yung paligid. I didn't take antibiotics though (since I'm trying to promote more good bacteria in my gut) and thankfully, keri naman ng epsom salt soaks. :)

      Sending Kailee healing vibes~~~ Nakaka-sad to see kids suffer from this. :(

      And yes, see you soonest Achie Didi! *hugs*

      Delete
  7. Congrats on your recovery sumi =) Truly an inspirational post. Thanks for giving hope to us who have continental/map-sized weeping (mixed with Impetigo Cantigiosa) eczemas. Trully lots of lessons to be learned here. Gosh! I miss wearing shirts and shorts. But, totally shopped and invested on comfty long sleeves and pants for now =(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're an important support system for me, Stace! <3 The convos really helped me know what I was going through, and the tips! Dami ko natututunan sa'yo. :) Nakakatawa lang 'pag naaalala ko, na akala ko I haven't been putting steroids on my skin. XD Ignorance is bliss talaga! Haha! But there's hope for us. Have you read Juliana's TSW blog? She's one of my biggest inspiration, and she proves na there's really complete healing. :) Surely, all of us will come out on the other side. :)

      Delete
    2. Not reading blogs pa. Hehe pero I'm sure eczema talaga yung akin and not TSW =) Most of my research are based on medical research websites and youtube (phd and scientific based pa rin). For anecdotal guides as supplements, I checked earth clinic on natural remedies and food.

      Delete
  8. Wow... just wow... As I read through your post; I was cheering for you and hoping that the end of the post would be good news. I'm glad it was good news! Cheers to your recovery and to the return of silky smooth skin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Allen! I doubt I'd have silky, smooth skin 'cause I can't remember that I did! XD Haha! But, non-flaring, non-itchy skin is already good enough for me. ;D See you around!

      Delete
  9. I read your entire post! Its hard pero Im glad nakakaya mo yung control sa diet. i can imagine your agony when itching! ako auto immune din pero muscle naman ang inaatake and i feel like an old lady.

    how do you manage your "cheats"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading this, Kat! Naku, the diet part was really hard at first. But when you start it, you'll eventually get the hang of it. Although, I still get "inggit" when I see my lil sis eating ice cream and chips. XD

      Oh, I only started doing cheats after over a month of strict autoimmune paleo. My cheats have double purpose actually -- to see how my skin will react to some foods, and to satisfy my cravings. Haha!

      Wishing you feel better and sending you healing vibes, Kat! <3

      Delete
  10. Whoa those are worse than I pictured. :| I didn't know that moisturizer would be a culprit. My aunt's mother had eczema too before and she kept on applying lotion on her skin all over the body until the flakes were out. Epsom salt works and that's a sure thing as well for her case. This is a great full-length post for anyone who's suffering through the same. Good share. :) Hope you'll be completely treated soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Roch!!! <3 Oh, the moisturizer isn't a culprit naman. It was helpful to keep the flakes off, but the healing wasn't as fast when I was using it. I noticed that moisturizers are great for my skin asthma, but not so for my eczema. 8D

      Hope to see you soonest, Roch! ^^

      Delete
  11. Hoping tuloy tuloy na ang recovery mo sumi! Para makakain na tayo ulit ng madaming madaming dimsum!! hahaha! :) I'm just happy na ok ka na! and napansin ko nga na very cheerful na ang aura mo ngyn nagddressup ka na which is super bagay syo btw.. can't wait to do more foodtrips with you soon! Here's to your complete recovery! Cheers!! See you!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Dimsum lang talaga? XD Gusto ko na din magpizza, pasta, chicken wings and ice cream! :D Haha! Thanks for the support, Berylle (and D)! Sobrang helpful to be surrounded by happy, energetic friends like you two! <3

      See you soonest!!! <3

      Delete
  12. Excema can be devastating and steroids although effective have a lot of side effects. You story is indeed very inspiring! You have fought the illness with your courage and will. Kudos to you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I actually missed you and your tasty posts! :) I believe I messaged you months ago because...you might find it weird, but I sensed something (not claiming anything, but most of the time I'm like that- a bit like a psychic or psycho lol). Anyways, I'm glad you have recuperated fast and for good. Love this post- VERY EDUCATIONAL and very INSPIRING! (I feel like reading a Buzzfeed article-maybe you can submit this to inspire more people!)

    You're one of the bloggers that really inspired me to blog-- though I know I've got sooooooo much to learn:) Hope you'll visit and read my blog too, hihihi. You're an inspiration Ms. Sumi!

    JeniG of Kalikotpepot

    ReplyDelete
  14. Eczema can be such a pain ( literally ) please continue getting treatment and don't lose hope. We here in the Blogsphere miss your Posts

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have skin asthma too.. but unfortunately, mine is worse than yours. Unlike skin scabs, mine in deeply in the skin and dark pigmented patches all down my legs. I can't wear skirts or dresses without block stockings to cover those scars. Not itchy, but it is there.
    I had also avoided prawns and crabs, less sugar (still trying to reach no sugar goal). I also discovered the eggplant allergy too. But I did not know about the potatoes!! Maybe I cut back more it would be better.
    But anyway, I am also on Noni juice which has left elevated a lot of problems.
    Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can imagine how difficult this experience is for you. I have a close friend who has psoriasis for a while and when it gets not-so-good, it gets really uncomfortable for her. I admire your courage to write about it ( others wouldn't right? ) and to share what actually happens & it keeps your readers informed. I am glad that you are getting better and I could only wish that recovery is full speed. Question: Does stress have any effect on this condition?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am really glad that you are feeling much better dear. Hope you return to regular blogging soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This was a very informative post especially for those who has the same skin illness. My dad suffers from psoriasis and I feel sorry for him whenever he wants to go out with friends. He worries people would see his skin especially the ones on the face. He was always conscious.

    That's why I kind of understand what you're going through. I honestly fear of inheriting my dad's sickness since the doctors say its hereditary.

    I've always seen some girls wearing stockings and I've always wondered why especially if it's such a hot sunny day. Now, through this post, this gave me an idea that those girls might also be suffering from eczema.

    I hope you continue to get better.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I had eczema over a decade ago but it was only in my hands and toes. I got it resolved after a few months. Your case is much worst and I hope you go get well real soon and gain back all the weight. Take care Sumi.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my gosh, you poor poor thing! I had bad eczema when I was much younger. Albeit I do suffer with dry skin in the winter now, mainly on my hands and knuckles, I use the L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream - it is so deliciously thick and really protects my hands. I cannot believe you gave up Batiste!! Take care lovely!! Simone x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, just wow! I am so sorry you have had to deal with this! It looks so painful and irritating. Just heartbreaking. I am fortunate to not have had eczema myself, but my five year old son has it and in the past two weeks it has flared up quite badly. We use a really great cream on him, but I wish there was permanent cure..

    ReplyDelete
  22. Welcome back Sumi and glad to hear you are better now. Here's wishing that total healing may be upon you. Being able to open up about this is totally inspiring. For sure many will be inspired by your story.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I dn't have eczema, but I'm in no better state. I have bad recurring acne problem which made me really depressed at times. Guess what, your Mad-Eye Moody's Constance Vigilance definitely help cheer me up! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Whoa! I am glad that you listened to your body and take the matter into your own hands. Bravo! And you look as svelte as ever!

    And for the doctor who prescribed that steroid, shame on YOU!

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am going to read this article again since it is interesting and exhaustive about the topic. I have one point of itchy dermatitis on my ankle that also prevents me from wearing shorts for a long time already.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm so happy for you! The battle you went through was not easy, I know it since I have someone so dear to me has the same problem. She's not fully okay yet so I might just as well share this post to her. :)

    Thank yoouuuuu so much for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very inspiring! Glad your back now keep up the good work. Thank you for sharing your words.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I had eczema as a child but it went away. My daughter has it too and it flares up in the summer. She gets a prescription for it and that helps. Sending you healing light.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Very nice post! Thank you for sharing. By the way, do you have any idea where we can get the cheapest epsom salt?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am amazed to know young people also had such eczema problems. I thought this was typical of old age only, forgive my ignorance. Now that I see you were affected too I will start being more vigilant as you say in the post and watch the food I am eating, and also any signs of inflammation on the skin!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Believe me - I read every little thing about your entire post and I was able to relate on it - well, not very much. I didn't had that kind of eczema but I believe its still a skin rash. I went to the doctor - gave me a topical cream.. the rashes were gone so I guess I didnt really had a strong eczema.. right now I I have one again but it change location lol -its on my feet, idk why... always on our feet huh... i hope it goes away soon. my aunt is a doctor - she also told me those creams has steroids and best not to put too much etc.

    ReplyDelete
  32. hope you're ok now,i really do miss your blogs about foods!

    ReplyDelete


Powered by Blogger.