Sunday, January 9, 2011

skin skin skin

some people are blessed with low maintenance skin. some people can use whatever soap they want, whatever perfume, whatever laundry soap. some people can relax in any environment and not have to worry about what their skin thinks. i, however, am the opposite. i have had moderate atopic dermatitus my whole life. most people know this skin disorder as


1 in 4 children have eczema on and off throughout their childhood, and it usually clears up by the time of puberty. i wished and hoped that my condition would disappear like i had read and researched so thoroughly as a kid. i, like few others had quite the opposite. into the end of middle school, my eczema was full-blown, excruciating,  and there was nothing i could do to ease the pain and inflammation of 24/7 eczema. if you don't have moderate eczema, or know anyone who has it- this is everyday life for me:
to begin- i am going to try to find photos of what mine looks like, i say this because i cannot generalize what mild, moderate or extreme eczema looks like for everyone. this is because the name is for a very vague and mysterious disorder that looks and feels and reacts differently for everyone.
most of the time, my skin looks like this- many irregular shaped red, dry patches that itch and flake.

sometimes it looks like this, they aren't pimples, but small red bumps will appear and disapear and are very itchy as well.

when my eczema is at it's worst, it looks like the two photos above with the acquaintance of red welting and blotches of red/purple.
many people don't notice these physical ailments on people or even understand the excruciating pain, and psychological effects of having eczema. to shed some light, the patches of dry, red, inflamed skin feels like a bad sunburn, rubbed with gravel and poison oak, and a splash of lemon juice. i'm not kidding, it's enough to drive anyone crazy. i remember the itch of my eczema caused me to sratch so much without thinking to where it almost became like a tick. the itch was so intense that i would lose sleep, staying awake scratching all night. even when i was able to sleep, i would have to tape socks over my hands and cut my nails, because scratching in my sleep was actually more dangerous than when i was awake. i often would wake up with blood under my nails and find that i scratched the top layer of my skin off. i couldn't feel the pain, because all i could feel was the itch!
back then, me and my parents didn't know that laundry soap, food, and lotions, the humidity, seasons, and animals could cause this. as well as eczema, i also have asthma and allergies to cats, dogs, pollen, and mold.  there is no cure to any of these three, and it is only treatable. at least now, i figured out that i can't take hot showers, it has to be lukewarm, sometimes cold. too much water irritates my skin, so no longer than a 10-15 minute shower. i cannot be near cats or dogs without completely falling apart. no soaps or lotions with fragrances to smell nice, these usually contain alcohol and other terrible things (i don't recommend these kinds of lotions to anyone anyway). i can only use fragrance-free, lather-free, sensitive formula soaps. i used to use hydrocortisone steroid cream. about 1 tube per shower (all over my body). this is a great temporary relief, but your body becomes addicted to the steroids, and soon your skin will need it more often. i weaned my skin off of the hydrocortisone and started using Curel lotion.
usually $5.99-$12.99 per bottle depending on which kind you buy.
so the red and blue label bottles are greasy to me, and does not soak into my skin, but rather, leaves an oil on top that feels sticky, and itches. my tried and true is the green label bottle. it instantly absorbes into my skin and leaves my skin soft and protected all day! which is incredible. this lotion leaves my skin feeling hydrated and actually doesn't burn. i've tried basically every lotion available. and this is the only brand that works. even aveeno, lubriderm, eucerin, gold bond, jergens and others literally BURN my skin, it feels like a chemical burn on my skin and leaves a stinging sensation after i even washed it off for hours. i use a small, very expensive perscription tube of ointment that is highly toxic to ingest on extreme problem areas. i believe it's still a steroid, but i only have to use a tiny bit to a big surface area and spread it thin. but for anything else i use curel because their website explains all the testing they do to ensure relief and hydration. it is dermatologist tested and approved for dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. see link below. 
so if you are not perfect like me, and are looking and searching for help, try curel. even if you are afraid of what your skin will do- do not be afraid, and do not let your tempermental skin rule over your life. i used to think i was done for, now i have dreams of modeling on the side because my eczema is mostly under control. i still have bad days every once in awhile, but for the most part, my itchiness can be ignored. thanks to curel, my skin actually feels healthy and flexible, instead of like sandpaper. it saved my life.

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