Friday, 28 June 2013
Is Dermatology the poor relation of our health service.
I am deliberately not putting a picture on this post since for those who wish to peruse gruesome photos of bad cases of eczema there is a huge art gallery available under Google images.
Like so many others who have asthma and allergic rhinitis, I also have eczema.
For the last couple of weeks I have been tearing my arm to pieces, making it worse each time, yet unable to stop myself.
If this sounds like the sort of behaviour which deserves a "stop scratching, you're your own worst enemy" response, then you are probably not a sufferer.
There is a point at the most extreme stage of an attack when the almost overwhelming desire to scratch until you bleed pushes all other considerations from your head.
So far as I'm aware there is no effective treatment for this condition.
Over a period of more than 40 years I have seen consultants in four different hospitals, at least three GP's and even tried homeopathic and herbal remedies.
For a number of years I used all the Cortisone based creams recommended with no success, and sometimes with increasing symptoms. The last time I had a series of allergy tests they found that one of the things to which I reacted very strongly was....Cortisone!
They insisted for years that I use Aqueous Cream which for me did nothing but seal in the heat, thus increasing the itching and leave a greasy layer very difficult to remove on sinks baths etc.
In desperation when all else fails and the itching is at its worst, I put the hand, foot, arm or wherever it is, under a hot tap, let the water pour over it until it it almost boiling, at which point it equates with the temperature of the itching area and neutralises it. I then have to run it under cold water to limit the damage to the skin.
Horrendous, I know. Dangerous, most certainly, I know, but failing any successful remedy from any source whatsoever one must needs shift for oneself.
As I am already taking anti-histamines daily for hay-fever, I simply take extra every evening to help to calm the symptoms down. This does work to a degree, but it would not be a good idea to keep increasing the dose to deal with day-time as well.
Luckily for me, this extreme level is only likely to appear every four or so years, it just happens that this, as with hay-fever, is a bad one.
Sorry to release such a miserable diatribe, but that's me, wart and all.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:31:00 pm