Saturday, 19 October 2013

One to frighten the kids with

This is a poor picture of my eczema covered face.

It gives only the tiniest impression of just how horrible I look at present.

I have had bouts of eczema all my adult life, some fairly mild, most not so mild and on various parts of my body.  The most severe has seen me hospitalized on three separate occasions, but none for the intensity of the itching has ever come close to this latest attack on my eye-lids and face and neck.

Stopping yourself from scratching is virtually impossible and of course, the the itch is scratched the worse it becomes and the swelling of the area  grows to gigantic proportions.

This has been going on for nearly three weeks (hence the lapse in blogging) and has twice improved enough to let me put in an appearance in the parish office, but each time it returns it is more severe and is now so bad that I am ashamed to be seen.

Needing to shop this morning and faced with a red swollen face with huge folds hanging over small reptilian eyes I decided to go as soon as the shops were open in order to meet as few people as possible.

Headed for Boots where I had a long talk with the pharmacist, who was most helpful and pointed me in the direction of some oil-based treatments which she thought would be more useful than anything I was currently using.  I then went to the opticians section where I bought the biggest pair of sun glasses I could find and put them on.

I hastily shopped in a nearby supermarket and got a taxi home.

Have washed my face in the recommended product and slathered the cream all over my face and neck and now look like an albino reptile rather than a red one.

The itching is still there but I will persevere with this treatment while once again failing to appear in church  tomorrow, having also failed to go to choir practice.

I am not yet ready to walk under a bus, but the time is rapidly approaching.


  1. Fourth attempt at this! Ray I feel for you......and I also share some of your pain.....but my new doctor prescribed Elocon for eczema which cleared it up from all over the body! Worth a try but please remember this is a misfortune....nothing to be ashamed of.....Praying....that this gets through and you get better soon!

  2. Hooray! did it....Now its your turn!

  3. Thanks Jean, but I have tried Elocon and every other prescribed cream ointment and generally recognised treatment with no success whatever.
    Semi-oblivion via hefty extra doses of anti-histamine help a little but do not touch the basic problem.
    Thanks for trying.

  4. Ray, I too feel greatly for you, knowing from experience what torture the itching from eczema can be. I've never been unlucky enough to have it on my face, but I know that many of the more potent steroid ointments can't be used there, which makes it so much harder to treat. I do hope the new oil-based preparations do the trick.

    PS I can never use creams either, but have to have a greasy ointment for the chronic eczema on my hands.

    1. "torture" it is indeed, Perpetua, and as you well know, the itch scratch, itch syndrome seems never-ending while it lasts.
      As you say, the steroid creams cannot be used on the face and most particularly the eye-lids, and i am in any case allergic to Cortisone so that lot is ruled out.
      This lot seems very greasy but if it works - too soon to tell - it will be worth putting up with that.
      I hate the way people look at, as though i were a leper, but guess that is just human nature.
      Trying to keep my chin up, even if just to stop it resting on my itching neck!

  5. Hi Ray. You poor thing. My daughter used to suffer the way you do. Aloe Vera brought some relief.

    1. Actually Jane i was using an Aloe Vera gel in the hope of cooling it down, but the pharmacist said it was too alkaline.
      Can't win!

  6. I feel so sorry for you. Luckily, I have never suffered from Eczma but do know what it is like when one has a severe itch that one is not meant to scratch. Your poor eyes look so sore.

    Hoping for an improvement soon. :)

  7. Thanks Susan. My eyes are sore but the itching is far worse than the soreness. It is relentless and my face resembles a football, it is so swollen. As for the eye-lids, I look like an ancient tortoise with swollen heavy folds around the eyes. Really hideous.
    I won't be doing any modelling any time soon.

  8. Horrible to suffer with this condition. My son gets this sometimes I'm afraid. My thoughts are with you.

  9. Thanks Suem. It's bad today, hopefully can't last much longer. You will know from your son's experience how much misery it can create.

  10. So sorry you are having to deal with this awful condition, Ray! What a bother and pain. I hope and pray you'll find some relief soon. It must be driving you mad.

  11. Madder I think you mean Penny. Yes it is pretty full on at present, am taking and using everything recommended and prescribed in the hope I will soon be itch free.
    Prayers would be appreciated please.

  12. Oh dear ... that sounds really unpleasant! I've never had eczema, but I know plenty of people that have. Does it get worse as Autumn & Winter progress? I wish I could offer a remedy. Since I cannot, I'll gladly pray for your relief & healing.

  13. Thanks Kathleen.
    No, there doesn't appear to be a pattern, nor any one cause which is one reason it's so hard to treat.
    At least the swelling has gone down, though the itch continues.
    I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

  14. So sorry to read about your excema, it is a horrible disease. You are especially brave to share your thoughts about it online. Will be thinking of you. Every Blessing. FREDA from Dalamory

  15. Thankyou Freda. It is sometimes necessary to make an exhibition of oneself in order to illustrate a point, hence the photo.
    It got much worse than that briefly, then mercifully, began to improve.
    A whole raft of treatments have been employed and it is now well on the way to normality. Thank the Lord,and all those who have wished and sent blessings and prayers my way.

  16. Praying you continue to improve! You've been missed!

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  19. I think my partner thinks I am just lapsing into hyperbole when I say I want to scrub my face with a green pan scrubber. Then he notices the blood on the pillow in a morning and realises that it’s not just a matter of being a bit itchy.

    As a teenager I was one of those people who if they went swimming in the sea at Blackpool, the RSBP would be out washing down sea gulls a hour or so later as such much oil exuded from my skin and hair in those days. Now, thirty years later, there’s desiccated me all over the house. I’m very conscious that my keyboard at work sometimes looks as if it is has been left out in the snow. If a pull a jumper off in the office, for a second I stand in a blizzard of skin flakes and hope no one has noticed.

    For years I used to swear by Boots almond oil based moisturiser. They stopped doing this sometime in the early naughties and I switched to aqueous cream – but this didn’t do the job as well. Now Boots have begun making the almond oil cream again, but for some reason have put lanolin in it – which I can’t use, it brings me out in (ironically) a red rash... Now I have a reasonable regime of using aqueous cream as soap – lathering it on in a morning or before I get in the shower and leaving it on for ten minutes or so. Then I scrub myself with a flannel, which gets a good deal of the slough off. Instead of moisturising cream I now smother my face in 50/50 cream (basically half Vaseline, half liquid paraffin), which I leave on for five minutes and then rinse off the excess and pat dry my face. This seems to work, though I also use Daktocort steroid cream a few times a week on my face. My dermatologist said I could use it up to seven days in every month on my face.

    As for other bits of me, well I just don’t worry too much nowadays – the only time anyone, other than my partner, sees me in the buff is at the baths and since eczema has to compete with the fun Mr Gravity has had on my masculine frame, I don’t worry too much.

    Unless someone has eczema they cannot understand what it is like! I hope things have improved for you?

  20. Thankyou, yes things have indeed improved and I am (today at least), back to what passes for normal.
    Your situation sounds far far worse than mine, but bits of your experience sound familiar.
    If it is of any help, what seems to have helped me is taking the pharmacist's advice to use E45 dermatological emollient cream wash in place of any soap or just plain water and to give up all aqueous (that is, water based) products and use instead Oilatum plaster on all over the itching area and reapplied every time the itching began again.
    My GP also gave me Eumovate to use very thinly spread, and not more than twice a day, followed one hour later with the Oilatum.
    This combination appears to have finally done the trick.(and yes, i am touching wood).
    I do hope you can find some relief soon.
    Every blessing.

  21. Sorry to hear about your disease. Pray God to get well soon.