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Growing up with Eczema

Of all the things that you can have as a kid which might set you apart from the crowd or make you vulnerable to teasing, eczema was up there. Not only did the other kids think you had some sort of disgusting and highly contagious disease, resulting in them running away screaming that they were going to catch leprosy, you had to showcase it by wearing umpteen plasters and bandages and after sport, smother yourself in creams and lotions to stop the skin cracking and bleeding in front of a crowd of repulsed onlookers!

But lets face it, anyone who has suffered with eczema or any other skin condition for that matter, will know that it is unpleasant whatever age you are. Growing up with it affecting my hands, arms and legs, was difficult but I consider myself one of the lucky ones, as by the age of about 21, it had all but disappeared. And not because I had any magic cure, doctors simply assessed that I had ‘grown out of it.’

Back in the 70’s, there seemed to be very little specialist help for me. I tried all the creams, lotions, fragrant free soaps, wearing gloves at night, steroid creams, avoid soap powder and the array of bottles and potions I had was ridiculous, with none really providing any sort of relief.

The itching was the worst. And I don’t mean the odd scratch; I mean real agonising itching. I actually resorted to dragging my hands down the exterior of a roughly rendered house wall as my own finger nails were not sharp enough to ease the terrible need to scratch my hands hard. But as you can imagine, this provided only short term relief before my hands bled and I was rushing to submerge them in the hottest water I could stand, to soften the skin again, which I often did. You see, if my hands became the slightest bit dry, they would crack and bleed. I would lie in bed sucking my fingers to keep them soft, as creams just weren’t up to the job.

And now? Well all I am left with apart from these memories, is some pigment damage on my hands and if I don’t eat well, or become stressed or run down, then patches will appear again and I will start to itch and the skin become red and sore again; but nothing like before.

Now as an adult, I see help and support everywhere, for either parents dealing with children with eczema, or for themselves as adults. I particularly enjoyed reading this article taken from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and can sadly relate to so much of this.

Knowing Your Child’s Eczema  (click to read this intersting article from Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne)

It is very true that there are many factors that can either trigger or exacerbate eczema and half the battle for me back then, was finding what those triggers were and avoiding them – be it house dust, dairy products, grass, detergents and perfumed creams. But what I can say is, I was willing to try anything once and my message is, don’t give up, it can be managed.

If you have a story to share with us about eczema or any other skin condition, then we would love to hear from you and support each other with your experience.

Written by Susie Campbell (former eczema sufferer)

Please Note: The story offered here is a brief introduction and a starting place for you to carry out your own due diligence and research. No medical advice is given; please consult your health professional for that. We can and are happy to assist with any questions and information about our products.