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Problems faced as a new college freshman

Name: Ananya Mishra
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Do you have eczema? Do you know what kind? Yes, atopic dermatitis
How long have you had it/been diagnosed?  I have had it since I was 2 months old, so 18 years and some odd months now.
Any tips or tricks for fellow eczema sufferers? Moisturize! Listen to your body. Always remember to take care of your skin, even when you're tired.
Any suggestions for eczematic? N/A
How did you hear about us?
Honestly, I was sick and tired of my eczema and I wanted support. I Googled eczema sufferers and found you guys :)

Anyway, here is my story. I have had severe atopic dermatitis since infancy. It improved for a while, and I have been learning how to manage it lately, but I always have flare-ups when I'm stressed or upset. My skin always freaks out when it is dry and cold outside, so I was glad when I found out that Atlanta is humid most of the time. I thought my eczema would improve when I came to college...Not so!

My eyelids and various spots on my face have been flaking dry skin, regardless of how much I moisturize. It has gotten to where there is a spot above my left eyebrow that is permanently raw and red. I have also been suffering from a cold this past week, so my upper lip has turned flaky and raw. I feel so self-conscious about my flaky, red skin. I feel like everybody can notice it. I try to avoid scratching when I itch, but a lot of times, I just can't help it. I am so worried that people see me scratching or see my skin flake off and think I'm some sort of huge freak!

I just want to talk to people I can relate to with regards to my insecurities about my appearance resulting from my eczema. I feel like on top of every girl's normal insecurities about looks, I have my worries about people noticing my eczema and not understanding. It makes me feel like I am unattractive, which I know isn't true. I just feel upset a lot about my skin.

Any words of wisdom?

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
wintersweet
Sep. 25th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Aw, I understand. Mine never got to that point, but my elbows were raw and sometimes would actually ooze through a shirt. :( It sucked. Anyway, it's surprising how many people either have eczema (which you can't always see) or have family members with eczema, so lots of people who see you are looking at you with total empathy! Keep that in mind!

Based on some research I read, during a relatively good spell I tried a barrier lotion rather than a traditional moisturizer (my dermatologist was pretty useless). That worked really well, and now I use it daily. I've been in pretty much permanent remission ever since then. It might be worth a try... Gloves in a Bottle is one brand (I get it at knitting shops, medical supply shops, or drugstore.com), but there are some others.

Anyway, good luck :)
bluewings9
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Hey thanks so much for the advice! I currently use a generic equivalent to Eucerin cream and use Aveeno oatmeal lotion throughout the day. I actually suffered the oozing as well; I had a skin infection back in February due to a very bad flare-up and extremely cold, dry winter weather in Austin. It got to where I had to take prednisone and antibiotics for a week to stop my legs from oozing. I was so miserable. I think that episode really taught me to realize that when I feel miserable and keep oversleeping, that means there is something going wrong with my eczema that needs to be addressed.
wintersweet
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I tried both of those and they didn't work too well for me. But if they're managing it for you, that would be good! (I did prednisone and cortisone injections for a while, too. Whee!)

Hang in there!
veryshortlist
Sep. 25th, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Coconut oil has been working really well for me. Nutiva, about 10$ on Amazon. Or baby oil, if that's easier for you.

I feel you on the embarrassment you feel as a young girl with rashy-looking skin. I get eczema bad on my neck, so it looks like someone squeezed there, and on my upper arms. It's hard to hide, and on days it flares up bad, I don't want to do anything or go to class, which is really bad.

But keep researching, and use triamcinalone/cream when it gets really bad. Always moisturize before bed, it gives your skin time to absorb overnight. Use Aveeno, I think I read that it was developed for eczema at first.
bluewings9
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way!!! And I used to use baby oil, but it only keeps me moisturized right after my shower.

I do moisturize before bed and after a shower, and before i leave my room every morning. Aveeno is my brand :) I also use non-scented bath products and face wash.
veryshortlist
Sep. 26th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
Honestly, I stopped washing my face and it's only been uphill from there. I use Pond's at night to take off makeup.
bluewings9
Sep. 27th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
I don't wear makeup on a daily basis, and I have a T-zone of oily skin that breaks out in pimples on my forehead and cheeks. I use Himalaya Herbal Neem and Turmeric face wash on that; it doesn't dry my skin at all! It just makes the pimples go away. So I doubt that washing my face is a problem...Thanks for the advice though! Also, Pond's makes my skin burn
veryshortlist
Sep. 28th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
That's so interesting. Pond's is the only thing that doesn't burn my face.
bluewings9
Sep. 28th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is weird!
gemfyre
Sep. 26th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
remember to take care of your skin, even when you're tired.

I usually remember, I often don't act on remembering though and I really, really should.

My eczema is worst on my hands (dishydrotic eczema, nasty little bubbles under my skin that itch like crazy). Some nights as I'm getting ready for bed I think I really should put ointment on it and moisturise and often I'm just like... bleh zZZZzzzzzz. I gotta stop doing that.
bluewings9
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
Honestly, I do the same thing. I often regret it. I should make that a New Year's resolution or something!
marzut
Sep. 26th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
We have found with our toddler that any change in temperature causes a flare up. You may be the same and it might just need a few weeks to aclimatize
bluewings9
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
That did happen to me last winter, but the temperature difference has not really been great enough for that to be the cause of my recent flare-ups. I moved from Austin to Atlanta, which is just a change from drier warm weather to more humid warm weather. I will let you know what happens in a couple more weeks, though :) Thanks!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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