Currently, Flare Up 2011
I wish I had thought of this idea earlier, of documenting my life with eczema. I don’t remember what my skin looked like when I was kid or even a teenager, I just remember being so damn itchy all the time, and always trying to find clothes that would cover up my red or dry patches. I would have documented my lifestyle and diets too, which would probably help in figuring out what causes flare ups, overall. Now I kind of have to start from scratch, which is fine, because it feels like I’m taking a really big step towards getting better. The blog requires some discipline, which hopefully means I’m keeping up with trying to get better, and not falling back into my lazy old ways of simply being unhappy and relying on antihistamines and corticosteroids. The other incentive is that I finally have the excuse to play around with HTML and figuring out how regular blogging works with social media, which might be a bit useful in my job search.
I’m sitting in a park under the sun, trying out some at-home sun therapy (more about that later) as I write this, and it feels great to be wearing something sleeveless in the hot summer. I don’t know anyone who lives in my neighbourhood, so I don’t feel embarrassed about not being covered up.
These are the worst of the rashes. The one on the side of my palm is the most itchy and actually painful because the cracks are so deep.
The patch on my thigh is recent, and the eczema on the insides of my elbows look mostly dry, although it still itches like crazy at least once a day. Bright side: it’s not itching the whole day.
Flare Up 2011 started about two months ago, after a period of excellent skin health. I was doing dragonboat regularly, using every muscle in my body (exercise) under the scorching sun (sun therapy). And I had amazing results (which I only noticed after my eczema came back, darn it). My seven-month acne cleared right up, as well as the psoriasis on my arms. I was wearing strapless dresses, yay! There was zero sign of eczema. Then, I one day, I had a very small itchy part on the side of my palm. I applied an ointment prescribed by my dermatologist (bless the man, he’s saved me so many times) two years ago, but it refused to go away. Instead, it got increasingly worse. When the season was over, I was suddenly fatigued by my hectic lifestyle (which I had been dealing with just fine when I was dragonboating) and I had angry patches on my inner elbows and an insane psoriatic itch near my armpit. And bam, here I am, suffering again!
The Chinese medicine I’ve been taking over the past few weeks hasn’t been working fast enough so I’m hoping to get an appointment with dermatologist this week. A round of antihistamines isn’t the best solution, but I know by now, sometimes you just need to zap it before it spreads like wildfire to every part of your body (past experience last year when I tried to avoid the dermatologist and it was bad bad BAD). A lot of people don’t believe in Chinese / alternative medicine, homeopathy or even Western medicine (which simple suppresses the body’s production of histamines), but personally, I think you need a combination of everything.
Patient Chart today:
Two cups of brewed coffee
Cheung Fun and fried tofu for lunch (fried is bad I know, I know but I peeled the fried skin off after the first one).
Fried pork chop with steamed rice and broccoli (what I usually have every week, what can I say I’m boring with food)
7 hours at 3AM last night
1 hour under moderate sun (5pm).