65: How I battled my eczema

Friday, 5 February 2016

Good evening! If some of you have followed me since I was a teen, you probably know that I have eczema or atopic dermatitis almost all of my life. When I was in primary school, I had eczema all over my torso and back. Then it disappeared when I was about 11. During my teen years, I started getting eczema on my feet and hands. My feet eczema has healed now but I still get eczema on the palm of my right hand. My eczema was mainly triggered by what I eat – usually seafood. I was always self-conscious of my hand and once I even wore gloves to some of my classes. If some of you do not know how eczema looks like,  here's an example:
minor eczema. taken from webmd.
Once I entered university, I was surprised to find a lot of people who suffer from eczema but they usually don't know how to manage it. Eczema isn't something that can be cured, since it's usually hereditary. I thought I'd share a few ways I tame my eczema.

1) I do not eat with my hands. Meaning I do not scoop my rice and lauk into my mouth the traditional malay way which is by using my hands. I always use a fork and spoon. Even if people say I 'jet-jet omputih', I terus show them my hand to keep them quiet. My hand is already irritated as it is, why would I continue to irritate it by smothering sambal belacan all over it, kan? Lol. Tapi if I have to tear apart, let's say, a piece of chicken yang liat... I'd used the tip of my fingertips only – avoiding my eczema. 

2) I apply calamine lotion to the itchy areas. Calamine lotion is usually used to provide relief to skin rashes and irritation. I use calamine lotion on the parts of my torso/back that had eczema when I was 7-years-old. The eczema would always come and go and I finished a lot of bottles of calamine. But it did provide relief and I didn't itch that much. Take note it only relieves it but doesn't make it go away. Calamine lotion can easily be purchased at any pharmacy.

3) 1% Hydrocortisone cream. This is probably what helped me the most and I discovered it so late. I wish I knew about it when I was younger. Cortisone is a steroid that is anti-inflammatory and is always used to treat eczema. But I was always thinned it down using petroleum jelly so it wouldn't be so harsh on my skin. It can be bought over-the-counter at a pharmacy. Bayangkan my hand used to look like kat atas tu, and now it looks like this:
Hydrocortisone cream is definitely the best solution for me. It gave me the longest results. But even after the eczema went away, my palm became very dry so I apply hand cream every day. My current favourite hand cream is  the strawberry scented hand cream from The Body Shop - RM21.00 :) This hand cream also helped reduce the scars from my eczema.
4) Last but not least, I maintain a good diet. I stay away from seafood as much as possible – but I still go crazy over sambal udang petai and gulai ketam T____T. I heard some people who managed to make their eczema go away by eating a vegetarian or vegan diet. I eat a lot of veggies now and am starting to enjoy it's effects.

And that is it. I hope some of these tips can help any of you who're suffering eczema like I am. Don't be embarrassed by your eczema as it is a common disease. Btw, eczema is NOT a contagious disease. I've had some people who didn't want to salam me because takut berjangkit. Do not spread that bs okay. Be educated and read about it lol. 


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Great tips! My sister have the exact same problem, and I hope it will work out for her too :) thanks a lot