23 Jan 2019

My Skincare Story & Being A Beauty Blogger With Eczema



I feel like I have told my skin story in dribs and drabs over here but never the full story. I know many people struggle with eczema, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and general dry skin, including myself. Dry skin can really impact your day to day life and depending on your job and lifestyle, it can be tricky to adjust and create a regime that agrees with your skin. So today I thought I'd share with you my eczema & dermatitis journey and how I'm working this into my lifestyle and blog.

CHILDHOOD

From when I was as young as 8 years old I suffered with extremely dry skin on my body, in particular my arms, but also occasionally appeared on my face. I used various creams, ointments and lotions, prescribed by the doctor, to help hydrate my skin and sometimes the medication would work and sometimes it wouldn't. I remember I'd use Oilitum in the bath and E45 for my face and body alongside Hydrocortisone.

I also remember my mum took me to see a herbal specialist for oral medication and whatever syrup / tablets they gave me really agreed with my skin at the time but again, my skin would return to normal after a while.



TEENAGE YEARS

I remember visiting the doctors several times in my early teens so I could be prescribed with stronger creams and steroids and eventually they did but after a few months of having great skin, the eczema would come back. By the time I was 16 years old, the eczema had gotten really bad. It started spread onto my face and being at the awkward & shy teenager I was, this did not help at all with confidence. I remember my skin was so irritated and inflamed, I'd take days off college just because I didn't want anyone to look at my face.

I did try and get prescribed with more medication at this point and I was given the Diprobase and Epaderm - both of which I believe are available off-the-counter. I was also prescribed Betamethasone, but that only seemed to work sometimes.


EARLY TWENTIES

Shortly after I turned 20, my eczema had spread to my back and face and began to get really painful. My back was covered in dry skin that would make me itch in my sleep, causing my skin to crack and then scab up making my back extremely sore and sensitive. I had to change the clothing I'd wear because everything was so uncomfortable on my back.

I went to see a dermatologist who prescribed me with Synalar and Eumovate. The Eumovate worked instantly on my back and cleared it right up! I was amazed. Of course medicine works differently on everyone but it was one of the first creams that seems to do something after years of not getting positive results.

I had a few months of great skin (from pre-wedding to shortly after honeymoon period) but a couple of months later, my eczema returned. As well as my back, it also appeared on my face and chest area. It eventually just started to spread everywhere. I was so disheartened because just as I began to get somewhere, it returned.

I visited my GP and pushed for them to do something more and I was finally referred to the hospital for an allergy test. The doctors had already told me I had atopic dermatitis but they perhaps thought it was contact dermatitis, which is when your skin reacts to certain ingredients.

So off I went to my allergy test appointments. I told them about my lifestyle, how I am a blogger and like to test skincare and makeup, so they catered the samples to that and I was tested for 113 different ingredients. The results: nothing. I was allergic to nothing. The doctor recommended to stop using all skincare and make up and handed me an information leaflet which highlighted changes I could make around the home, but most seemed useless. For example, I was told to wash my clothes on 60° or higher, as this kills the bacteria in clothes, but it would also shrink my clothing. They also recommended I dust and hoover often incase it reacted with my skin.

I asked about make up and skincare and they said to use products that are available in pharmacies - which seemed really vague and unhelpful. With make up, they recommended to mix a tinted powder in with Vaseline to create a foundation - but that just sounds incredibly greasy! I'm not slacking off the NHS but I felt even more helpless after the allergy test than I did before.


PRESENT

Anyway, I decided to take things into my own hands and ever since then I have been doing research and testing & trialling many products and methods so I can report my findings back to help people who are going through the same thing. I'm not going to stop my passion for beauty and skincare just because I have a skin condition, I'm going to embrace it and see ways that I can keep my lifestyle the same and help others.

So what to expect from me: I'll be sharing even more content around eczema, dry skin and dermatitis but not just product recommendations. I've found some tips, tricks and methods for home, work and things that could work for different lifestyles too, that I'd like to share with others in case it can help them too.



So stay tuned and if you have any questions, just pop them in the comment below! I'd be happy to answer them :)

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