Well, here comes a dermatologist's worst nighmare :D hahaaaa... If you have dyshidrotic eczema (and you should get diagnosed by a DOCTOR to make sure it isn't something else), I sincerely hope this will help. Mine was never too severe but these techniques got me rid of my worst lesions and immediately put new ones into remission within 12 hours. To a point where this no longer worries me at all. It's kind of a big deal
Note: You may or may not be sensitive to the same things as me, but I hope this comprehensive home remedy can bring you serious relief no matter what. No rare ingredients, no nonsense. Super cheap. If you do just one thing on this page, do the vinegar treatment.
***I am not making any claims here: all the following info is what worked for ME and I would have paid a lot of money to get all this info on a silver plate rather than having to experiement for 3 years. You take full responsibility for anything you decide to do or not to do.
Description of my dyshidrotic eczema experience
Starts small, usually one of a few tiny blisters that can be very raised or mild. Then it disappears or spreads in a circular-ish pattern with raised edges. It does not react well to cortisone and can take months to go away. The later stage is a leathery, thick, dry cracking texture.
Mine is rarely itchy unless it gets bad but in some people it is very uncomfortable.
This eczema gets worse (and is often triggered) when I am exposed to high temperatures, but I have also experienced it in the wintertime.
I don't care what dermatologists say: I am now convinced that there is a FUNGAL cause to it. My family doctor agrees.
This condition can go away on its own, but I don't like waiting!
FACTORS to consider
-Hormones (period) especially for women I would assume
-Caffeine(because it screws up your hormones and acidifies your body)
-very very very important: ALL COMMERCIAL LOTIONS, SOAPS, SHAMPOOS, CONDITIONNERS, BALMS, INCLUDING THE SO-CALLED SENSITIVE SOLUTIONS AND DERMATOLOGIST RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS, as well as MANY NATURAL PRODUCTS that are not natural at all. They are not all created equal. I will provide you with my "safe" brands. I tried using Pantene this week. Results: new lesions on my otherwise healthy hands.
- Energy imbalance in your body. This is going to sound far-out to some of you, but if you have chronic health problems, your body's natural energies may be homolateral. Your body owns a blueprint to heal itself - when it doesn't use it, it is your responsibility to activate it. Your energies are supposed to cross over, but lack of exercise and many different factors like EMF, fatigue and simple things like shoulder bags may cause your body to be stuck in parallel. VERY easy, short exercise correct this, as I will expose below. This changed my whole life - I cannot overstate it. You have power in your body. If you don't wanna do it, just follow the rest of the instructions but it's really your loss, as it is my experience that this reconfigures your immunity.
REPLACE YOUR SKINCARE REGIMEN PRODUCTS
1) This was the KEY for me. Go cold turkey on ALL lotions, shampoos, conditioners and drugstore soaps. Here are the alternatives that saved my skin (you can get most for a great price at iHerb.com):
-Desert Essence Jojoba oil instead of lotion. It absorbs quickly. keep a bottle near each sink in the house and always put some on after washing your hands.If you were a lotion junkie, after a while you may notice you don't need much lotion at all throughout the day.
-If you need extra care like a cream to carry around with you, Bach Flower Essences Rescue Cream is the only one so far that doesn't cause me lesions and you can use it for everything and everywhere.
-If you need a body lotion after the shower: Kiss my Face Olive and Aloe does wonders for me. No parabens, no toxic chems. ***I will admit I still wash my HANDS after putting it on - I might be paranoied - and apply jojoba oil or Bach Rescue Cream.
-Facial moisturizer. The best I ever used in my whole life. Contains NO toxic chemicals, parabens etc. Smells great, very efficient and good for all skin types (won't break you out either - I am very prone to breakout from bad lotions)
-Shampoo and conditionner: I recommend Desert Essence shampoos. I use Red Grape and it works great. There is no sodium laureth sulfate and none of the poisons usually used in hair care
-Soap: Canus Goat milk soap is OK for me. The more natural the soap, the better. I also recommend you don't shower everyday. You can just take care of the... "dirtier" areas... ahem, and skip a day or even two in winter if you are confortable with that.
Another idea you may or may not be comfortable with is not using soap on all parts of yourself. I don't have eczema on the rest of my body so I scrub well with a loofah and just use soap on armpits, groin and feet. This makes me very clean but ensures I keep the friendly bacteria on my skin. It literally changed the texture of my skin - soft all over and healthy.
-Styling products: Aveda Thermal protector does wonders for me and doesn't cause any dys. eczema. as far as I know
TREATMENT OF EXISTING LESIONS
If you are having a breakout of D.E., here is what I do
-Now I can't really recommend this but it helped me so much. Just take full responsibility for the cleanliness of your tools and whether you decide to do this or not. I noticed the fluid-filled bumps heal much faster when I prick them and squeeze out the liquid. I do this before the following step. It stings a little but I see a huge difference the very next morning.
-KEY treatment: Once or twice a day, ORGANIC APPLE CIDER compress (I use Bragg brand)*no other vinegar will do! This chemistry is unique!* Use a cosmetic cotton pad, soak it in the vinegar and apple vinegar all over you hands. You can even soak your hands in vinegar. Be sure to really leave it on at least 30 seconds on the most affected areas. Apple cide vinegar, believe it or not, is a moisturizer! And to top it all off, I think it kills the fungus that causes the lesions. When I attack all the lesions this way, I am eczema free for a long time (provided I stay away from the offending substances listed above)
I will not lie to you: You will stink. Vinegar stinks. Do this at night, at home. Not before work. After leaving the vinegar on for at least 30 min (I like to keep it on longer), you wash your hands with a natural soap and apply jojoba oil that you will massage into your skin (but your hands will smell faintly of vinegar a few hours)
-Hydrogen peroxide helps too. One girl whose website I saw had great success with 27% peroxide but I couldn't find any so I occasionally use pharmacy peroxide (3%) and many people have had success with this too. It's also not corrosive at all at this concentration so you can put it one safely (my doctor told me there is no harm in that). Your skin can look white-ish afterwards but worry not: it goes away. You can use peroxide to complement the vinegar treatment (ex: put some peroxide on lesions before going to bed, let it dry and use jojoba)
-For all my skin problems, I use a homeopathic cream called Calendulis (for Calendula). This is not available everywhere and you should be aware that any other cream is subject to my warning about them possibly causing lesions. Still, you can try to find a homeopathic cream with calendula and test if it causes lesions or not. The good thing with the vinegar is that I am no longer afraid to try stuff since I can get rid of the lesions easily (especially new ones I catch early)
-Cover the worst lesions with a bandage whenever possible
I recommend taking enzymes with every meal. I take Enzymatic Therapy Megazyme tablets at almost every meal.(Google "digestive enzymes" if you want to know why)
I also recommend taking a good probiotic constantly. I take Nature's Way Probifia AND Reuteri pearls twice a day (when I remember :P)
I highly recommend you look into Donna Eden's work, but if you want to keep it very simple, here are the exercises I do every day to keep my body in a healing state. I spend a total of about 10 minutes a day on this and it's one of the best investments I can think of (Google these for instructions and the "why" of these exercises)
-The Three Thumps
-"Connecting heaven and earth"
-(and then repeat the three thumps to get full benefit)
NB: In most cases, it takes bout 40 days for the body to assimilate the crossover as a habit. Still, I never stopped because I know I have a tendecy to get homolateral from stress, computer use or lack of exercise.
Donna Eden has loads more helpful, short and easy exercises to help you regain power and freedom within you own body and your own healing. If you take this little leap of faith, you will harvest the good stuff!
If you are into energy medicine like I am, you can look into EFT as well. One of the best gifts I ever got,and it is free to learn! http://www.emofree.com
(not a religious thing - I am not a religious person)
Calamine lotion.. In particular, aqueous calamine cream and plenty of it, it took just two days for it all to nearly completely disappear.
I had it for four months and tried everything suggested across the Internet.
Good old fashioned calamine lotion.. Who'd have thought?!!
I should mention.. I'm only in my third day.. It's definitely a cure for this horrid horrid form of eczema.
Edit: I'm now in my fourth day of treatment.
I know longer get new blisters, no longer itch insanely!
The skin on my hands is healing and the Pompholyx is nearly completely cured.
I'm not sure why my doctor is happy to accept that this type of eczema is not curable and that they don't know the cause.
The blisters spread along nerves. I'm no doctor but it's easy for me to see that whatever is in the blisters needs me to itch, burst them so that they can spread.
Despite this condition being described as a type of eczema.. I now am convinced that there is either a fungal or viral element.
Anyway, calamine lotion xx
Edit: fifth day.. My hands and skin are back to normal.
I shall continue with the calamine cream until the tube is finished then change to a natural moisturiser.. Probably olive oil for me after that, my skin likes it.
I can't believe it!
Last week I was in tears with the pain and embarrassed to have my hands out in public.
I really really hope this blog helps others suffering.
Most of the blogs I've read are only about people's symptoms and they don't bother to update any cures ;)
I emailed eczema org and they replied. They wrote that they cannot recommend the use of aqueous creams to eczema sufferers as they contain sodium laurel sulphates.. That have skin thinning properties.
The cream I'm using does not have sls's and furthermore, they seen to generalise eczema.. As if it's all the same.
Best of luck xxx
California Baby is a shampoo that I've had luck with. It, too, is free of all offending substances such as paraben. It's a little costly, but worth the money when I'm having problems. Then one day, I thought, why not just use gloves while shampooing? That works, too. Pantene's Ice Shine does not seem to cause me problems, but I'm with you about not showering or shampooing too often. It robs our skin of moisturizers. I shampoo every other day now, and lather only once while shampooing. I have to shampoo at least every other day, though, because my hair is toward the oily side.
In the shower, I've been able to use Aveeno fragrance free body wash for dry skin and Dove hypo-allergenic soap. Aveeno moisturizer is good, too, but your jojoba oil sounds great. Doctors Defense is also a very good moisturizer, and it has Chinese herbs in it that heal eczema, but it is a little costly. It makes the skin on my hands look like I'm a teenager again, though, which always amazes me. The look is not permanent, though, because if I stop using it, my skin looks like I'm in my mid 50's again.
I have had problems with Aveda products with botannicals in them, probably because I'm allergic to most botannicals. They cause me major eczema problems, as does any soap with tea tree oil in it.
I totally agree with your suggestion that eczema may be fungal based. I did not have any problems with eczema until my mid-50's after I took a super charged antibiotic for a staff infection, which resulted in a terrible candida (yeast) infection and fungal infections, too. The antibiotic killed off all of my good bacteria, which allowed the yeast/fungus in my body to rein free because they had no competition for space. I also think eczema is ultimately related to a zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiencies are common with people under stress, and also with those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet (which I do.)
I've always been a little leery of popping the eczema blisters because that leaves the nerves just under the skin exposed, which can make the eczema very painful. Your idea about the vinegar soak sounds very imaginative and very much worth a try, though.
I like the probiotic benefits of eating yogurt--Stoneyfield Farms yogurt is organic and very good.