Hello. I hope someone will read this lengthy post because I'm very desperate at the moment and could use all the help I can get.
I am female/24 years old. At the age of 23 I suddenly developed eczema. Prior to this, my skin was pretty good. I barely had acne through puberty and I had no known allergens. A few years prior to getting eczema, I did experience some skin sensitivities; mostly dry cracking hands in the wintertime or from overwashing. Then I started experiencing dryness on my face. Then the dryness was accompanied by redness (usually around the nose and mouth) and sometimes itchiness and small bumps (not acne, usually on the sides of my face). I never thought I had eczema. Didn't even think about it.
In January 2016, I noticed a tiny bump on my upper arm. Didn't think much of it except it was quite itchy for such a small bump. I was scratching unknowingly but soon realized it was growing. It looked like ringworm but it was diagnosed as discoid (nummular) eczema. Another two patches developed on my upper thigh then a few more on my shin and then my other shin. The patches started off as small coin shapes which quickly grew and melted together, taking over my shins. I had horrible itchy bumps and dryness appear on my neck, forehead and cheeks too which left the skin feeling like sandpaper.
I went to the dermatologist which barely looked at me, completely overlooked diet as a cause and prescribed a topical steroid, antibiotic cream and antibiotic pills. I left her office feeling angry and helpless. I didnt take her prescriptions and found a naturopath. My blood tests came up normal except for low Vit D. I still suppliment and it has gone up to 'normal' range. I know the sun is best but I live in Canada and my eczema has turned me into a recluse bc it became so painful). Through a diet regimen and suppliments, I got rid of all the patches except for a couple of small ones on my shin.
I was feeling very hopeful for a little while, but the patches on my shin grew and spread to my other shin too. A few months later as my shins became worse and worse, I developed extremely itchy bumps on both forearms which quickly spread and formed big patches. My limbs became itchy, dry, burning and weeping.
I went to another dermatologist and he did a patch test on my back. I am allergic to gold and two other chemicals found in detergents and eye solutions which I do not use. He told me I had contact dermatitis but I sure wasn't rubbing gold over my shins and forearms. He prescribed a topical steroid cream and when I asked about how long I can safely use it, he said "don't worry about that, just put it on". I tried it on a few small patches out of pure deperation and yes it worked but I did not want to keep using it for obvious reasons. I knew that I had gotten rid of patches in the past and they came back. I can't use steroids as a long term solution.
I went to a chinese herbalist. I have been drinking a concotion of herbs for over 3 months now. I believe these herbs did help to slow down the spreading of my eczema so I continued. My shins are looking much better atm, but a small patch has appeared again and I feel heartbroken. My forearms have gotten better then worse then better and worse so many times I have lost count. The cycles goes like this: bumps appear, spread then dry out. Cracks develop from thin and dry skin. Cracks heal and bumps return again. i will most likely dicontinue the chinese herbs because the herbalist himself said I am a strange case and if it hasn't helped a certain amount by now, it's time to try something else. Not to mention it's very expensive!
I am thinking of getting my eyes read by an iridologist to shed some light on my situation. Would love to see someone from Dr. Robert Morse's office. (Look him up on youtube).
I have used the following as topicals: coconut oil, oregano oil, topical steroid, the honest company organic healing balm, hemp 360 raw hemp cream, unda cream (calendula) and now puriya mother of all creams. They all help but the bumps always return.
My diet has been really good (depending on who you ask!) the last year. And now I'm trying to do a mostly raw vegan diet, no nightshades.
I know eczema can have many causes and triggers, and there's only so much I can write here about my past, but if there's anyone with a similar story and has any advice, please share.
Thank you to anyone who read this :)
-Very itchy and desperate
Thank you so much for your reply.
Leaky gut has crossed my mind before but the naturopath I was seeing did not think that was a main problem for me. Although, he performed the Life Systems Test on me and found out I had certain food intolerances which I avoided but still my symptoms go up and down. I will look more into Leaky Gut. I'm also experiancing hair loss. I don't know if it's another symptom of ill health or just from all the stress eczema has brought me.
Just curious, did you have eczema or just the dry skin you mentioned? How is your skin now?