After taking the zinc beginning in mid-August, I started noticing a difference in the eczema about two weeks later. What I noticed was that as the older eczema wounds were healing, new ones weren't forming. Eventually the older wounds healed, and the eczema was gone.
I also made a determination not to scratch the eczema at all, which is very hard to do when your skin is itching so much. To keep it from itching, I started alternating between applying Doctors Defense Zen Fusion Creme and Benadryl creme to the eczema spots over and over. I would apply one or the other every 15 minutes or so. That helped to alleviate the itch a lot, and the cremes helped to promote the healing. After the eczema was healed, my skin was still very fragile because of all the trauma caused by the repeated eczema episodes, so I kept my skin very moisturized for weeks until the skin grew stronger, while trying not to touch the healing areas at all. I even tried to sleep with my hands extended instead of under my head so that there wouldn't be any friction on them. The scratching and rubbing is what is really bad, and when I stopped scratching or even touching the area, the eczema got better and my skin got stronger.
It's very good that you will be going to see an allergist. The allergist will test to find out what you are allergic to. I've been taking allergy shots for four years, and they've helped so much. The only allergen I continue to have problems with is mold. Last fall, my allergist added additional mold to my serum to see if it would help, and I'm very hopeful that my next allergy test in November will show that I'm showing improvement. My allergist said, however, that once mold gets extremely high, it will make anyone sick, whether they are allergic to mold or not. With the allergy shots, though, I'm now O.K. with mold in the environment in moderate amounts. It's only when mold is very high that I run into trouble.
Here's one thing that may have really started to cause my eczema problems beginning this past spring when my eczema started to really flare up and get out of control. For ten years, I used a Sonicare Advance electric toothbrush. It was a great toothbrush, but then the battery gave out. After ten years, it was entitled. So, I ordered a new Sonicare, but then I found out that Sonicare has replaced the Advance model with the Elite model. No problem, I thought, improvements do occur. NOT! The original Sonicare company has been taken over by a conglomerate that has changed the design (no doubt to cheapen the manufacturing expense.) The new design allows water to seep into the brush head and stay for weeks, or even months, where black mold grows and fosters. I didn't know anything about this mold developing because it hadn't been a problem with the Advance model. Then, when I went to change brush heads this past August, out flowed all of this murky, black water filled with black mold!!!! It was just horrific! When I looked on the internet, I found out that many others were having the same problem. It's definately a design problem that Sonicare needs to fix.
I cleaned the toothbrush unit up well, and put on the new brush head. After reading the advice of others, I've begun taking the brush head off after each use, rinsing it out, and letting it dry before putting the brush head back on the unit. This has taken care of the black mold problem.
I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if this mold in my toothbrush had a lot to do with my eczema problems that began last spring and then intensified when I was exposed to the high levels of mold in Austin this past summer. I know that you may view my telling you about this experience as just "too much information," so to speak, but I wanted to tell you about this incident because it shows just how bad environmental issues can be in possibly causing our problems with eczema.
I'm so happy we have Cure Zone, too. I never would have learned so much about eczema if I hadn't had the opportunity to read all of the posts here.
Please keep letting us know how you're doing!
P.S. By the way, Momo, I must really thank you. I never made the connection that the mold in my toothbrush may have been at least part of the problem until you started discussing your concerns about mold. The mold in Austin was an obvious eczema suspect, but I never stopped to think about whether the mold my toothbrush had a connection until you got me thinking about it!