I am 62 years old and have never had serious skin problems and there is absolutely no history in my extended family of skin problems. Last summer my wife and I moved to Michigan to be closer to family and a new grandson. I am on social security and my wife will start receiving social security in May. We have no health insurance.
Within a few weeks I picked up a bad case of poison ivy while doing yard work. That took 8 weeks to get rid of. A few weeks later I got a rash on my ankles from something in the yard, which promptly cleared up with HC 1% cream.
Starting around mid-November when the furnace began running regularly, I began to notice some dry, red spots forming on my skin. I tried to treat them myself but they kept growing in number and size. In mid-January I went to a local family physician who apparently diagnosed what I had as both scabies and some form of dermatitis. He gave me a prescription for both of them.
A week later I returned and he then referred me to a dermatologist. I met with her on Jan. 31. She immediately diagnosed it as eczema but didn't say what type. I think it's nummular dermatitis. She gave me a shot, an Antibiotic
prescription (Cephalexin) for my swollen legs and feet and an ointment prescription (Clobetasol). Plus she told me to take warm baths 3x weekly with 2 TBS bleach in the water. Plus put on Aveeno Eczema cream over top the Clobetasol 2x daily. I also purchased a whole house humidifier to keep the humidity at 40-45%.
The condition began to improve immediately and I thought I was on my way to a cure. I did get a reaction to the meds ( Antibiotics
?) which produced another milder rash. I went back to her for a follow up exam 2 weeks later and was told that people sometimes get this reaction. I was told to continue using the ointment and take that bleach bath now just once weekly.
Once I finished the very expensive $42 ointment prescription (I don't have ins.), the reaction rash started multiplying and many of the original spots started returning. It is now covering my whole body from head to toe and is as bad if not worse than it was before. I am itchy and scratchy and am having a hard time sleeping now.
I am frustrated and quite depressed about this because I never had any serious skin problems in my life other than dry skin during the winter, which is normal. It could have been a combination of the very low humidity in our apartment, a complication following the poison ivy outbreak last summer, an allergen in our apartment or a combination of all three of these. I have no idea. The water here is hard and I originally thought it was from heavy metals in the water, so we switched to spring water for cooking and eating. In addition, I don't have any food allergies
which would cause this.
What should I do? Should I refill the Clobetasol prescription? Only one refill is allowed. The dermatologist I went to is a young woman with only 7 yrs. of experience in the field. Should I try to find another older and more experienced dermatologist? Does anyone in this field use anything but steroids and Antibiotics
to ward off skin problems?
I would rather go the natural route if there was a cure that would work for me or at least greatly improve the condition so that I can function normally and have a normal life. I am currently taking a host of supplements, drinking 6 TBS of apple cider vinegar daily with water and treating the rash topically with apple cider vinegar and aloe gel. I'm also waiting for an order of oil of oregano which I was told gives good results using it topically (2-3 drops/teaspoon) of olive oil or coconut oil.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thank you.