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Anyone with eczema or sensitive skin?

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luvthemstrawberries

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I''ve had eczema since I was young. Used to be in patches all over my body, but I outgrew most of it. Usually my hands will get really dry during the winter, but lately my hands have gotten really bad. It''s definitely eczema - itchy, red, swollen - pretty much disfigures the skin. It''s not near my e-ring (the only ring I wear) so I don''t think metal allergy is the problem. This is just starting to drive me nuts, and I''m tired of having to rub medicine in all the time. My dad gave me a sample yesterday of a creme his dermatologist prescribed for his eczema and it''s helped a little bit over the past 12 hours.

I searched the threads, and there''s only one or two that are a few years old about eczema. I''d just like to see if there''s anyone around here now that has any advice. I''d love some natural remedies, but I do realize that sometimes a medicine may be the only thing that may work. I haven''t started the pain-staking trial and error yet of removing things out of my routine to find out what the trigger is. But I just don''t know how that would work, because I haven''t changed anything in my routine for a long time.

So does anyone have any specific triggers that cause them to break out - things you ingest or come in contact with? Or any solutions you have for calming the itch and making the rash go away? I already use fragrance free everything - beauty products, laundry detergent. Only thing that isn''t is the hand soap at the sinks - still using regular Dial, but it''s been that way for a long time, and I haven''t had these problems until it flared up really badly recently. Seems to be spreading too - was on only 1 finger on the right hand, now I have it on 2 on the left also.
 

lliang_chi

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Mar 13, 2008
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Luv, my FI has mild eczema, it gets kinda bad during the winter. He said this winter is wasn''t so bad and he thinks it''s because I have a humidifier in our bedroom (this is the first winter he lived with me). I think the dryness probably irritates your condition.

Also, I know this helps with chicken pox, dunno if it will with eczema, but a lemongrass bath usually soothes irritated skin. Boil some stalks of lemongrass in water (think a really strong tea) and add it to your bath water. For your hands maybe you can just soak them in a shallow pan.

Lastly, if you have any open sores from it, I found rubbing tumeric helps me with stuff like cold sores. It''s BRIGHT yellow, so you probably want to do it when you''re at home. :) It''s a drying agent and also has some natural healing properties (antiseptic) so it could help.
 

mrssalvo

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19,132
My son's eczema flares up something awful when he drinks milk or eats yogurt. Other dairy products don't seem to bother him though. He's only one so I'm hoping he'll outgrow it but for now I keep him away from most dairy products.
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Dec 12, 2006
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3,753
my son was born with eczema
he is now getting ready to turn 12 and he still has problems, there does not seem to be any rythm or reason to why he breaks out, winter seems to be worse the summer, we have prescription cream that helps when he is really broke out and we use Aveeno Cooling Menthol lotion on him when he is really itchy and it seems to help hime some...
 

movie zombie

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flares up when i''m exposed to EDTA which is in a lot of things.

mz
 

niccia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
343
I had bad excema as a child . First I had it on both hands, then on both inner elbows, and finally on the back of my thighs. It was awful. It was strange how it would always affect symmetrical parts of my body. Anyway, I wasn''t allowed to have any meds so I basically struggled with it, esp in winter. When I was a teenager, I read about about the benefits of hemp seed oil and started taking that everyday. I also began to apply emu oil topically. I think the hemp seed oil worked more, but both were probably good for me. I did that for about a year and then the problem suddenly just went away (not sure if I just outgrew it or not, but I feel the oils played a big part). I haven''t been bothered by it since (over 12 years later).
 

LaraOnline

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Hemp seed oil sounds interesting.

My little boy was plagued with eczema from shortly after his birth, he was dreadfully uncomfortable and would scratch until he bled.

We went to see the local specialist (I live in a country town) and he told me that the proteins in my breast milk were likely to be irritating him, and that perhaps I should consider a formula.
So, he came off the breast and he went from formula to formula, searching for one which was not going to cause flare-ups.
The flare-ups would come in, say, fortnightly cycles.
It was incredibly distressing.
We also had a steroid cream prescription from this specialist, which I was loathe to use unless he got really, really bad.


Anyway, eventually it got to the point where my husband was so distressed, he decided our boy should be placed on vegetable juices rather than formula!
When I ignored him and bought a replacement tin of formula, he chucked it (unopened) in the outside industrial bin. When he went to work, I would scrabble through the bin and dig it back out again!!! This happened a couple of times. It was pretty bad.

then my DH got a recommendation through work for a human dermatologist, who was actually a fellow attached to the college of dermatology (meaning that she has done plenty of ongoing study).
When we finally got in to see her, I cried the entire appointment.
This is what she said, in relation to my six month old:

* Unless there is a direct food related response - as in, within half hour to two hours max of eating food, there is no real point treating his allergy as a food related allergy. Therefore, I could go back to breast milk if I wanted, or any kind of formula

* It is best to treat outbreaks very aggressively, and to treat immediately upon any sign of change in skin texture or outbreak, on any part of the body. This is because skin has a kind of 'memory', in that the longer a condition goes unchecked, the more difficult it is for the skin to finally leave that reaction behind permanently. This also applies to small, localised areas of flare-up. Treat them,no matter how tiny the spot is, or how mild the flare-up, so that the skin learns to heal.

* There is very little to be concerned about in relation to steroid creams. The one she prescribed for me is so low dose that in many parts of the world, it is available over the counter. Sensations such as stinging may make the consumer feel that the cream is 'severe' or 'dangerous', but that is not the case. Additionally, she actually told me to 'smile and nod' when the chemist assistants gave me the lecture about using the cream minimally or sparingly. She said it was far, far better to treat confidently and immediately upon signs of any outbreak.

* For maximum effectiveness, she advised a 'wet-wrap' technique to be used with the cream: after the child's bath (preferably with an oil rather than conventional soap) pat dry and then apply steroid cream in a thin, even layer. Wet a baby singlet / muslin (with lovely warm water, obviously) and wring dry with your hands and wrap over the affected body part. Cover up with a baby sleeping pocket / blanket and let sit for twenty minutes, then remove wet wrap and into dry pjs.
The wet wrap helps the steroid cream absorb, and take effect, much, much faster. (From memory she said the wrap effect could be similar to five ordinary applications of the cream!)

* Failure to treat properly was implicated in allergy development further down the track, as the skin is an important organ of protection. Long-term breaches to the protective action of skin does increase the opportunities for potential allergens to further irritate and develop an allergic response from the already besieged body.

Anyway, I know that medical people hate, hate, hate it when lay people pass on the information that they have given, but I thought her information was too valuable just to sit with little ol' me! I know many mums worried sick about their child's skin problems, and I'm thinking this advice might be beneficial to grown-ups as well.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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HI:

My son had mild eczema until grade 7, now it is gone entirely. Now, I have developed it in a mild form and it is troublesome (in my ear). My derm didn''t recommend anything since it is mild, but I do use a laRoche-Posy mild wash creme and Dove baby soap.

cheers--Sharon
 

AprilBaby

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I had eczema pretty severely from childhood till about 40. Then it just disappeared! I guess you can grow out of it? It was particularly bad (and occasionally surfaces) with white gold, silver and 10 kt yg. I RARELY get a flare up anymore but the only thing that helped was prednisone cream, RX strength.
 

MrsG

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Oct 5, 2008
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153
I struggled with eczema as a child and now my daughter has it really bad. She is 8 and had eczema since she was 2. Her outbreaks usually completely cover her thighs, they itch and she scratches until she bleeds. We have seen a number of dermatologists and she has been tested for allergies. Usually a combination of a steroid cream or hydrocortisone and an antihistamine takes care of her severe flair ups. In between we use Aquaphor Healing Ointment. It helps with dryness and itching.
Also, she has been taking oatmeal baths, which seem to be helping. I just put a couple of handfuls of oatmeal in an old sock, hold it under running water, then tie it and just drop it in the bathtub. Or you can buy oatmeal bath packets. I believe Aveeno makes them.
 

MishB

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I don''t have eczema, but I have a condition called Darier''s Disease, which is classified as a rare disease, it''s genetic, and it manifests itself as a skin condition which can be horrific in it''s worst forms. Luckily so far I have a very mild version, if it ever gets as bad as some of the photos I have seen on the net, I don''t know what I would do.

The only thing that controls it is topical steroids. I find it is made much worse by the weather - heat, sweating aggravates it, and in winter tight clothing & anything wool makes it very bad. I can''t use a lot of soaps, and some shampoos/hair/skin products are no-nos.

I think it is affected by my hormones - I often have a severe attack around ''that time''.

Stress too, can trigger a bad flare.

I''ve never linked it to particular foods, but lately I have been trying to take care of myself, eg eat healthily for other reasons, and it''s the best it''s been for a long time. I really think diet can be a huge factor in this sort of condition.
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
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Thank you so much for the responses so far. I sincerely appreciate all the input.

As many of you have said about your children or yourselves when you were young, I had terrible eczema when I was young - it started when I was maybe 10 or so, and continued through my teens, when I finally outgrew most of it. It was all over my legs, on the sides of my torso, on my shoulders and arms, and on my neck/chest - always in groups of smaller patches though, never huge continuous patches. They were itchy, dry, red, and raised/swollen. The itch was the worst part - it hurts to scratch and makes it even worse, but the itch is just unbearable. Now I just get it on my hands - haha which is a very visual place to the world for eczema. Plus you can't keep meds on it without reapplying after every time you wash hands.

I started going to the dermatologist when it got bad when I was young, and we went through so many different medicines trying to find one that worked. I was also playing in volleyball leauges at the time, and we had weekend tournaments where you play multiple games a day all weekend. When I was about 13, I suddenly noticed these strange looking marks on my inner shins one night after my shower. We got it checked out - all the doctors could figure it that the eczema topical meds I was using were skin-thinning medicines. I was pulling my kneepads up and down all day long playing volleyball... and gave myself stretchmarks. On my inner calfs.
I still have them to this day - nothing I can do. I've learned to not think about them, and they've faded a bit, but people still eye my legs like they're something strange - I mean, who do you know with stretch marks all over their lower legs? I can't wear shorts or skirts without them showing. They're not ugly or huge or anything, but they just make me look very different. I've gotten over it, but it still erks me a bit to know I have them because of stupid eczema.

So the point is... I want to be careful with what I use, because I certainly don't want any more results like that, but I also want the eczema to go away. I really appreciate all the info. The med I have right now is helping somewhat, but we'll see. I'd love to find the trigger so I can stay away from it, which is why I was curious what yall's triggers are.
 

luvthemstrawberries

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lliang chi - I''ve used a humidifer all winter. I think it made a huge difference in my sinuses and not getting nosebleeds and such. But my skin must be really parched, because it didn''t seem to make a difference in the dryness. Only lotion all over helped that unfortunately, which is really time consuming.
Thanks for the info on lemongrass.

mrssalvo - I''ll keep the dairy in mind. I keep a food and headache journal since I get a lot of headaches, so maybe I''ll look through that for some common things to try to take out too. I do eat a lot of dairy - eggs, milk, string cheese, yogurt almost every day.

diamondrnglover - That''s what mine seems like - I can''t seem to find an obvious reason why I break out, so I''m having to dig a lot deeper.

niccia - Thanks for the info - I may give that a try - I''m desperate at this point! I''m glad yours has gone away!

LaraOnline - Thank you for all your input. I may try the wet wrap technique - it''s on my hands, so I''d have to get creative. But that does make sense to use warm wraps to make it more immediately effective. Has any of this helped with your son''s eczema?
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
2,107
canuk-gal - I also use Dove soap on my body, and only Clinique on my face. But I''ve recently started breaking out on my face too. Haha, my body is going wacko apparently.


AprilBaby - I''ll keep the med in mind. The cream I have right now is something called Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream - rx as well.

MrsG - Your daughter''s sounds just like mine when I was younger. I''m glad you''ve found a good combination/solution for her. I have the Aquaphor Healing Ointment too - it''s pretty greasy, and doesn''t heal mine, but it does help with the dryness and itching, as you said. I used to use Aveeno products as well when my entire body was breaking out - they were wonderful. The oatmeal really does seem to soothe and help. Maybe I should go back to that.

MishB - Heat also aggravates mine - makes it even more swollen. Haha, which means there''s no happy medium, because cold, dry air makes it dry and crack open.
I also can''t wear wool or any itchy/tight clothes.
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
2,107
Date: 4/6/2009 6:17:57 PM
Author: movie zombie
flares up when i''m exposed to EDTA which is in a lot of things.

mz
MZ - I saw your post in the older thread about eczema and read about you and EDTA. How in the world did you narrow it down to that?

I looked last night at my shampoo and conditioner that I''ve been using since about January - and they contain "Disodium EDTA." Ha, I just laughed when I read that. The products I used before that actually don''t contain it. But the lotion I use does contain it, and I put that on my hands and all over my body, and haven''t had any problems except on my hands, so I don''t know if that would be a trigger for me or not. I''m really curious how you narrowed it down to that.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 24, 2008
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3,365
Date: 4/7/2009 8:56:33 AM
Author: luvthemstrawberries
LaraOnline - Thank you for all your input. I may try the wet wrap technique - it's on my hands, so I'd have to get creative. But that does make sense to use warm wraps to make it more immediately effective. Has any of this helped with your son's eczema?
Fixed it within three-four days. It was really bad, too.
Recently (two years later) we have had another flare up. Not bad enough to use the technique (but I may have been just a bit lazy about that).
Apart from that, it's just been the odd localised break out or two... perhaps I haven't been vigilant enough about really aggressively tackling those little tiny break outs. Lazy mum!


I would definitely use the wet wrap technique... and I also really think you should seek out a super, super qualified dermatologist in the area you need assistance with.

This woman we went to in the city was absolute LIGHT YEARS from the first 'specialist' we'd seen. I had soooo many questions after we had seen him, he just seemed so open ended about everything... it could be food, we should use a steroid cream, we'll have to persist with trying to see what triggers it...try swapping laundry powders... Perhaps he hadn't done any reading since the 1960s, when he first got his qualification! She addressed every aspect of our concern within that single appointment.

Dermatology, allergy and eczema seems to be an incredibly complicated and fast-developing field. Can you believe the first specialist had me thinking that perhaps my little boy was allergic to LIFE, because the flare-ups kept coming back?
Go see someone who keeps up with it all!!!

We have only needed that ONE appointment so far!!!
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
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Lara - I'm glad that helped your son. I can't imagine my baby being in discomfort, especially knowing how aggravating eczema is. I think I'm going to try the wrap tonight. For just a finger, since I'm not too familiar with the terms you used, should I use something like some medical gauze, or a paper towel? Or should it be something softer, like a washcloth?

I definitely do need to find a good dermatologist too. The one I went to in my teen years wasn't as compitent as I would have liked, looking back on it. I just didn't know any better then. I'm glad your new one has been so helpful!!
 

bebe

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 20, 2007
Messages
2,845
http://www.skinactives.com/product/detail.aspx?prodID=94

I read your post and I knew I had just read something about eczema, but for the life of me, couldn''t remember.
Anyway, I checked a few sites I frequent and remembered it must have been this one. Can''t say anything good,
or bad about this cream, I''ve never used it. Good luck.
 

CrownJewel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
1,895
luvs, last summer I started getting eczema around my eyes. it started as an itchy, scaly red patch above my right eyelid, then spread to the lower eyelid, then the other eye and then to a spot near my nose. the dermatologist kept suggesting more and more creams, all steroid creams which would help but the itchy patches would come back as soon as I stopped. When I was younger and got eczema on my legs and arms, the only thing that would help was OTC cortizone cream followed by a thick layer of eucerin creme (the stuff that comes in a tub and is SO thick) twice a day.

none of that worked on the patches on my face and I was getting worried that using all those steroidal creams was bad for my skin in the long run. out of desperation, I started applying rosebud salve on the itchy patches and started using a humidifer. It totally worked. I normally use the rosebud salve as lip balm, and i figured that it works well on my lips so it was worth a try.

you can get it at sephora and a few other places. also, I think you said you are using dial? that sounds like it''s pretty drying. use cetaphil or for a fragrance free body soap, I use grandpa''s oatmeal soap.
 

CrownJewel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
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1,895
and the rosebud salve which i used after everytime I washed my face.

P42204_hero.jpg
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,879
Date: 4/7/2009 9:05:42 AM
Author: luvthemstrawberries

Date: 4/6/2009 6:17:57 PM
Author: movie zombie
flares up when i''m exposed to EDTA which is in a lot of things.

mz
MZ - I saw your post in the older thread about eczema and read about you and EDTA. How in the world did you narrow it down to that?

I looked last night at my shampoo and conditioner that I''ve been using since about January - and they contain ''Disodium EDTA.'' Ha, I just laughed when I read that. The products I used before that actually don''t contain it. But the lotion I use does contain it, and I put that on my hands and all over my body, and haven''t had any problems except on my hands, so I don''t know if that would be a trigger for me or not. I''m really curious how you narrowed it down to that.
dermatologist ran allergy tests.....also allergic to formaldyhide and some other things. but anthing with any variation of EDTA will do it. from rashes to facial swelling depending on whether merely on the skin or ingested....read the labels on your canned goods and you''ll find it in mayo, canned beans, and more. i''ve eliminated most things and usually only get a small breakout that goes away quickly or sometimes i get overwhelmed about every 1.5 years and then its nasty. i can''t control the ingredients that restaurants use, the sprays used in peoples'' homes or in businesses, etc. but by controlling my environment and the things i use, i can usually tolerate a little exposure. a trip to the hairdresser for a haircut usually means i have a breakout on the back of my scalp......the shampoos all seem to have it. then there was the day my hubby brought in a piece of plywood and i immediately started sneezing, itching, turning red.....of course, plywood as formaldyhde in its production.

mz

ps most medical doctors have no idea what''s in the meds they prescribe so i have to do the research and tell them....hence, i have an ongoing relationship with a compounding pharmacists who can put things together w/o the dreaded EDTA. i''ve used prescriptions for eye infections and other things and the symptoms just get worse until i figured out that i can''t trust doctors or pharmacists w/o checking on ingredients myself.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Date: 4/7/2009 3:38:35 PM
Author: luvthemstrawberries
Lara - I''m glad that helped your son. I can''t imagine my baby being in discomfort, especially knowing how aggravating eczema is. I think I''m going to try the wrap tonight. For just a finger, since I''m not too familiar with the terms you used, should I use something like some medical gauze, or a paper towel? Or should it be something softer, like a washcloth?


I definitely do need to find a good dermatologist too. The one I went to in my teen years wasn''t as compitent as I would have liked, looking back on it. I just didn''t know any better then. I''m glad your new one has been so helpful!!
Find a super-nerdy one, the kind that sits all the exams and has ALL the letters after his / her name!!!
Regarding the wet wrap technique, it''s so simple it''s kind of a no brainer. You can follow the steroid cream up with a recommended moisturiser as well, if you like, once you take the wrap off. I think a face washer would be fine, or if that''s a bit drippy, any kind of light cotton as well, like a baby''s singlet or similar weight...cloth table napkin? A cloth handkerchief would be perfect. Paper towel would probably work like a treat, as long as it''s the strong absorbable type. The warmth and moisture helps the cream sink in and makes it a lot more effective, more quickly. My little boy always fell asleep with his wet wrap on (with a baby sleeping bag on over the top to keep it all warm)
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
2,107
Thanks for more responses. I sincerely appreciate all the input you guys give.


bebe - thank you for the link - that information sounds exactly like my situation.

CrownJewel - I used to use Eucerin on my face all the time - not for eczema, just for moisturizing. That was great stuff. Thank you for the info on what you use also. I actually use Dove as my body wash, but I used the dial hand soaps in the sink soap containers. Maybe I need to change that too. I''ve actually considered all the things my hands probably come in contact with during the day, and it might not be too extreme for me to take my own sensitive skin soap around with me, even at work. I''m sure the soap even in the bathrooms at work are not good for my skin and probably make the situation worse.


MZ - I''ve never had allergy tests done. Maybe I should consider that. Might help with my sinus/headache problems too as a matter of fact. And I know exactly what you mean about having to do all the research yourself. It''s pretty sad, but reality.


Lara - Thank you for the information!

 

babysteps

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
597
Luvthemstrawberries - one of my children has eczema, we have found that Gold Bond ultimate really helps him during pre-flareups (I watch carefully for the dry, scaly signs that precede the real flare) this has been the best we have found, although he does have Elidel as a prescription med for really bad outbreaks. Good luck, I know how painful and irritating it can be.

index_r3_c4.jpg
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
3,877
Aveeno makes a body wash and lotion for eczema, but it isn''t kept with all of the rest of their body washes and lotions, it''s actually located with all of the eczema creams. The only place that I can find it is Walgreens, but you can probably order it online, if you don''t have one near you. I have found that using both of these products together actually heals my skin and the skin of both of my sons very quickly. I also take Omega 3 fatty acids faithfully, 2 grams, each day to moisturize from the inside out.

Dairy is a trigger for me. I have found that my allergies tend to trigger my eczema too, so if I''m flaring outside of winter, I begin to take my antihistamine everyday.

I have had a bit of success with unrefined shea butter, but it''s really greasy and I couldn''t tolerate putting my clothes on after I used it. For your hands, it might work very well.
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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babysteps - Thanks so much for adding your response to the thread - I appreciate it. I used to have Elidel also. I also used to use the Gold Bond lotion - it''s nice to know someone else liked it. I really liked it, except for the fragrance. I haven''t used it in a while, so maybe I should see if they make a fragrance free choice, because it always helped me, especially when I had severly dry skin all over my hands. It was such a soothing lotion.

House Cat - thanks! I''ll look for that body wash. I use Dove right now, which usually treats me pretty well. But I used to use Aveeno lotion, and I LOOOOOVED it - it was just so darn expensive. I may try the wash next time if I can find it - we have a lot of Walgreens around here, so thanks for the heads up. Guess the $ is worth it though if it helps with the skin problems. I also was taking the Omega 3 every night for a while, and I didn''t know it helped to moisturize - I''ll try to get back into those - anything to help!!

That''s very interesting about dairy - I eat a lot of dairy. What antihistamine do you take?

That''s also interesting about the shea butter - I heard an ad recently for Palmer''s skin therapy something or other, and I''ve been meaning to check that out as well. Thanks!
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
2,107
The 2 patches on my left hand have really cleared up. I think the rx cream my dad gave me has really helped. But it's so hard to keep cream on your hands with constantly washing them and all. I really just have the one on my right hand pinky, which is the finger I've had problems with since I was young - it's like that one finger is predisposed to the eczema or something - very aggravating.

Anyway, I sincerely appreciate all of the info you guys have given thus far. It's so valuable to hear what works and doesn't for real people.
 
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