Jump to content

Eczema - advice needed


Bishberro

Recommended Posts

It's not a child-related eczema question but people on here are so knowledgable thought someone was bound to be be able to help. My husband has always suffered from eczema all over his body but the past few months it seems to have got a lot worse probably as a result of cold weather mixed with heating, work stress, lack of sleep with 2 young kids and booze. He keeps going backwards and forwards to a variety of GPs who just keep prescribing him slightly stronger steroid cream and he uses oilatum (shampoo and shower gel), acqueous cream and double base. He doesn't use soap and we use non-bio washing powder. He's tried everything but nothing seems to be working, his skin is permanently itchy with open sores/scabs and his shirts and our sheets look like a crime scene with the amount of blood there is (pretty gross I know). He gets private health insurance with his job so do you think he could ask his GP for a referral or has anyone got any ideas about any "alternative" creams or therapies that could help him? I wasn't sure if accupuncture etc is used for eczema. Any advice would be appreciated.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a good piece on eczema on radio 4 last week - (Woman's Hour?) and from what I remember, there seems to be confusion about how to treat eczema, from those who suffer with it and those who try to treat it. One of the many things I remember the spokesperson from the National Eczema Society saying, was that it about knowing how to apply the different ointments and when to use them.

Try and find the programme on Radio 4 - maybe someone on the forum heard it too and can help, but perhaps try the National Eczema Society; http://www.eczema.org/

However I think spending some time with the GP (double appointment?) or getting a referral to go private would help get to the root of the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bishberro, I too suffer from eczema, tho not as severely as your poor hubby. From your post You say you use a washing powder, I found that the powder was a large cause of my problem and have had significant relief when I switched to a bleach free gel and liquid. I also only wear cotton as woolen fibers exacerbate my eczema. Also check bedding and bed sheets too, a feather duvet or pillow can leave me in agony for weeks! Good luck and I hope his condition improves soon.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bishberro - huge sympathy - having had very mild eczema at times in my life I know how miserable it is, and it sounds like your poor hubby is really suffering.


I believe diet can be a big issue - has he ever try cutting dairy etc. out, keeping a food diary and slowly re-introducing stuff? I would certainly look into that.


Re washing - how much detergent do you use? Most people use way too much. I'd recommend a liquid detergent, and use half the recommended dose. Maybe even try those wash ball things for the stuff that is not too soiled to take detergent out of the equasion completely. Have you changed your detergent in recent months at all? If so this could be a factor. In the past it was thought that the enzymes in bio detergents caused eczema, but these days scientists are re-thinking this, and is is thought it is more likely that is it the fragrances and colouring in detergents that cause problems. Many non-bio detergents have bleaching agents in them which have been found to be as agressive on the skin as the enzymes in the bio detergents. Again, it comes down to how much you use rather than what you use.


I use homeopathic Sulphur Tables when my eczema flares up and it does seem to have an effect over a week or so, how or why I don't know, but I'm inclined to think anything is worth a try.


I have also heard VERY good things about the products sold by Purepotions.....they have a website;

http://purepotions.co.uk/#1X0

I know of at least 2 children who had very bad eczema that was helped enormously by the bath oil and after bath cream.


Finally - I used to have the odd sunbed if my skin got really bad...I know this sounds crazy, but like your hubby mine would always flare up in the winter and even my doctor said as long as it was in moderation if it got rid of the eczema then it was probably better to do that than keep using the steroid creams....I think Village Way Hairdressers on Lordship Lane have sunbeds if he is tempted...


Do you know about the eczema society?

http://www.eczema.org/


The trouble with eczema is that it is such a long slow process of trial and error, there are times when you know right away that something is making you feel worse (like if I use Lanolin based creams I start itching right away), where as positive results - and food diaries etc. take time.


Really hope that you do find some help via this thread though.


Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would really recommend seeing a specialist. With both our kids we have been referred to a specialist who has sorted them both out really quickly after months and months of nothing happening at the GP's. (My poor son was basically an oil slick as all they kept saying was moisturise more often. I had to insist on a referral even though it was on insurance. The first referral letter basically said I was making a fuss over nothing but at least we got there and the specialist was unfazed by it.

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing to add other than that I could have written your post about myself, and am on the verge of doing exactly the same thing (i.e. pushing for a specialist referral, also on private health insurance) - mine is worse at the moment than ever before in exactly the way you describe. I had loads of food allergy tests but nothing showed up, and use eco friendly washing powder etc. I agree it's frustrating getting given various creams without a more tailored approach. From experience of specialist dermatologists with my son, it is really worth going for the more in depth approach if you can get it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sympathies.....I think it's definitely worth asking for a referral, as others have said.


I also third the sunbed / exposure to as much sun as your man can get. I only have it relatively mildly with the odd really bad flare up, but the difference a bout of sun makes to my skin makes we want to cry with happiness. It's made such a difference that we now try and get away in winter for some sun if there are any cheap deals around. (Plenty to Sharm el Skeikh at the moment!)


I tried eliminating all dairy products but it didn't seem to make a significant difference - booze and stress definitely worsen it, as does anything tight clothes-wise that isn't 100% cotton.


In terms of non-steriod creams to try and control between flare-ups , the only one which doesn't drown me in oil and provides some relief from itching is the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture for Dry and Sensitive Skin Body Lotion. I didn't find the acqueous creams helpful, really.


I suspect you've tried all the above but I thought I'd mention them just in case, pending a referral or going for some other form of treatment. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd ditch the aqueous creams and use Cetraben 3-4 times a day. My son had awful eczema (so bad I could not see what he really looked like for the first few months because his face was covered with it) and now he is completely clear of it. Also, I found Doublebase bath emollient more gentle than Oilatum. I would also put the steroid creams on 1 or 2 hours AFTER moisturising with Cetraben.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that he probably needs to understand the triggers better, rather than just treating the flare ups (though lots of good tips for doing that too). I would be wanting a referral to a very good allergist. In my experience, food sensitivity testing can miss a lot and you really need to do your own investigations to try to understand what is going on. Has he ever tried a strict elimination diet for a few weeks to see if things improve (lots of info online about elimination diets)?


Through a combination of my own food diaries and seeing an amazing allergist (in Canada, or I would recommend him) I have identified that my sensitivities are to some obscure food additives and colourants - this wouldn't have shown up in any normal food testing.


For example, you mention booze being a contributory factor...could he be reacting to sulphites? High in booze (esp wine), but also used as an additive in loads of foods and a common trigger for excema. By doing an elimination diet and then slowly reintroducing things, he might be able to figure out what is causing the flare ups in the first place. Maybe wait until Jan though, as the elimation diet would exclude most yummy Xmas treats!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like my husband. We have dark sheets, makes the bed look less like a crime scene.


Both he and my daughter are suffering badly at the moment, mainly because of the central heating. You can buy humidifiers, which will increase the moisture content in the air but it's a lot more pleasant to just have plenty of well-watered potplants around. My granny used to have little porcelain reservoirs hung over her radiators but I coubt those exist any more.


Aqueous cream is not that great for eczema sufferers as they can quite often be alergic to the cream itself and try a detergent specifically tailored for those with dermatological problems, such as Sure Care, or even better use washing balls or soap nuts. And definitely ask your GP for a referal to a specialist. The clinic in Burbage Road did wonders for my small, it's a shame my husband is too stuck in his ways and fatalistic to consider going himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to try Goats milk,theres no guarantee it will work but it's worth a try!! My cousin suffered badly as a child and my dad used to make him drink Goats milk and it reduced the redness and he saw such an improvement. You could also swap reg cheese with goats cheese etc. I hope he finds something that will help!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi - thanks for all your suggestions. There's loads of good ideas there and I think he should push for a referral, won't do any harm anyway. I think the sunbed idea is a good one. He's always stayed away from them because of the cancer risk but it would help with short term relief. His skin is always so much better in summer when we've been on holiday. Molly, will also experiment with the amount of washing powder we use. At the minute we use non-bio liquitabs but will switch to a gel or powder so we can use less. It's scary how many people are suffering with the same thing.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI Bishberro,


I'm really sorry to hear about your husband suffering so much, I have been there since the age of three with the eczema coming and going but my sheets and clothes looked very much the same most of my life. Two years ago I had to take sick leave because my eczema got so bad that I could not even put any clothes on, how sore it was. I agree with the diet, I would avoid sweets and sour foods, switch to Ecover detergent and use Shea butter, as this has always worked for me. No GP has, in my 34 years of suffering with eczema, come up with any solution, all they can do is prescribe these horrible steroids...I had been recommended a Tibetan doctor which comes from Edinburgh once a month at the weekend and gives consultations in Southwark buddhist centre. He is amazing, gave me three sets of powdered herbs to take three times a day and within a month all eczema was gone. This was in October and I have been clear ever since (have to point out that winter is usually the worst time of the year for me). Here is a link, it is all nature and non invasive and it really helped and I can't express how grateful I'm for getting rid of all that itchiness.


Here is a link, if you are interested

http://london.samye.org/london/kagyu/tibetan_doctor/consultation_guidelines.shtml


Hope you find a solution


Love


K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have same scenario with my partner who has had it since childhood. For skin relief he has found Aveeno invaluable, collodial oat base, also we came across a soap from Sedburgh soap company in Cumbria and it was developed by an eczema sufferer and doesn't irritate his skin. I can relate to your situation. He has tried so many different preparations/diets over the years. These only alleviate the itch and allow the skin to heal, to be honest for us the best cure would be to live on the coast as sea water really helps, but that won't happen anytime soon.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've suffered from very mild eczema in the past and found evening primrose oil capsules really helped (on advice from friend with worse eczema). Also, the lady that sells shea butter products on Northcross road at the weekend said it was great for eczema and had totally sorted a kid at Kings and amazed the drs. Never totally sure about these things, but worth a try maybe.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Latest Discussions

    • Brockwell Park is still fenced off and looks like it will be for some time. The council have put signs up saying that Brockwell Live are responsible for restoring the park (got to love it when council's point the fingers at others to aportion blame!) and that the fences will stay up "until further notice". Looking through the fence gaps I suspect the Brockwell Wall will be up for some time as huge swathes of the park are compacted mud. The Brixton side of the park was very crowded due to the Herne Hill side being unusable.
    • And put an elasticated collar with bell on your cat so that needless deaths and maimings of small birds/mammals be avoided. 
    • Does anyone know what's happening with The Grove Tavern on the corner of Lordship lane and the A205? There is a new fence around the building. 🤷‍♂️
    • You did say that your neighbour was being cagey and I'm wondering if , for instance , he's doing a partial chimney breast removal rather than the whole thing and that he thinks this doesn't need a party wall agreement. 
Home
Events
Sign In

Sign In



Or sign in with one of these services

Search
×
    Search In
×
×
  • Create New...