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Eczema is tricky because what works for one person might make things worse for someone else.
Have you tried using a barrier such as Vaseline which can then be wiped off before your shower? This worked on my children when they were suffering, while other creams made the stinging worse.
Hope this helps!
Lisa - i have had chronic ezcema all over my body since childhood and I find that wearing a barrier cream means the heat/sweat can't escape and makes the suffering much worse.
I make sure I run in the coolest part of the day and if I have any open weeping areas, I try to dry them out a bit with talc before I go out. When I get back home, I make sure I cool down well before getting in a long cool bath.
I find there is nothing I can do to stop the pain and discomfort while I am cycling or running, but soothing it as much as poss as soon as poss is the best I can do
Try bathing in a bath run with porridge oats; we used it on our kids and it cleared/calmed their skin.
Wrap porridge oats in a tea-towel, tie a note and immerse in bath as being run. Lift out and enjoy the bath 9slightly milky coloured!)
Dairy products, especially bovine, are a well known trigger for eczema. Try completely removing them from your diet for two weeks as an experiment - you may be surprised at the result! It means looking at all the labels in order to avoid whey, skimmed milk, etc but well worth the effort.
I have had eczema on my elbows my whole life - the best thing I have had for it has been Aloe Vera Gel, really cleared it up quite well for me.
But what works for me might not work for others, my brothers eczema is much worse and the aloe vera gel only helped him a tiny bit.
Eczema is triggered by so many different things that you could spend your life eliminating potential triggers from diet etc and still never find a cause. In my case it seems to just be genetic - no amount of removing dairy or bread etc from my diet ever changes anything.
Stress and worry makes mine worse too - make sure you set aside an hour or two at the end of each day to have time for yourself, destress, unwind, listen to music put your feet up!
As Tillysue has said, I have tried everything to identify triggers and look into possible remedies, but have come to the conclusion 'it's just one of those things' and all I can do is make life with it easier
I have been hospitalised with it four times for two weeks at a time, because there were attacks I just couldn't get under control. I have previously been mummified in balm soaked bandages which was fun . At the same time, I spent a three days on tranquilsers just so I slept and couldn't scratch.
Princess Leah - I am currently using Almond Oil which is quite soothing, but I find I tend to create an immunity to things eventually and have to hunt out new ideas. Previously I have used Bio-Oil in the water.
My kids had it on the backs of the knees and inside the elbows, my daughters was so bad that she had raked her skin to bits - kids can't see that they shouldn't scratch!
We tried so many things, and some did work for a while but then stopped being as effective. We liked using little dabs of "Dream Cream" from Lush, which is made from oats and is very soothing.
If it offers any hope for any of you that are still suffering, my kids' eczema went from several years of blood-on-the-sheets-every-morning to almost completely disappeared in the space of about a week, without me doing anything differently at all. It was like a miracle, and such a relief.
Best of luck with finding what works for you.
Oh Schmunkee, that sounds awful! I had really bad eczema as a kid and used to be sat under a UV light for an hour then soaked and wrapped up in tar bandages every night. I thought it was terrible, but I was never hospitalised because of it. You have my sympathy for what you've got to put up with...
Only think I ever found that cleared up bad patches and flare-ups (as an adult) was hydrocortisone cream, specifically the one made by E45 called HC45. Some of the other ones didn't have much effect but this one always works. I even used it on my face (sparingly and against doctors' advice) as I just couldn't stand having scaly eyelids and waking up covered in bloody scabs when I'd been scratching in my sleep...
I find basic E45 cream to be a good barrier in general but for running and sweating, I think it would only work on small patches. Great dollops of it would only make you sweat more. Hope you can find something that works Lisa.
I've had eczema since I was a child, it's always been fairly mild though. Day-to-day I use Eumocream, they used to sell it in Tesco but now I buy it online. Anything that moisturises your skin should help, but if you're sensitive to lanolin then avoid anything with that in it. I've used Balneum Plus bath oil before, that was pretty good but it does make a mess off the bathtub and it's quite pricey too.
The main thing is not to scratch. If you can't help it, then keep your fingernails short so you do less damage. If you get an overwhelming urge to scratch then you can try slapping or pinching instead as that should do less damage.
I used to have a lot of difficulties with excema, but the last year or so haven't been as bad. When I was at my worst I used to use a combo of camomile or the Lush 'dream cream' to sooth my skin and steroid cream, plus like run-with-dogs bandaged my legs up at night. I also like cotton gloves that are filled with a nice (anything nasty-free) moisturiser as it helped with my hands plus stopped me doing damage by scratching. Also girls I found epilating is the best hair removal method and doesn't really irritate my skin at all. This thread has just made me very thankful that I don't suffer from it like I used to, as I remember having a period of couple of years when it really upset me (I was 19/20 at the time) but I had a really good GP at the time.