Around 6 months ago I developed discoid eczema, and it just will not go away, I have had courses of steroids and steroid cream, whilst the cream does relieve the itching, it does not cure it. Has anyone had light treatment, what exactly is it and more to the point does it work.


  • Just giving this a boing, and trying again.
  • Do you live in a hard water area? I find this has a very big effect for me.

    I'm OK since I moved from the Chilterns. If I moved back to a hard water area I'd definitely invest in a water softener.
  • I live in an area with very hard water, I shall look into getting something to put into the water and give it a try, I am getting to the point were I will try anything.

    Not sure about light treatment, it seems a bit drastic.
  • WW, Our middle child had VERY bad eczema for some time.
    IMHO, steroids make it worse long term. The reason is that they suppress the immune response which is over reacting (like hayfever). But the immune system is doing this because it is below par - to suppress it further will only hurt in the long run.
    We solved the problem with allergy testing and a strict elimination diet (wheat, cows milk & citrus were worst offenders). Omega 3 oils were used in large doses too.
    Within a month she was 90% eczema free, having not had a whole nights sleep for over 6 months with constant scratching and bleeding.
    She also has religiously had vits & fish oil since and, now her immune system is better, she can eat anything again.
  • I am trying the elimination diet at the moment, although the Dermatologist said it was just something that happened, it was not food related or caused by stress, I'm not convinced as on a number of occasions it has flared up for no reason. I do not like taking steroids so will try the alternatives.
  • Hey WW, my sister's middle child has pretty bad eczema, and she says the best treatment she has found is Dream Cream, made by Lush. You know the ones - you can smell the shop from 300 yards up the high street!! I tried a bit on my eczema and it does work for me (although mine is pretty mild and sporadic) Could be wirth a try, though.
  • Thanks everyone for your input, I will be going shopping tomorrow, Omege 3 oils and Dream Cream for starters.
  • WW, I live in a hard water area now after growing up in a soft water area, and there's been no discernible effect on my eczema (softeners are expensive, so research the eczema angle before you spend).

    Like UKaitch, I have sporadic and mild (but still bloody annoying) eczema. I use Zenoxon cream, available from local pharmacy, to keep it in check.

    There's a Lush in Reading so next time I'm in town I'll check out that Dream Cream. It'll be a quick in and out job though - spend more than five minutes in that place and for the rest of the day you pong like a whore's handbag!

  • Just to clarify - I wasn't recommending buying a water softener before you've worked out if its the trigger for you. I first worked it out after spending a few weekends in Manchester, and am sensitive to the extent that I can notice the difference between the water in Oxford, High Wycombe and London.

    The bad thing about hard water as the cause is that you have to move/spend money on a softener to get rid of it. The good thing is that you can forget about continuosly applying cream.
  • I was thinking of trying something in my bathwater, to see if it made any difference.
  • Try oats in the bathwater, (not literally).
    Put some oats in a sock or old stocking and run the taps through it. I have recommended this to a few friends with eczema and had very good success.
  • Steven I will try anything, I'll let you know about having oats in my bath.
  • Having your oats in the bath sounds like great fun ... but will it help the eczema?

    I'll get my coat.
  • Have you tried oilatum? You can get it on prescription, it's just a bath oil. It's the business, no messing about with creams AND you possitively have to take time out to wallow in a lovely long bath... hmmmmm! :o)

    My husband has it really bad too.

    I know it's stating the obvious but do you use non-biological washing powder/tablets etc? Have you tried cutting out fabric softener and spray starch etc? This makes a difference for my Ivan.

    Any one else think that the weather affects this? I guess it's to do with the skin drying out...?
  • WW, you should deffinately look for an alternative to steroids, they are very effective but I hear they should only be used in moderation (tablets). Long term they can cause problems with weakened bones. My partner suffers from eszma which at times is very severe,and we too think there may be a hard water connection. We recently spent 2 weeks in Suffolk (hard water area)over christmas and it flared up again having been almost non-existent for over a year.
  • Another piece of dumb advice that I'm sure you already know... I'm a master at stating the obvious! Chemists sell thin cotton gloves that you can wear at night if you're itchy, ouch - scratching in your sleep! :~( If you put hand cream on under the gloves they stay lovely and soft too, and if you have it on your hands if you put something like dipro base on it helps it work better.

  • One further thought - I once had a dip in the Dead Sea, and for weeks afterwards all my little patches of eczema, assorted itchy bits, flaky skin etc were clear. I think you can buy Dead Sea salts in chemists' or Body Shop/Lush type places.
  • Holland and Barrett (don't think I've spelt that reight...?) do a whole range of dead sea bathing products. Bit pricey so haven't tried them. Do look a lovely treat though.
  • Thanks all, I am going to Bluewater tonight, so its Dream Cream from Lush, Dead Sea Salts from Holland & Barrett, oats from wherever and I have started taking omega 3 oils, surely one of them has got to work.

    GT I do use non-bio but who uses spray starch.
  • Ah! You can tell I'm playing being house wifey for a while can't you! When I was keen I did my husbands shirts with spray starch and his entire upper body came out in contact dermetitus (that doesn't look right...?) He's a very sensitive chappy!

  • Its women like you that give the rest of us a bad name, make him iron his own shirts, be a lady who does lunch, put your feet up, they'll all expect us to be housewiferists.
  • Ah yes but then I'd have to go back to work! :o)

    It's nice pootling about with my 2 little monkeys for a "career break!" (ahem... career!) When they start school and I go back he can take his split on again. As it is I tend to save up my ironong and watch fat friends, or something on those lines, as I do it with a bottle of beer (so sophisticated, not!)
  • Wicked Witch... My daughter had excema quite badly last year, the Doc prescribed Steroid cream, Diprobase, anti-biotics and Aveeno bath oil.... the Aveeno bath oil was superb... quite expensive, about £7 or thereabouts, but you can get it on prescription.... However the price of prescriptions these days maybe better to just buy some!!
  • I think I may have an allergy to something in bread, I have tried not to eat anything with wheat in it (its not that easy everything seems to have wheatflour in it)for the past 2 weeks and although the eczema hasn't disappeared completly it had improved a lot, and its now come back with avengeance after eating bread and scones. So its my GP for me and get some tests done.
  • Drinking aloe vera gel and rubbing in aloe propolis to the eczema has helped many people.
  • WW - be brave and keep wheat out - when you're body has had a chance to catch up, you will be able to eat it again. Be patient.
  • Tnaks Pantman, I love bread, but at the moment its a definite no-no, just not worth it.
  • Foderma serum helps with eczema. It brings back the moisture to the skin so it can begin to heal. I use this serum along with Aquaphor and it works. It will not cure eczema but it does work on my baby's face and body and I think it prevents having sometimes really bad flare-ups and I'm glad I found this serum.
  • I was diagnosed with eczema when I was 25 and since then I’ve been dealing with this disease. For me, it has been really difficult to find a treatment that worked for my type of skin and eczema. The treatment that has helped me to heal my eczema is foderma, I recommend it.
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