Severe flare ups

My other half & my 3 year old daughter both suffer with eczema.

I have been with my partner for 12 years and at the moment I am seeing him go through the longest & worst flare up since we've been together. His usual patches are front of neck, inner arms, behind knees and he always has to moisturise with a greasy emollient twice a day which used to keep it pretty much in check. However for around the last year it has been spreading all over his body, he is constantly itchy which is driving him crazy plus it's spread into his scalp & onto his face - his eyes are v dry, red & puffy. We think hay fever is causing the eye issue. He has had to have around 5 courses of oral steroid this year so far but can't keep doing that long term. He has also tried the light therapy through our local Nhs hosp too but it's had no effect.

Does anyone have any tips, have you tried any homeopathy etc as the usual medical treatments are really not working! I feel so sorry for him!


11 Replies

  • Hi, I have had severe eczema since I can remember and have been through so many treatments and courses of steroids so I understand your pain of not wanting this as a long term treatment. I have found the use of greasy emollients not as good as they claim to be. Yes they may do the trick but if the prone areas that are causing to flare up, emollients are not always the best thing as the live ingredients in emollients and moisturisers 'feed' the eczema in the weakened areas. In terms of trying to moisturise the areas, try to find a really light one. You may end up putting it on like 6 times a day but it will moisturise your husbands skin without feeding it. Thicker and greasier emollients that tend to take longer to sink in generally have more of the live ingredients which is why it moisturises it for longer but in the long run, you almost need to starve the prone areas so the eczema has nothing to feed on so moisturising little and often is better if that makes sense. A good one I have found is called Zeoderm and you can get it on the natural dispensary website. Its not a very thick emollient but it is good at keeping it moisturised for a longer time. I have been through so many different emollients with GP's saying different things each time.

    I hope this helps and all for the best to your husband. I know all too well about having it spread with no known reason to very undesired areas of the body, especially the face and neck area.

  • Hi Lola. Sorry to hear things are worsening for your partner. If conventional steroid creams are no longer working, it's possible the reason his skin is worsening is because of topical steroid withdrawal. His symptoms sound similar.

    It's worth searching for this on the Internet for more info on the condition to see what you think. There is a lot of forum support available and if you can get your doc on board, so much the better.The crazy itch, redness and puffy eyes would suggest he's affected. It's a long road ahead but going through a steroid withdrawal process will help enormously.

    Good luck xx

  • Recently I had a fairly severe bout of Eczema. Felt it was due to a medication that I was prescribed - Tamsulosin. Discontinued taking it for about 6 wks and now take it every 3/4 days.Things are very much better.

    Should your partner be on any medication, it may be worth your while to check up on the side effects.

  • Thank you very much for your replies I'm going to share with my husband & research your advice

  • I use a relatively light emollient called Doublebase gel, and Dermol 500 for washing, but agree it is hell when a flare happens for no apparent reason. I wondered if spread is connected with perhaps a skin infection as I have had this happen.... think it's do do with skin thinning and scratching to relieve the itch! I have not tried homeopathy for eczema but would not rule it out as I have used homeopathic remedies for other short term conditions.

  • It won't be of much comfort but my 13 year old son has had flares recently that are more and more difficult to control over the past year. He finds Emollin very helpful, not least coz it's easy to apply regularly. We've tried chinese herbs, diet restrictions, homeopathy, "mindfulness" training - sadly all to no avail. What does work for him is relaxation and lots of sleep, but it's difficult to get a 13 year old boy to do this!!! We have also developed a fabric that he finds very soothing. If you want more info, let me know.

  • Hi there, my third son was inflicted with terrible eczema, there was literally not one piece of his face, ears and chest left untouched and it was a v tricky first few months as he was always itching and uncomfortable. I was given every emollient going by my GP, nothing worked. Plus putting those petroleum based creams on a newborn felt horrid. I was lucky enough to find that a mum on the school run has a brother who is one of Denmark's top dermatologists- he recommended I try a cream by Aderma. He actually said it should have a licence as it is the only thing which works, but because it is made of oats it is considered an alternative therapy. Within a week of treatment the eczema was gone. I am forever grateful for that chat I had with a mother I hardly knew!

  • FYI it is called Aderma Exomega Emollient Cream, and it is on-line. Good luck.

  • Thanks Koshy1, definitely worth trying I'll look online. Like you I feel like we've tried everything for my daughter. She's 3 now & it's much better than when she was a baby but flares up once every few weeks

  • It's so difficult. We still use the Aderma every day and he is two and a half now. He still gets touches of it behind his knees and elbows but nothing like it originally was.

  • Hi my son suffered as did the whole family for 9 years . He was awake every night with the itch , I tried every thing, went everywhere nothing worked until my Mum heard a lady on the radio talking about the hell her daughter went through with eczema, until she went to London Dermatologist who recommend Bleach baths . I goggled it and thought he was so bad I had nothing to lose all I can say is it was a miracle from the first time I use it . I put half a cup of the thick Domestos . He sat in bath for 20 mins , when he got out the redness had improved the dryness was much better skin was soft which was so strange , he slept most of that night because itch wasn't as bad . Three days later I put full cup in and we never looked back from that day on. All ways wondered why he improved on holidays knew it wasn't the sun because he got worse at home with sun because heat made him more itchy now I think it was the chloride in pool. Hope this might help you

    Regards Helen

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