Battling Atopic Dermatitis: I've been struggling... - MY SKIN


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Battling Atopic Dermatitis

fascinated profile image

I've been struggling with atopic dermatitis, or skin asthma as some may call it, ever since I was born. I grew up feeling conscious of my skin, going through a lot of steroid injections and medicines along the way. I've tried tons of oral and topical medications; some worked, some didn't. As of now, I am using Atoderm Intensive Baume and Dove DermaSeries Repairing Balm on my face and folded areas on my arms and legs, as well as Aveeno Active Naturals Fragrance Free on clear areas of my skin. Occasionally, I would apply Tacrolimus Ointment on affected parts such as my neck, back of knees, and arms. I've met some people who are in the same condition as I am, but I decided to join this forum to learn more things about this disease, and how people who've experienced it handle its flare ups.

9 Replies

DHEA is most probably the answer to your problem it is little known but has a massive impact on allergies and skin issues - people have been precribed DHEA for infertility issues and have found whilst taking it their allergies have dramatically improved

Cortisol is also very important if you have low levels of cortisol you are vulnerable to allergies - I am taking bovine adrenal atm to help my adrenals back on track after having steroids for a AD flare up - cortisol is produced from the adrenals, cortisol is in meat

Progesterone is the other thing to take into consideration bc have high levels of estrogen promotes allergies but progesterone counters it, progesterone cream is worth considering

Lastly there is GABA which calms everything down I take 500mg on a morning and 2x 500mg at night

I have found Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced repair "clinically proven to heal very dry skin in 5 days " worked for me my skin was extremely dry

on my face I have been using for a long time Lancomes Nutrix which is so good the AD flare up didn't effect my face it is expensive and it does contain lanolin

They say there is no cure for eczema but maybe there are remedies that can dramatically clamp down on it

Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I am taking Cyclosporine Arpimune twice a day for two months now, and it has prevented me from having severe flare ups so far. By the way, how long did it take for Vaseline Intensive Care to take effect on your skin?

I do agree that it is up to us to take control of our skin in order to prevent flare ups as much as possible.

All the best!

It says on the label it can heal dry skin in 5 days and it is as good as it's word

Hi Fascinated, I can 100% relate to your struggles and the self conscious thing.....I still don’t like to wear anything but long pants outside cause of how bad my legs can be ^^; But yeah, I’ve had eczema (atopic dermatitis) since I was born to (geez, means I’ve had it for 26 years now!) and for me it’s onlt gotten worse as I’ve gotten older (currently I have 5 types of eczema, used to just be atopic haha). Think I’ve tried every type of cream and steroid out there, been on strong immune suppressant drugs, and hospitalised a few times for this annoying skin condition...

But at the present day the things I use and have for many years now are~

My main moisturiser, ‘Gold Cross Soft White Parrafin Cream’ and my god this has been my blessing for years! It’s not too thick but not too watery, that beautiful inbetween and has no added chemicals at all so it’s great for super sensitive skin like ours)

For a bath routine, I use and swear by Hamilton Bath Oil. I’ve tried every other type available and nothing has worked as well as Hamilton. Highly recommend. I bath in this once to twice a week and it really helps keep dryness and redness down.

For steroid application I use a few different ones for different areas. >Diprosone Ointment for everywhere but face during any sort of flare up. I also use this on my scalp when it can get bad or sore.

>I use Advantan Ointment for my hands where I’ve developed Dsyidrotic Ezcema.

>Elidel for the face as it’s bit less powerful and won’t think the skin out as much, is good for those tender areas like around eyes or ears.

And to help keep allergic reactions down much as can, I take one fexofenadine (180mg anti allergy tablet), maybe two if I’m reacting super bad but that’s the max I can take a day (have to talk to doc, supposed to only take one unless doc has said it’s okay to take two).

Oh and course use a sensitive laundry detergent and a natural no preservative hand wash soap. I use a brand called organic care, and it’s so nice and soft and doesn’t dry your hands out like most do! Another I highly suggest for those with sensitive skin to harsh chemicals ^-^

Anyway that’s my spiel haha, and welcome to the community!

fascinated profile image
fascinated in reply to keira9653

Hello, thank you so much for your response! It's nice to know that I'm not alone and there are others going through the same disease as I am. Sometimes, it can really make me anxious because I have school and when it flares up, I'm forced to stay at home to recover. I am currently taking Cyclosporine Arpimune twice a day to prevent flare ups.

I'm really glad that you're able to cope positively regardless of multiple medications and hospitalizations, it really is hard having a sensitive skin.

Can I ask the factors triggering your allergies? How do you manage stress?

Thank you for the warm welcome! All the best.

keira9653 profile image
keira9653 in reply to fascinated

There’s so many sufferers of Ezcema, from mild to severe, but even while common it’s not a topic brought up often...and because many have it, if you say you have eczema, it’s not taken as seriously (least that’s what I’ve found, people think cause they have a little on their hands they know what’s it’s like...ah well).

Fully get where you’re coming from. School was by far the hardest period of Ezcema, especially high school from stress and tests and hormones raging etc. I used to take a medication called Azathioprine daily, which waa my preventative method for flare ups. Know I took several days off if the flare was too bad... and school is also hard cause of all the peer pressure can experience and insecurity when you don’t have that nice skin or can’t flaunt your legs cause they’re sored and’s depressing... and just makes high school even harder, least I know it did for me.

I have a lot of things that trigger my Ezcema from the usuals of chemicals and fragrance and strong preservatives etc to food allergies like seafood, dairy and chicken salt (these three make me skin flare so badly! So I avoid at any costs. Dairy I have in moderation but I’m also lactose intolerant so I use lactose free milk and that seems to have helped as well). I’ve gotten more reactive as I’ve gotten older....but I’ve found tight clothing (jeans, socks, shirts, any type) while on is fine but when it’s gets removed I always flare and get super itchy it’s insane! I don’t wear make up at all. Completely all natural in all sense cause that’s been the best method for my skin. No make up, no hair products, all simple and safe and doesn’t make me react as much then which is always better ^^

Think, mostly it’s been trial and error over several years. Finding what works and what doesn’t and what’s okay in moderation. Recently I’ve also developed IBS-D which has severely impacted on my diet but cutting down junk food and processed food had been quite good for my skin. Weirdly, Ive found that items with preservative 222 (yellow type colouring so it’s in chicken flavouring, the soft drink solo or pasito etc) is a really big trigger for my skin so I try to not eat anything with that in it and that’s been helpful. Mostly been trial and error though, lot of learning the hard way haha.

As for stress management, heh, I don’t know how much advice I can give there. I had depression and anxiety in high school so I was a stressed out kid constantly and caused major flare ups all the time....I think, I just learnt to, let things go a bit better. I learned to get into y own head and kind of store things I didn’t need at that time away and focus only on what I did need. I started going by the motto ‘if it’s not worth the wrinkles it’s not worth stressing on’ haha. Weird but it has helped me become a pretty laid back person and just take things on one at a time (one test at a time, one book, one chapter, one task etc etc, whatever it is, just get through it one at a time), so even though I still have quite bad anxiety, I’m not as stressed out. But that’s just a self learned method I started at some point and that’s my method to keeping stress levels down. I am now one of the hardest people to anger or get annoyed x’DD long as you give the task at hand your absolute best shot at that time, then the outcome, good or bad, is all okay. And if consequences, then take them in stride and that’s okay too. Think, I just learned to accept that Ezcema was a part of me, a part of who I am, and without it who knows what person I’d be today so in a way, I became thankful for all its put me through and likely will continue to do so. They say were never given anything we can’t handle so I intend to prove that I can over and over!

While in school, it’s going to be hard to not stress cause that’s what school does but you need to find what works as your calming methods, what helps you cope and calms you down so can focus at the task at hand. Once you find a method that works, stick to it ^^ All I can say is, school feels like the world at the time, but even if you don’t get super high scores on everything, it’ll all be okay and you’ll still be able to succeed in life~ that’s a promise.

Ah sorry! I rambled x’DD

All the best to you too ^^ it will become easier, and you’ll get better at managing it. That I can guarantee. Just take it one day at a time and push on little by little ^^ you’ll make it.

Food sensitivities can also be a constant stressor that can trigger or worsen flares. Dairy, gluten and eggs top the list. An elimination diet is always worth the effort, in my opinion. Because if a food sensitivity is an underlying cause, your system and skin will never have the chance to heal if the offender isn't removed from your diet. Of course, a sensitivity to anything you are exposed to can also be culprit.

Personally, avoidance of food triggers has helped my skin quite a bit. But, sadly it's not a cure (especially if the issues are severe and chonic). I avoid as many chemicals as I can. But, I still have to rely on pharmaceuticals more than I would like. Even when you are doing every right thing you can, you are still going to have flares to deal with.

Suboptimal nutrition levels and poor adrenal and liver health are most likely contributing to the problem, as well.

Improving nutrient levels (whole foods, healthy fats, clean protein, low sugar) while avoiding food triggers, avoiding superfluous chemicals in personal care products, targeted supplementation [a methylated B Complex formula, Vitamins C, D3&K2, Natural Vitamin E, Zinc, plant based probiotics, Milk Thistle (liver health), and additional B5 (Pantothenic Acid) for adrenal health] has definitely helped my skin and overall health in general.

Also, drinking and bathing in hard, unfiltered water can be really damaging internally and externally. It can keep your skin in a constant state of inflammation and flares. Amazon has a nice variety of affordable countertop and showerhead filters available.

**Showering too often is equally hard on the skin. Taking fewer of them has made my skin and scalp much happier.**

The links below offer some good advice on healing skin issues:

Best of luck navigating this crazy skin maze.😊

fascinated profile image
fascinated in reply to Ell17

Hi there. I am also allergic to certain supplements and food (seafoods, dairy, nuts, chicken, soybean, among others), so I highly agree on what you've said about food sensitivities. However, stress is more of a huge factor triggering my skin. Sometimes when tons of school works are piled up in front of me, I'd start to overthink and attempt to finish everything on time; that's when my skin starts to get irritated. It's hard being a student while dealing with this disease at the same time, so I try to manage my time to avoid any sort of stress in life.

Showering too long is also a no-no for me. I try my best to keep them short, and apply moisturizers while my skin is still damp.

Do you, by any chance, use any makeup products? I have a few ones I apply on my face occasionally, and they're mineral-based, but I am hesitant on using them at times because it might irritate my skin if used for a long time.

Thank you so much for your tips, and for those links. I will surely check them out.

All the best.

You're welcome.😊

[My suggestions aren't from natural makeup lines. I have never found any that actually worked well. So, I go with formulas that I don't react to.]

I have good luck with CoverGirl products (Olay Simply Ageless foundations provide good coverage, and their loose and pressed powders, blush, mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow.)

I have a sensitivity to topical zinc, so most mineral powders are a no go for me. But, CoverGirl has always used titanium dioxide, which I have no issues with.

Also, I'm a bit older than you, but there are three tried and true items I have used since I was a teenager, that are fortunately still available, that have never caused any issues. Max Factor Panstick Foundation (all time favorite with excellent, moisturizing coverage), Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Compact Cream Foundation, and Coty (Loose) Face Powder. Three oldies but goodies available on Amazon.😊

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