My Battle with Eczema

Throughout my life I have suffered from quite severe eczema that has affected my body self-confidence. Eczema is a condition that makes your skin itchy and red, with a dry and rough consistency. The severity of my eczema has varied over the course of my life, ranging from mild to severe. I will go through my battle with eczema and how I managed to contain it. All the information regarding products is based on memory alone. Some creams may have been reformulated and may not have the same effects that I mention in this article.

Childhood Years

I was born in Singapore and moved to Scotland just before the age of three. I came into this world with some skin complications, with the main one being eczema. I was diagnosed with an allergy to G6PD, a common symptom when having eczema. My two brothers also suffer from eczema, with each of us having unique cases. I have a fuzzy memory and I can’t remember much about the condition of my skin as a child. I can recall it being quite mild based on the photos that I have seen of myself at that age.

Primary school was when my skin deteriorated. Not much changed in my daily routine, although I did get a dog at this point! His name was Jambo and was dear to my heart. Looking back, his molting hairs were probably a trigger for my eczema. At the time I was scratching excessively and wasn’t in control. I’d scratch without thinking about it as it was a form of relief and comforting for me. I remember how rough and dry my skin was, to the point I looked like a burn victim. It wasn’t a pleasant sight and it was very concerning for my parents. I’d go to school in bandages to maintain the cream that was put on but the temptation to scratch was too much to bear.

My skin wasn’t the best during my childhood. It was mainly on my joints and I’d say it was on between 20% of my body. My legs were my worst location along with my neck and face. For the creams I used, it came from the NHS at the time. I used a mixture of creams, bath oils and steroid creams to try and control my eczema.

Product1Source

E45 Moisturising Lotion

E45 Dermatological Moisturising Lotion

potential risk index 7
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Paraffinum Liquidum
Phenoxyethanol

Oilatum Bath Oil

Oilatum Emollient Bath Additive 500ml | Medical Dressings
 
potential risk index 6
Paraffinum

Aqueous Cream

Amazon.com : AQUEOUS CREAM 500 G : Beauty

potential risk index 6
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Hydrocortisone Ointment

Hydrocortisone Ointment 1%

potential risk index 6
White Soft Paraffin

Johnson’s Body Wash

Johnson'S Baby Regular Bath 強生嬰兒特溫和沐浴露

potential risk index 6
CI 42090
Sodium Laureth Sulfate Parfum

PH 5.5 Body Wash

Johnson'S PH 5.5 2 In 1 Body Wash With Moisturizers

potential risk index 10
Methylisothiazolinone
Ethylparaben
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Phenoxyethaol

Teenage Years

As a teenager I was more active and my skin got better as I aged. My joints were still a victim, especially my legs. I loved scratching my legs as a form of relief and it still continued into my teenage years. My skin was more controllable at this age as I was more educated about how to maintain it. I still used a variety of creams because it was always my goal to try and get rid of it.

The creams I used during my teenage years were prescribed by the NHS (National Health Service in the UK). I did not source my own creams however my mum would give alternatives to try out, but my core treatment were my prescribed selections. At the time, the cream settled my skin and was able to maintain my eczema to a more controllable state. I can’t remember what soap I used, but it was usually an unscented brand of soap. I remember experimenting with coconut oil as it had healthy nutrients that were proven to be great for skin. I did see some improvements, but all it really left me was a dirty bath tub and me smelling like coconut! 

Product1Source

Diprobase

Diprobase® ECZEMA CREAM

potential risk index 10
Chlorocesol
Paraffin
Paraffinum Liquidum

Oilatum Bath Oil

Oilatum Emollient Bath Additive 500ml | Medical Dressings

potential risk index 6
Paraffinum

Aveeno Moisture Daily Lotion

Aveeno Essential Moisture Daily Lotion | 艾惟娜水润保湿乳

potential risk index 4
Chlorxedine Digluconate

Neutrogena Norwegian Body Lotion

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Body Lotion Sensitive

potential risk index 5
Phenoxyethanol
Mineral Oil
 

Hydrocortisone Ointment

Hydrocortisone Ointment 1%

potential risk index 6
White Soft Paraffin
Betnovate Cream

Betnovate Cream

potential risk index 10
Chlorocresol
Liquid Paraffin
White Soft Paraffin

Coconut Oil

potential risk index 2

Adulthood

Throughout my adulthood my skin has been at its best and worst. Currently I can gladly say it is at is best; however this wasn’t always the case.

During university I had many complications with my knee. I had a total of five surgeries in the time period of 4 years which is quite excessive. I had to take a lot of antibiotics and painkillers when I was undergoing my physio therapy. My social life was different, as I indulged myself in what adults can do, like drinking alcohol. I was working in kitchens at the time, exposing myself to many different kinds of cleaning products that contain chemicals that were potentially harmful to my sensitive skin.

My skin condition varied. When I was working in kitchens during my time at university, my face was my main area of concern as it was my most exposed area. I was too reliant on steroid cream to try and get a ‘quick fix’ to the conditioning of my skin. I wanted to go out, so I wanted to have clearer looking skin every time. This was a bad practice; it made my skin on my face very fragile and thin. My joints on my legs especially were still the same as, like I mentioned before, was my comforting location to scratch. When I lost weight, my skin got better as I was healthier than before.

Hong Kong

I moved to Hong Kong in 2016 and the humidity did wonders to my skin. Although I did have a complication as my eczema took another turn for the worst in 2018. It became very raw and to the point that it started oozing out what can be described as skin discharge. I never saw a dermatologist or went to a doctor as I was confident with my knowledge of my body and past experiences with products that I could solve the situation myself. Cost was another big factor; there wasn’t a guarantee that a specialist can cure me.

My eczema was towards the severe scale. It covered 30-40% of my body and parts of my skin were oozing out discharge, mainly in my legs. My whole torso excluding my chest was covered to what can be described as a rash. I didn’t get any allergy test as I thought it was only a temporary thing. My lifestyle didn’t really change and it came at a shock. I was living in a new place and it had some mold problems. My skin started deteriorating when the temperatures and humidity were rising, around spring time. My skin was at its worst during summer and I had to take serious measures when it became unbearable to look at and affected my joint movements.

During this stage of my life I took great care in my daily routine. I became aware of what I was eating, the products I was using, how active and fit I was and the cleanliness of my surroundings. This is what I changed in my lifestyle that helped me get to my skin to the best condition it has been;

  • When showering, a full scrub down with sensitive soap that worked for myself
  • Cool down then apply my moisturizing cream
  • Increased my activity to at least 5 workouts per week
  • Limited the amount of junk food I had, increased my fruit and vegetable intake
  • Santized and cleaned my living area multiple times a week (bed lining every 3 days and towels everyday)

It wasn’t an overnight fix. It took months of a fixed routine but it was important to have that consistency. It worked for me and now my eczema is at a level that doesn’t require as much treatment. My cream consumption has gone down considerably and my new fixed routine has allowed my body and skin the chance to flourish.

Product1Source

Childs Farm Sensitive Skin Moisturiser

Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser, 250 ml, Shea and Cocoa Butter ...

potential risk index 6
Alpha-Isomethyl Lonone
Benzyl Alcohol
Parfum

Zerobase Emollient Cream

Zerobase Emollient Cream

potential risk index 10
Chlorocresol
Liquid Paraffin
White Soft Paraffin
 

Aveeno Moisture Daily Lotion

Aveeno Essential Moisture Daily Lotion | 艾惟娜水润保湿乳

potential risk index 4
Chlorhexidine Digluconate

Cetaphil Moisturizer Lotion

CETAPHIL MOISTURIZER LOTION | 丝塔芙保湿润肤露

potential risk index 5
Benzyl Alcohol

DML Moisturising Lotion

DML Moisturizing Lotion 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2) - Buy Online in Aruba ...

potential risk index 6
Benzyl Alcohol

Hydrocortisone Ointment

Hydrocortisone Ointment 1%

potential risk index 6
White Soft Paraffin

Betnovate Ointment

Betnovate Ointment

potential risk index 6
Liquid Paraffin
White Soft Paraffin

Dettol Body Wash

Dettol Original Antibacterial Ph-Balanced Body Wash 滴露 經典松木沐浴露

potential risk index 10
Methylchlorisothiazoinone
Chloroxylenol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Parfum

Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Amazon.com : Dove Body Wash for Softer and Smoother Skin Sensitive ...

potential risk index 10Methylisothiazolinone (10)
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Fragrance

What Products I Use Now

These are the products I use every day to maintain my conditioning of my skin. It works for me but it may not work for all. I’d say the products I use along with my daily routine have allowed my eczema to in a more controlled state.

Product1Source
DML Moisturising Lotion

DML Moisturizing Lotion 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2) - Buy Online in Aruba ...
potential risk index 6
Benzyl Alcohol
Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Amazon.com : Dove Body Wash for Softer and Smoother Skin Sensitive ...
potential risk index 10
Methylisothiazolinone (10)
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Fragrance
Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo

Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo C1 Hair Energizer | 欧倍青咖啡因洗发露C1
potential risk index 6
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Phenoxyenthanol
Sodium Laureth 

Reflection

The information that has been provided by 1Source has highlighted that the products I have used in my lifetime have a high potential risk index. After reviewing my results, I can pinpoint what products and ingredients may have contributed to the severity of my eczema. By exposing these ingredients, I can research more into how it may be affecting my skin and look for alternative products that are considered to be safer in terms of ingredient safety.

The products that I use now currently work for me and I have seen great results. However 1Source is a platform that has allowed me to further my knowledge of ingredients in products and how potentially harmful they may be. I highly recommend anyone with skin problems like myself to check the products you have been using and to see if there are ingredients that may be considered harmful.


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