I have had eczema (atopic dermatitis) since I was about 5 years old. In all the common areas..inside of elbows, behind the knees, under/around my ears, and wrists. I eventually and miraculously just "grew out of it" when I was bout 11-12 years old without having to change my lifestyle at all. Then it came back with a vengeance at the age of 18/19. It was harder to clear up, steroid ointments no longer worked, or would work for a very short period of time and then have a reverse worsening affect on my skin. Causing tremendous pain, irritation and depression at times because it can be really nasty to look at. Again, it came and went and I tried cutting foods out of my diet and finally got in with a dermatologist, who just prescribed me more creams and ointments. They would work, and then stop.
This is a recurring theme with my eczema. Something works MIRACLES (Cetaphil cream)and then a couple weeks later, stops working and causes it to be even more severe if I continue use. Here we are now, I'm 25 and probably going through the WORST bout of it that I've ever had. I am now allergic to my cats, both with classic symptoms of runny nose, itchy red eyes etc and now with my eczema breaking out if I cuddle with them too long. I have had them for 10 years, and only within the last 5 have I become allergic. I used to live with dogs and now I cant touch one without having to wash my hands or if I scratch a little itch, I break out in hives/eczema like rashes. I love animals, I love being outside and it just seems that anything and everything irritates me. I am going in for yet another allergy test to see if shots will do anything for me as I have hay fever, dust/dust mite allergies, pollen etc as well.
The cream that is working best for me right at this moment is Cerave, and then I use the Polysporen eczema wash, or Cetaphil moisturizing body wash (the one specifically for eczema). BUT I am reaching a breaking point because not only can I not pin point this, but it is constantly changing and a constant battle to keep from breaking out. I purchased an air purifier and it seems to be helping on a superficial level.. but I just don't know what to do any more! I have tried dead sea mineral salt baths, unscented Epsom salts. I don’t use ANYTHING with scent in it. No smelly detergent, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, dyes, NOTHING. I use virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer when I really need that intense moisture, but even that irritates sometimes. Very frustrated at this point, hopefully this allergist can give me some answers and tips.. if you have any advise im more than open to it! This has completely taken over my life and I cant wear t-shirts and do simple things that I love to do..very discouraging at this point :(
Thanks for listening
Wow, your story sounds like mine did before I knew what I was allergic to. The doctors would prescribe me something, my skin would get better... and then boom it would get worse than it was before. I felt hopeless! Extensive patch testing is what changed my life. Maybe that's something for you to think about? You can search here for a doctor who can either do the tests themselves or guide you in the right direction. I've got atopic dermatitis as well as allergic contact, so I have a double whammy. It sounds like it's the same case for you.
Since I've switched to products with less / different chemicals as well as 100% cotton clothing, my skin has greatly improved. I had to wear gloves at night for a while because I was scratching in my sleep without realizing it. Also, this is what I do when my skin freaks out and here are my tips for living with a cat you're allergic to.. I really hope you can get to the bottom of this.