In my last post, I went over a type of skin disorder that I have and what it is, and what it does. In the post I am continuing the last post but talking about my experience with eczema.

When I was little I couldn’t really remember if my eczema was really bad and my mom hasn’t really said anything about it either. Growing up it was not as bad as it has been and I could treat it by just putting topical steroids and it to make the flare-up disappear for a little bit and stop until the next flair up. Around freshman year and up until recently is when I struggled a lot with my eczema and how constantly it would flair up. Freshman year it was mostly bright red splotches on my neck and it looked like I had some type of disease. I went to see a dermatologist and they just prescribed more steroids (which you will later find out is a trend) it started to go away on my neck and I just went back to my usual here and there flare ups. After freshman year it wasn’t bad and did not stay in a particular area and I could easily treat it with the topical steroid I was given and go on about my life.

Of course, being a girl in high school and now being in college I was self-conscious about my eczema when there would be a flare-up and I couldn’t control it right away. People would always say to me, “it isn’t that bad” or “don’t worry it will go away soon”, as if it will go away forever and act like it won’t come back in a couple of weeks. Worrying about my skin also was one of my stress factors on top of anything else that was stressing me out, which wasn’t good because stress also triggers flare ups so I was in a lose-lose situation.

Treating my Eczema

Treating my eczema and maintaining it is probably one of the things I dread the most. I normally put on my prescription steroids at night and for a reason. Every night after every shower I put on eczema approved lotion, and then I put on the steroid on areas where there is a flare up, but it doesn’t end there because I’m using the steroid, it drys out my skin so much, and also can discolor my skin. To help from my skin drying out I have to use a thicker ointment/lotion like aquaphor and cover every inch of my arms, neck, and face. I hated doing this because I always went to bed with all this stuff on me and it would stick to my sheets and clothing. Eventually the strength of the steroid wouldn’t work and my skin would get use to it so every time I went back to the dermatologist they would prescribe a higher dose or a new type of steroid. Which has been my life up until recently.

During the summer before my first semester year of college and into that my first semester, my eczema became uncontrollable. I would constantly have flare ups and my skin would itch so bad that I would scratch till I bled (and this happened more when I was working out and sweating). My skin was also so dry (mostly on my face) that no matter how much lotion or moisturizer I used I would wake up with dry/flakey skin (gross I know). This basically put a halt on my life. I felt so uncomfortable going out and doing things because my skin wasn’t clear and I kept worrying what other people would think and how my skin looked that day. It got to the point where depending on how my skin was that day, how my mood was.

I was so unsure that I went to another dermatologist who prescribed more steroids and went to an allergist to see if I was allergic to anything I didn’t know about. I did not want to use more steroids because I am already so used to it that once I try to go off it, it will be even worse. But, things started to take a turn when I went back home for winter break.

Turning Point

When I went back home for break my skin was still bad and my mom even said she hasn’t seen it that bad and was starting to get concerned as well as the rest of my family. My mom being my mom searched up different treatments to try that we haven’t yet. She came across an injection called dupixent. She found a dermatologist and made an appointment right before I had to go back to school. She made this appointment in hoping that the doctor would see how bad it was and see that I fit all the requirements for this injection and I can start using it. Which I did and started that appointment! A week after that appointment I saw huge results and was able to see less flare ups and noticed a reducing in the itching and dryness.

I have been taking this injection for almost a month and it has been essentially a lifesaver. I’m able to worry less about my skin and moisturize less and go back to doing things in my everyday life without having to worry about my eczema.

Overall I still struggle with my eczema but not as much as I use to. Every person who has eczema has a different story and in some cases worse than mine. Now that I have found a new medication for my skin I just hope that it continues to clear my skin and that my body doesn’t get use to it like it did with the topical steroids. I am also hoping that doctors and researchers eventually find a cure so that we can stop worrying about it.