aat hafte / ਅੱਠ ਹਫ਼ਤੇ / eight weeks

This week so many things have happened. I’ve started to do a ton of research the topical steroid withdrawal journey’s of others and I have officially freaked myself out. Some people don’t get the worsening symptoms until 6 months in! After getting really anxious of what might come, I have mostly stopped looking this up. It is helpful to see what products/routines have worked for others, which is my main focus now.

Some updates:

  • I have started taking Apple Cider Vinegar everyday by mouth. It’s gross but I have read that it helps with eczema. I might try to dilute it and put it on my eczema but I think I’ll wait another week to do so.
  • I have also stopped using any products that contain benzyl alcohol in it. I recently joined a support group on Facebook and some people are allergic to balsam of Peru on there. It is made up of benzyl alcohol, which is found in some of my face products (the tonique and moisturizer). After stopping the use of these products, I have seen significant improvements on my face! My eyes are not as swollen as before!
  • I have been better with my diet and have cut out dairy, gluten, and processed sugar.
  • I had stomach issues for the past two days so I’ve started taking a probiotic.

I should be more excited about this blog post because I am two months topical steroid free!! I think what worries me is that I don’t know when this whole process will end and if I will even be eczema free down the road. However, the best thing I can do now is be happy about the huge improvements I have made. I’ve already learned so much about the eczema I have and what to avoid – NaOH, benzyl alcohol, and parabens. This is the best time for me to learn about what irritates my skin and I’m hoping I’ll be cured soon!

My eczema picture:

Week8_EczemaModel

Face

At the beginning of the week, my face was still flaring but ever since I stopped using the tonique and the moisturizer, it’s been at a steady state. It has flared here and there especially if I eat out. When I wake up in the morning, the places where my face normally flakes is above my right eye and the area around my lips. I can definitely say that my eczema around my lips and neck has improved though because it’s not as flakey. I’m seeing some improvement and I feel like the Vitamin C Serum (which is the only think I put on my face now with exception to the Extensive Nourish Moisturize Balm or EczemaCalm) is really helping. It’s difficult not to moisturize my face because it gets really tight. I think my face will take the longest to heal because I’ve been using steroids and an immunosuppressant on it. My right eyelid is really wrinkly and doesn’t look like healthy skin.

Arm

This area is a hit or miss. It usually flares in the night so I might have to put some moisture on there during the day. I got a weird whitehead pimple there during this week which I think was due to the fact that I close my elbow when I sleep. I believe this created an environment for bacteria to grow so I’m trying to keep this area clean.

Hands

Oh boy. My dyshidrotic eczema has returned to my fingers. However, the good news is that it hasn’t gotten to the palm sides of my fingers. I have no clue what caused its returned – a symptom of withdrawal, something I’m using, or gloves I used during volunteering this week? Why is it only on the sides and backs of my fingers? I’m going to stop using soaps again for a week to see if there is any improvement. There has been a slow buildup of it throughout this week. The soap I’m using contains citric acid, which is known to be an irritant of eczema. Hoping for the best.

The patches on my hands have been relatively the same. I had an itching spell on the big patch on my left hand but the others have been relatively the same. They are significantly less red. These patches might also be staying as a result of my soap as well. Will keep an eye on these when I withdrawal from soap!

 

Overall, there has been an improvement but some setbacks. Hopefully I can pinpoint what is causing my hand eczema!

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One thought on “aat hafte / ਅੱਠ ਹਫ਼ਤੇ / eight weeks

  1. Benita congratulations on making it to two months !! Lots to unpack here, thank you for putting it all together!

    Really happy with all the research you have been doing on other patients’ journeys and also really happy that you have made it a point to stop looking at it to scare yourself. That shift in focus is great! Could you send me a link to the Fb support group? I completely agree that we do not really know how the future is going to turn out, which is very scary. We just have to be brave and push on !

    You’re so awesome to keep up with the Apple Cider Vinegar! I totally agree that stopping benzyl alcohol was a move in the right direction! Also really wanted to compliment you on the huge strides you are making on your diet! Side question – are you keeping up with the Vitamin D pills you mentioned earlier?

    As you mentioned, I agree that the hands should be our focus for the near term. I am confident that we can get back on track after we use the routine that we used before when your hands were in this state.

    I really liked how your post both gave an honest snapshot of where we are and also celebrated how far we have come. Love you Benita, great great work!

    Like

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