Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Eczema & Staying With Others

Having severe eczema can be really, really frustrating and tedious when divulging in social events. Strict routine is necessary in ensuring that your condition remains manageable so staying at someone else's place can certainly be a chaotic experience.

I've mentioned before on here that my morning routine literally takes me hours. On a good day I can probably decant my routine into around 2 hours or so, but on a bad day... well it can take me basically half the day!

I always find myself getting super frustrated when staying with other people because although they understand my condition, they don't necessarily understand exactly what it entails for me to get my skin preened to a comfortable state. For example, say we have to be ready to leave at 9am I would need to get up at 6am whilst the rest of the party wouldn't even contemplate getting out of bed until at LEAST 7am. However when there are a lot of you,  then they often spill over into your time and if you're not quick and fast thinking enough you can easily see yourself getting to the back of the queue which then causes more distress and panic because you know you won't be getting ready in time.

This weekend just past saw a similar state of affairs, though fortunately there were 2 bathrooms so no one struggled with time-keeping. I was slightly panicky that I was to spend the night in the living room/ kitchen area on an airbed because I knew people would want to use the space first thing in the morning for breakfast and such. With me needing to moisturise, which in itself is the most time consuming part of my routine, I wasn't sure what I would do as you can't exactly walk around in the nude in a house full of people. We came to the conclusion that I would book out the main bathroom for as long as it took me to get dressed and everyone else would fight over the other shower room.

Staying with friends in student places is the most difficult as you can't hog their bathroom but at the same time you don't really have any where else to go and carry out your routine.

I just find that eczema is such a demanding condition, turning people into selfish beings, because I know that if I didn't follow out my routine to a T I would be uncomfortable for the rest of the day and wouldn't feel like I could enjoy myself because the necessity to pander to my skins needs would be too much to bear.

I hate that it has so much control over my life in this way, but the only way to get it to a manageable state is to preen it to perfection so that it can get better and easier to control. Vicious circle. It also makes me feel so guilty that I do have to be selfish but rather that than getting unbearably ill.


  1. Hey, I'm a fellow sufferer of eczema (19 years now!) and reading your blog is so comforting to me. Mine thankfully isn't as bad as it used to be, no more hospitalisations or herpeticum, but it's still frustrating and damaging so it's always lovely to find other people who know what it's like.

    Thank you <3

    1. Hi lovely, so glad that my blog is helpful to you! I'm glad that your eczema isn't so bad as it once was :) I think the thing with eczema is that although there are a lot of people who blog about it, there doesn't seem to be a lot of proper support for adult sufferers, so I'm so happy to be of help :)


  2. Great post missy. You're right in what you say that these things are incredibly frustrating and guilt inducing, but it's not for you to make yourself worse for other peoples sake, however inconvenient. When it's something like this that never goes away, it's something that can't be argued with. Keep your chin up :) xxx

    1. Aye, it's something that has to just be accepted for what it is annoyingly. Though it also spills over into other social events, as you yourself are aware, like not being able to partake in certain activities or stay out as long as you used to etc. It just makes you feel so, so guilty, and it's even worse when people don't "get" why you have to live your life as you do and make you feel all the more guilty for it!

      Chin is definitely being kept up :D xxxxxx

  3. Sorry to be such a regular poster but everything you say just rings bells with me! I often feel that this condition makes me feel like an awkward recluse. You're not being selfish at all, it's good you have people around you who understand.
    Xx Jess

    1. Don't be sorry! I'm happy that you are a regular poster as it makes me feel as though I'm not alone in this as well :) It's nice to build little communities where other sufferers can come to for advice and reassurance. xx

  4. I normally go around the house and garden completely in the nude. However during the Winter 2004/05 for the first time in ten years, I wore clothes at home virtually continuously and it was not long before I developed quite severe seborrheoic eczema with the worst areas being my lower legs and elbows, although I did have small areas on my upper thighs, chest and waist. In the past I had noticed that if I wore clothes for more than a couple of days I developed spots on my legs, which would disappear once I went around nude again. On this occasion I developed spots around my ankles, which my doctor and I both initially thought were cat flee bites, but leaving them untreated they progressed to full blown eczema: I have since discovered that acne type spots can be a symptom of eczema. I had been prescribed various steroid creams, but all they did was exacerbate the condition. I believe that clothes encourage yeast spores, which it is thought may be factor, to multiply and when the skin becomes sensitive the clothing acts like an abrasive. I have virtually kept eczema at bay for the past 8 years or so, by going around nude whenever possible. I have to ensure that I am completely dry before getting dressed after having a shower, which means that I must remain nude for at least a half hour. If I have to wear clothes then I will soon need to apply Dermol lotion, although zinc and castor oil cream is the best, but I will have to wait an hour at least before getting dressed otherwise it will just rub off and ruin my clothes. I have resolved not to wear clothes at home unless absolutely necessary: fortunately most of my friends, relations and neighbours accept my lifestyle and in future any visitor will have to express a strong objection in order to make me dress. We normally stay with family or friends, who visit our home, so going around nude is not usually a problem. However, if I am staying in a hotel or a strange place, I find that just an hour nude in my room will help, but I am aware that there is a fine balance and it could flare up. Sometime, I can wear clothes for days on end, but other times after just a few hours, I get the first tell-tale signs, that if I don’t get undressed, I could get a flare up. I thought that my daughter-in-law had accepted me going around nude, so I was surprised that after a few hours she asked me to put my shorts on, as she did not want my 15 month old grandson, who had previously been asleep, to see somebody without clothes on! I find it very frustrating if I am forced to spend long periods shut in my room and it is difficult not become resentful.

    A few years ago I attended a Lenten course given by a Franciscan friar on the theme “God loves me, as I am-not as I would like to be nor as others would have us” Surely not a lot to ask! Peter