My Eczema Journey – How I overcame being told that my skin will stay the same by a doctor

As I write this blog, I reflect even more on my journey with eczema. The uncertainty of ever getting better and not having to take prescribed medication at all.

I’ll be honest with you. I thought childbirth and marriage were hard.

Nothing could prepare me for this dark time in my life!

I can remember this like it was yesterday, so full of life, plans, goals and dreams, all this changed in a twinkling of an eye.

How did my eczema start?

It started off with what appeared to be a rash on my hands which was patchy, dry and itchy then it spread to other parts of my skin. It was noticeable making me feel self-conscious and more aware of my condition.

At the time doctors told me it was eczema and I was given prescriptions for emollients. I recall using Aqueous Cream which I applied directly to my skin and used soap substitutes.

Find out more about My Story.

Emollients made me feel:

  • Unclean
  • Itchy
  • Made my skin smell bad
  • Uncomfortable
  • Clothes stuck to my skin

What happened next?

What happened when my skin got worse?

  • I went back to doctors for a referral to a Dermatologist
  • I was made to feel bad during my appointment with the dermatologist
  • I was encouraged to work with the consultant to get better
  • I felt guilty as I wanted to get better but didn’t want to take the medication
  • Steroid tablets were prescribed to me, learn about the dangers of steroid tablets

What lessons have I learnt through having eczema?

It taught me the importance of using my judgement in particular situations, making more informed decisions as it is my body. I’m a black woman so eczema looks different on my skin compared to someone else who is a different colour. One rule doesn’t fit all in this case. 

Eczema can affect your mental health, which happened to me. No support was out there which made it extremely hard to deal with. I wish that during my eczema journey there would have been someone to offer support and guidance even though a blog which I am hoping to do to you.

As this can affect your mental health, family and every daily life support/counselling should be offered.

Knowledge/Research

The consultant/dermatologist in Kings College Hospital, South London was the only person who correctly diagnosed me.

During my eczema journey, I went through so much pain, sleepless nights and was prodded and used as a guinea pig and when I was at my lowest and seriously ill after being admitted into hospital I was convinced I was going to die.

More doctors should know more about this condition and how it affects people differently depending on the colour of their skin. More research should be done in this area and work closely with black doctors, nurses and people of colour who could be able to give more insight into these conditions.  As they’ve probably seen patients with skin conditions.

How has eczema affected my life and my family?

I’m a mother of 3 amazing children and two of my children have seen me at my worst, at the time when I was ill both of my daughters were under the age of 5. 

As the majority of my body had Chronic Severe Eczema my children couldn’t hug me as much as they wanted too or as much as I wanted too as my skin was thickened and so painful.

I still did the school run, worked, helped with homework etc, but it was extremely hard and painful. I have to say my children just got on with things because it was their normal.

My oldest daughter has said, “mum we always remember you being so ill when we were young.”

At a young age, my son had eczema, because of my experiences I was able to help him with eczema and educate him in how to look after his skin and what food to exclude from his diet. Sugary foods, in particular, can affect eczema and this can be hard for children that enjoy something sweet. Try to find an alternative fruit which they could enjoy and that can be beneficial to their skin.

My son’s eczema affected him during primary school and we faced many obstacles within the school. Have you had to overcome barriers within the school for your child with a skin condition? Find out how eczema can affect your child at primary school.

As a family, we are all conscious of what we consume daily. I make all our skincare range, some which are not currently available on my website, but I intend to do this in the future.

All my children have sensitive skin and at times suffer from eczema. I treat their skin the same as I do mine and they all use Icylda Skincare products. They all have different skin types; dry, combination, oily and sensitive skin. I wanted to ensure that my products would be versatile and cater to everyone regardless of whether they have combination or oily skin for example.

Final thoughts

I’m not going to say that I do not go to the doctors, but what I am saying is that they’re not my first port of call in every circumstance.

Yes, they can play an important role but I have experienced first hand of being vulnerable, treated like my life isn’t important. Not all medical professionals are the same and I am living proof of that, thanks to the consultant at King’s College Hospital.

Is there any hope for my eczema?

Yes, there was hope and for anyone going through their eczema journey or a skin condition or knows anyone who is, I’m here to encourage you. Click here To find out What is Eczema?

Moisturising your skin in a downward motion is very important.

I was able to get rid of eczema on my hands within 5 months by using my Lavender Body Butter Lotion. This was because my skin was thickened due to constant scratching. I applied the Lavender Body Butter Lotion, in a downward motion. Soon after applying it soothed my skin and reduced the inflammation which meant that I didn’t need to scratch my skin.  It moisturised my skin and for the first time, my skin could breathe.

If I hadn’t had eczema I never would have thought that I could be capable of formulating a skincare range to help my skin and my children.  To think that I could also be in a position to share this with others. I’m more conscious about my health so this is a bonus for me.

At the time, I couldn’t find anything which was more gentle to the skin without clogging more pores.

Does this happen to you as well?

What I want to say is that there is hope and you too can get better and find something that works for you. 

Eczema doesn’t have to rule you, yes it affects your life and one person’s journey is different from another. But I am here to encourage you and I hope this helps someone.

Written and posted by Amanda Roberts, the Founder of Icylda Skincare on 28th July 2020

Leave a comment