Dear Dermatitis…..

…I would very much like if you would leave my life never to return. My dermatitis been persistent for around 2 months now and becoming increasingly annoying. My dermatitis initially developed when I was at uni. Being a little dick ‘ed I thought I was too cool to wear gloves when pissing about with harsh chemicals and epoxy resin glues (even to the extent where I thought it was mega cool to put my entire arm in the pickling tank to retrieve an embellishment from the bottom that I couldn’t fish out with the tweezer things)…. this turned out to be not so good for my hands/skin and I soon developed contact dermatitis, which ultimately means that nowadays I cannot even look at substances like Fairy Liquid without coming over all an itch. This latest flair up has been here since I moved in to my new flat, I guess I didn’t want to admit it until the doctor confirmed it but apparently it’s here this time due to stress. I’m not even a person who believes in stress. I’m very much a ‘take each day as it comes’ kinda gal. But alas, subliminally the stress has got me and taken it out on my poor hands. The doctor did give me some steroid cream for it, but to be honest I’d rather eradicate than have to carry on applying it, as it’s not great for your skin in the long term anyway. I only decided to do a blog post about it after I found myself recommending things on Twitter to people (hashtag ZOMBIEHANDS) and realised I wasn’t alone with this horrible skin condition! The images of the actual dermatitis below are after it had started to clear up and therefore are nowhere near as graphic as they could have been. My little finger really swelled up and the cuticles on my thumb, ring finger and pinky have completely disappeared now, it was also raw to the point of bleeding at times ….sounds a little icky, but it’s getting better…..

It seems to start off as being tiny little lumps under the skin that appear to be water filled. After a day or two this soon develops in to scaly sore lumps which then become quite raw and sometimes swelled. The days seem to have passed when just using The Body Shop Hemp Balm was enough to keep it at bay. I really like the hemp BALM as opposed to the CREAM as it protects as well as moisturises. I didn’t see any difference with the Hemp Cream but I know a lot of people rave about it. After trying every product under the sun (which I know, can often go against it all and end up being worse than using nothing) I managed to filter down to the products that I’ve seen a literal difference with. The key to keeping my hands dermatitis free seems to be trying not to wash them/get them wet as often, protecting them against the elements and trying to RELAX. I also don’t think the weather has been helping my dermatitis alongside the stressyness, the harshness of the cold against the warmth of the inside really plays havock with skin in general so when you’ve got area’s prone to sensitivity it’s always wise to invest in some gloves. I got these rather lovely and soft Earth Therapeutics Aloe Moisture Gloves from TK Maxx for a mere £4.99, they have been a great addition to my life and I try to wear them as much as possible. I don’t know if they actually do work in terms of moisturisation, but they keep my hands warm and stop the cold weather getting to them. Before I found these I bought some white cotton gloves from a local pharmacy for around 99p which I went all Michael Jackson with at night and wore them with a cocktail of oils and lotions underneath, which was good for softening the skin but not ‘curing’ the condition! A handbag life saver has been the Floriography Hand Cream I picked up from Poundland the other week, for an RRP of circa £11 it was bound to be good, but the camomile has really soothed my hands and relieved the dryness endless. I did pick up the other variety they had which was Sweetpea and Peony, but it doesn’t seem to be as creamy and soothing as this one? Which I found a little odd. As I mentioned, washing my hands often really does me no favours, especially when at work and they have that harsh antibacterial soap in the bathroom. It immediately makes it worse. I have found that after a quick wee the Green and Spring Antibacterial Hand Gel works a treat as it’s alcohol free and doesn’t contain most of the harsh nasties the cheapo anti bac gel’s and hand washes tend to. I do really like this and it does smell really nice, almost like Earl Grey tea! But it is a little sticky as it seems to be more of a cream than a gel (just so you know!).

The final product I have discovered recently which has really eased the redness and flaky sore skin has been the Salcura Dermaspray and Zeoderm Cream.  I found a free sample of this online where you only paid the £2 postage and packaging. It’s a very good product and I would recommend the sample just to try it out if you suffer from Eczema, Dermatitis or Psorosis as  for £2 you don’t exactly break the bank if it doesn’t work! I’m not sure how useless this blog post will be for anyone else  because everyone’s skin is completely different and what works for some won’t work for others. A lot of people recommend Lush products to me, but for me personally they seem to make my skin worse, I was using the FUN bar as a bubble bath for a few weeks and I don’t think that helped at all. I changed this over to the E45 bath cream for dry skin though and despite not being a very luxurious product, it’s brilliant at keeping your skin soft! What I have learnt though is to always wear gloves when dealing with chemicals, avoid stress(!!!), use alcohol free products and avoid chemicals where possible. A great blog to check out if you suffer from any skin conditions or allergies is SugarpuffFish  who specialises in all those products which are free from nasties. 

Dermatitis I now dub thee DemaSHITEis, but you’ll be gone soon. Mark my words. You. will. Be. Gone.