the SKINny girl

living with eczema, allergies and other skin issues

Hands Not Looking So Swell

I’ve been extremely vigilant, but I haven’t been avoiding all of my allergens. I’ve also missed about three weeks of acupuncture.

This is the current state of my hands:

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Filed under: dealing with eczema, , ,

The Worst Eczema EVER

My mom, sister and I decided to have a road trip up the California coast. I also knew that I had planned a trip in Vegas immediately after my return, so I tried to eat healthy and keep my eczema under control, especially the ones on my hands.  I had some rashes on both the palm and the top of my hands and was trying to keep them from flaring up by using steroids and applying nightly wet wraps.

It didn’t work.

We reached our campsite in the redwoods past midnight and started setting up our tent. The entire drive to our destination was relatively itch-free, but once we started setting up camp, that all changed. I don’t know if it was the air or the fact that my hands were no longer stuck to a steering wheel, but something triggered an itch on my right hand and I initially unknowingly scratched it. The moment I realized I was scratching, I didn’t stop. I kept scratching. I was holding a flashlight and scratching my right hand with my left hand.

I scratched my right hand until it started bleeding from an open wound I created.

My right hand, now swollen, thick-skinned and oozing blood, was locked open. I couldn’t close my hand — the skin was too thick. I couldn’t hold the flashlight — my hand couldn’t grip it tight enough to maintain the hold.

It was a great trip, but I really couldn’t fully enjoy myself because of my hands. Really, if the eczema were on my back or my arms or my legs, maybe I would have had a better time, but you really don’t realize how much you need your hands. You use them for everything.

I couldn’t even open a water bottle. I couldn’t open a door knob.

I had to brush my teeth with my left hand.

I drove with my fingertips.

I looked at everyone’s hands and saw how normal their hands looked. Soft fingertips, pink palms, flexible fingers. I was jealous and mad and more than anything else, frustrated.

While showering in our boutique hotel in San Francisco, I looked at my fingers. There were minuscule blisters/bubbles under the skin of my fingers. It was so gross. I’ve never seen anything like that before. They were all clustered together, liquid-filled and so tiny. I couldn’t feel them — they weren’t bumpy because they were beneath the surface of my skin. I figured they were the reason why my hands wept when I scratched really hard, but I didn’t understand how they got there.

Sorry to let you down — I didn’t take any photographs of my disgusting hands. It looked so bad it looked fake. Almost as if Hollywood makeup artists came to create a badly burnt hand.

What can I do?

Filed under: dealing with eczema, , , , ,

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