Eczema is a problem. It has always been a problem for me, but has exacerbated exponentially since the year that I moved to Hong Kong. Now, nearly a decade later, I am still grappling with skin issues.
My most recent problems? Massive eczema rashes on both of my upper arms (spreading slowly south of my elbows), a patch of what I think is eczema on my face, and a weird random as-yet-undiagnosed rash on the back of my right hand. All are itchy. None have responded to hard core steroid creams.
Before you start wondering if I should be sent to a leper colony for the eczema-ridden, I'm not contagious, and I am seeking medical help in the form of a skin specialist (dermatologist) in a couple weeks' time. The appointment was made a few weeks ago, but you know how it is with specialists - you have to wait and let things get worse before they can see you; that way, you will have a nice big nasty problem to show them, and maybe then it will be easier for them to diagnose ;) I kid, I kid...sort of.
Anyway, until that magical day of June 12th, when I expect miraculous healings to occur, I am stuck with major skin itch. My mom always said that I should never scratch an itch, lest it get worse. The temptation is huge, though, especially when the itch flares up (which it does several times during the day). If it's not one arm, it's the other, and if it's not the arms, it's my face, and if not my face, the back of my hand. Vicious cycles.
My make-shift, non-scientific solution to try to curb the itching? Mineral oil and fragrance, also known as Johnson & Johnson's Baby Oil (original formula). Believe it or not, the greasy oil helps to tame my burning desire to scratch, because my itch settles down when the oil is applied. I have no idea why this is, and frankly, I'm a pragmatist and if it works, I really don't care to know. ;)Anyway, this simple homeopathic remedy has worked on all of my eczema patches, and even on the weird unidentified rash on my hand. Although the redness isn't completely eliminated, it has gone down somewhat, particularly on my right arm (the one that I don't tend to scratch as much).
I am trying to find the silver lining in all of this skin-diseased madness. The only one I've come up with? I smell great, like a freshly bathed baby! ;)