The other day I posted a few pictures on my Instastories about my hands and how I’m suffering really badly at the moment with eczema. I had such an overwhelming response from you all offering advise & recommendations on what you use that I thought it would be a great idea to share all the feedback I got, along with the combinations of things I’ve tried.
I’d like to start by stating that I am NOT a medical doctor, all I have learnt about eczema is either through my research of trial and error. The content of this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
One of the most bizarre tips I received was to do an apple cider vinegar bath or hand soak. Yes, I’m serious! I was like, are you mad? That’s gonna burn the sh!t out of my poor hands, you must be crazy! But, I stopped my ranting for a second to Google this idea, and it has some interesting truths and facts behind it. I read that, basically the vinegar is a result of the apple cider that gets fermented and that it actually rebalances the skin’s acidity levels and not only heals eczema but also reduces the risk of infections. (Infection is a real concern for me because of all the tiny blisters that break open – usually from being so itchy I scratch them.)
So I have given it a try; about 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in a small basin of water. Basically enough water to cover your hands completely. Note: it shouldn’t burn. I soak for about 2 minutes (that’s all I’ve got time for), then pat dry (don’t rub as that just gets them itchy again) before applying a barrier cream. As I said I’ve only been doing it for 2 days (at the time of writing this post) but already the skin on my hands feel more calm, not so itchy nor dry.
Barrier & moisturising creams are also treatments of which I seem to have tried every single one. Currently I am using Vaseline Intensive Care Fragrance Free lotion and I’m really liking it. Two things that are really important to me when choosing a lotion are:
- No fragrance whatsoever
- Must be able to be used all over my body
All the research I’ve done indicates that you have to try a ‘treatment’ plan for at least 2 weeks before trying something new; I’m hoping the current one will work for me! However, I have 2 other products in the queue should this plan not work, namely Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion & Bepanthan Sensiderm Cream. Note: all the creams I buy are available at Dischem or Clicks and available without prescription.
The whole reason that I am on such a mission to find the right treatment for me is two-faceted. Firstly I obviously can’t use cortisone creams while pregnant or breastfeeding and I actually would rather steer clear of the medicated creams because, long term, they are not having the best results for my skin. Cortisone generally things the skin and that’s not something I want to battle later in life. But I have tried many of the prescribed ointments & creams but also to no avail! Most dermatologist tell me to keep my hands away from water which is tough enough in normal life, but seems impossible with a child around!
Below is a list of some of the other barrier creams & moisturisers that were recommended to me. Some of them I have tried, with no success, and others I am yet to try so am unable to comment on how they worked or didn’t, for me.
- SBR repair cream
- E45 cream
- Gloves in a bottle
At the end of the day I think a treatment plan is personal because we are all so different and so is our skin. I will continue to do my thrice daily apple cider vinegar soak followed by Vaseline Intensive Care application for 2 weeks and hope that it provides me with some relief. If it does you can bet your bottom dollar that I will keep going with it, however should it prove unsuccessful I will then try one of the other creams I have been recommended. And onward we will go until, hopefully, I find something that helps me in the long term.
Much love xxx