How I Cleared Up My Eczema Flare Up
About a month ago, my eczema began to really flare up on my arms and hands. I had thought it was because of my diet as it was Christmastime and my diet had really veered off from my norm, and I was away from home so I was using different soaps and items (like blankets, etc) that weren’t my usual.
For example, while we were away, one of the blankets on our bed was a wool blanket. Well, if you have eczema then you likely already know where this is going: the wool blanket tool my eczema to a whole new level. Wool is known for being somewhat of a trigger and irritant for those who have eczema, and it is a big-time irritant for me.
Many years ago, I was given a pair of beautiful cashmere gloves and as I wore them my hands started to feel really itchy – well, you guessed it: when I removed the gloves I saw that my hands were super red, dry, rough, and bumpy. Since then, I’ve avoided all wool since it so clearly triggers my skin to flare-up.
My Eczema + Hypothyroidism
In many of my skincare posts, I talk about how my skin is quite sensitive or how it used to be extremely sensitive. But, in the last few years, I had thought my skin had somewhat balanced out, I stopped being quite as nervous to try new products and even if my skin got a little irritated here or there it never got to the level that it used to.
As a teen, I was lucky in the way that I didn’t have to deal with acne very consistently. I would get the occasional pop-up of pimples (especially when I was PMS-ing) but in general, I felt that that was one thing I didn’t really have to worry about too much as a teen.
Then when I was 15, things shifted in my health and it really began to show in my skin, hair, energy – everything, really. I began feeling extremely tired. I would get migraines, my nails peeled, my hair thinned, my skin got extremely dry and rough, and I would sleep a full 10 hours, get up and go to school, and then come home and have to take a nap before doing my homework. I was truly exhausted and it showed. Well, this went on for months and months until finally my doctor tested me and told me that I had hypothyroidism, which is pretty unusual for a 15-year-old.
It was during this time that I started experiencing flare-ups of eczema. As I mentioned above, I had always had pretty easy skin, and though I wasn’t dealing with acne, I found myself unsure how to handle my now super dry, rough, and irritated skin. I would do my usual skincare routine and my skin would seer. I would apply a moisturizer and it would make my skin even redder.
I quickly realized my usual moisturizers just weren’t doing the trick, and in fact, I felt like they were making it worse. So, I went to my real-life beauty guru, my mum, who then took me to the pharmacy to get something specifically made for eczema. Since then, there have been a few times where I’ve had to actually go to my doctor to get prescription creams to help soothe my eczema, but more often than not the pharmacy items have helped.
So, fast-forward to this recent flare-up. Initially, this time when my skin flared-up, I first turned to the products I had in my house that said they were soothing. While I knew these weren’t the ideal products to use on my eczema, I just didn’t feel like I had time to get to the pharmacy – it was Christmas, we were out of town, it was busy. I hoped they would help, but I had a sinking feeling that eventually, I would need to make my way to a pharmacy.
But, after Christmas, my skin somewhat got back on track. My diet was back to normal, I was careful of the clothing I wore (wool – get away from me stat!) and I was using super soothing creams on my somewhat-fading eczema. I figured if I was just careful that it would fade away entirely.
But then, 2 weeks ago, it flared up again – but this time it wasn’t just on my hands and arms, it was on my neck and face, too. As someone who writes a lot about beauty and films makeup looks, this is less than ideal. When my eczema flares up badly like this, I have a few rules I live by:
– I do not wear makeup
– I take a look at my diet
– I stop using my normal skincare routine. Instead, I simply just cleanse my skin using a super gentle cleanser and then follow up with the Spectro EczemaCare cream. I also only use lukewarm water on my skin as hot water can make the flare up worse.
– I wear my hair up 24/7
– I investigate my house for possible irritants: laundry soaps, dust, etc.
– I access my energy, nails, and hair. My eczema flare-ups have often been related to my thyroid being off and needing to take a look at my medication and my lifestyle – am I doing everything I should be to support my health and my thyroid? The fact is diet and sleep have a huge impact on my thyroid so if I am stretching myself too thin (which I definitely felt happened over the holidays – I was exhausted!) then I am exhausting my body and my health.
It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but it really can stunt my content when I have to take multiple weeks off of creating makeup tutorials, and beauty content.
So anyway, when it flared up this time I knew I had to stop messing around and get to a pharmacy.
I forget exactly what it was that I used to get as a teen and in my early twenties to deal with my eczema, but this time I got Spectro EczemaCare and I just knew that I had to share it with you. Literally 3 days after using this cream, my eczema has nearly vanished and my skin is almost back to normal. It’s still a bit dry so for the next few days I am just going to continue to use this and stick to the rules I noted above. I officially feel totally foolish that I didn’t go to a pharmacy sooner, but you know how busy the holidays can get!
Note: I do not recommend using this long term though as it can cause thinning of the skin. I just used this short-term to quickly clear up my eczema on my hands, arms (inner elbow area ), and face. I would say that this was an extreme flare-up as usually I am able to use more natural creams to slowly clear up my eczema but this time felt I needed something stronger.