Let me be the first to say that eczema SUCKS. For a long time I didn’t even know that I had the condition, because I had never had it as a child. The symptoms of what I later found out was eczema started appearing on my body when I was about 27 years old, working a job that was extremely stressful. Mind you, I had never had the condition before in my life. I had a boss that was very, very hard to work for. He was the kind that would go off about the least little thing, and then cuss you out for the smallest thing. It was a VERY rough and stressful time, to say the least. That’s when I first started noticing rashes breaking out on my inner thighs and my stomach. I thought initially that maybe it was the type of laundry detergent I was using, because I had just switched to a different detergent. But then over time I started realizing that that wasn’t it. Then I thought it was maybe the soy-based products I was eating, because I had recently given up meat and moved to soy-based “veggie burgers” and so forth. I thought maybe I was having an allergic reaction to these things. But then I started noticing that the “flare-ups” would primarily happen during very stressful situations on the job. The affected areas would be red all over, with raised red bumps very close together, almost like when you get goose bumps. After a while, my skin in those areas changed its very look and feel; it turned into more of a “leathery” feeling surface, which was really weird to me. The itching would be so bad that sometimes I literally felt like it was taking my breath away (don’t know if anyone else has ever had to deal with that, but I did). When I would start scratching it, man, that was the worst thing I could have done, because it would just keep itching and itching some more, almost like throwing wood on a fire—it’s never fully satisfied. And of course, the scratching would lead to white flakes on the skin, almost like “skin dandruff”, and it would just make me want to scratch more. It was freakin’ horrible.
For whatever reason I didn’t think to look into any eczema treatments; I think mainly because I was in denial of a sort. I had never had any type of allergies or any skin conditions (besides the usual teenage acne), so this whole eczema thing knocked me for a loop. I’ll explain more of my testimony in some later blogs…I just wanted to start writing this to help bring “closure” to the whole eczema situation…I guess.