Disclaimer: You may think I am crazy for putting health information up, but if anyone can help or be helped, I am open to sharing, especially since this is not of my doing! So, if you are curious, read on. If not, kindly move on. I won’t be offended a bit.
I have always (meaning since age 16, when I moved away from home to California) had somewhat reactive skin, but it was only my hands and feet, and usually in response to intense sweating and/or stress. My feet got so bad in California, that the itching would keep me up at night, and just the sheet against my feet would trigger the itching enough to make me scratch until I bled. I learned to deal with it, and I heard several things from dermatologists. One said it was an ‘id reaction to a fungus’. Yes, he said this to an 18-year-old fresh out of high school. It wasn’t and isn’t that. In fact, thanks to Google, I confirmed that it’s dyshidrotic eczema. I don’t need to show you the pictures, but the ones on the page I just hyperlinked to are good ones. It’s better during the winter and in dry weather. Oh, and there is a nice genetic component to it. Thanks DAD!
A couple years later, I developed severe scaling on my scalp. I thought I had bad dandruff, so started using anti-dandruff shampoos, which didn’t work. I tried salicylic acid shampoos, and even tar shampoos. Sometimes, I would have showers of dandruff, and other times I would get little scab-like sections that bled when I scratched them off. It is mainly contained within my hairline, but not completely. Again, I believe stress triggers it, and I have noticed that after a night of drinking with friends, I can expect about a week of hell, if not more. Hence, I no longer have more than 2 or 3 drinks in a night. There are the obvious more important reasons, but that is one of them.
Fast forward many years, and I developed a couple spots on my face that simply produce extra skin. I have to scrape them daily, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day to keep them from being obvious. My scalp is worse each time it breaks out. My dyshidrosis is much better in the desert, but the dry skin conditions are worse. In October, I started Bikram Yoga. In November, I developed a trunkal rash. It was mostly where I sweat the most, so I thought it was like a heat rash, but it spread all over my chest and back. I figured it was pityriasis rosacea. It has slowly been resolving, with occasional small breakouts, but a while ago, I developed a red circle on my right forearm. As it was resolving, I developed another one on my upper right arm. It was unnerving, to say the least, and it hasn’t gone away. Now, I find myself super sensitive to any odd changes. I know that I haven’t felt quite right since my accident in 2008, but I can’t put a finger on it. Lately, I have increasing dryness of my skin. I put oil on after my shower, and it is dry a couple of hours later. I can’t decide if it’s pityriasis rosacea (which is supposed to resolve in about 2 months), psoriasis, or eczema.
My skin was best one summer when I started my day off with 2 pints of water (yes, it makes you want to barf at first), then 2-3 hours of working out, tanning, and a healthy, simple diet. I had very little caffeine and no alcohol. The working out is a big part of it, but perhaps enjoying beer with my friends, and drinking excessive coffee is messing me up. I have changed my diet in an effort to ingest less toxins, and I was pretty sure I am sensitive to gluten. I have eliminated all meats but fish, nearly all dairy (but not quite), and all gluten. I have substituted new foods, which is nice, but my skin is getting worse. I want to have my beautiful glowing skin again! It was smooth and beautiful all over.
Here it says that for people with eczema, it is best to avoid eggs (I am sensitive and can’t eat them anymore), peanuts (I hate them anyway), fish (I LOVE my salmon!!!), soy (it doesn’t agree with me anyway, so I try and avoid it), wheat (gluten free baby!), and dairy (I LOVE my cheese!!!).
So there you have it. Phase out caffeine and beer and see how I do. OMG, maybe after France. Actually, definitely after France.