Curing Eczema – part 1
William Mills describes his battle with eczema and relates his experiences with this debilitating skin condition.
I recall in the far off days of the spring of 2018, visiting a consultant dermatologist who I’d found privately.
The clinic was located in an old mansion in darkest Hove, with waiting room settees so deep I feared not being able to hoist myself out again.
My consultant looked at my hands and feet. My eczema was bad. My skin had agonising cracks in my fingertip pads.
The ones running across the underneath of my foot brought back memories of the film Midnight Express, set in a Turkish jail where prisoners were whipped on the soles of their feet.
He examined, and huffed and puffed as doctors do, and showed interest in my income as private consultants do.
He prescribed an ointment called ‘Clobaderm’ and condemned me to two years of agony and discomfort.
This wrenched ointment caused my skin to thin and crack even more than before.
The low point came when visiting the local chemist in rural Petworth.
I was discussing various products with a female healthcare professional when the packaging sliced through my finger as if it was a razor blade leaving blood pouring down my hand.
She looked in horror and walked away leaving me to cope the best I could.
Perhaps she thought I was about to explode, in which case running away was undoubtedly the best option, leaving me trapped inside my skin with all its defects.
But I was getting to the point of desperation and willing my hands to get better of their own accord. I used to dream of being able to type all day long once more.
My hands had nearly recovered, twice in fact, only to get worse once more so it was only a matter of figuring out what made them poorly in the first place, and what cured them.
I pondered over the causes of eczema I’d read about.
Contact dermatitis is triggered by touching things, and my finger pads, then as now are most regularly in contact with my laptop.
The other was emotional stress. I’d had a rotten time being bullied out of my local yacht club because some others thought I was gay.
Sailing is my passion and my life so I felt pretty low.
During the summer of 2019 I decided I must rid myself of this awful affliction so I stopped using the Clobaderm ointment deciding to see what would happen next.
In August my fingers swelled up and my feet turned bright red. When I lifted both extremities the blood drained backwards and forwards. As surely as the flowing tide.
Next, red pin picks appeared on the back of my hands which in turn spread up my arms and across my chest.
This was completely getting out of hand.
I asked my surgery for a GP appointment and later that day saw a probationer doctor.
He was quite shocked at the severity of my condition and asked his boss to have a look who recommended stopping all the various creams I’d been using.
I asked the private clinic for another appointment but, alas it was some weeks before I finally got to see the consultant.
By then the inflamed areas of my body had calmed down a little but he was concerned for me, and immediately prescribed a course of steroid tablets called Prednisolone.
He also suggested I would need phototherapy light treatment, and pointed out that as I probably won’t be able to afford this at his clinic, he would refer me back to the NHS.
And with that we said goodbye.
I dutifully took the tablets every day for the four weeks as prescribed.
For the first three weeks nothing happened and my affliction continued unabated.
The patient information leaflet horrified me with its graphic descriptions of the side effects I could expect.
I apparently was going to get a ‘moon face’ and commit suicide, which would no doubt delight my enemies in the marina.
By the fourth week I was desperate to stop the pills but I suddenly found they were working. My eczema disappeared as mysteriously as it had come. I was cured.
But sure enough, ten days after stopping the Prednisolone pills my affliction returned.
But my eczema was no longer incurable and it was now a matter of replicating the remedy without using harmful steroid medications.
The final cure would take another three months to discover but was surprisingly easy to achieve.
Curing Eczema – part 1
In part two William Mills continues his journey of discovery into the cures available for eczema.
His account adds further insight to effectiveness of the treatments he tried, and the pain he endured.