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Holiday in South Asia

Hi. I hope everyone is doing well.

I wanted to talk about my holiday in South Asia and how it has been no short of a miracle for my skin. It’s genuinely hard for me to believe and I feel so grateful I just had to share it.

I’m 21 years old, British Pakistani born and raised in West Yorkshire, UK. I have had mild-severe eczema since I was 3 years old. Eczema is focused behind my knees, arm joints, shoulders, neck and upper lip. Although during a flare it can spread to my chest and eye area. I unfortunately have some significant scarring and discoloration all over my body

In 2019 my eczema became out of control. I put it down to stress since it blew up during my A-level exam season. I suffered pretty badly for about 8 months. My eyes were constantly swollen, my whole face bright red in areas I’ve never struggled before (cheeks, forehead, temples etc). I lost most of my eyebrows and as you can imagine my sleep schedule and confidence was non existent. At this point I had been on two courses of prednisolone which worked great for the length of the course, I’m sure we all know what happened as soon as the course finished🙁 and was already on clobetasol.

In December of the same year I was finally referred to a dermatologist in Leeds who gave me Protopic and Metrothrexate. Protopic was my saving grace. Metrothrexate didn’t do much for me other than mess my menstrual cycle up which made me anxious. With advice from my derm, I stopped taking it.

I continued to use protopic until late 2021. I hadn’t used topical steroids since getting protopic, I was so grateful it worked so well for me. During my first semester of my final year of university (great timing!) I noticed protopic loosing its efficiency. My eczema was spreading to my forearms, behind my neck and chin.

So I started googling to try and to get an idea of what the best next steps would be. I decided that I wanted to take a break from protopic to see how my skin copes. So in late September 2021 I stopped using protopic. To my surprise, my skin cleared up with just cerave moisturizer. My skin was amazing for Oct-Nov 2021. It was really strange.

December I had a flare up on my neck and arms. It was pretty rough but noting unbearable. It cleared up in about a month with no medication. I should mention that I went down a TSW rabbit hole that completely scared me out of using steroids. But I promised my self that I would not be too hard on myself especially during my final year of Uni. So I had back up topicals.

Then in February 2022 my chest and chin started changing colour to a red/pink. No itchyness just changed colour. There was a very distinct line between my normal skin and the redness which consumed my upper chest, left cheek and chin. It was like this until May, then began getting dry and itchy.

For the whole of June this year, I struggled a lot. I used my back up TS but they didn’t do much. My GP planned to put me on a month long course of prednisolone but I was reluctant. It was difficult and uncomfortable for me to move my upper body. My arms were getting worse. I hadn’t slept in weeks, when I scratched, it hardly bled, it would just ooze pools. It was really sore and I had to miss my graduation day.

Earlier in the year my family planned a trip to Pakistan in the summer to see my grandparents. I was so scared that my skin was going to get worse because I’ve never done good in hot weather. And here in Pakistan it is 30°C+ everyday.

So on the 15th of July 2022 we landed here, as you can imagine the 8 hour flight was incredibly uncomfortable for me. The first 3 days here were very difficult. So sore and irritated my arms, neck and face were the worst. My face was a completely different colour, I looked and felt terrible.

Then my wounds started drying up. So what was once and open, sore, wet mess on my arms was becoming my normal skin colour and started scabbing up. I was finally getting better night sleeps. About 1 week in, my chest that was full off wet cuts and was bright red for months, also started going back to my regular skin colour. Followed by my face.

I have not used any topical medication while being here. Just cerave cream. I also take daily piriton (anti histamine). I’d like to mention that when in England, I was told I had a sun allergy since every time I went out during spring or summer, my face would be so much worse the next morning.

I don’t know what it is or why this has happened but I am incredibly happy and grateful. Kind of nervous to go back to England at the end of august. I’ll also be starting my masters degree when I get back.

That’s all from me. Didn’t expect this to be so long! Wishing everyone healing, easy days and good night sleeps.

Feel free to ask any questions, I’ll be more than happy to help.

  1. - Great story! I sometimes think the humidity in this country is what makes us eczema warriors suffer so much. There is a lot of greenery here in the UK and I know I certainly suffer more here compared with dryer climates. I also find it amazing that with all the stress you have been through with your skin, you have still found time to take on a Master degree!! Supergirl! I'm really happy you have managed to get a handle on things. Thanks for sharing! Pete (AtopicDermatitis.net - Team Member)

    1. this is so interesting to hear, and I'm so glad you shared with us - thank you so much! Is the heat there more of a dry heat? I have heard from a lot of people with both eczema and TSW that they don't do well in humid heat but do really well in dry heat. I personally have only been in more humid climates, and it definitely makes my skin worse, personally. Now I'm wondering if a dry heat place would serve me better! Either way, I am so happy for your improvement, and I hope it continues! -Nina (AtopicDermatitis.net Team Member)

      1. I really enjoyed reading your story because I've found so many similarities with my experience. I went through the same thing when I went to Costa Rica for the first time. I was expecting the absolute worst, as it normally is when I travel, but to my surprise my skin almost cleared up completely! I'm so sorry you had to miss your graduation -- I know those oozy flares all too well. I've had to miss out on a couple of things because I couldn't even wear a shirt without it sticking to the ooze, drying, and then having to peel the fabric off of me after its practically fused itself to my skin. Thank you again for sharing and I'm so glads your skin is doing well! - Alexis (AtopicDermatitis.net Team Member)

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