Woman bent over holding her painful knees.

Eczema on the Back of the Knees: Painful

Atopic eczema causes the skin to become dry, cracked, and sore. It can become infected if the skin swells or there are weeping and yellow crusting forms. Today, I have it pretty much all over my body, but it is particularly evident in my joints; behind my ears, inside of my elbows, wrists, and, most notably, behind my knees.

Eczema becomes inflamed and very painful when it occurs behind the knees. Sometimes it can be painful to walk. Luckily I sit down in my job, so I can’t really complain, but I wish I did not have this.

My eczema is worse in the summer months

My eczema behind my knees is markedly worse during the summer season. Obviously, you sweat more, and this causes the skin to break easily when scratched.

My tips to manage flares

These are a few top tips that I do which may help anyone else going through the same thing:

  • Wear shorts - In this humid weather, the last thing you want to be wearing is tight heavy jeans or trousers. Letting your skin breathe is important to avoid getting overheated.
  • Creaming up - Keeping the skin moisturized so it doesn’t dry up and get very itchy is something that helps.
  • Sleep in the fewest layers possible - I sleep in only a pair of boxer shorts, and it helps me to keep cool. I also use an old t-shirt to wrap around my knees if/when they start sweating.
  • Keep well hydrated - Keep a bottle of ice-cold water beside your bed. It’s really important to keep your body hydrated.
  • Buy a good fan - If you can, invest in a decent fan or cooling system. This will help keep your bedroom cool and enable you to regulate your body temperature.
  • Taking antihistamines (on doctors advice) - I take Loratadine during the day (non-drowsy) and in the evenings, just before bed, I take Chlorphenamine. This helps me to drift off to sleep.
  • Hope for the best!

Why are back of the knee flares so painful?

I’m not entirely sure why it is particularly painful behind the knees. It feels like someone has taken a baseball bat to the back of my legs. I'm exaggerating now, but it is weird how painful my legs become. Sure, the skin may be tender there, but it is also tender in other areas of the body too. Is this a common thing people can relate to? It would be interesting to find out if it is.

A long road ahead

Since the last lockdown ended and I have found myself back at work and working very long hours. I have early starts and late finishes and I have forgotten how exhausting my life was before the pandemic. Coupled with my health conditions, I feel it is more important than ever to stay on track with my diet, meds, and mental well-being. This is going to be a long road ahead for all of us, even for the healthy. As Uncle Albert Einstein once said, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."

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