Two roads are shown - one straight forward, and the other is long and winding. The straight path has a detour sign in front of it, forcing entry to the winding path.

Finding A Different Way

Every eczema warrior will know that just when things look as if they have turned a corner, our health can take a turn for the worse. It brings us crashing right down to earth with an almighty thud! Before we know it, we are back to square one with our skin. Right now, I am holed up in my apartment, battling the freezing cold weather here in the UK. I have to be honest - I am not doing well. Both asthma and eczema are at an all-time low. However, I do not want to go over old ground. I need to think differently about my approach to getting better.

My eczema feels out of control

To give some context, I am getting more frequent eye infections which causes my facial eczema to flare. I have lesions on my face, neck, arms, and body, including behind the knees. And to top things off nicely, my breathing seems heavy and labored. It was only a few days ago that I thought things were improving. My health is getting strangely harder to predict. The periods when my immune system decides to go crazy and out of control catch me off guard. I used to be so good at at least identifying the triggers and not letting my skin spiral. The feeling that these unpredictable twists and turns are beating me angers me.

Photo of the left half of a man's face with widespread redness, a dark red mark under the eye, and a few raised spots across his skin. Eczema advocate Peter Bunting.

What can I do?

So what can I do? I have taken all the necessary steps in seeking professional help and am now in a long waiting line of people who desperately need to see their skin specialist. My GP recently prescribed a brilliant eye ointment (fusidic acid), an antibacterial treatment. So far, it seems to be working well. There is an ingredient in the eye ointments I get over the counter (chloramphenicol) that I am allergic to. So I am very happy that my GP seems to have solved this problem. I think I will always get eye infections, but at least I have something new to try. I keep saying to myself that this bad phase will pass, and I will get better again.

Staying positive is hard

I am the king of negativity, so trying to maintain a positive attitude is really hard work for me. For example, I talk of this just being a bad phase that will no doubt pass, and this is what I sincerely believe, but a little voice in my head is going, But your good phase won't last all that long either." I am well aware that this is not the attitude to have, but we are who we are. I am playing a waiting game now. Being patient is my number one priority. Finding different ways to keep my mind preoccupied is a must. Is anyone else experiencing the same things? For now, I will do all the things that I know will calm my angry skin down. Plenty of water and lots of plain non-acidic food!

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