A person is shown with swollen eyelids as a thermometer rises towards the top underneath of a hot shining sun.

It's Getting Hot In Here! My Worst Eczema Flare-Up

I used to think that the worst flare-up of my life was the one I experienced when I was in college after the death of my godfather. At that time, I had broken out into a full-body flare from head to legs. I was so dry, itchy, and reactive to so many foods at that time that I can't believe that I still managed to go to school full-time and work part-time non-stop.

The beginning of my worst eczema flare

But now that has changed because after traveling solo traveling for a year to New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and Bali, I am now dealing with the aftermath of what started out as a spider bite infection in Bali.

Loss of concentration while flaring

What makes this flare-up much worse off the bat is the extreme brain fog, fatigue, and intense pain from all the itchiness, swelling, and inflammation. I’ve never had a flare-up that resulted in my energy levels being depleted to the point of it feeling exhausting to concentrate on something as simple as reading a book. (Which is heartbreaking for this bookworm.)

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Indulging in inflammatory foods

It doesn’t help that just a couple of months ago, I visited Italy during their hottest month and for a week, I was doing a bit better and chose to indulge in sugar, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine--all very inflammatory foods. So, I packed on heat on top of heat on top of heat. It compounded my symptoms from the spider bite in Bali, another country I visited during their super hot and humid season.

A worsening eczema flare after eating

That one week in Italy made my skin (especially my eyelids) swell really badly. And it progressed to the skin on my neck splitting at the creases and my body just bleeding out through the pores on its own with or without scratching. It seemed to get much worse after eating meals. And after starting to see my current Chinese medicine doctor, I learned that the body heats up after you eat to digest the food, so now that makes total sense.

Unable to move from an eczema flare

Other recent health issues were a lack of mobility which made me feel disabled because of all of the oozing, bleeding, and scabbing that was happening all over my arms and neck. It used to be very hard to turn my head, so I have not driven for about 2 months because of this issue much less with the issue of me having low energy at this time.

Scalp oozing and avoiding foods

A lot of oozing started to happen on my scalp which made large portions of my hair clump together and very dry. Also, I have had to avoid eating food that is “hot” in nature or in its energetics according to Chinese medicine since that is the healing modality that I am using right now.

Avoiding "hot" foods

So, I have been avoiding a lot of my favorite things to cook with like ginger, garlic, spices, and onions. I try to get my healing antifungal herbs and seasonings through “cooler” options like cilantro, parsley, and thyme. And those are just the things that I can think of on top of my head, but trust me there's a lot more that is going on both physically and mentally than that. It has given me a much deeper compassion and understanding of how some people with eczema have to call in sick to work or school because they literally are unable to perform.

How about you? What have been some of the worst symptoms you've had dealing with eczema?

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