Woman running outside while dogs bark at her

Paradigm Shift

It was the worst eczema flare up I had in my adult years.

The day of the flare up

November 2, 2014 – It was Sunday evening and I was just leaving the LACMA Museum in Los Angeles, CA with my partner at the time. We were celebrating his birthday and stopping at a friend’s house before heading home. I was feeling cute in my short black dress that showed off my legs – something I don’t always feel comfortable doing because of my insecurities with eczema, but I wanted to show out for this special occasion.

The sudden shift

Everything was going as planned. I was having fun, fully present, and ready to get home and rest up for work the next day.

As soon as we arrived at his friend’s place, my senses immediately became heightened. It was almost like my body was receiving an emergency 9-11 call and it was time to rise and attack the aggressive allergens heading my way.

The friend’s place was filled with carpet and two small dogs. These furry allergen bearers did not quite understand that my body was trying to fight them off as they jumped and licked me with their innocent love.

I immediately thought, “Oh no! This can’t be good.”

Trying to ignore the need to itch

I tried to resist and ignore my senses as much as I could while everyone was chatting it up and enjoying themselves. But with every second that passed, I began to feel my skin burn and redden—the sensation of itchiness becoming far too much to bear. The unrelenting itch started in one place and ended up taking over my entire body in a matter of minutes.

A frustrating interaction

With just 15 minutes into arriving, I leaned over to my partner and whispered, “Hey, we need to go.”

Him: “Why? We just got here.”

Me: “I’m feeling extremely itchy right now.”

By this time, my partner and I had been dating for about a year. He had his handful of experiences with my mini glimpses of eczema flare-ups, but he had no idea of the monster that was about to surface.

He brushed it off and continued conversing.

An all consuming feeling

At this point, I couldn’t sit still – my eczema had officially taken over my body and even worse, my mind. By this point, I was intensely scratching through my clothes, trying my best to go unnoticed.

15 more excruciating minutes passed and I leaned over to my partner again, “We have to go now,” I whispered more sternly and aggressively. Let’s just say, he got the point this time.

Finally, relief

When I got home, I immediately took off my allergen filled clothes, hopped in the shower, and attempted to try to distract myself and the itchiness, as well as get rid of any allergens that came in direct contact with my skin. It was a painful, yet relieving shower as my skin was beyond sensitive and open due to scratching. Then I slathered… SLATHERED… (did I say slathered?) my whole body with Vaseline.

Then I grabbed my tube of topical steroids, hoping it would heal me like it normally did…

Click here to read more in Part 2 (Paradigm Shift – No Relief After All)!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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