Facing Overwhelming Challenges of Atopic Dermatitis

Good morning everyone!

My name is Alicia Cheshier, I’ll be turning 37 in two days on November 8. I’ve read some of your posts in discussion and I can definitely relate to some of you on how “Atopic Dermatitis” can really affect you.

You have a condition called “Atopic Dermatitis”

In 2009, I was diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis which is also known as eczema. I’ve had eczema since I was a baby, asthma, and bad allergies as well. I’m allergic to so many different types of foods, animals/pets, outdoor, indoor, you name it. If you have asthma, and allergies then it’s a possibility that most likely will get Atopic Dermatitis sometime in the future. It’s all relatable asthma, allergies and eczema. Right before I was diagnosed with AD; I started stressing out really bad due to a family crisis. And; I started noticing how my skin would react to my emotions. It felt like “ants” were crawling around inside my body. My skin became very itchy and it was getting so bad that I could not lay down to sleep @ night. I would stay up all night watching TV really tired because I knew it was going to be very difficult for me to get any sleep.

My skin would not calm down not until around 6:30am in the morning and I would start dozing off around 7:00am in the morning. I would be wrapped up in my blanket and have my pillow put on the dinner room table to trying to get some sleep. I felt more comfortable that way. And I use to tell my mother something is wrong, something is really off. My skin is going crazy on me and I cannot sleep @ night. And I said; if there’s an issue please don’t tell me so that I won’t worry; it causes my skin to react.

I finally decided that I couldn’t take dealing with an itchy skin. So, I went to the emergency room @ a local hospital. The doctor ran some tests and he says the reason why your skin is so itchy is because you have a condition called “Atopic Dermatitis” and he said it’s another word for eczema. A year later, I was told by another doctor who ran some tests that I also have “Neurodermatitis“. They never told me that it was considered a non contagious disease. So, I had to go do my own research on the condition.

I’ve been tested for skin cancer, lupus, and one of my old dermatologists tried the light ultraviolet light to try to lighten my skin but no luck. Like most people who may have AD; I used to get skin infections pretty often “Cellulitis” I hate the flare-ups, bad scaly rashes, lesions, discoloration, lichen, dry skin, or your skin becomes real irritable when your in a hot room or during the summer outdoors. We AD victims are not contagious; and we do suffer a lot.

I keep my arms, hands, legs and feet wrapped up because are my mostly affected areas on my body. And yes, my skin is noticeable. A lot of times people take notice and either they sympathize for me or they tend to move away. Many people who have never had “Atopic Dermatitis” do not know what this is and how it can affect you mentally and physically. I would never wish for anyone to get this disease because once you’re a target. You have to live with this for a lifetime; there’s no cure.

Overcoming the obstacles of Atopic Dermatitis

But, I do have hopes of being cured one day and I want to see many other AD victims cured as well. I have a lot of faith of overcoming this obstacle that has once affected me tremendously while working and pursuing my college degree. I have not given up; and I hope that everyone who battles with AD will do the same. Even though; Atopic Dermatitis is in us. Do not let this disease take over your life by battling you out of where you become mentally paralyzed. And you start to have many doubts about how you cannot leave your home, or work towards your goals. You Can!! I can!! Know that you all have options because AD can be a major effect. You can work from home, run your business from home or like myself take online college classes to obtain a college degree.

There are certain things we do have to be very cautious of and aware of when it comes to the sensitive level of our skin. Such as wanting to go swimming or hang out @ the beach. For me it’s a no, no. Even though, I love the beach!! Bleach baths doesn’t do too well for my skin so I won’t take any bleach baths.

I am fully aware all of the most difficult challenges in AD, especially when the weather changes. Extreme heat, or the coldest weather can really damage your skin. Do what you know what your skin can or cannot handle.

The main issue in AD is that it starts from within so try to stay stress free, the foods we eat can affect us, especially with seasoning salts. In order for special products to work for many of us AD victims on the outside. It has to start from within. I truly sympathize for many children who’ve been diagnosed with Atopic dermatitis as a child. Because, they may not be for certain of why they are going through this, children may feel alone, really sad that they cannot do what most of other children can do. They are suffering a lot as well, cannot sleep @ night or tend to lose their focus @ times. Because as I said before AD can really affect you mentally. Note: Parents please keep going with trying to find different sources who specializes in skin diseases for your child sake. Help your child he/she understand that having AD is not their fault @ all. Throughout, the difficult times try to keep them happy.

Of course; I’m sure some of you just like myself had may have taken prednisone for the skin infections and take hydroxyzine for the itching @ night. Note: Prednisone is really not good to take every time you get an skin infection because it can damage your body immune cells. Sodas or any other thing you drink with acid can make it worse.

Tips for Atopic Dermatitis victims like myself

Here are some sources/tips for other AD victims like myself.

My skin is about 50% cleared because I started using different products and I went to different sources that helps people like myself with skin diseases online.

Merry Clinic- Dr. Li Merry is a chinese dermatologist who help treat many people with all skin disorders. She specializes in dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other similar skin disorders as well. I told her about my condition and she recommended some products of hers to purchase. You can email Dr. Li once you’ve checked out her website and she’ll help you from there. Her products do work. She has products for children too. So, if you have a child or know a child who is severely suffering from AD eczema or something else similar. Please look up Merry Clinic.

– You must have a diet plan
– Eat healthy
– Drink plenty of water
– Stay stress free
Exercise
Meditation is good
– Think positive
– Get a good might of sleep

I’ve been anointed and prayed for me from a few different pastors in churches. The pastor would also anoint the water I would drink it throughout the week. I started really noticing some changes in my skin within a week. Half of my left leg is completely healed and cleared up back to normal after drinking the anointed water for a whole week and being prayed for healing. I was amazed!! You must believe and have faith on your journey to healing and being cured from AD.

I also like to wear “Unna boot wraps” because it keeps my skin moist, and it helps prevent the itching. It’s drenched in calamine and other ingredients. I sleep with them on and keep them on throughout the day. I’m not itchy @ night while sleeping. You must put another wrap over the unna boot wraps. You can either asks your dermatologist about it or order it online. Look it up “Unna Boot Wraps” and it’s kind of pinkish. Hydroxyzine helps the itching too with the wraps.

I use to cry a lot when I was first diagnosed with Atopic dermatitis. But, I became a lot more stronger over the years of dealing with this condition. I learned a lot of the do’s and the don’t to comfort my skin. I feel confident enough to want to help others, share my story, give some great advice or tips to help other AD victims. This is also why I wanted to become an Atopic Dermatitis Advocate almost a decade ago.

Ps. In case anyone is wondering. Ushera is my middle name and Alicia is my first.

Alicia Cheshier

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