Posted by: eczemancipated | January 1, 2015

32 Month Pictures of Mega Flare

So this is the first time I will be attaching pictures of my skin going through a flare. I thought you should see me at 32 months to see how harsh the flare can be but also how quick the skin turns over.

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The top 2 photos are the first few days of the flare. My hands start to swell, the skin cracks open oozing and bleeding and the skin hardens. The cracks get deeper and the hands feel wet and heavy, they are rendered unusable and I usually bandage them to push the fluid toward the heart. I also took Epsom salt and essential oils in a jacuzzi bath daily to stimulate lymph flow.

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The middle two photos shows the death of the epidermis and the skin shedding. During this part of the flare I continued with Epsom salt jacuzzi baths to stimulate lymph flow and a gentle sloughing of the skin. When the skin became hard and flakey, I urged the shedding along with some dry brushing using a glove designed for gentle exfoliation. This kept me from digging my nails into my skin. (Because who are we kidding saying we aren’t going to scratch and pick it off.) I actually shed about 5 times in a 36 hour period and had to take 2 baths during that period.

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The bottom 2 picks were taken about 36 hours after the middle 2. Here you can see the skin is red and has the Steroid Withdrawal sleeve pattern. But the skin is much softer, less swollen and the cuts are about 50% healed.

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I have continued to microshed since the bottom pics and I refrained from Epsom Salt in the bath after the shedding. My skin is delicate and just needs lots of jacuzzi and hydration.

Through this flare I switched my skin care and used a combination of layering aloe gel and aloe gel mixed with hydrogenated coconut oil. When that dried I used a thin layer of a 20% zinc and pure petrolatum as a barrier and to soak up the ooze.  Once the flaking started I ditched the Zinc and used the aloe/aloe&hco and thin layer of petrolatum.  Once the shed had pretty much ended I ditched the petrolatum and used the aloe/aloe&hco with thin layer of Bee Magic.

Though I am only showing you my hands. This flare was on my eyelids,  neck, décolleté, arm pit circumference,  arm creases (inner elbow), knees, ankles and obviously my hands and wrists.  My hands and wrists being about 50% worse then the rest of the flare sights.

My flares are now about 4-6 months apart. (Yay!) Whereas they started out in 2012 just one merging into the next with zero identified clearing or breaks for a solid 6 months.

I now have weekly eczematis type rashes in the locations where I will eventually flare. Dr. Rapaport told me the eczema should ultimately heal when the skin has recovered and I just need to keep at it. The eczema is not a flare this is my skin peeling back through layers of issues moving into recovery.

This time of year it is rainy and colder in northern California.  It is the hardest time of year for me, it always has been even before I was steroid addicted. It is also when I have the worst of my flares. This flare started 8 days ago and other than my husband taking me on 2 errands,  I lay in bed for the first 6 days and have been alternating between the bed and the couch for the last 2. I imagine I should fully recover from this flare in another 1-2 weeks. I may swell and shed mildly a few times before recovery – we shall see.

On the bright side my progress is vast and quick. Also my mental state through this years flares have proved less desperate. I think now I just knock myself out with Benadryl knowing I can sleep through the worst of it. Plus my hubby has been home on vacation taking care of me through the whole time because his company has mandatory holiday shutdown the ladt week of the year. (We had planned something entirely different for the week. But he’s been a good sport cuddling and cooing me through the flare.)

Hopefully this proves helpful for some of you. Trudge on through the trenches guys! It gets better.


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