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You would think that being a cosmetic chemist I could stop this.

January 11, 2013

Hello, this is me:


and this is a close up of my problem:

itchy me

Yes, that is a close up of a heat rash on my poor old eczema prone skin.

You would think that being a cosmetic chemist I could stop this wouldn’t you?  No.  No for a number of reasons which I will attempt to list below:

  • I am a lazy product user – I forget, give up, can’t be bothered to re-apply etc, etc.
  • I am a stress head – working on this one dear people but not quite there yet.
  • It is extremely hot here at the mo – several weeks of temps see-sawing from mid 20C – mid 40C and dry, oh so dry.
  • I love swimming – and there’s nothing more drying to the skin than water.  Go figure…..
  • I have a habit of itching myself and can’t quite work out if I scratch because I itch or if I itch because I scratch…..
  • I probably don’t drink enough water (no idea why that matters but it usually does).

I am sure that I have made, been given or purchased many great eczema products and yes, at times I do use them all but unfortunately in my case I think I’ve gone beyond a simple cream solution and need serious anti-itch therapy.

I’m off on my hols next week and am hoping that some fresh air, sea water and reduced stress will help clear this lot up but beyond that I’m going to give some hypnotherapy a try to see if I can get to the bottom of what lies beneath that itch/ scratch cycle (I’ve had bad eczema since I was a baby so probably never knew anything different).  That paired with a much stricter product regimen should (I hope) see me back onto the straight and narrow.

I will document this journey and will be focusing on several eczema balms and creams during February and March so if you are a fellow itchy person stay tuned and please do feel free to share your story here.  No judgement.

Amanda xxx


11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2013 8:25 am

    Ugh eczema is the worst. I have a flare on my face that has been here for about 8 months now, I’m going CRAZY!!! Coconut oil seems to help me a bit, have you tried it?

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      January 22, 2013 6:59 am

      I have found that while frequent moisturisation works sometimes straight oils onto the skin can feel too smothering but it does depend on the climate – where I live in Oz we get four seasons and it can be both very hot and dry or cold and wet. Having just come back from coconut central- Fiji and got myself some real deal coconut oil I might just give that a go once it cools down here.

  2. Patricia permalink
    January 21, 2013 10:51 pm

    So I was referred here by Anne-Marie and this is the first thing I find? I am no chem brainiac; I can only tell you my story and what helped me.

    You said that you’ve had eczema since infanthood. Same here. Born with it in 1952. It covered most of my body. My grandmother made special clothes for me that always had long sleeves with mittens sown into them so I couldn’t scratch. But at night I would manage to fanagle my hands out and scratch ’til there was blood all over the bed linens.

    Every Sunday meant an after-church visit to the home of a fellow church member – a scary ( but probably nice,) elderly lady doctor who ran her practice out of her home. Every Sunday meant a shot of Penicillin in my butt. Every Sunday I would cry. They told my mother I would just outgrow it, and after 5 years, I did.

    I don’t remember all the different specialists I went to, nor that I was a guinea pig for testing, but many years later, my mother told me that they even tried injections of horse urine. ???

    Well, in my first year of college at age 18, I took a Child Growth & Development course. I was astounded when I read in the textbook that eczema was described as “a psychosomatic reaction to stress.” One might question what kind of stress a newborn might be under to trigger such a response.

    But it made perfect sense to me. My mother was 3 months pregnant with me when my biological father, a Naval test pilot, perished while testing a new jet. With two young sons in tow and a third child on the way, her enormous stress was passed on to me, the unborn.

    I also read there’s a genetic component and that eczema is found in families who also suffer from asthma and allergies. Well, my mother had eczema when she was young and her father was an asthmatic. How allergies are seen as psychosomatic is beyond me though, but we have some of that in my family as well. My brother and I are allergic to animal dander, and I had went to the ER for an acute bronchial attack, the result of local alfalfa blooming in the month of May. It was the third May in my new home in the country and my third bronchial reaction, each in the month of May, but the first two times weren’t as severe so I didn’t relate the cause until the third year.

    But back to the eczema. All was well until I reached the age of 21 when my very best friend in the world – my older (step) sister was killed in an automobile crash. More extreme stress… The eczema reappeared, but just in the crooks of my elbows and behind the knees. And yes, heat always exacerbates the problem. About the same time, I had something like a “Cradle Cap” on my scalp. Little scabs would surface and itch just like the eczema.

    No topical ointments helped until Fluorocinimide cream came out on the market. I think I spelled that right. It’s a prescription med that worked like a charm. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the generic name for Lidex cream, but don’t quote me on that either. My memory fails me at the moment and it’s very late at night, but I think there’s a tube of it floating around the house somewhere. I’ll check in the morning.

    So, “Stresshead”…I would say to ask yourself if your eczema flairs up when you are the most stressed. Have you noticed that or kept track in any way? And I’d be curious to know more about your infancy and if there were any traumatic events that may have brought it on, as well as any family history of it or the the related afflictions. I don’t normally get overly stressed anymore, but have found over the years that the best destressors for me were Yoga (Hatha, not Raja,) and massage. I’d just empty my brain of all the endless noise and chatter, and focus on the bod and how relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoyable both practices are.

    That sea water might be good for you. I’ve read that Dead Sea Salt is good for many skin disorders, when theraputic amounts are used in the bath, but I have no firsthand knowledge of that. Maybe you can conduct some research on it.. Read here what the San Francisco Bath Salt Company has to say about it…

    Take time for yourself and be well. We feminine types often forget to do that. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs! 🙂


    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      January 22, 2013 7:06 am

      Hi there,

      Wow thank you for sharing your story. Much appreciated!

      I agree that there is a massive stress component to eczema which is why I am going to focus on positive brain work this year – meditation, hypnotherapy based cognitive behavioural therapy for the itch and taking on less to give me time to stop. However, in my previous experience I do find a many pronged approach works best which is why I’ll also be using emollient creams – light in summer, richer in winter and watching my diet (the stomach is the second (or first?) brain). Slowly does it I think but after nearly 40 years of itching I guess I’m over it 🙂

      Oh and yes sea water is great. I’ll look forward to reading that and will post a blog about my thoughts if I deem them worth sharing.

      Thank you again Patricia and great to ‘meet’ you.

  3. Patricia permalink
    January 21, 2013 11:06 pm

    “had went”:..=…”went.” Arg. WAY past my bedtime! 🙂

  4. Patricia permalink
    January 21, 2013 11:33 pm

    Oh! I’m back! I just noticed your link to New Directions in Australia. You must be an Aussie lady! I have used a fabulous product from their Ontario, Canada facility…Rhassoul Clay. I highly recommend it. Leaves the skin sooooo soft! Although more expensive at Essential Wholesale, EW has some good research info on it here…

    Also, you may want to hook up with Sharon Elvin at Platypus Dreams. She’s in QLD somewhere. Very near the Great Barrier Reef. IMHO, she’s a top notch small-scale bath & bodycare product pro. Perhaps you already know her? I’d send you the link to her website, but she’s no longer selling internationally. Dang. I live in California and the sample cream she sent me with my last order is to die for! Works wonders on my dry facial skin. Not greasy at all. Love it. If you touch base with her, tell her Patricia, her “Unfriend” sent you… She’ll “get it.”

  5. Patricia permalink
    January 23, 2013 5:14 pm

    My earlier comment…”No topical ointments helped until Fluorocinimide cream came out on the market. I think I spelled that right.”

    Nope, I didn’t. It’s Fluocinonide, but it’s produced here in the U.S. (at Teva Pharmaceuticals in Pennsylvania,) so I don’t know if it would be available to you in AUS. I can give you a list of the ingredients if you want them; they’re listed on the tube.

    So I managed to contact Sharon at Platypus Dreams last night through her “newly blank” You Tube channel & she replied today. She had be re-examining her priorities which is why she no longer sells internationally (more free time to travel abroad and less stress!) and that’s why I couldn’t access a link to her website from the U.S. that I could pass on to you. But she gave me her phone number and e-mail address so I can still stay in contact.

    Unfortunately, she told me she no longer makes that wonderful face cream as it was too expensive to make. Guess I was lucky enough to get a bit of the last of it. It smells as if it has Rose Essential Oil, a VERY expensive “precious” theraputic grade essential oil – known for being good for dry and aging (ahem…”mature,” skin, (like mine,) not to mention an aromatheraputic mood uplifter for those suffering from depression. Have you looked into the various aromatheraputic essential oils used for anxiety, like Lavender as a stressbuster? Some U. S. hospitals are now using it as a complementary med, with positive results. I heard that on the TV news a few months ago.

  6. Patricia permalink
    January 23, 2013 5:53 pm

    Speaking of oils…Apricot Kernel Oil is a very light oil which is easily absorbed into the skin.

    I recently picked up a book called, “Healing Oils of the Bible,” by David Stewart, PhD. He explains that the molecules of essential oils (which are not really “oils,” but plant “essenses,”)are half the size of regular oils and as such, can pentrate the skin much deeper than other oils. And because of their potency (if they’re really 100% pure theraputic grade with a COA,) they must be diluted before application. He suggests Fractionated Coconut Oil. He wrote that if you put cinnamon oil on the soles of SOME people’s feet, they can actually taste it in about 5 minutes. Seems bizarre to me, but then there are meds for things like smoking cessation and birth control that are applied transdermally, so what do I know? I am certain you know more about this kind of thing that I do.

    Wow! *slaps forehead* Come to think of it, now that you mention Figi, it’s my understanding that Kukui Nut Oil from Hawaii is has good reviews for eczema and psoriasis, a condition my niece has. She vacations there, buys it there, and uses it with good results.

    Here’s a link to Oils of Aloha and some testimonials, and you can check out their tech data pages, too…tab is in upper right corner.


  7. Shari permalink
    February 6, 2013 10:29 pm

    this makes me laugh as I too am a cosmetic scientist and although I don’t have eczema like you, I too am too lazy to try products. For my personal self, I just want to keep it basic. but for the industry, I want to make as many products as possible! hahaha!

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      February 8, 2013 3:57 pm

      I’m a bit like that too! I have the worst skin ever because I can’t be bothered to take care of it. I think it is because I see products as chemical art rather than things for me to wear. I think it is because my skin is so reactive that active products usually make me sore. I’m better with just a bit of oil and water 🙂

      • Shari permalink
        February 9, 2013 4:49 am

        Wow! we are more alike than you realise! 😉

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