How To Cure Your Eczema In A Week: Follow-Up 1 (In Which N Expands To 3)

mometasone, mo problems

How To Cure Your Eczema In A Week: Follow-Up 1 (In Which N Expands To 3)
I meant to finish and publish this last week but for a variety of reasons last week was pretty much a total writeoff so we're back this week.

So, a couple of weeks back I talked about about how I'd manage to cure (at least temporarily) my eczema using a combination of things I found off Reddit. I am happy to say that so far, nearly a month in, I remain eczema-free, I use the cream occasionally (maybe once or twice a week) if I see a bit of redness, but that's it. I'm finding it weird trying to unlearn a lifetime's-worth of conditioning myself to resist the temptation to itch, as itches now seem to be just normal itches! It's smashing.

I also have have some updates, namely the addition to this trial(?) of N2 and N3, two people who I know with eczema who've been trying some of the things I mentioned last time. Thanks to them, we can maybe narrow things down a bit and courtesy of N3 we have a hypothesis for what might be happening here. Both N2 and N3 have only been using the air purifier and the tinea versicolour cream (and bed-vacuuming and mold-clearing from their immediate environs), (so no D3, probiotics or consistent oolong, though I have made N2 at least one cup of oolong during the last few weeks) and both have seen pretty significant improvements in their respective symptoms.

If eczema is a spectrum with redness at one end and dryness at the other, N2 is the opposite end to me: I’m pretty much all redness, they’re pretty much all dryness. They have these disc-like patches on their arms. They have seen significant improvement—while it’s not made it disappear entirely (if you look closely the affected area is still visible), but to touch it feels way more 'continuous' with the rest of their skin, and doesn't seem to itch nearly as much.

N3, meanwhile, has eczema that’s right in the middle of the type spectrum, red and dry, and worse yet, predominately present on their hands, which seems utterly hellish. Their improvement is noticeable—their hands are less red than they usually are—and they say they're also way less itchy, but they've probably seen the least improvement to date (though I'd say their eczema is probably the most severe out of all of us).

N3 also provided me with the best hypothesis for what might be going on so far. While the notional active ingredient in the cream is homeopathic, making me somewhat sceptical of that as a mechanism, its immediate effect is cooling, numbing and tingling because of the menthol or whatever. One of the things we know about eczema is that the itch comes first: it’s not that there’s a rash that itches, it’s that there’s an itch that you scratch that causes the rash. Well: what if you were able to give yourself a bit more breathing room to break that cycle? N3 suggests that putting on the cream before bed soothes the itch and means they’re not scratching during their sleep (something my partner has told me that I do as well) and they don't even need to wear the white cotton Mickey Mouse gloves that you wear to try and stop yourself scratching during your sleep. There, perhaps, is the reason for the improvement we're seeing.

This makes a lot of sense to me, and perhaps explains the (thus far) unreasonable effectiveness of this treatment. The initial prescription you’ll get from your doctor is stuff like steroids, which are trying to reduce the swelling and redness, and usually work to a limited extent but (for me at least) it always comes back afterward—but what if, instead, you just tried to stop the itching?

I will continue to report back on updates—I've bought a bunch of other (cheaper) cooling gels and creams and suchlike and I will experiment with them and see whether they compare favourably—if we've really hit on One Weird Trick here it'd be nice if we could get down the price a little; that tinea versicolour stuff is pricey. More to follow.

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