Today we’re meeting another real-life eczema sufferer, Lucy from Surrey, about how treatments have improved since she was diagnosed as a baby and how she’s certainly not going to let eczema run her life! Over to Lucy:
Hello, my name is Lucy, I am 42 and live in Surrey with my son. I am a full time student, currently finishing a postgraduate degree in creative writing, and also coming to the end of a teaching qualification. I write and perform poetry and sometimes have it published too! My son is about to turn six next month, and as a single parent it is fair to say I have plenty to keep me busy at the moment!
I was diagnosed with eczema when I was six weeks old, so my mother told me. I was prescribed hydrocortisone cream and emulsifying ointment from the start. That was way back in 1970 and fortunately there is now a huge wealth of information and support out there which didn’t exist for my parents when I was growing up.
After the eczema came asthma and hayfever, which I developed as a toddler, so I can tick all the atopic boxes. I have been on medication ever since, although I am on less now than I was as a child. Mainly because after a lifetime of flares of varying severity I was finally diagnosed with food allergies a year after my son was born, when I was 37. Cutting out dairy, chocolate (I am allergic to cocoa beans) and various other food stuffs has been revolutionary and has meant a major improvement in my quality of life. I haven’t had a full body flare for about five years and when it is bad it is mainly on my hands, face and neck, instead of from head to toe.
The most frustrating thing about eczema for me is that even though it is better now, there are no real guarantees that it won’t come back, which is why it is so important to manage it carefully. I’ve never known life without it, the closest I’ve got are those times when it’s been very stable and my skin has been mostly clear, like now. But even when it’s been at its worst I have rarely let it stop me from going out and getting on with life. I am passionate about passing on any experiences or information that might help someone who is struggling with this misunderstood condition.