I've had eczema for a decade or so now, and it seemed much worse this year, which is weird, because stress is supposed to contribute, and I'm the happiest I've ever been. (I have a job I love, an awesome apartment, a steady paycheck, fun outdoor activities, and great people around me. It's all good stuff.)
And yet. The scaly red spots on my neck, they are persistent. One of them started to feel like it was just a permanent thing, like I'm actually turning into a snake, starting at the neck.
When my mom was visiting me last weekend, we tried on a bunch of dresses at various stores as potentials to wear to my sister's wedding this summer. I tried on several of them and, being bridesmaids' dresses, many of them had open necklines. My scales were visible. Also I scratch at them a lot, because they itch unbearably.
It wasn't until my mom suggested that I try going to the dermatologist, because maybe they have some new ideas since the last time I went four years ago, that I thought things through and realized:
1. I have been trying to use up a jar of moisturizing cream that I stopped using last winter because it wasn't working (this one should come with a giant red flag), and
2. there are other products out there.
So I did some research on the eczema websites and bought a different product, which seemed to help a little.
Then I stopped at an actual drug store (usually I go to T@rget or something), where they had a cheap little tube of Aveen0 available. You know, the kind with oatmeal in it? I haven't really thought about Aveen0 since probably junior high, when my friends and I were trying new lotions that felt fancy to 13 year olds in the Midwest.
I've seen the Aveen0 around, but somehow I thought it had a fragrance, and fragrances are worse than anything for my eczema. (It does not have a fragrance.)
I bought the cheap little tube on a whim, and I put some of it on my neck.
I really don't have words to describe the difference. This is the first product (even including prescription hydrocortisone cream) that has actually made my neck feel less itchy. I don't know if it will make the eczema go away completely, or how long it will work for me, but for now I am reveling in the feeling of applying it whenever it starts to itch, and feeling the itch go away.
It's amazing how you don't realize the unpleasant physical sensations in your body until they are gone.