I have had eczema, specifically around my mouth for as long as I can remember. I call it my clown-mouth as it usually transpires as red marks at the corners of my mouth, a la clown. It doesn’t help that I also have a tiny car and giant shoes. I occasionally have a bit of irritation in the creases of my arms too but it’s my mouth that has always borne the brunt of the problem. Despite being able to pile on makeup in my teens and twenties with a trowel, I can’t now so much as look at a beautiful lipstick without my mouth prickling in irritation. It lets me apply a very gentle lip balm and that is it thank you very much! My mouth is a sensitive soul, let’s put it that way.
It’s been over a year since my random skin outbreak occurred, with my last ‘skin problems’ update posted in March. My original plan had been to regularly update this blog with posts on how things were progressing but you know what, waking up every day and seeing no improvement was hugely disheartening, so I decided to leave it. I honestly thought that the reaction was something I’d have to live with and it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about all the time on here. Let me just re-cap, I’ve always had mild Eczema around my mouth and dealt any outbreaks by using a steroid cream, no not the kind to give me muscles or man boobs, but a prescribed cream to keep the eczema at bay. The problem was I’d been over-using this cream and a MASSIVE side effect (that I knew nothing about) was something called Perioral Dermatitis, a rather sexy and attractive big clown mouth rash. This appeared out of know where like an unwelcome smell on Boxing Day 2014 (Boxing Day hasn’t been kind to me these last two years!) then a few days later another WTF moment happened and some random red patches underneath my eyes appeared along with some swelling, I looked like I’d done ten rounds in the Boxing ring. I aged about twenty years in the space of a few weeks. Needless to say I hid inside the house for the whole of January.
Sometimes, just sometimes I stumble across someone on social media who makes me sit up and take notice, Hanna Sillitoe from My Goodness Recipes was one of those people. Last Christmas, a few months after giving birth I had an eczema flare up on my face that came out of nowhere. It was awful and I literally spent January hiding away behind closed doors, with a hood over my head, not wanting anyone to see me. It was a very low point and although it has eased, I dread it coming back. I’m always searching online for inspiration, answers and cures and that’s how I came across Hanna’s Instagram page and website. Hanna suffered from psoriasis and shared her before and after images. Hanna claimed to have resolved her skin issues through changing her diet alone, needless to say I was intrigued to find out more.
I saw a card the other day on Gin Bunny Prints that made me laugh. Laugh out loud because it was funny but also, because I am THAT person. I am the one who generally has ‘too much fun’ and has to be put in a taxi at 9pm. The one who has to be taken home by the husband before he’s even had a chance to say hello to everyone in the room. I am the one who can’t say no to a passing tray of fizz (who can?!) or to someone offering me a drink, even if I already have one. I’m a yes person when it comes to alcohol. Its kind of funny that I am this person, it was definitely hilarious when I was in my twenties, I was the bloody life and soul I tell you!! And my staying power was more in the AM’s rather than the PM’s as it is now, however, I’ve reached a point in my life now, where I don’t really like being that person anymore but I don’t know how to make the change? How to you change a mindset that’s lasted twenty years?
Skin, skin such a wonderful thing! Not in my case. After putting it off for a ridiculous amount of time, hoping my problems would just ‘go away’, I finally saw a Dermatologist about my skin reactions. After an initial consultation, he referred me to have some skin testing carried out to find out if I was allergic to a particular ingredient that you might find in an everyday product, like soap or shampoo for example. The Consultant treating me had chosen about forty items to be tested and along with these, I was also able to test my own creams, including some Liz Earle products that I’d just started using along with some other items like lip balms etc. Fifty products were placed in small pods, which were then put on my back and taped on. As you can see from the picture above, my back was covered! It felt very odd and after a day it became quite itchy, but I had it in my mind that it would be worth it, if it transpired that I was allergic to something specific.