December 23, 2006
Don’t Scratch?!… HUH!!!
When I came back from my recent holiday, I found the skin on my thighs very very very very dry. The minute I touched it to see how dry it was it started to get itchy.
One thing that people who don’t suffer from Eczema understand is the ITCH. The itch is soooooo itchy. OK let me give you an example. When an eczema free person itches, they scratch and when the itch disappears they stop scratching. Now when you have an Eczema itch you are so itchy. So itchy to the extent that when you scratch it, it becomes more itchy. And more itchy so you scratch more, when you scratch more it becomes more itchy and more itchy and you scratch more!!! It is so itchy that sometimes the skin will have to break before we stop scratching. OR the skin will break and it will still feel itchy. Even after blood starts to ooze out, it will still feel itchy! You just can’t stop. Its called the ‘Itch – Scratch cycle’
Now a few things happen at this point. From the skin point of view, because there is a break in the skin bacteria can seep in and the wound can become infectious. I think this is the reason why everytime I take a blood test my bacteria level is above normal and my limp nodes are swollen most of the time.
Even after I stopped scratching and I’ve washed my wound and applied my topical steriods, it WILL get itchy and I will start scratching again. On top of the already wounded skin. That’s how itchy I can get. Sometimes it just does not want to heal because I’m so itchy and I scratch it over and over again.
When there are open wounds taking a shower is PAINFUL. Its so painful that when I was younger I did not want to have a shower. My mother, when she found out, tried to bribe me into having a shower. But I was so scared of the pain that I would not take a shower, so many times that mum would scream at me to take my shower. I’m still scared of the pain till today. To give you an idea of the pain, its like pouring salt on a wound. OUCH! Now imagine it that pain all over your body.
Then there is the emotional trauma. Being in pain from taking a shower. Frustrated that you can’t stop itching. When I was younger and my eczema was visible on my hands, people either did not want to shake my hands or when they realise that they were shaking my hands they would disappear and wash their hand thinking that it is contagious. My classmates thought that I was a dirty girl. It also did not help that eczema has a certain smell to it.
My parents did not let me out to play with the other kids. They thought I should keep clean and not dirty myself like the other kids. So when the kids were playing in the evenings outside my house I would just watch out from the window. Or I would watch them through the fence from the garden. My parents felt sorry for me. So sometimes they would let me out and play with the other kids. When I came home it would take me a while to take a shower and get ready for dinner/bed.
Right now I feel upset just thinking about these memories. So I’ll stop here and continue this topic later.
Have a great Christmas