(picture: my Instagram)
November has been... weird!
November has been... weird!
What I thought was an allergic reaction in mid-October, when I came back home from my trip in the Maritimes, was actually a proper flare! I really wanted to think I was done with those, although it seemed too good to be true... so I have been very depressed since then. I believe this flare is due to the insane stress I have been experiencing since my return, and also because of climate change (it was more humid in the Maritimes, and here in Quebec the weather is drier and it is getting colder).
This flare actually reminds me of my first months into TSW, when I used to itch so bad that I would claw my skin off! Of course, it's not that bad, and it seems to target only my upper body - but the itch, when it strikes, is insane! The worse spots were inside my elbows, my shoulders and my neck, where red, irritated and itchy patches of raised skin appeared. My face was not that bad, but it was very dry, with patches of red itchy skin on my eyelids, cheeks and chin, and my lips have not gotten better until the end of November - they were dry, cracked, bleedy and felt like plastic! My hands and fingers also itch from time to time and often tiny bumps appear if I scratch them too hard. My nipples are still red, irritated, dry, flaky and oozing. I try to bath every day with sea salt and baking soda instead of showering. Thankfully, the flare and crazy itch lasted only a bit more than a week!
At the beginning of November, I had my annual appointment with my doctor, and I was very stressed about it - I was worried she would push steroids on me and tell me that this is eczema and blablabla... I showed her pictures of what I looked like in the first months of TSW and she was very surprised, she said I looked like I have been badly burnt. She also told me that my skin has never looked so good as it does now! When I showed her my trouble spots (made even more obivous since I had an itch fest the same morning), she said it looked like my eczema was coming back, and she told me I could try the weakest steroid cream available, or Protopic. Of course, I told her no way, and she said that I should at least moisturize with something like Cetaphil or CeraVe (she doesn't have an explanation when I tell her that my skin will react to anything I put on it), and that I could take allergy pills to manage the itch everyday without the risk of getting used to (yeah, right...) It was not a really helpful appointment, but I at least hope she will think about TSW and maybe do some research about it...
My skin got better near the end of November, but now it looks like I have "normal" eczema on my hands. Of course it is better than the crazy weepy eczema I had before TSW, but I really don't want to believe I went through this hell to still suffer from eczema!
All of this is very hard on my moral since my body looked flawless when I was traveling! Let's just hope this is the big 9th month relapse I keep hearing about from other people going through TSW... and let's also that I will be able to leave for the sunny south of the United States soon enough!