Author Topic: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies  (Read 610 times)

Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« on: April 14, 2019, 03:46:07 pm »
It's been an interesting thread this.

As a child I always had eczema, then developed hayfever when we moved inland from the East coast. I didn't get asthma, although there was one day when I'd been out for a long and strenuous walk in high pollen count and was wheezing. Away from pollen and take usual antihistamine and it went away. The hayfever and eczema decreased as I reached my twenties, a small amount of antihistamine was sometimes needed in the summer.

Then I started the perimenopause. The eczema came back, hayfever a bit more often. Then I found when cycling to work I would on some days find the mix of pollen + diesel fumes rather difficult- got a persistent tickly cough sometimes. 

I was made redundant a couple of years ago (just after having an accident where I damaged an ankle after tripping over a cat- no the two events were not related). Was off the bike for over a year, the cough reduced in the winter but back in the spring. I had taken to using a half-dose of loratadine on occasions when my eyes itched (= hayfever starting) and noticed that the cough cleared up.

This thread reminded me that of late the cough has been back, and the past couple weeks quite bad- probably the combination of tree pollen + diesel fumes + all the dust from all the neighbours getting new driveways put in (the builder not using water supression on his block/kerb saw, I have challenged him but he's not interested).

After reading this thread, made me wonder..... so I re-started the loratadine (full dose) and lo and behold the cough has reduced a lot. The only issue I have with loratadine is the vivid dreams it gives me, but they are not unpleasant, rather have them than the cough. The other new gen antihistamines like Cetirizine tend to make me way too spaced out for daily use.

No, I ain't going to the GP, aside from the long wait for appointment, being an overweight menopausal female it's unlikely I'd come out with anything useful as there would be too many govt targets to be met from prodding me in various ways none of which would have much if any bearing on dealing with allergies I have had since childhood. Also being autistic, I find that sort or uninvited prodding extremely stressful* so I avoid GP so far managed to avoid for 8 years and counting.


*(No I don't need a lecture in weight control, but methinks some/many/most GPs need a lecture in the effects of stress on weight + the effects of certain neurotypical behaviours on stress levels in an autistic person.... also I had too many years of the NHS- and my mother- trying to make me fit "normal female" such that I assiduously avoid the medical system; my mother disowned me years ago after she realised I wasn't ever going to be "normal" but the medicos always seem to insist on trying)


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Re: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 04:48:12 pm »
I seem to be getting eczema/dermatitis; Ginger Cat's peri-menopause eczema made me wonder. Am nearly 61 but relatively recently menopausal.

Started in earnest after Micropore tape was used for a blood test as obvious contact dermatitis but then developed flexural eczema on the other elbow and an itchy patch on the back of my neck. These have responded to hydrocortisone cream but the front of my neck and shoulders are itchy.

There are also intermittent issues on my forearms from detergents, which I am managing with the hydrocortisone and E45.

I don't plan to see my GP either.

I try to be very sparing with the hydrocortisone. I'm about ⅔ of the way through a 15g tube David bought in early March.

Re: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 09:35:28 pm »
Micropore give me eczema. Evil stuff. The only sticky dressing I can use is Elastoplast brand fabric, in most parts of me I can tolerate that for 2 to 4 days before rash starts.....

I am very careful with cortisone creams, when I was a kid they dished em out freely and before I reached my teens I had discovered the long term side effects before they became widely known. The sun helps clear mine, an afternoon on the allotment in the sun this week and facial/scalp eczema is gone for first time in months.

Not only has eczema come back as my cycles became infrequent and the hot flushes & night sweats started, it has more recently as I get further into menopause emerged around my armpits and that general area including some other quite personal areas- somewhere I didn't get it as a child. I have switched to a deodorant (rather than antiperspirant) from the Natural Deodorant Co  made with coconut oil, bentonite clay & arrowroot and at times use hydrocortisone cream (bought online) to take the edge off the itch. Had to give up wearing bras, I can only tolerate a cotton vest top and even then only if washed very carefully to ensure no detergent residue.

The eczema  that emerged with menopause is (unlike when I was a child) much less bad when I am taking antihistamines.

Having had eczema as a child I am familiar with ways of managing it such as not using too much or too harsh a soap when you wash and using gloves to wash up. I gave up makeup a few years ago and have worked out what works for me- the Lush sea salt shampoo is good for scalp eczema, I am thinking of trying dead sea salts in the bath as that can help. I never got on with E45 but have a rather good Lush handcream with chamomile and oats in which is good on dry itchy areas.

I am sparing with hydrocortisone anyway, but just as well as the local pharmacy is very awkward about dishing it out, I have to bite my tongue sometimes as I probably have more practical experience of the issues of steroid cream than they can imagine. However I have since found I can buy it online.

As an aside I get proper allergic dermatitis from handling common ivy, how I worked that out is a story in itself, although apparently not unknown. Unfortunately I cross react with Fatsia Japonica so my husband has to prune that plant once a year. I found a USAnian product called "calagel" which is good for those situations.



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Re: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 10:59:00 pm »
I gave up antiperspirant due to itch a very long time ago. I used a deodorant for a while but have stopped now, mostly because partner disliked it.

I can't do make-up, due to problems with vision and grip so that's not an issue.

Partner likes lying with his cheek on my shoulder. This has caused problems both when he was clean-shaven and now he has a beard. My skin is too delicate for stubble, warm, moist breath and Gillette, even with a T-shirt to intervene.

I suspect part of my trouble is a sweat rash.

I stopped being able to tolerate Elastoplast before I had trouble with Micropore. Years as a blood donor might have been the start...

I've had a nickel allergy for decades.

Re: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 09:09:29 pm »
I  first started getting problems with eczecma when I tried to wean myself off HRT.
Eventually got off HRT after 25 years (early hysterectomy), but still get very itchy skin.

Re: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 05:30:23 pm »
Hmmmm, I have noticed that all sorts of stuff change as the menopause kicks in.

I decided not to go the HRT route- had anough bad reactions to the pill (I was put on  one with an androgenising progesterone  :'( and came off it thanks to side-effects but never lost the excess facial hair) that I don't trust GPs plus I would rather get the menopause transition over with. I'm perfectly comfortable with the "crone" aspect of femaleness  ;D

I have noticed some allergy changes too- hayfever is more chest/eyes oriented these days whereas before it was more nose-orientated.

Makes sense I suppose as allergies are derived from immune system function and the immune system is effected by the menstrual cycle (well mine was anyway- always got a big dip the week before a period stared, that's about the only time I got a cold or coldsores re-appeared). Perhaps one day medical science will properly catch up to the way the female body works and realise that "male" is NOT the "standard" way of being human!!!!!

Just thankful this recent bit of sun has cleared up the eczema on my face and scalp, a few hours in the sun (to the "pink stage" still a way short of sunburn) is near-miraculous for clearing the eczema that won't respond to anything over the winter. 



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Re: Eczema/dermatitis Was Re: Asthma, exercise and allergies
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 05:48:28 pm »
I have also opted to go without HRT.
I've never been on androgenic hormones but have sprouted a beard since my mid-twenties, which I ascribed to work stress.

I've decided to drop the hydrocortisone cream to see what happens to my neck without it.

The rest of my skin is mostly clear.