My skin was getting pretty clear before I started, possible due to my increased sun exposure. I also started trying UV Therapy this month. With atopic skin, your only options are light therapy, steroids, protopic or experimental drugs such as Dupilumab. The steroids obviously aren’t going to work for me, I tried a protopic once, I think in 2007, and didn’t care for the greasy feeling it left on my skin. I have also heard through the grapevine that protopic isn’t much better than steroids in terms of rebound flares and withdrawal so that pretty much only left me with light therapy to try. The first few sessions went alright, you have to get them done 3 times a week or so to start seeing results. It kind of feels like you’re being microwaved and that your skin is getting sunburnt from the inside. It sent me into a rather large flare though after repeated sessions and in addition to the summer heatwave that the Lower Mainland was experiencing, I opted out after about 3 weeks.
I was mostly in the bathtub for this month. Bathing was the only thing that would leave me comfortable, at least for a few hours anyway. I had pretty much given up trying to sleep at night. Watched a lot of Netflix. It was a weird month. My whole schedule was flipped upside down and it just felt very strange to be up all night until 6 or 7 AM then wake up at noon or later. I felt really run down all the time. I tried to maintain an exercise regime involving bodyweight exercises and yin yoga.
I also tried moisturizer withdrawal during this month. Moisturizers were starting irritate my skin and I had read that people had accelerated their healing by going through a moisturizer withdrawal. The most frustrating thing about having eczema in general is even when you finds something that you think works, it seems to stop working after a few days or weeks. MW is pretty painful especially during the early stages. The skin is really tight and there are tiny cracks all over. You can also do some serious damage scratching. I think it helped for the first while but I eventually went back to moisturizing because it felt like MW wasn’t helping anymore after awhile.
I also started seeing a naturopath who is quoted in this article. I had been really skeptical about non western medicine practices but I really had no other options. Her approach was logical. Clean up my diet to cure any underlying causes of eczema and supplements for vitamins and minerals that my body was probably lacking. This is a big lesson I’ve learned on how western based medicine tends to address health issues: treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause. The treatment usually involves a drug prescription that have the potential to create new, worse symptoms. Especially when used incorrectly by ignorant users, such as myself.