I’m a graphic designer. Therefore, I’m addicted to coffee and I suffer from mild eczema; I personally think it comes with the job, although they definitely don’t warn you in college. If you’re like me (that is, you live in a country where healthcare is free…), you’ve been to see more dermatologists than you care to count, and all of them have suggested hydrocortisone to treat you.
Now, don’t get me wrong; hydrocortisone works. In fact, despite the obvious side effects — thinning of the skin, elevated sensitivity to sunlight, etc…– it works quite well. The problem is, eventually, you run out of the stuff. Such is the nature of hydrocortisone. It works. Just as long as you use it. Because the second you run out, WHAM. Flare-up.
Well. I’m sick of hormonal treatment and pricey creams. I know what causes my flare-ups; alcohol in excess and chlorine treated water (especially spas, they are evil). This is important. If you know what causes your patches of eczema to get worse, avoid it. Coffee in excess also doesn’t help, although there isn’t much I can do there. Otherwise, this is the best cream I’ve found, and it’s not something you can buy. You have to make it. Dosage is entirely random and what works for me may not work for you. But this stuff has done miracles on my skin. It’s not as potent as hydrocortisone, but I haven’t touched the stuff in months, and my eczema is well-managed and not a problem for me.
Here’s my very scientific recipe. You will need:
1 empty lotion bottle (I’m sure you have dozens lying around, I know I usually do.)
1 bottle of your favorite non-scented ultra-powerful moisturizer (I use Neutrogena’s Body Emulsion)
1 bottle of Doak Tar Oil as strong as you can get it. Be warned, it stinks like hell. But this is the magic ingredient, this stuff is pure miracle goo.
1 bottle of Aveeno’s Anti-Itch Lotion with Chamomile. It keeps you from scratching and it combats the Doak Tar Oil smell pretty good.
Step 1. Pour a lot of each into your empty bottle. Go easy on the Doak Tar Oil. Add it bit by bit until you can just stand the smell.
Step 2. Shake like your life depends on it. Voilà! It’s done. Miracle Cream 101.
Keep in mind that sometimes the best thing you can do is scratch the damn thing. You know that yellow liquid that comes out? There’s a theory out there that most of that yellow gunk is toxins your body can’t process, so it comes out of your skin in flare-ups. Strange as it may sound, sometimes when you give in to the itch and expell that stuff, afterwards your flare-up will just dry up, crust over like a normal wound and heal. Keep up the Miracle Goo Cream and you should be fine.
This also works on Contact Dermatitis caused by clothes or allergies. Whee! :)