Skin Update

skinupdate

Remember this post?  It feels like forever since I first went to the doctor regarding my strange skin condition.  To recap, in August my skin started itching and inflaming on my hands, legs, face, and scalp.  Right before getting into the family health clinic on base, it had spread to my inner elbows and down my clavicle.  The doctor I saw diagnosed me with guttate psoriasis and told me to cleanse my diet (as it could be linked to an unknown food allergy).  I started to be extra careful, and even cut out gluten in case it was a symptom of Celiac disease.  My referral through our health insurance got misplaced, and after a month of waiting, I called to check on the referral status.  After another week of limbo, I made an appointment with an outside clinic for the earliest date possible:  December 27th!  I worried a little over Christmas vacation about the future of my skin, and after entirely way too long, I finally saw the dermatologist.

Although my skin looked much better than in did in October, I was really anxious to meet my new doctor.  I never had medical problems growing up, so having something “wrong” with me was scary!  If it was something related to allergies, I’d be doomed to a life without my favorite foods.  If it was something worse then I’d have to treat it, which would cost money and time and patience.  Really, good health is such a blessing.

But my meeting with the dermatologist lasted at most ten minutes.  He looked at my legs and inspected my scalp and guaranteed it was eczema.  Eczema outbreaks are linked with seasonal changes, which aligned perfectly with my history of this terrible looking rash.  He gave me a printout on sensitive skin and wrote me a prescription for an intensive healing ointment and a foam for my scalp.  While my cream was being mixed in the pharmacy, Ethan bought me a doughnut in the clinic’s cafe to celebrate.

simply organic

Side Note:  When I was in desperate need of a haircut (before the major chopping occurred), I went to Salon DaVinci here in Alaska.  The owner said my scalp could benefit from a more natural shampoo; so I decided to go back a month ago and pick up some bottles of the product.  Simply put, Simply Organic is bananas.  It soothed my scalp when I was having itch fits, and my hair looked healthier and fuller after just one use.  You don’t have to wash your hair more than three times a week with this stuff, and now that my hair is shorty short, I wash it even less than that.  It’s on the expensive side, but I can feel it working as opposed to the v05 I was using before.  If you are prone to scalp issues, ask your stylist, and get this stuff.  It made me feel like less of a leper (even before I was prescribed the proper medicines by my derm).  Back to the main post.

I’ve been using the two medicines off and on, depending on my level of itchiness each day, but it has really cleared me up– even more-so than the steroid ointment my previous doctor prescribed.  I’ve been trying to finish the last of our gluten-free groceries, but have already indulged in breaded chicken, a BLT on toasted bread, and the party food from NYE.  I still feel like I’m going to have an outbreak after eating a croissant or french fries from McDonald’s (Ethan’s so happy we can finally have McRomances again), but I think the more I eat normal foods the less weird it will feel.

I consider myself extremely fortunate that my skin condition wasn’t life/lifestyle-threatening after all.  Living gluten-free for almost three months straight definitely put my choices into perspective.  Luckily we got this diagnosed in time for a wonderful dinner at The Moose’s Tooth this past Saturday.  And I had nothing but my taste buds guiding my decision.  I’ll cheers to that!

P.S. Remember when I said I wanted to use more of my own photography on the blog?  Well, that top image is a first attempt.  Of course I kept forgetting to ask Ethan to help me this weekend, so I was left to my own devices on this one.  Which means I ending up feeling like a high school-er again, taking artsy Facebook profile pictures of myself.  I hope it’ll get better as the posts progress…for both of our sakes!!

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11 comments

  1. I also have skin problems and I know how it affects self-esteem. I hope your treatment is successful. It may flare up a little with each season’s change; my rashes have been triggered by the hideous heat we’ve been having this summer in Australia.
    But having said that, most of the time my skin is fine. Once you find a successful treatment plan and a good doctor it will all get better for you. Good luck!

    Your night at The Moose’s Tooth sounds wonderful. I’m so glad you included pics of the gorgeous posters – they are brilliant. And a belated happy birthday to you!

    1. Thanks so much, Red. I’m mostly healed, just a little patch likes to get red if I wash my hands too much or don’t wear gloves outside. Those posters serve as the decor in the actual restaurant, which I thought was so cool! Oh, and thanks for the birthday wishes…they certainly aren’t belated (we just celebrated early =) ).

      1. I’m glad it has improved – sounds like you’ve worked out the treatment your skin prefers. It’s much easier to follow the routine that your skin likes than to heal the rashes that flare up.

  2. Mary Ellen · · Reply

    So happy that you now have the proper treatment. But those gluten free cookies were really, really good!!!!!!

    1. They were! Just like how good those snicker-poodles still smell!!

  3. Yeay! Good news! After all your hard work and taking care of your self so conscientiously you are well. COngrats….health is everything isn’t it?

    1. It really is. Thanks Albertina =)

  4. st sahm · · Reply

    Eczema is more than irritating. We get a prescription steroid cream if there is a flare. You may already know this but probiotics in chewable or capsule form seem to help keep our skin clear and stay itch free which might show there is an internal link to how sugar/gluten is processed in our intestines for people prone to dermatitis issues 🙂

    1. Yep the ointments have been working! Thank goodness, no links to my diet.

  5. yay! glad it wasn’t something more serious. my little bro totally has seasonal eczema…and can sort of flare up at the most random of times. but thankfully there’s all sorts of things out there to help prevent & treat it!

    1. So thankful indeed!!

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