I speak loudly and out of sorts.

I write each thought into a sentence.

The bliss that this writing gives me is knowing that I am writing it more for myself than for an audience.
The thrill that putting it online gives me is that there is always a chance that it might speak to someone.

These are thoughts, combined into prose, and translated into a journal.

Hodge podge parts of a puzzle of self discovery form a salad.

Welcome, potential reader, to my Journal Salad.

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17 responses »

  1. My toothpaste caused mine (took me 4 yrs to figure out). Stay away from glycerin/tricoslan. Only use toms toothpaste by holding your toothbrush w a dry towel. Do not hydrate your hands. Use a glycerin free soap like burts bees. Do not use any other products at all ( not even steroids they contain glycerin). Take vitamin c a few times a day.

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  2. Hi, I have the same thing on my hands and feet. It gets diagnosed. — misdiagnosed! As many things. They call mine ” dry skin” and “lichen sclerosis”. But it is a mange mite! I figured it out by getting a 400x digital microscope off the web, and getting pictures. I’ve misidentified it repeatedly, so I’ve given up trying to name it., but it is an arachnid mite. Look up “leg scale mite” for something that causes similar problems in birds. Email or call and I’ll share microscope images. We’re not stress cases. It’s a parasite infection. Stress is just why it has an easier time on you than someone else. Neem oil helps but these things are crazy tough.

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  3. Holy Molly it ate my long comment. Please email or message me as I have this, too and it is caused by a mange mite. I figured it out by getting a 400x digital microscope off the web and getting images of them. It may be a poultry mite. Check images of “scaley leg mite” infections in birds. Anyway it burrows in the skin around your nails and elsewhere and is very very painful because it has very effective chewing parts. 503.750.1624 kbretsch at Gmail

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      • No, mine is diagnosed as “dry skin”. Labs have all come back negative. But, I take this to mean that it hasn’t been appreciated by the medical profession yet. If there is pain and skin breakdown where they are, and not where they aren’t , it is just logic. Get a digital microscope of at least 300 power and look for yourself. I’m going to make a slideshow. I’ll post a link. I’ve got some on Flickr if i can figure out how to give you that link. I feel for you so much. These things hurt way out of proportion to the apparent injury and i know the pain on your hands must be terrible.

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      • It sounds to me as if we are talking about two different ailments here. I think you may need to be tested for scabies. I could see how eczema and scabies could be confused after doing a bit of online research, but I don’t believe that mites (scabies) are what I am dealing with. I can’t speak for the others here, though. I wish you quick healing!

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  4. I have dyshidrotic eczema, your pictures look exactly like mine – I still don’t know what causes it for me, but feel like I could have written all your posts on the subject. I’m 30 years old and my eczema surfaced during my last pregnancy, about 2.5 years ago. I know what makes it worse at the moment, but not what makes it better. It’s currently at a very very very dull roar that surfaces only when I eat a lot of junk (and junk for me has become a completely different animal than it ever was before). I’m pregnant and it has gone down to almost nothing for the most part and am a bit terrified it will come back once I give birth. I’ve found a few things that have really helped to manage the symptoms (plantain is pretty awesome stuff isn’t it?) that aren’t steroids. I’d love to get in contact with you and swap ideas.

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    • I’m sorry to hear that you have suffered from the beast as well. Would you mind sharing ideas here where others could possibly benefit from your findings? If you don’t mind sharing, I’d like to know the things you have found makes it worse for you. I hear ya about the “Junk” food. We eat a lot of whole foods, but since we are Americans, every now and then I slip and eat what I like to call “fake” food. We cook at home a lot. Glad to hear that plantain is helping you as well! Awesome stuff indeed! Congrats to you on your pregnancy!!! Please keep us posted, as time allows, about your condition after you give birth. I’m highly interested to see if your eczema will return full blast again (not that I’d ever wish that upon you) after delivery. If it does, then I’ll be even more convinced that a vitamin deficiency may be the case, since we give so much to our children in the womb. Thank you for your post!

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  5. Sure I don’t mind sharing here 🙂

    3 big things that have helped are essential oils of peppermint, spearmint, & copaiba. Now when I feel blisters starting to form and begin to itch, the very first thing I do is massage either straight or 50% diluted copaiba oil into the blistering spot. Then I will usually massage a mix of peppermint / spearmint oil (here is a post on that specifically – http://www.thescottfam.com/?p=2879 ) into the spot as well as they both have anti-itching properties. When the itch is really bad or really wide spread on my hands, I’ve been known to put some olive oil in my palm with a drop of peppermint and massage that into my hands, although I don’t recommend doing that regularly because it’s a very strong remedy. Between the two things, it tames that intense need to scratch until my skin is broken so I’ve been able to skip that step of the process for quite a while now. I also now use a plantain infused olive oil salve a few times a day to help my hands heal when my skin does become broken or irritated. I’m about to experiment with adding other herbal infused oils into my mix as well, but I’m waiting for those to finish infusing :).

    I had been using a tiny bit of steroid cream (mometasone furoate) on blisters when they appeared, which worked well to tame them, so I could avoid the broken oozing skin stage, but when I became pregnant I wasn’t comfortable continuing to use it.

    Without a doubt, a big trigger for my blisters flaring up is GMO Soy & Corn. If I eat any sort of substantial amount (for instances, 1-2 servings of crackers that may contain them) I have blisters starting a few hours later. I’ve experimented with that one several times to be sure. Organic soy and corn don’t bother me.

    We eat a whole foods diet with very little processed food. Before pregnancy my diet was very fruit and vegetable heavy with very little animal products (eggs and lots of veggies many mornings or at lunch, with meat once a week at dinner) and lower in fat. I’m eating a lot more meat now at the end of my pregnancy, but look forward to getting back to a more vegetable & fruit heavy diet once baby arrives and I’ve recovered from the PP time.

    I spent about a year “detoxing” very slowly to find healing as I was still breastfeeding my youngest. There were about 3-4 months where my hands were un-usable and everyone had to do everything for me… it really was awful. I am so thankful the Lord granted me a measure of healing – it’s still there, but it’s livable. I can wash dishes again (some – I still can’t over do it, so my oldest DD and I work together to stay on top of the dishes). I can wash my own hair again (I couldn’t for many months last year). I can stick my hands in the dirt again. I can crochet again. I can change diapers and wipe up dirty hands with a wash cloth. All those things you take for granted.

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  6. I can relate to your dyshidrotic eczema as well. While reading your story, I felt as if you had written each sentence about me. It truly is a beast. My story is a bit different though. My first outbreak didn’t occur until I was 43 years old. I had been through many, many stressful situations and had given birth to three children without any incidents.

    I had moved from the southwest desert to West Virginia. My outbreak occurred after my first year of gardening here, which led me to believe that maybe it was the soil or something within my garden that had triggered it. I no longer feel that way, as I have successfully gardened for two years following my outbreak, with no triggers. At the time, I was looking at everything in my lifestyle with a fine-toothed comb, as well as researching everything I could find on the internet. I visited a doctor’s office twice, always with the same prescription for oral steroids and topical corticosteroids. I was also referred to a dermatologist and received the same treatment, although with the suggestion to use CeraVe.

    I found nothing that worked during the course of this outbreak. After about a year (a looong miserable year in which I tried everything and even considered pouring gasoline on my hand to stop the outbreak) it finally resolved itself. I have noticed that my always dry hands have been left with an even drier quality to them than before though.

    It is February 2015. Nothing inordinately stressful about my life right now, no lifestyle changes, no new or different foods, and yet, the blisters are starting again. The deep itching that is so difficult not to scratch. I’m using different lotions that only seem to exacerbate the itching. Eucerin skin calming lotion, Aveeno Eczema Therapy, Aquafor, CeraVe….. I was preparing a foot soak for my client the other day and used Johnson Foot Soak. I got some on my hand and it put a film on there that was sooo much better than lotion. I sometimes feel that lotion doesn’t do the trick, like it’s too lotion-y. I bought some foot soak for myself to soak my hands. I’ll try to let you know if that works.

    I guess I’m wondering a couple of things, to maybe find a common denominator amongst sufferers of this condition. I have a theory that hormones have something to do with it, since pregnancies seemed to bring this out in you and a reader, and I was going through some hormone fluctuations at the time I had my outbreak too. What about this region of the U.S.? I had never heard of this prior to getting it. Is it more common in this region? I believe it is a systemic thing, but it doesn’t appear that any real research has gone into it. Doctors seem to take a reactive approach to it, where I would prefer to be proactive in preventing it.

    Any input you have would be appreciated.

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    • I wish I had a simple answer for you. It would be nice to discover that there was ONE cause for this problem, but I think it is really a combination of a lot of things. This Winter, my family and I drove from SC to California. When I left SC, the tops of both of my hands and the inside creases above my elbows on both of my arms were blood red, dry and shiny. Shiny is the best way I can use one adjective to describe the thin, seemingly stretched skin. Once we arrived in Arizona, my skin healed within 4 days. No more redness. No more itching. So… your theory about this region is definitely something we have also questioned. It is humid in the South. Perhaps this plays a part? When we returned to SC, my hands and inside elbows began to itch again. We instantly had a sit down discussion about what was different here in SC that I wasn’t exposed to in AZ. Climate was an obvious difference. After even more internet research (I research A LOT on this subject), we put it together that we had not used cast iron cookware while on the west coast. I remembered reading that Nickel (and a few other heavy metals) could be a trigger for DE. We removed the cast iron cookware and all canned foods (especially canned tomatoes- the acidity in the tomatoes can actually pull and collect metal from the can) . All seemed to be going well… until…

      We went out to eat at a local restaurant (Zaxby’s). I ate chicken tenders and french fries. My hands broke out the next day with the clear little tell-tale blisters that we all HATE. So now we’re thinking that peanut oil may be a trigger for me.

      It becomes SO FRUSTRATING when all of the things you’re trying to pay attention to and avoid compound. That is to say, we were testing out the cast iron and then BAM…peanut oil. Which one caused the blisters? Perhaps my hands were already on the fringe of a breakout with the cast iron, only to be pushed along the itchy scale by the peanut oil. Who knows… and I’m still dairy free.

      All in all… there isn’t a simple answer for everyone. It sounds as if you are doing the best thing you could possibly do for yourself…paying attention to what you are exposed to. I feel strongly that you should pay attention to BOTH internal and external exposures.

      The next thing I’ll do for myself is to continue to avoid cast iron cookware and canned foods. THEN I’ll be sure to avoid peanut oil. Maybe I’ll get lucky and discover that this time I’ve discovered the cause for my own personal case. I fear that it is different for everyone. I also should mention that I feel VERY strongly that your state of mind plays a large part in the state of your hands. Before we left SC, I was struggling with family drama and stress…the west coast provided a shelter from that. I was able to keep my cool out there since I was surrounded by a supporting, loving side of family (my husband’s family). Anxiety in particular, I know, is a DE trigger for me. If I snap into anger, especially, my hands explode. If I can manage to stay cool and keep things in perspective, my hands seem to heal much quicker if the blisters do appear.

      So much more to explore, unfortunately. I stand firm in the knowledge that I feel I have gained for myself through all of this, however, this is a physical response to mental distress. Allergies accentuate and trigger it. That is what I know for myself. I wish you all the best of luck in learning and studying your own particular cases. Take care of yourself. Hug yourself. Do your best to exude love and understanding, always.

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  7. Hi, Butterchurn, you have no idea how much your pages have helped. It mirrors my experience of this awful affliction. I’ve had pomphlyx for 6 years now. I’ve no idea what started it and until this year it was just on my right foot. I’ve just had my first child and to my horror it started to appear on both feet and hands! I couldn’t even wear shoes so getting out with my new born was impossible. I was so depressed and often woke up and cried just staring at my hands and feet (not helped by new baby exhaustion!). I tend to treat most conventional medicine with caution, but I’d tried everything natural, as you have. I finally paid to go and see a dermatologist and things are finally looking much better. I still have the eczema, but it’s getting much better and like you I can now function as me again. My deem said most pompholyx is an ‘Id’ reaction to fungus. In my case it’s fungal nails and began after athletes foot. The open nature of the sores leaves you open to staph infections and further fungal infections. So, I think there is some merit in using coconut and turmeric etc as they have antifungal properties but they didn’t clear up the infections. Using dermal 500 soak and lotriderm steroid and antifungal all in one has worked wonders-even after one application. I wondered if you’d like to share this with your followers as I’m desperate to help others. Unless you’ve had it, you’ll never understand how it affects you mentally as much as physically. I’m a firm believer in helping yourself but nothing worked and I was rock bottom. I’d love to chat to you if you ever wanted to, I can message you my number or email. I’m so glad things are looking up for you. 🙂

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  8. Hi, Butterchurn, you have no idea how much your pages have helped. It mirrors my experience of this awful affliction. I’ve had pomphlyx for 6 years now. I’ve no idea what started it and until this year it was just on my right foot. I’ve just had my first child and to my horror it started to appear on both feet and hands! I couldn’t even wear shoes so getting out with my new born was impossible. I was so depressed and often woke up and cried just staring at my hands and feet (not helped by new baby exhaustion!). I tend to treat most conventional medicine with caution, but I’d tried everything natural, as you have. I finally paid to go and see a dermatologist and things are finally looking much better. I still have the eczema, but it’s getting much better and like you I can now function as me again. My derm said most pompholyx is an ‘Id’ reaction to fungus. In my case it’s fungal nails and began after athletes foot. The open nature of the sores leaves you open to staph infections and further fungal infections. So, I think there is some merit in using coconut and turmeric etc as they have antifungal properties but they didn’t clear up the infections. Using dermal 500 soak and lotriderm steroid and antifungal all in one has worked wonders-even after one application. I wondered if you’d like to share this with your followers as I’m desperate to help others. Unless you’ve had it, you’ll never understand how it affects you mentally as much as physically. I’m a firm believer in helping yourself but nothing worked and I was rock bottom. It’s so easy to get bogged down in is it diet, toiletries etc. I was constantly wondering and stressing about what I was doing to cause it. It turns out the answer was nothing and it is the T Rubrum (common fungus) that’s been causing an allergic reaction. I’m very health conscious, only eat organic, don’t like chemicals, use natural toiletries, cook everything from scratch, no processed food etc and was so baffled why I am (although nearly gone) afflicted with this. I’d love to chat to you if you ever wanted to, I can message you my number or email. I’m so glad things are looking up for you. 🙂

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  9. Hi!!! I was just diagnosed (yesterday) with dyshindrosis eczema. I am 19 and a full time college student. I stumbled across this blog and I am so thankful that I did. I am in a state of awe from my diagnosis. I was born with follicular eczema and was diagnosed as a child, I learned what I can do to prevent my break outs. But with dyshindrosis, I have no idea what are my triggers. I have Breakouts that are so painful that I cannot study or sleep. It’s crazy to think that my doctor told me that I can only “manage” the symptoms. I am happy to that I found this blog, in hopes of gaining a full understanding of this condition as well as getting The chance to meet others with the same condition!

    Thank you for being a critical step in my road to acceptance.

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