I’ve had skin issues for a number of years now - probably about 5 to 10 years, although it’s hard to remember exactly what came first but here goes:
As I recall, it started with me getting hot feet during the day at work - I sit at a desk all day - I wore all sorts of different shoes then eventually realised they were swelling up so I eventually ended up wearing compression socks. The skin also became quite dry on them too, and will crack from time to time if not kept moisturised.
I suspected my feet also had athletes foot, but I was tested for that and it returned negative (although apparently the test isn’t that reliable)
In recent years (past 5 years) I’ve had problems with my hands getting very dry too - it’s amazing how painful these can be, when your hands are really dry all sorts of everyday objects (even plastic tubes of hand cream, ironically!) can feel like they are scraping your skin. Right now I’ve mainly managed the condition so that the palms are worst but the cracking of skin on my fingers has gone.
I also developed dry skin around the base of my neck at the bottom of my hairline, giving me dandruff like symptoms
My ears also develop scales regularly and become itchy.
My optician also tells me I have Blepharitis, but this isn’t currently having any negative effect, however I do wonder if its appearance is related to my skin troubles.
I also began to have digestion problems and was eventually diagnosed with Gallstones, however I altered my diet and the colic attacks from the Gallstones seem to have gone (last one was 16 months ago). This has caused me to minimise my intake of dairy and gluten, this seemed to improve my digestion, and may have improved my skin issues (maybe. A little).
Here’s just some of the things I’ve tried:
I went to a skin specialist and he put me through two stages:
Stage 1 - Allergy testing (where they stick spots of chemicals on your back for a week and then review the results) and found I had an allergy to lanolin (which was used in the foot cream I was using!) and linalool (used in practically every cosmetic product available!)
Stage 2 - PUVA therapy. Several times a week I’d drive to the hospital, dip my feet and hands in a chemical that makes your skin very sensitive to UV rays and then they’d blast my feet and hands with UVA rays for a few minutes.
Interestingly the PUVA had the same limited success results as many other treatments I’ve tried (and I see is true of others on this forum) - you think it’s really working, it almost clears up then… it starts to creep back and the treatment has less efficacy that it did originally. You can’t continue PUVA treatment for very long as obviously UV radiation has some potentially very bad side effects.
What I’m using at the moment.
----- Dry hands - I’m currently using these (each of these at one stage seemed to be ‘the answer’ but are less effective now) in some kind of combination.
Art naturals antifungal hand wash - I carry this around with me so I can control what I wash my hands with
Olive oil soap bars (or Dr Bronner’s Eucalyptus Soap Bar)
Marble Hill Handsalve - (I carry this around with me too)
Puriya Wonder Balm Antifungal
Hand Chemistry Extreme Hydration Concentrate
----- Washing Hair:
Olive oil soap
----- Hair ‘finishing’
Pure Nuff Stuff hair wax
DAX Kocatah - this is a very sticky hair gel made with tar oil
T-Gel (when showering, my GP suggested having T-Gel on my ears for a few minutes)
Also for back of hairline and ears - not a treatment as such, but I find drying my neck and ears as much as possible after showering seems to help (I do wonder if I developed the skin issue on my neck by not properly drying my hair over many years)
Urea 40% cream
CCS Foot cream
Various athlete’s foot creams
I’m also exercising every day and eating more fruits and vegetables at any time throughout my life!
Right now, my skin isn’t as bad as it can get, it’s manageable, but it does take up a bit of time to ‘manage’.
Whew, that’s a bigger introduction than I thought!