Just wanted to update you on my trip to see the dermatologist. I trekked out into the onslaught of rain and wind and got two buses to the hospital for my ten minute appointment (specific but also reality of how hospital visits can be harrowing and long). Anyway, he had a good long look at my face, neck, hands and arm and concluded that I have very severe eczema on my face.
He asked about my eczema origin story (he didn’t phrase it like that but I thought it sounded cool) and so I explained about it devoloping during a period of stress and anxiety and how I thought it might be the pollutants in Bristol, amongst other factors that has made it worse. Once again, I was told that Protopic is probably the best thing for me right now, that he understood my concerns about long term usage but that he himself had been using it for ten years and it was fine (Well, it’s obviously not if you’ve had to use it for TEN YEARS MATE). Protopic is an inflammatory and like all steroids gets rid of the visible signs of infection but does not eliminate it. I used Protopic twice a day on a two week course as instructed by my GP and after then have used it vary sparingly, over a two/three day course just to help with the rawness of the skin. The dermatologist has now told me to use it every day for a month, after that to reduce it to two a week for two months and so on. On the plus side my skin is clear(ish) and itch-free but I am feeling a bit defeated at having to rely on Protopic for that. He even suggested upping my dosage to 0.3% but I refused.
There were some positives though! I’m being referred to have a patch test done to determine some allergies which is awesome! Apparently they will refer you for that on the NHS if you have eczema on your face anyway. I don’t know why it’s face specific (but you know you have skin problems when you’re excited about patch testing). I also expressed my concerns about diet and food allergies, particularly sulphites and he said that things like rhinitis will always be worse because of eczema, it is not the cause of the infection. So the good news is, I’m not allergic to sulphites, but I do have rhinitis so I might as well be.
Because of this extra push he agreed to give me a blood test to see if I have an issue with egg, diary, grass, cats, seafood and dust. I should get the results soon but I’m pretty sure dust will be positive, I have such horrible reactions to dust 😦
So I’m feeling optimistic, because even if the patch test comes back entirely inconclusive or negative (which is common), it means I have something to work from, I can start ruling stuff out and hopefully gain back some control!