Monday, 9 September 2013
8th September 2013. Here is what my usually fuss-free, normal skin looks like:
Rashes on my inner left elbow.
What looks like it began as a mild case of ringworm 2 months ago, with a benign looking patch of pale skin with a reddish ring around it, has now erupted into a full-blown sore with additional rashes above and below the patch.
The patch of skin on the base of my left calf. It has finally stopped itching after I diligently applied neem oil straight onto the patch, and the skin is no longer sore. It looks and feels like it is healing - but you can see the dotty rash on the upper part of my calf.
More bumpy spots on my left leg. My right leg looks about the same as this, but is not as bumpy.
After trying to stave off the itching and relieve the rashes with various home remedies for about a week, I gave up - I needed to at least have my skin condition properly diagnosed. I visited Klinik Pakar Kulit Ranjit this morning. He came highly recommended by a friend (and there are a few blogposts online with very convincing results. Here is one.). Unfortunately I didn’t actually see Dr Ranjit, but a colleague of his. This didn’t really trouble me - until Dr J promptly prescribed me 3 different kinds of steroid creams having only taken a cursory glance at my skin, pronounced my condition as eczema, and didn’t seem interested enough to ask me more questions to try and ascertain the cause of this sudden outbreak. When I asked Dr J about the patch of skin outlined by red on my right arm, Dr J dismissed the possibility of ringworm entirely. Dr J also offered no advice about what I could possibly consider changing or observing in my diet, to help with the healing process.
I exited the clinic none the wiser about my condition, and RM160 lighter for my ‘education’. I rounded the corner of the block and sat at a mamak to ponder upon my options.
I have come to the conclusion that my condition is probably not serious enough to warrant the application of steroid creams (I am still able to sleep soundly at night). The dermatologist has pronounced her diagnosis - and eczema is a topic I am personally familiar with. I should have enough know-how and the materials to deal with this situation, and if I don’t, this is the perfect time to continue learning about the condition and its more natural treatment options.
There couldn’t be a more suitable guinea pig to try out all those remedies I’ve been reading about and to verify their efficacy.
So here’s the deal: I’m giving myself two weeks to fix my skin on my own. I will share my experiments and progress openly on my blog. I am NOT a trained dermatologist and do not claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to share my lines of reasoning as openly as I can. I will probably make some mistakes along the way, and that is (unfortunately or otherwise), my naturally preferred way of learning. If my ideas and treatments don’t work, I promise I will use those steroid creams and take those pills (I can’t remember their names now) beginning 23rd September 2013. Discovering the cause of the flare-up is a completely different ball game, I think - and something that can wait till after my skin is healed.
Without any offence meant to the dermatologist, I am swapping Dr J’s prescriptions:
From left to right: a bottle of Kinder Soaps’ Baby Bliss oil, to which I will be adding a few drops of german chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) a.k.a. immortelle essential oils. I will also be taking a few slices of ginger every 2-3 hours for the next 2 days.
As of this moment, I have chewed 5 slices of young ginger root. I am hoping that their known anti-inflammatory properties will gradually help reduce the redness in my skin. I am also aware that I am breastfeeding, so I will need to take this into account with whatever I am applying on my skin, absorbing into my body etc. Alongside this, I am also going to reduce my intake of refined sugar (and also my daily coffee fixes, sniff…) and really bump up my intake of water (which I have been neglecting).
It’s 11:45am. I have to fetch the children from school now, and after I get home I’m going to fix that blend of essential oils so I can apply it on my face (first!) because it now looks like this:
In summary, I am viewing this challenge as a wake-up call from the man upstairs - He’s reminding me that I don’t know everything there is about eczema and skin problems, and that there are still things that I have yet to explore as natural treatments for this all-too common ailment. Perhaps also, I have become a bit overconfident that all I have made at Kinder Soaps is sufficient to treat most types of eczema. It is apparent now, that my efforts aren’t quite good enough.
This is a very humbling experience, trust me. Especially in light of what I pride myself in doing through Kinder Soaps.
I still respect dermatologists and their viewpoints because there are undeniable testimonies to their successful treatments. I have never advised people to shun seeking conventional treatment and diagnosis from dermatologists, and I never will.
It’s just not the path that I would readily accept for my own personal journey to healing.
That being said, you are most welcome to follow me on this little adventure. Let’s go!