I've moved on...
...to a different domain. Why, what were you thinking? The truth is, I just woke up one day and decided it's time for a change—a metamorphosis, if you will; or, in layman's terms, if Britney can shave her head, then maybe so can I? Nevertheless, it's been a rather handsome 10 years of talking to you, and thank you for putting up with all my moodswings and terrible dad jokes. Fear not! The hormonal imbalance and jokes are more terrible on CUBICLE, see you there.


Warning: above photo paints a ridiculously ‘clean’ picture of situation… infuriating actually.

Welcome to chapter eleven of Help! My cat ate my keyboard: 1,001 Fashion Blogger Excuses. In previous chapters we covered: ‘My husband is taking blurry outfit pictures because he wasn’t fed’, ‘I’m in a different country and forgot to pack my blogging PJs’, ‘I have a life, I bought it at the pharmacy’, and most recently, ‘I lost confidence in blogging and un-grew balls that help with charging on’. This one is called ‘Eczema: wrestling with Wolverine‘. It was a few weeks back when I noticed a small dry patch on my arm – usual stuff, but what at first started as niggling irritation gradually developed into a violent itch, and next thing I knew it had flared up to my face, neck and torso. I know my body’s a bit of an attention wh*re, but this was truly something else – had I gone and shaved my head and attacked the tripod with an umbrella, it still would’ve brought the WTF factor down a smidge.  I won’t go into much gory detail – in a nutshell, for the most part of the past three weeks I was on a Jekyll & Hyde cycle, tearing myself apart during the night and then weeping over it come dawn (Hyde would like a tranquilizer gun for Christmas). I’ve tried every spell in the book – Eastern and Western medicine, organic and steroids, voodoo and prayer… So far it’s subsided a little but I’m still on a bit of a yo-yo, and while I’m in the ‘up’, I thought I’d drop by and let you in on why I’ve been gone for so long.

It’s truly surprising how the concept of ‘beauty’ can be so literally skin-deep, and self-confidence as equally fickle. I shrank like a sweater in a wrong wash-cycle and thought a whole lot about books with damaged book-covers. Makes you reconsider your own story, really, especially when you’re the author of a diary that explores skin-deep treasures… Anyhoo, bottom line is, don’t take your health for granted, dear readers. And remember, you are what you eat (i.e this eczema is the sobstory of my body trying to turn into a Snickers ice cream bar).

On a plus note, I am now an expert in cover-up makeup and should any zombies from the Walking Dead need assistance in appearing fairly human I am available in the evenings and weekends, so call me maybe.

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  1. I feel really bad for you, that must be such a pain in the skin (harhar) to deal with! Although, you’re comedic writing actually made me laugh out loud.
    Hope it’s all cleared up now!

    x Camilla


  2. Take care lady! Wish you health and recovery.. Come back with a bang!

  3. Ouch, hope you’re feeling better. You looked gorgeous during FW nonetheless! I’m totally addicted to Bioderma’s sensitive range after the extreme winter we’ve had – gotta love French pharmacy’s.

  4. That was all buttload of makeup! But thank you, and you’re so right – I returned to the UK with double weight in Biodermas! x

  5. Oooh I have eczema too, but in the back of my head, so it’s covered by my hair. I think it’s been a year since it first appeared and over all that time it has gotten better, worse, disgusting, barely noticeable. I don’t really know what makes it appear again when it’s almost gone.
    But yes, it itches like HELL. In addition, I’m a fan of scracthing and tearing the dry skin. So it’s been a real battle, and I haven’t won yet. If you have any useful tip, please share!
    Kisses and good luck, hope it goes away soon enough :)

  6. Agg, I feel for you! It’s so funny, pain is something I think I can handle – for example I have REALLY bad period pain and I can ‘will’ myself to think that it doesn’t hurt much, but wow itchiness is really something else…! But I’m starting to learn that not touching it is the BEST solution to eczema, the spreading is all done with my fingers…as well as deep cuts… So now I cut my fingernails short and really make sure I have itch-relief medication! I hope you find your solution too, and I know everyone says this and it’s annoying because it’s not JUST dependent on this one factor, but apparently moisturizing is the key to preventing eczema flare-up. So do moisturize the back of your head regularly! x

  7. Daisy

    Oh no, that sounds awful! Have you tried the Lush Dream Cream? Honestly, if you’ve not tried it it’s definitely worth getting a pot to have to hand, it’s full of rose oil and lavender oil and tonnes of cocoa butters and shea butters. It’s a miracle cream for my psoriasis, and works for other stuff too, like sunburn, soothing dry winter skin and also amazing if you wax to calm the skin down afterwards. A lot of the stuff at Lush is absolutely pointless but Dream Cream hits the nail right on the head for any kind of skin ailment!

  8. I haven’t even thought of going to Lush for anything related to eczema, but I’ll definitely try it out! I guess I’m just intimidated by all that scent and the chemicals in making the scents – if there’s one thing I know to avoid, it’s heavily perfumed products! Thank you so much for the recommendation x

  9. Cocoa

    Gurl, I just want you to know, I feel ya. I’ve had numerous skin problems, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it would. I have the eczema’s friend, keratosis pilaris, on the whole of both of my arms -_- Cosmetically, skin problems suck, hard, but now I am just okay that it doesn’t bother me as much anymore.
    Best of luck to you!

  10. Oh I feel for you! (ugh I have a feeling I may have a bit of that too… not too sure!) Hope you find a solution that works for you over time and that it doesn’t… spread to where it’s super visible, like your face! x

  11. You poor thing, I don’t envy you! While we’re on the topic of skin care, has anyone ever tried Simple? I recently read that it’s a great drugstore brand, but am a die-hard Boots generic brand gal myself (aka, it’s the cheapest thing on offer with the best packaging). Any Simple fans out there recommend any of their products?

  12. Ooh, I’ve never tried Simple! To be honest I’m quite intimidated by drugstore brands simply due to the fact that they perfume their products, and its the chemicals in the perfuming that my skin repels most… but with that said, I’ve never actually tried Simple so I’ll have to take a look when I’m out next!

  13. @Shini, And fair enough – if I were you, I’d be just as cautious about drugstore brands. I think it’s supposed to be relatively gentle, but the investigation is ongoing. :)


  14. Lucy

    @Second Floor Flat, I use simple moisturiser as do my friends and all really like its lightness. The whole range has just been introduced New Zealand where I live and they’re advertising it as UK’s no 1 skins brand, must be alright then! Reading the bottle now it says no colour, no perfume and perfect for even sensitive skin.

  15. @Lucy, oh good-I’m so glad to hear that it lives up to its hype. Definitely picking some up this weekend-thanks Lucy!

  16. omg the same thing happened to me around christmas/ new year two years ago (went through hell), lasted for a while and suddenly disappeared
    but occasionally it would resurface giving me a hard time (but not as terrible as when it started)

    good luck!!!

  17. Gah, I hope it went away and is keeping away! It’s sad, but the first time when it hits you the hardest you learn so much… that the next time doesn’t seem all too bad… but would be great to get rid of it completely :S
    Good luck with yours too!

  18. I’m sorry to hear that, Shini. :( Here’s wishing to you a speedy recovery!

  19. :( Hope the horrible eczema subsides! Get well soon Shini!

  20. thanks for sharing! your skin is always flawless!


  21. haha!! love your words!! you truly brighten up my day with your spontaneous sense of humor!! of course i love and love your photography style, too!! you totally are expert in creating beautiful images, too!! :D

  22. Oh no that sucks Shini! My sister has had eczema all her life and she can’t eat seafood, eats very little dairy and spicy food is also a bit of a no no. She went through a phase where my mum took her to a ridiculously expensive Chinese herbal doctor in Hong Kong and also prescribed a whole bunch of creams with steroids by our doctor in the UK to ease her skin condition.

    My sister has trialled so many creams from drugstores for when her skin and she swears by the Garnier body repair stuff (red bottle) when she doesn’t need to use any of her prescribed creams. It’s probably the crazy weather affecting your skin too, warm air inside and then chilly bitter conditions outdoors! I know how awful and self conscious it can be to suffer from it, but I do hope that it’s clearing up now and that your skin is on the mend!

  23. Oh my goodness, my mother did the same for me – took me to a Korean herbal doctor and bought a buttload of really expensive medicine… and then bough more Western moisturizers and eczema helping schtuff… I dunno I really think it comes from within, the toxins and what my body is actually made out of…

    I’m so sorry to hear that your sister’s been suffering eczema :( it must suck for the rest of the family too when she has a bout! Thank you for the Garnier tip though, will definitely check it out! I’m always a little sceptical when it comes to ‘drugstore’ brands since the scent alone consist of chemicals that my skin repel, but I’ll make sure to test it, thank you so much! Hope you’re keeping warm and healthy too Winnie xx

  24. I’ve dealt with some medical conditions in my time…but skin problems are BY FAR the worst to deal with, as I too found out (again) this year. They shake your confidence like nothing else. Are you properly hydrated? I’ve found that helps immensely.

    You’ll be in my prayers. <3

  25. My mom mad Eczema for a long portion of her life. I remember it went away after she stopped using harsh chemicals when she cleaned. I think diet is a really important aspect of it too.
    on another note, the Bioderma makeup remover/cleanser is a heaven sent product!! I use it daily.


  26. Hi Monica – oh I’m so sorry for your mom! It is true that harsh chemicals do affect your skin a lot – even in products that are meant to be amazing. I once had my entire face turn red and hot after using a YSL serum, which were praised by so many different pubications… I find that when your skin is healthy you can basically slap anything onto it and it’ll take it… but once it loses a certain barrier it’ll just give up and say JUST DON’T TOUCH ME… Diet indeed is really important, just think of all the toxins in your body! Thank you so much for sharing x

  27. Hydate yourself!!! Sending you get better soon kisses, xoxo

  28. I hear ya! I’ve had sensitive skin my whole life, but managed to dodge the eczema bullet… until now, that I’m pregnant with baby #2. Currently I’ve manage to tame it, but it doesn’t help that it’s mostly on my FACE, which everyone and their mom can see.

    And to make matters worse, I’ve been breaking out UNDERNEATH the itchy, dry, flaky skin. Basically I’ve had to re-learn how to apply make-up… and I’m praying it goes away once baby makes his appearance in 2.5 weeks!


  29. Oh no, I feel for you! Are you sure it’s eczema, not Rosacea? Oh whatever devil it is, I really hope it clears off, and especially so close to the birth!
    Wishing all the best Faith, is it a boy or a girl :D? x

  30. @Shini, I asked my mom (a physician) about it and her response was… “Looks like eczema, should go away after the pregnancy.” So, here’s hoping she’s right?

    And we’re expecting a boy, so my 2-year-old daughter is pretty excited about getting a brother, even though I’m pretty sure she has no idea what that means!


  31. Ah I totally feel for you. I’ve battled (still am) eczema since I was little. It’s one of those awful on and off situations (somedays I just want to stay in my bed and wait for the next one to come hoping I magically healed over night). I saw another reader suggest dream cream – I haven’t used it lately, but I did find this helped for the eczema on my arms/legs for a bit. I also really like Avene’s skincare line for face-related eczema (the skin recovery riche + cicalafate creams are my holy grails).

    Don’t worry gal you are not alone! I’m considering going to a naturopath to find out if I can do anything dietary to reduce my flare ups.

  32. Hi Shiori, doesn’t it suck that going organic is so darn difficult? I feel like it’s changing every single habit in your life…! So sorry to hear that you had it since you were a kid too – you’re right I sometimes wish I could just sleep it off, like a headache and in the morning it’d be all gone.

    All the best with your eczema as well, do share if you do succeed in going down the naturopath! x

  33. Jennifer Schmittlin

    I’ve had eczema since I was a child, the only things that work for me are: almond oil, Mixa moisturiser (I buy it in France, I’ve never been able to find it in London) and most importantly low levels of stress. My eczema flares up whenever I’m stressed, so anytime I see a patch of dry skin I look at my life and see what can be done to make it less stressful.

  34. That’s a great advice, I even find that getting a short massage from the hubby helps lower the itchiness, if you can believe it. I had it since I was a child as well… but I had no idea it could come back in such strength as an adult! I’ll definitely try almond oil – I haven’t yet ventured into the oils but why not, right? Thank you for your advice! x

  35. sassyshann

    Oh! I hope you get better soon. I hate being uncomfortable, especially when I’m not well. Totally feel for you. Get well!


  36. Geena

    Been following your blog for a couple years but this is the first time I felt compelled to offer my two cents. Warning: graphic imagery. A year ago I essentially was forced to suspend life because my skin had flared up so much so that my lifelong dermatologist didn’t even know what to call it. There was much weeping (both of the tear duct and the open wound sort). Got to the point where I could barely see because my skin was so swollen, itchy, and rashy. It was depressing to say the least. After a year of numerous trial visits with every kind of physician under the sun, I found a chiropractor/nutritionist in Austin that my friend recommended. I don’t know about the UK, but in the US the typical doctor experience is a 35 min long wait and cursory 5 min bullshit appointment, punctuated by prescriptions for steroids and lifelong medication. But this guy? An hour and a half conversation about what to do next. Under his care, I took supplements and cut out A LOT from my diet (mainly dairy, wheat/gluten, and soy) and filled up generously on raw food. That was the only thing that worked. And I offer my unsolicited advice to try out a simliar physician in the UK. Now, I know it just sounds like I’m prattling on about my newfound, super healthy lifestyle!!! But I really empathize with what you’re going through. And honestly, I admire your ability to write with such wit while your skin is melting. I hope you get well soon.

  37. AYyy I feel so bad for you! So sorry you had to go through it as well. I completely understand, both your symptoms (weeping sores and cracking, itchy rashes… GOREFEST) and feelings for the health system – it’s the EXACT same in the UK – waited 35 minutes the other day for a 5 minute visit, and the doctor told me everything I knew since I was a kid. I don’t think they understand I’ve had this for life and prescribing me more steroid cream and anti-histamines will not essentially CURE the thing. With that said, nothing is known to ‘cure’ eczema, since it’s a defect in the immune system, but as you said, diet really does seem to be one of the best solutions. I’ve gone on an elimination diet, which failed more times than I’d like to count… only because.. what does one eat if one was to cut out wheat, dairy, eggs, meat?? I sometimes think this would be a whole lot easier if I lived in Asia… Anyhoo – I am definitely taking your advice and shopping for a nutritionist/dietitian, thank you, and thank you so much for taking your time to write such a lengthy and helpful comment, it really means a lot for me. xx

  38. I’m sorry to hear about your skin trouble i know EXACTLY what it feels like, every winter my skin my skin starts with a small flakely patch and then will escalade alll over my face untill I look like I’m completely shedding my skin. Have you tried eucerin’s eczema cream? it’s probably one of few highstreet products that actually work.
    All the best and remember there are other people who have to deal with the exact same problems, you’re not on your own :)


  39. Hi Aimee, so sorry you’ve had to go through it too! Indeed it’s good to know there are others and that it can be gotten rid of… I have tried Eucerin’s eczema cream (although, is it the petrolatum [sort of like Vaseline texture] one or the Urea one?) I’ve tried both and haven’t seen huge advances… I imagine it’s great for when the condition is curbed a bit! THank you nevertheless for the recommendation, it’s super kind of you. x

  40. Amanda

    Try Mario Badescu control cream. I had a similar patch and it worked a
    great. Google the cream. There is a whole cult of fans especially for dry patches on eyes.

  41. Hi Amanda – will do, thank you for the recommendations!x

  42. Don’t stress about it babe. Stress will only make it worse! Sometimes our bodies have really weird cycles. I had normally bad skin as a teenager and then round 18 was like “YES! I am in the clear”…literally. Then at the ripe age of twenty two after years of perfect skin I had like six months where my skin on my face and back was being eaten alive by itself with this weird adult onset acne worse than anything in my teens. It was disgusting. Finally I think the cycle just passed and it took a year to get my skin back to normal but it went away. Bodies are crazy annoying sometimes. Just breath and sleep and it will get better with some time…winter has been cruel to everyone’s skin, Spring will make you right again! XOXOXO

  43. Eek sorry to hear that you had troubles with skin too, but knowing how beautiful your skin is now I’m sort of relieved…and encouraged to know it does go away! I guess everything seems hopeless when you’re bang in the middle of that ‘cycle’ willing everything to go away… can’t wait for spring! xxx

  44. I really feel for you. I had an eczema breakout on my face during graduation. I find that Aveeno moisturiser helps me. Hope it’s better soon x

  45. Sammi

    I’m not normally one to comment but, after reading your story which is so sweetly written and as I have suffered from bouts of eczema that have come and gone throughout my life, I wanted to tell you about some of the things that have really worked for me. I hope that they might be able to help you too as my eczema is now under control so believe me, it takes time but it will go away. I am sure you have already received lots of similar advice but the first things to check are the water you’re using to wash in, in a city it can be full of chemicals so think about getting a water softner for the taps in your bathroom, and also any possible food allergies, mine got so much better when I cut out dairy and a friend’s disappeared when she cut out onions. Also, when I was once suffering from a terrible bout on my face, I started using the dermalogica ultra calming cleanser at night and it helped SO much, it takes a while but their range has been the only one that I have found that really helps. They also have a barrier repair cream to put on under make up that will help protect your skin before you start covering up inflamed areas. The most important thing is to stay positive and not stress, bad energy won’t help it. I hope some of these tips work for you.

  46. I’m so sorry that you had troubles with eczema as well, and it’s really encouraging to hear something has worked for you! So far I’ve changed all my washing/shower/bath liquids to ph balanced ones, but never thought of softening the actual water I wash in! What a huge hassle that’d be if that turned out to be the reason! The barrier repair cream you mention, also from dermalogica? I’m very happy with Cetaphil at the moment but haven’t found anything that will sit under my makeup that won’t allow more irritation on the inflamed areas!

    Thank you so much for all your advice, really means a lot that you took your time to remember your own experience and share that with me. x

  47. Tessa

    Hey chipmunk, I hope you feel better soon!!! And you still look great so keep your confidence!! And really do go to a nutritionist (and a gym :p) though! They can help :). It´s too difficult to change your diet so much on your own.

  48. Oh man, the short time you two were here were the exact time when it was starting to clear… then it got a whole lot worse. But it was the mould I found on the windows… after I got rid of that it was so much better – and now I have another one which I suspect is from the planeride back from NY… anyhoo – yah I will defo look for nutritionist – maybe Anita will be interested in jumping on Skype to yell at me once in a while? x Say hi to Murphy and lots of kissessss

  49. Tessa

    Oh ya, the mould hehe. Nasty :p. But good that you found (part of) the problem!! Anita says you can contact her any time!! You have her on FB right? Just send her a msg whenever. Hope to see you and Maciek soon in Espana! Besos!!

  50. jean

    Hi Shini,

    same here, I have eczema only the other day and this time i tried the flaxseed oil, its seems to work. Give it a try! :-) hopes u get better.

    ps: I love your photography.

  51. I keep hearing good things about flaxseed oil, will definitely need to try that one out, thank you for the recommendations! xx

  52. I’ve missed you! So glad to see your back on the blogging front but so sorry to hear that the eczema is still sticking around. Glad to hear your on an up.

    On a completely separate note – how effing good is the Walking Dead?! I’m addicted. xx

  53. Sooooo good, we just realised it was back on so we were able to feast on a couple of episodes at one go!!
    Miss you ducky, hope you’re keeping warm in Zurich! xxx

  54. Elle

    i’ve had eczema in the past too, so i feel your pain… if you have it in the uk, try using aveeno eczema therapy lotion – i’ve had no more skin issues since using it regularly after my shower. goodluck and i hope you feel better soon!

  55. Hi Elle, thank you for the recommendations – I’ve definitely used a LOT from the Aveeno range, but not the eczema therapy lotion, so I’ll make sure to pick one up next time I’m out! x

  56. Im sorry to hear about that:( Wish you to get well and we are waiting for you Shini!!!

  57. I feel for you, I have rosacea. Same constant battle. Your sense of humor is a great tool to work through the rough patches. Your stories are always a pleasure to read.

    Shaun W

    Can I mail you a little package of my life-saver? Email me if you want to try white sage (which I pick in the wild for myself)…. It’s a bit troublesome, as you have to make the tea and then add it to your bath (when it’s all over my body) or the face cloth (when I just have some ON MY FACE)

    I would love to hear what you use to cover up. I’m warm honey 5.5 in Bobbi Brown which SAVES MY LIFE.

    i love you so much for posting about this.

  59. Hey Katana! I’ve never heard of white sage remedy, sounds super interesting, and it’s so so generous of you to offer to send a package! Pity I don’t have a bath though (really limits treatments on that matter alone)…
    What I am realizing is that everyone’s eczema seems to be derived of something different – some have food allergy, some from environmental factors (dustmite, allergies…etc), diet… I think mine might’ve been triggered by some mould we had on our windows a few weeks back!

    As for cover-up, I’m still testing things out… Dermablend by Vichy really really covers well, but only when your skin is hydrated (which means I have to take it off once or even twice during the day to re-apply)… and otherwise a BB-Cream! I’ll have to try Bobbi Brown, thank you!

    Thank you so much for commenting though, it really makes all this a little easier to bear when you know others have defeated it. xx

  60. Mold does it to me too. :) Mold, allergies (food and environment), and stress. I’ll get excema for all occasions; this is the first time in my life that flare-ups actually have end points (white sage forever!) If anyone else would want to try it message me and I will see what I can do (I don’t think I can mail it to antarctica, for sure) <3

    love!!! and thanks so much for sharing it does help to have company.

    Also, your classy style is inspiring because you look good without showing too much skin (for me no LBD looks good accompanied with red polka dots ;D)

  61. my husband and daughter have eczema what works for them and what you can consider get rid of dairy when you can, switch to soya milk I find my daughter has less flare ups

    drink plenty of water, and keep the areas heavily moisturised, go to your GP and get a subscription you need a bath emollient, and they will subscribe a cream stay away from steroid cream as it will clear up dry patches but in long term will damage your skin

    bit weird that it has flared up all of a sudden so consider eliminating one thing at a time say a new perfume new washing powder? or skincare regime as it may just be an allergic reaction to that

  62. Amy

    I completely understand how you feel. I’ve had eczema since I was born and 29 years later, it’s still here. Arms, legs, thighs, butt, back…I’ve had it all and scars to prove it too. I’ve already hit a point where most medication no longer has the desired effect. I now have to go in for the super strong prescription stuff. Though, flare ups have minimized over the years since I’ve tried to cut out shellfish (even though I love lobster and crab) and anything with vinegar.

    Hope it all clears up for you soon!

  63. ayy_ayy

    i’ve read the eczema thing on Google and that must be annoying.
    well, at least you don’t lose your sense of humor. :)

    Get well soon, Shini. :)

  64. Casey

    Sorry to hear about your flare-up. I’ve dealt with eczema my entire life and it is one of the most frustrating, embarrassing things that has the ability to completely destroy your sense of self. In 2011-12 I was covered basically head-to-toe with eczema and like you, tried every kind of remedy I could get my hands on! I found for some of my major break outs Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment is one the best natural treatments available (although it is an Aussie brand so not sure it’s available in the UK). Hope your skin clears up ASAP and you get back to your regular, amazing-blogger self!

  65. Amy

    Shini, I know you probably have every product and have heard and tried everything, and my kid never had eczema the way it sounds like you have it, but whenever he has a flare-up we attack it with a lotion called (at least here in Italy) Stellatopia, made by the awesome folks at Mustela, who helped keep me stretch-mark free for my pregnancy. I tell everyone who has eczema issues about it, because doctors prescribed all sorts of stuff but a pharmacist pulled this off the shelf and forced it on me and it worked when all the stuff being prescribed didn’t. Maybe it’ll help you, too. Good luck, and please keep blogging—you’re the only thing keeping me blending in with the Milanese.

  66. This is so useful and fantastic post regarding the skin care.I like this effort so much.I must use these tips for my skin care.Thanks for share so amazing post here .

  67. MC

    I feel your pain. 7 years of dealing with evil eczema flare-ups has left me with hypersensitive skin. I can’t even say which specific products you should use as everyone’s different- I make my own, nerdy but true- but trial and error also helped me realise it helps to:

    – Do herbal soaks- chamomile tea, coconut & lavender oil soak is AWESOME
    – Juice!! Very Gwyneth Paltrow but I swear it can completely change your skin. Add stuff like cucumber, ginger, beetroot and coconut water.
    -Reduce your sugar intake including super sweet fruits like grapes and pineapples.
    -Ice- when the itching gets cray..and it does:) I grab something frozen to distract numb the area and then massage it with oils.

    By no means am I a health guru but all of the above has saved me from an early grave. Oh and try and figure out what caused your itching/flare up in the first place.It could be anything from fabrics, creams, make-up and stress.

    Good Luck!

  68. Jane

    I’ve had eczema all my life, and have always been so self-conscious of it! Mine is triggered by weather changes, especially the cold. I have really sensitive skin too, and so I have had some really lovely instances of angry red rashes on my face! Moisturising the heck out of it with an emollient works, but 1% hydrocortisone cream, although not a natural remedy, helps to heal it when it’s really, really bad.

  69. Good luck with the eczema! Make sure you keep a food diary to see if it is a new allergic reaction to foods or creams. And keep slathering on moisturizers; ones with Aloe will help cool it down. I send you my best wishes!

  70. That must have been such a frightening experience, coming out of no where like that. I am a total believer of the “you are what you eat thing”. Not just eat healthy etc but sometimes people can actually grow allergic to something they’ve been able to consume with ease all their life.

    anyway, hope it’s improving! xx

  71. This website is brilliant for checking out the ingredients in products – it makes you realise just how many chemicals we must absorb into our system unknowingly via the products we use.


    I used to be a huge fan of high performance skincare products but have noticed a huge difference since I switched to a simpler regime using cleaner products. Dr Alkaitis and Suki Skincare are really good.

    Also, eczema is also thought to be (in the world of ‘alternative medicine’) often – not always – a symptom of candida imbalance. Trying to address this and generally keeping to a alkalising diet will probably do good in the longer term.

    Himalayan salt baths and raw virgin coconut oil on skin is also good…

    Last but not least – good luck! it’s horrible having such a visible ailment (been there a few times) but it’s your body’s way of sending a message so take just care of yourself :)

  72. Aww feel for you. The cold weather is deadly to my skin. I’ve just decided to take normal allergy tablets cause nothing else just doesn’t help. When your skin is uncomfortable it is the worst feeling. Love your blog it always makes me happy!

  73. This blog is amazing. I realy like it!

  74. Hi Shini~
    I was originally going to email you this comment since it’s quite long, personal and hard for me to freely talk about it, but I’ve emailed you before and am thinking it might be easier for you to see this on your actual blog. Also it may help others reading this?
    I’ve also had severe eczema all my life, bought this, tried that, despair here, tears there.. Tried it ALL and was basically at the end of my will to live since literally every SECOND I would be uncomfortable or in pain. I just can’t even explain how horrific it was. But this is where God began to finally answer my prayers and set a miracle into motion.
    Long story short, I went to South Korea and was referred to “the best doctor at the best hospital” in the nation for eczema (Dr. Yang Junmo at Samsung Seoul Hospital). At the first 4 minute consultation he prescribed me (I’m not 100% sure because it was written in Korean and was a while ago.. and the plastic bottle it was put in has nothing on it) a solution of 0.1% hydrocortisone + olive oil (?) in a plastic bottle, and a couple of topical steroids. The hydrocortisone(?) and oil solution changed my life. It stung so painfully but within literally the 2nd use my skin was starting to heal and soften. Now, my skin is almost normal, and that is something I have NEVER even dared to hope for. I feel like a new person. I would be more than happy to send you or anyone else a bottle of this since I got 3 before I left! All you do is spread it on your body after showering (with wet skin) then towel-dry off. You can use whatever moisturiser afterwards – very simple.
    The process was arduous to say the least, including a whole array of tests (blood tests, 50+ allergen type test, nostril swab, skin swab, etc) and cost a lot of money, but I’m SO glad I took this last chance. I really recommend you to do a blood test and see what foods you should avoid – you can find out for sure what your body reacts to rather than guessing with elimination diets. I was found to react to chicken, pork and flour (NOOOOOOOOO!!!! I know but at least I know T___T thank God I can still have beef, diary, soy, etc). I’ve also tried several oral meds but that hasn’t been so effective for me so far.. apparently there are many oral meds so it can take a while to find which works best for you (although I’ve had to stop treatment since I live in Australia).
    There’s also a cleansing product from Atomy which is a Korean brand and manufactured by some national scientific/medical organisation? So it’s completely natural, gentle and cheap! It’s the ONLY one I’ve tried that hasn’t had my skin react to it. I haven’t tried Cetaphil so I can’t compare the two but the Atomy evening foam cleanser actually makes my skin clearer and whiter because my skin isn’t irritated (as if the blood is moving away from my face), whereas with other cleansers my skin gets RED. I was so surprised after my first wash and haven’t tried anything else since.
    I just want to say, I truly do understand.. and DON’T lose faith. God has a purpose for every tiny bit of pain, and although I still don’t really know why I’ve had to suffer through this condition for all my life I do believe He will use it for His glory and will reveal everything to me when the time comes. That goes for you too! :) I know you feel like you’ve tried it all, as I certainly did, but the truth is there are countless treatments and combinations out there so please continue trying to find something that works with you.
    You’ve been an inspiration to so many people (including myself and I even started a blog!) and we all hope for the best for you! You aren’t alone :)

  75. Ever heard of moogoo? heard its amazing for eczema skin. In no way commissioned to promote their product, just heard raving reviews of it. Do research on it :)

  76. Eczema….aie aie….I’ve had it all-over my arms since I’ve been little…its horrific; I feel your pain~ My evil side always comes out at night too…waking me up in the morning with hot, burning pain! But miraculously, the eczema on my arm has completely cleared since 3 years ago…not sure how, but moisturizing is key! I put lotion daily (at least twice) on my arms, and still do~ I’m not sure if its just the lack of hydration, but for me at least, when I stress, I get worse….and I have a weird tendency to scratch my body when I’m stressed or nervous lol I think the type of water also has a HUGE factor as well. I travel from NY to Paris quite often and the water in NY also seems to make my whole body red and itchy….I’ve never had that happen in Paris.
    If you haven’t tried them, Avene and La Roche Posay (both french pharmacy brands) are famous for treating problematic skin, especially skin with eczema.
    Best of luck ~

  77. my boyfriend used to have similar problems, especially on his arms and upper hands. besides going vegan, I’m making him use a lotion with tea tree oil every evening and almost everything has cleared since.

  78. […] I’d hit something like this and know I’ve come too deep. But lately, thanks to the previously advertised calamity known as eczema (aka f*kingbastard), I’ve been on house-arrest and therefore have been forced […]

  79. Look on the bright side! At least it wasn’t malaria – that comes with an unsightly rash AND I hear you pretty much pour out of all openings.


  80. Megan

    This is a bit late, but if you’re not too tired of trying remedies, might I suggest Tamanu Oil? You can get it at a natural food store. I’ve only had to use it for was burns and bad dandruff, but something about it really soothes the skin. It helps bad burns heal quickly, so maybe it can help with flare ups.

  81. I was just browsing recently since I’m finishing off a DIY snood as inspired by you. Hadn’t seen your most recent posts and just came across this. I have never commented on a blog before but just had to share here. Eczema, psoriasis, rosecea, seborrheic dermatitis, you name it, I’ve been told I have it. I know the kind of despair you can feel when absolutely nothing seems to help. The internet can seem like a never ending rabbit hole of suggestions that never seem to help, but likewise it has been my salvation for finding the support and a couple of key products that have helped me manage things without tearing my face off in my sleep.

    The only things that have helped me combat the itch+oil+flaking combo that is my face over a consistent and prolonged period of time are:
    – washing every once in a while with an anti-dandruff shampoo like Nizoral (doc says it helps because of the anti fungal ingredients)
    – washing the rest of the time with ultra gentle Salura sensitive and dry skin face wash.
    -moisturising after every wash with Salcura Zeoderm. This has far and away been the most helpful entirely natural product that I’ve used and consistently makes me feel normal again, which is wonderful. It doesn’t 100% prevent flare ups, which is kind of to be expected since it’s natural and extremely gentle. This has been better than even most prescription products. For flare ups, I rely on…
    – an anti fungal/hydrocortisone combo cream (prescription). It seems to be a fairly low strength but it does the trick for the worst times. Kind of embarrassing since it’s the same brand as the most common thrush treatment out there… But I swear it’s for skin and it works wonders! I hate using these sorts of prescriptions, but sometimes it is necessary. Again, luckily the Salcura Zeoderm cream tends to sort things out.

    You’re probably already aware of this, but some people do develop food allergies that contribute to an unexplained skin problem. I have spent a VERY long time trying to sort out my food issues with a dietician and have finally pinpointed the culprit. It’s slow going, but I’ve been seeing steady improvement since limiting that item (yeast such as that found in bread and beer/wine/cider, in my case). It was a pretty sudden onset thing for me which was shocking, had no idea that a food intolerance could be quick like that! Anyways, it could be worth exploring whether or not you think that something you are eating is causing any of your pain.

    Everyone’s experience is different, so this might not be of any help to you, but I had to let you know what seems to have helped me. I hope it did not come across as preachy, and I hope it was helpful in some way! At any rate, just wanted to let you know how much I admire your style, outlook, and your approach towards your site and various projects. It’s always a pleasure to browse Park & Cube, and it was heartbreaking to read this post since i know how truly depressing it can be to feel like this. Fear not, and perservere! You’ll find some combination of things that works especially for you. I wish you the very best of luck with whatever treatments you try and hope to hear what is working for you on some post in the future!

  82. Bianca

    I’ve been reading your blog for ages and love it. I sympathize with you eczema issues. I have severe eczema and have had it my whole life. Try asking your doctor/dermatologist for coal tar ointment (it’s coal tar mixed with vaseline). It is pretty amazing. Also try Rosebud Salve for eczema on your face. Hope your skin feels better soon.

  83. Hi Shini, I completely feel your pain (or itch, more appropriately!). I’ve had eczema on my body for 4+ years now, and it’s been a real roller coaster ride living with it. The weeping sores, scratching at night, open wounds in the morning … Yup, been there with you!

    I thought I’d share a couple of tips that have helped me – I hope they’ll come in useful for you too.

    1. Avoid soap on affected areas. This was my dermatologist’s tip. Simply wash with water. You don’t need soap anyway! Water takes care of sweat and dirt easily. If possible, wash with lukewarm or cold water to help alleviate itchy, warm areas.

    2. Wear cotton or other breathable fabrics. Avoid tight, body hugging layers or bottoms (if you’re affected on the lower body). This goes a long way. Heat trapped by synthetics like

  84. Zee

    @Zee (whoops! Accidental click)

    … Heat trapped by synthetics like polyester can instigate itch really easily.

    3. Are you stressed by other things in your life? I find stress and hormones are the two greatest destabilizers for my skin. It may play a part with you too, since stress generally lowers your immunity. Do you exercise right now? If you do, great – it should help lower stress and boost immunity at the same time.

    4. Avoid shellfish as it aggravates itch and is a common allergen. Also avoid using nut oil products like coco butter and Shea butter. They are also common allergens for sensitive skin. (My dermatologist recommended these tips to me. She has 30 years’ experience in treating eczema and skin disorders.)

    5. Break the itch-scratch cycle. Good that you cut your fingernails! I do too cos long nails just mean scratch marks and painful sores in the morning. Take antihistamines at night before bed to (hopefully) lower the intensity of itching; ideally a drowsy one so you knock out and your skin has chance to heal! The key is just to disrupt the cycle so your skin won’t go into a downward spiral.

    I really hope your eczema heals and gets more manageable soon! You are not alone :) xx

  85. i’ve been a long time reader of your blog, and i can’t say how much of an inspiration you are. i have eczema as well since i was a kid, and it’s comforting to know that you’re staying strong through it! ( especially since it gets so annoyingly itchy and irritating )

    lately my eczema has been acting up as well due to extreme changes in temperature/ weather, and for the past month I’ve been trying juicing. I’m not suggesting to go on an all juice diet- but maybe adding it as a supplement to your diet will help? As you said- you are what you eat!


    wishing you the best :)

  86. […] puts you on any sort of caste system, if you will. And if it doesn’t come out naturally (if you are what you eat), a good bronzer is the best tool to achieve this look. I tend to go with a palette […]

  87. Stupidly late commenting on this, but hope your Eczema’s less crappy now. I’ve had it since I was a toddler (now 26). Like you, I’ve been through the array of treatments from Chinese herbal medicine to homeopathy to steroids etc. My skin’s been through various levels of awful-amazing. Since last January I’ve been on Azathioprine tablets – an immunosuppressant treatment. Sounds scarier than it is but it does involve a lot of blood tests initially and I’ve had really good results. I’d definitely recommend the St. John’s Institute at Guys/St. Thomas’ if you’re thinking about an NHS solution. I’ve been meaning to try an elimination diet with their nutritionist but haven’t quite got round to it yet… The right antihistamines really help too. Good luck!

  88. Hi Shini,

    I stumbled across your blog recently and happened upon this post. Just thought I’d drop in to let you know that I’ve been dealing with eczema for about a year now. What really seems to keep me in-check is drinking lots of water and slathering on Dream Cream from LUSH. I know you mentioned down in the comment section that you’re wary of heavily-perfumed products, but I’ve worked at LUSH for a year and a half and can assure you that any fragrance in our product is resulting from essential oils only! Nothing chemically or weird. Stop by a shop and ask them about it :-) Hope this helps!


  89. […] Academy, all part of a personal ‘spring clean’ campaign brought on by a sudden onset of severe eczema a couple months back. It’s still a bit of a battle, although the flare-ups are much less […]

  90. M

    This started happening to me this year also. I think a combination of bad diet and stress (lots of stress). It’s spread all over my scalp, but is still just in small patches over my body. Itches like crazy and looks… well, gross. And I can’t color my hair, which, #firstworldproblems, but still annoying/frustrating. So please continue to update and share if something works for you!

  91. […] taking that leap of faith and it’s been a hell of a ride ever since, thanks to you. The eczema probably was, and still is, the lowest … a problem I’ve sworn to tackle in the new year. […]

  92. leyna

    i just recently started following your blog & i do feel a bit bold in submitting a comment, let alone a suggestion. im sure you have received many ideas by now, and i am by no means a doctor, but am a distributor it It Works products & have heard amazing success stories with one the all-natural products we offer. The Defining Gel is an intensive skin care gel that deeply hydrates and has helped many customers with moderate to severe excema. just passing along the info. if interested, visit leynahanson.myitworks.com for more info. well wishes and happy new. Ps…love following your blog & look forward to continuing.

  93. […] probably sit on it with a Snickers bar and wait for the bus. Alas, by the end of year 2013 my eczema was starting to taking its toll – nothing I put on my skin worked, and the more I researched […]

  94. Samia

    I had the worst eczema ever my hands were raw ! My dad got me black soap from Ghana that I used alongside Wau Wa !! Try it out it cleared my skin up and im eczema free. I do get flare ups time to time but i use it and it settles right down. I was referred to dermotologist endless vists steriods and no results. Dad saved me in the end, trust me it was painful I couldnt do anything. I hope it helps

  95. […] probably sit on it with a Snickers bar and wait for the bus. Alas, by the end of year 2013 my eczema was starting to take its toll – nothing I put on my skin worked, and the more I researched […]

  96. I was diagnosed with eczema this past fall, too. It’s the worst, I absolutely feel your pain. I wish I could tell you what helps but I am still trying to figure it out myself. I have been using argan oil and CeraVe, which is similar to Cetaphil. On my hands, Vaseline petroleum jelly seems to be the best…

  97. ann

    I came across your ballet for noobs post and ended up here! I developed eczema when I turned 24 which was really odd considering I’ve never had a food allergy and I’ve never had eczema as a kid. Apparently the body goes through changes every 7 years from when women get their first period, kind of like a turn over (wait that’s not TMI right?) I’ve also tried tons of creams, never using them more than once at times because it just made the eczema worst. But after 2 years I’ve probably managed it… For me, humidity is a huge factor and it completely disappears when I go to a humid country, it reappears when the weather gets more dry, etc. I’ve tried eating more healthily and I guess it helps overall, even if it doesn’t directly affect the eczema.

    When I used have really bad flare ups I had to resort to getting medicated ointment from the doctor’s but after the prescribed period, it would come back. I’ve gotten better at containing it now and it’s pretty much disappeared off my face and neck (oh god the horror or waking up with eczema on my face for the first time, I was convinced I was turning into a dinosaur.) Now only have a little patch on the crook of my arm.

    On the topic of steroids, I’ve tried to avoid it for the longest time thinking I have a dependency on it. But when I had another break out after like half a year I thought whatever that’s going to get rid of it the most quickly, it’s just a matter of being able to maintain that eczema-less state afterwards.

    I’ve found that simple sorbolene cream works waaaay better than petrolatum or any fancy moisturiser (also to apply sorbolene or another prescribed moisturiser first before putting on medicated steroids). Also Aveeno’s eczema therapy lotion works really well especially if it’s itchy. Just keep on moisturising, every hour if needed, until the itchiness subsides, and then the dry patches will hopefully disappear too after a month or so. If you have them around your eyes I came across one of those red ginseng eye oils at Incheon airport once… it works miraculously. There’s also a really good Japanese product (I’m currently based in Tokyo) for sensitive extra dry skin called Curel, their light gel-like moisturisers are amazing especially the eye gel (I’ve tried a bunch of organic/’eczema prone skin’/’sensitive skin’ types of eye creams and none of them ever worked.)

    I know that mine isn’t triggered by any food allergies but somehow, food-wise, cutting down on sugar and drinking an insane amount of water helped a lot.

    Sorry if I typed in too much but hopefully this helps!

  98. Alison

    Eucerine is the only cream that has cured the excema on my face! Honestly can’t recommend it enough, it’s my saviour. http://www.boots.com/en/Eucerin-Dry-Skin-Relief-Face-Cream-5-Urea-50ml_6765/

    And Aveeno moisturiser is great for the body, particularly at keeping excema at bay once you’ve got rid of it. (This is after over 10 years of testing by the way, I’ve had excema since I was a teenager!)

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  102. Vicky

    I just found your blog through a blog I follow- zanita.
    I know this was over a year ago, and I was interested in how you are now. I’m 25 and had eczema all my life. I was hospitalised a few times as I couldn’t control myself when I was young. Though, my adolescent years were kinder to me. I recently had a flare up and as usual, I had to take a lot of steroids and apply numerous amount of cortisone creams and try new methods. I even followed a strict diet of veg and rice for 2 months… thankfully I’m of asian heritage and could actually make a lot of yummy stuff. But, still, I feel like my skin is on fire and it looks like I’ve been burnt.. it covers me from head to toe… It’s getting a bit better these days and I’m in less pain. Though, it’s no where as good as it was a year ago. But, then again, I’m way less active. Do you think starting Ballet really was the key to kickass recovery?
    Write back if you have some time please. Thank you.