Another Doctors appointment, another few minutes of my life I’ll never get back. I swear I might as well talk to my Moomin pal instead of a Doctor…

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He’s a good listener….

My skin has been really rubbish recently, not just because it looks bad but it FEELS different.  I have Atopic Eczema, so of course I know already I react badly to pretty much anything and there’s no consistency. Recently, however, my skin is so itchy I literally want to make a bed out of really rough doormats and roll around naked in it to scratch all my skin off Something is really irritating me (besides the usual- work, rude people, lack of sun and shortage of Disney films in my life) and I want to get to the bottom of it.  It must be horrific holding hands and sleeping next to a lizard every night!

I hate it when you go to see someone; a ‘professional’ and they try and pretend they know more about yourself than you.  This time was a classic.  I was the last patient of the day- and boy didn’t I know it!  Couldn’t have been hurried through any faster if I’d tried!  I had a Doctor I don’t normally have; clearly he hadn’t bothered to read any of my notes before the appointment.  He looked at my skin and declared after about 2 seconds ‘you have chemical-related Eczema…’ RIGHT. Clearly no clue that I’ve had this condition since I was the size of a melon.  He asked me what I did and then mentioned it must be my job.  Erm… I film stuff and take photos.  I haven’t been in a darkroom near chemicals since 2006.  I spend a fortune on organic, natural skin care- of course it’s not chemical related.

When I suggested I might be allergic to something, or have developed a recently allergy, I was told that’s impossible. Apparently if you’re not allergic to something ten years ago you won’t be now. When I put forward we had a cat when I was younger but now when I’m in a room with one my eyes look like a Pugs after about two minutes I just got silence.

I read lots of Eczema sufferer’s blogs and take a keen interest in what other people do to help their skin, what they eat, their allergies and how they treat their skin. I’m trying to stay off Steroids and when I suggested to Dr. Personality about maybe seeing an Allergist or getting a test to see if there was anything I might be allergic to that I’m in regular contact with I was greeted with a look like I’d just informed him they were going to have to pay for their own drinks at the Doctors Christmas do.

Anyone that knows me knows I’m the most awkward person when it comes to talking about my skin.  I can talk about Eczema until the cows come home (I have literally no idea where that saying comes from) but when it comes to my own shizzle I get all panicky and upset.  I hate going to the Doctors let alone having to stand up for myself and talk about something I find really difficult.  I hate the way I was made to feel stupid just because I asked whether I might be eating/doing something that has affected my skin and actually asking questions and making suggestions.  How can you convey to someone who has never wanted to rip their own hands off what it’s like?  They just don’t get it.  After an Oscar worthy meltdown and floods of tears I have now been palmed off to a new Dermatologist and informed on my way out that I ‘read too much on the internet’.

I left the appointment more angry than satisfied.  Fair enough it’s the NHS and it’s not like I’ve paid a private professional to give a shit about me, however my pay slip would dispute this and it would be nice from time to time to see someone who does care, or at least pretends to.  I’ve had to suffer from this my whole life, you can suffer with my crap for ten minutes.  I sincerely doubt any medical professional will take on what I say, which makes me sad.  I KNOW my own skin more than you do.  I know that in the last month my Eczema is worse than it’s been in years and that there is something making me claw my own skin to shreds in my sleep.  I know it’s a cycle but surely at some point there’s something I can do to break it?  I know I’m allergic to hay (which sucks when you have a horse) but I’ve dealt with this and I know that if my skin is bad after a trip to the yard this is why. This is different though.

Think I’m going to go back to the drawing board.  I’m convinced that changing my diet will help.  I do try and eat well but sometimes I am a bit lapse with food.  After reading The Eczema Diet last year I know there’s a lot I can do to help.  At least if I’m making an effort to heal my skin from the inside out it won’t matter that I read a lot online because when I do see these ‘caring professionals’ I know I’m doing all I can to help myself along the way.

Happy scratching…. x

I think I’ll be skipping over the lack of posts recently.  Of course I have guilt and apologise but I’ve no excuses so let’s just move forward….Since my last post a LOT of really cool things have happened and I also somehow managed to get to the happiest I’ve ever been in terms of personal contentment last year, which was a Brucey Bonus!  I don’t know if it’s an age thing or just that I put a lot of effort into being happy on my own, doing new things and creating new memories.  I also moved to the best house with the best housemates. Whatever it was I’m in a really good place now and feel like I’m ready to waffle on again on this blog. There’s always something to write about skin and diet and there’s no point me trying to deny the fact I’ve been pretty rubbish but it’s summer which means lots of happy posts filled with sunshine and new treats. Oh and and probably hayfever.

Travel Essentials

The summer is always a bit of a double edged sword with sensitive skin and Eczema.  The sun works wonders for me but with the longer days and (hopeful) change in wardrobe comes the dreaded pollen count, and for some reason this year has been pretty bad for me so far. I’ve been lucky enough to have two epic holidays already this summer.  One was a travelling holiday around Thailand with the man (which was incredible beyond words and I don’t know why I’ve never done it sooner) and the other was a nice relaxing holiday in Turkey.

I hate having sensitive skin and Eczema when I go away.  Not only do I have to literally take a vat of moisturiser but I also have to take lots of suncream (face AND body) and also all the usual ‘sensitive’ products.I think I should really do a separate post about suncream- I am still yet to find one that doesn’t react with my skin. I don’t know about anyone else but I often have a mad allergic reaction to suncream and come out in a crazy heat-rash style thing all over my body.  Which is about as appealing as finding the last mouldy, dried up lemon in the fruit bowl when trying to make a good gin. NOT the best- especially when you’re trying to look fairly reasonable in a bikini! In Turkey I had a bad reaction to the Boots Soltan brand and last year Piz Buin left me looking like I’d been dipped in acid.There are a few products that I don’t reach the airport without:

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Ultrasun Face SPF30 (for sensitive skin- actually doesn’t irritate my face) Therapeutics moisturising cream (£13.99- one of the BEST budget creams I have ever used, can’t rave about this brand enough, it’s NEVER irritated my face and works wonders) Elemis SOS cream (£52.50, it’s pricey but there just aren’t the words to describe how amazing this product is, it’s my skin saviour and I couldn’t go without it, I can use it even when my skin is irritated) Weleda Sea Buckthorn body wash (£7.95) and Weleda sensitive hand cream (which goes everywhere with me now, although I can’t use it when my hands are particularly bad.  I will do a whole separate blog post about Weleda as it’s a brand I’m new too but I’m already addicted!)

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I will do another post about Weleda as I recently tried out their products and the Buckthorn body wash was one of my faves!

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Besides suncream, Therapeutics and Elemis are my ultimate favourite face creams.  My skin would be lost without them, also I’m addicted to hair accessories- who wouldn’t want a watermelon head scarf??!

Like the chump I am, in the excitement of being on holiday I forgot to take a before pic of my hands- but I did take an after shot.  They’re still a bit rough and dry but the splits are all healed! (They do look pasty but I’m not a total sunworshipper!

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I’ve not been using any steroid cream (screw you doctors and Derms) and I think basically the mass improvement in skin is my body’s way of telling me to pack my bags sharpish and move to a coastline of warmer climates.  I genuinely think the sun does wonders for my skin, mood and pretty much improves life all round.  I’m so envious of all the traveller Instagram accounts I follow and also of all my Insta friends who live by a beach. I recently spoke to another blogger who has eczema and she said hers dramatically healed on holiday, how about yours? I think a huge improvement on my skin is reason enough alone to swap a Victorian semi for a beach house…xxx

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So as a result of my exclusion ‘diet’ I’ve embarked on a mega lifestyle change in terms of what I eat. The thing is I kinda get bored easily and its not always fun to just wolf down a few apples.  I’m a busy person and always on the go so I’ve invested in a Breville Blend Active and it’s Uh-MAZING!!!

There are heaps of other blenders out there, I just wanted a simple one that would mix everything, pulp and all, and crush up anything frozen I have.  I’ve had juicers before but you lose so much just drinking juice and you miss out on all the good stuff!

Buying fruit and veg in bulk is handy for making smoothies and juices, so I always go to markets or hit Aldi and Lidl, although in this heat everything goes off kinda quick- even in a fridge for some reason, which is even more reason to eat your greens and eat up all the fruit.

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Mmm, FRUITY!!!

Banana and Blueberry Choco Smoothie

So my first yummy concoction had to be made up with my favorites- Blueberries and Bananas and what’s a little treat without a treat- so I added some cheeky chocolate of course.

Here’s what’s in it:

  • One banana (frozen)
  • Two massive handfulls of washed blueberrys (my hands are teeny tiny so I chucked in a load more- why do people with Eczema have such tiny hands????!)
  • One and a half dessert spoons of milled Linseed, with sesame, raspberry and blueberry (this gives it some ‘bits’ so it’s not just a smooth ass smoothie)
  • Koko dairy free chocolate milk (add as much as you want but don’t over fill, if you want a thicker smoothie obviously add less and vice versa)
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Be prepared- freeze those little fruits the night before- but don’t forget to chop the banana, they are impossible to slice once frozen (yes I did break my best knife trying to chop them- I’m a chump I know)

 

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Add it all together and give it a good whizz!

 

 

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The finished product, yum yum YUM!!!

I’m going to venture into making juices from vegetables so I will add updates as I go.

Smoothies are great as a brekafast drink, to take to work, as a snack to fill you up and also really good in this hot weather!!!

I genuinely do feel better for drinking these, and there’s infinite combinations to get all the goodness- just make sure you wash all your fruit first and where you can choose organic.

To purchase the Blend Active try

Amazon

, bargain central.

My skin seems to be on the up a little (scared of typing this as I might jinx it but it’s kinda fitting that as I’ve started to eat better and exercise regularly my skin is improving… funny that…)

Have a great week everyone,

Jemma x