Looking back to the pictures of my skin 9 months ago, I realized I have come a long way. I am thankful that my condition is a lot more stable. My skin on my body is cleared and smooth yet my face still gets flare-ups every 2 weeks.
I finished my bachelor’s in Nutrition and Food in May and spent 6 months at home healing my skin. I started working my first full-time job 2 weeks ago. I am so thrilled that I am currently working as a health coach and make nutrition and lifestyle interventions for people who are diagnosed or at risk of metabolic syndrome. It is really meaningful to me that I get the help people as my job.
My flare-up cycle
My flare-up usually takes about 5-7 days to heal and lately it only affects my face (occasionally on my arms but it recovers in 2-3 days).
Day 1 Mild rashes on my face, usually around my eyes (that’s when I know my skin is messing with me again)
Day 2-3 Severe rashes with intense itchiness (+/- burning sensation). That’s when my body needs a lot of rest – I can sleep for the entire day and still feel exhausted. There is a sharp cutoff between red and normal-appearing skin whereas the nose and ears remained clear. My body is usually not functional at all if my face is burning due to tiredness and discomfort.
Day 4-5 Rashes start going down gradually, my face feels extremely swollen and tightened because of the elephant wrinkles. My eyes cannot fully open because the skin surrounding is extremely dry. My face is highly unrecognizable which makes me self-conscious. (I couldn’t find any pictures from this stage)
Day 6-7 Inflammations go down and swelling goes away when my skin starts to flake. I called it the skin shedding stage because snakes shed their skin for growth and repair and skin peeling is an indication that my skin is capable of healing itself. My skin is smooth and clear after this stage.
I have been doing No Moisture Treatment (NMT) for 4 months. Peeling is the body’s way of repairing damaging cells so I just let my skin to dry out and heal itself during the flare-ups. I have tried putting on moisturizer when my face was flaking but it didn’t help much. I have a balanced and healthy diet because we need nutrients to fuel our body and help with healing. I am still taking omega-3 supplement and probiotics daily to help strengthen my immune system and lower inflammation. I used to be self-conscious and depressed during my flare-ups. However, after realizing my body has gained the power to heal itself without the help of medications and moisturizers, I learned to deal with flare-ups with positivity.
To my fellow TSW and eczema warriors, believe in the natural healing power of your body. Your skin doesn’t define who you are.
Cover photo by @j_visualz_