Sunday, August 12, 2012

Over the counter stuff not intended for eczema

It seems that I´ll make it to three years without a manicure, since the eczema patch on my left hand is not going away. I've decided not to gripe too much about it and instead share some of the crazy eczema remedies I sometimes use.
Yes, Carmex, the lip balm intended for cold sores and the like. It calms the itchiness almost right away, better than many over the counter itch remedies. One problem I have with anti-itch gels and creams is that, if the skin is broken, they cause a horrible burning sensation. And my eczema patches crack easily, even without scratching them. The skin is so dry that it feels almost like cardboard. Carmex takes away the itch without any unpleasant burning first. The only con is that it is extremely greasy. So applying that stuff on my hands means leaving greasy fingerprints everywhere. But when I can't stand the itch, having greasy fingers is a minor disadvantage.

Monistat anti-chafing gel is a good alternative for lubricating the skin without leaving it all greasy. I like to wear it under my latex gloves at work so I don't get any further irritation. At first I worried that  I might be causing even more dryness, because this really feels powdery, but after more than a year of using it  under my gloves my only regret is the Monistat name. Keeping this in my drawer raises a few eyebrows. Also, it is not easy to find. Mostly it is sold next the yeast infection treatments but I also found it once next to shaving needs. Sometimes it is not stocked at all and I fear for its disappearance. Luckily, I've been always able to find it in amazon.

Finally, here's a remedy that I like to apply when the skin is very dry and has started to crack. Once it is open, anything I apply to it is very painful. But this ultrapure lanolin does not cause any pain. I apply it at night right after witch hazel extract, put on a cotton glove, and when I wake up, the skin is much more flexible and feels less dry. I wish I could apply it during the day, but if Carmex is greasy, this is equivalent to lard. Sometimes I come in contact with a new soap or a new household cleaner that causes an unbearable burning sensation. I like dunking my hand in ice water when it happens, but I apply my corticoid cream first followed by lanolin to keep the cream from dissolving into the water. My only issue with this remedy is that it is found among breastfeeding aids. This means I have to go through aisles of baby products in order to find it. Never a pleasant experience, but I don't have to do it very often.


  1. I grew up using lanolin for all sorts of dry skin/split lip ailments. It is brilliant! Instant overnight heal for dry lips.

  2. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog. I had debilitating excema, it was so bad my dermatologist offered to put me on disability( I was a baker). It was so bad, my hands would stick to things because the skin was so chafed and they were red and raised and I guess you already know. I also have PCOS.

    I don't know where you live but the dermatologist I went to changed my life. He makes his own cream and it was miraculous. He told me my skin had no barrier left any more and that it was treating every thing I touched as an allergen. Like..I would get itchy after I pet my bunny. I changed everything I cleaned with, and also changed my diet to less acidic food. Since I was desperate and could not afford to go on disability I changed how I cleaned and what I cleaned with, and changed my diet and used as few chemicals as possible. I now only get a slight problem if I am doing intense cleaning like for a move or heavy cleaning and cooking like for Christmas. I hope you get some relief soon.