TMI, or Dyshidrotic Eczema and Me

Have you ever heard of dyshidrotic eczema? I hadn't until I was afflicted by it. Essentially, it's a skin condition that has no known cause but plenty of theories. It could be induced because of stress or sweat, or a bunch of other reasons, but no one knows for sure. What everyone knows is that it sucks. It is a horrible thing to have to deal with.

For me, it all started one evening when my hands where unusually itchy. When I woke up the next morning, I had small blisters all over my hands and feet. Dyshidrotic eczema shows up in the palms of hands and soles of feet. However, besides dyshidrotic eczema, I'm pretty sure that I was afflicted (and still am) by another kind of eczema. My elbows, arms, back and thighs were covered by a very itchy rash. This all made it very painful to move around. My hands and feet are getting better, but now a new rash appeared in my forearms. Don't worry, I'm seeing a dermatologist in a few weeks.

While this was going on, I was very down, depressed even. It just seemed that my hands were never going to get better. On top of that, it looks horrible and it makes you not want to see anyone. Fortunately, I was blessed with the best wife in the world, who not only encouraged me and assured me I was going to get better, but who also put lotion all over my body every night for a few weeks. For 10 days, she also wrapped my hands with Glass Press and Seal, so that the steroid ointment and lotion would be most effective. On top of that, she changed Ellie's diapers and did all the household cleaning. I helped here and there with a few things as my hands got better, but wipes, or dish soap are known irritants that only make the dyshidrosis worse. I'm very thankful to my awesome wife and I'm looking forward to being able to function and help again.

One particularly frustrating thing about this condition is that there are no pictures showing the progression of the condition. This was frustrating because I wanted to know if my hands were getting better, and if things got real bad before they got well. While things may look different for every person, I'm sure that there are certain similarities in the condition's progression. So, in an attempt to help others who are dealing and will deal with dyshidrotic eczema, I started taking pictures of my hands. If you are a squeamish person, then please don't read anymore. But for all those struggling with this crazy thing, just know that it does get better, even if it looks bad in the beginning.

Below you'll find a few pictures of my hands in different stages. My hands are not completely healed yet, but they are getting better and better.



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