It's funny, really. Growing up, I was the "sensitive" one with tender feelings, "thin-skinned." I had a perfectly average amount of adolescent acne. I was subject to outbreaks of hives before big tests—though interestingly, never, ever before a performance, even the ones in a 5000-seat opera house. Then, about 2 years before my daughter was born, I had a nasty outbreak of eczema. It was my first year at an important new job, so I thought nerves. As it went on for awhile, I thought hormones. Finally had the sense to get a prescription steroid cream which gradually cleared it up. I later found out that my students joked that they thought I was shooting up!
Early last summer, the seeds of another bout with eczema were planted, though I didn't know it at the time. All it was at first was very itchy skin on arms and legs. But after scratching at it, the classic little scabs started to appear and the itching was relentless. But this time around, I am diabetic and I was scared of anything remotely connected to steroids. I got to a dermatologist and came away with a very greasy salve that I applied twice/day. It did have cortisone in it and I tested my blood sugar many extra times/day plus tightened up my carb intake a little extra. It worked over the course of 3 weeks.
Now, as a diabetic, I also heal slowly, so for quite awhile I will live with these little red splotches all over forearms and shins where the scabs were.
But here's the thing: I really am thin-skinned. The cortisone creams can cause thinning skin, which apparently was not known when I used it for quite awhile in 1971. So now, one is advised to not use it for more than 3 weeks.
And it turns out my new meds, which I have been gradually adding since last May have all combined to make a perfect storm of dehydration. So my thin skin is also very dry skin. Just in case any of you dear hearts have a combo like this, take extra care with your skin!: levothyroxine for hypothyroidism, hydrochlorothiazide which is a diuretic, oxycodone 2/day for chronic pain, OTC Benadryl for allergy relief.
It is rather hellish to get through and after months of coping, I have a ways to go yet. There are some odd outlying areas of itchiness that still need attention months later. How hellish? At its peak, I would be scratching at my forearms in my sleep and my husband would have to embrace me to make me stop!
Enough. I don't think skin problems are uncommon for us, but I haven't seen a lot written about them I hope this might help some of us……Blessings, as ever…..Judith in Portland