I am 54 years old and have endured eczema all my life. As a child, I would get flareups, primarily in the humid summer months, in the crooks of my elbows and knees. A tar based treatment ('Tarbonus') was used back then for relief. At the age of 10, I began receiving allergy shots and took them until my early twenties. The injections helped with my eczema and my hay fever. Because I had made significant improvement, I was taken off of injections at the age of 21. I did fairly well until one particular day when the eczema reappeared with a vengeance..nearly covering all the usually unexposed parts of my body and face within a few hours. A steroid injection was given and it cleared up. I went back on allergy injections from the age of about 30 until the age of 49. The eczema was eased but never went away - and some days was worse than it had ever been. I've had steroid injections, steroid pills ('prednisone'), and used all sorts of immune suppressing ointments - including 'Protopic'. At 52 years old, I was sick of all this stuff that did very little good and affected my immune system and organs in a negative way. I finally took matters into my own hands. I'm not suggesting anyone do this but, if you do, know and accept the risks. I finally realized my body would break out, primarily, on the parts of my body that were seldom exposed to the sun. I decided to utilize a tanning salon and see if it helped. I went to the tanning salon and used their standup model for 2 minutes. Standup model because there's more sweat with a lay down model and sweat is an enemy if you have eczema. That first evening and for the next three weeks I broke out severely - so bad that I lost sleep and wanted to peel the skin off my body because of the itching. I used Neutrogena UNSCENTED Sesame oil to moisturize and ease the itching. I also kept a tube of Aveeno for eczema at work and would go to the restroom to moisturize two or three times a day. I won't lie, this process was pure hell...and that's putting it mildly. About the 4th week of this I began to notice a change. The eczema was going away as my skin pigmentation changed and became darker. As I said, that's why I decided to try this to begin with. I'm fair skinned, I wear shorts in the summer and short sleeved shirts. I usually wear ankle socks too. My eczema would always appear on the tops of my feet, my ankles, the areas my shorts and my shirt covered...paler areas...areas never exposed to UV light. I've had amazing results with the almost complete disappearance of my eczema (almost a year now) I no longer use ANY pharmaceuticals or over the counter remedies and my skin is clear. I still moisturize with the sesame oil - as needed (great stuff, by the way). I have a little trouble with the crease underneath my left earlobe (go figure) and when I inadvertently expose small areas that are usually covered in the tanning booth. I go once a week to the tanning salon. I began at 2 minutes and now I stay in there for 11 minutes - without flaring up. I am sooooo looking forward to getting to the beach and being able to take my shirt off and enjoy it without breaking out. I know, some say..'What about the skin cancer risk?' That's a good point, I will admit, but I ask...have you read about what all those steroids and immune suppressing drugs do to your body? The stuff that doctors make $$$ on? It boggles my mind that a doctor (mine included) would have NO problem prescribing all those medications, with all their potential damaging side affects, to a patient and then balk at using UV light. In my case, I seriously believe that eczema has something to do with skin pigmentation and UV. That's my remedy. I guess if you decide to give it a whirl..take it slow and be prepared to itch like mad for awhile. That was the hardest part...to keep going to the tanning salon when I was already severely broken out. Plus, forcing myself to NEVER scratch. That's where my loyal and devoted friend, my wife, was my support and my comfort. She would tickle me to sleep every night - my chest, stomach, and back were the worst - it worked as good as scratching without damaging the skin. Today, as I said, I'm pretty much eczema free and so thankful. I thank my wife so much for supporting me throughout this ordeal. I couldn't have done it without her.
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