Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My hand's weird skin issue

I haven't written much here.  For whatever reason, I'm not thinking terribly creatively anymore.  I don't have my funny little random thoughts anymore.  I'm not sure why, but I come here, to my blog everyday, trying to think of anything to write and come up with zero.

My life isn't bad.  My kids are generally really great and I love my job.  Because of my job, however, I haven't been an active part of my improv group anymore.  I always ask for those days off, but every improv night, they call me up. Someone has called in sick and from what I can tell, they don't have many of us available to work at the large number of  parks that need to be staffed daily.  I'm always happy to help out, but it has prevented me from participating in my theater group.  I miss it.

One thing that I've been dealing with for a while is the skin on my right hand.  It started a little over a year ago, a small rash on the knuckle of my index finger that has gradually spread across the top of my hand, and up the sides of my fingers.  It is now spread to the underside of my fingers as well, but thankfully it hasn't reached my thumb or my palm.  Weird, isn't it?

I don't know what it is.  Eczema maybe?  That is the closest thing I can find to a diagnosis.  My hand not only itches all the time, but the skin is very painful.  It is hard to make a fist or straighten my fingers without cracking more of the skin and causing more pain.  The skin of my hand is covered in open sores.  The skin is dry and flakes constantly.  There are tiny blisters up and down my fingers.  They hurt when they are full and itch when they pop and it takes very little to make them pop.  Just moving my hand or my fingers rubbing against each other can make the blisters pop.  Lovely descriptions, I know.  My skin is red, itchy and painful.

Daily activities are sources for pain - hot water stings and is painful, so washing dishes and taking showers are tough.  Opening jars or bottles tear the fragile skin up.  The dry, flaking skin gets caught on clothes while I'm folding laundry.  The most mundane of tasks are a pain to my poor right hand.  What can you do?  Do the chores anyway.  They have to be done.  It's sad, but I've learned to live with the constant itching and stinging in my hand.  Perhaps that is just what I'll have to do.

I'm trying different things.  Some friends suggested tea tree oil rubbed onto the rash.  I've tried and will continue to try until the bottle runs out, but all it seems to do is dry out the skin more, making it more painful.  It stings like crazy too when it gets into the open sores.  I have used creams meant to relieve eczema and I have a cocoa butter stick that is soothing (and smells great.)  The creams don't take away the pain, in fact they usually add to the stinging, but they relieve the skin of it's dryness for a little bit.  And when I say little bit, I mean 10 - 15 minutes before my hand has dried out again.  I've started slathering my hand in cream and wearing a glove to try and keep the moisture against my skin for longer.  It works in it's own way.  However, I feel very silly walking around with one glove on and I can't do chores that involve food or washing with the cotton gloves on.  I've wondered if a pressure glove, like the ones burn victims wear, would be helpful.  They are tight on the skin and would prevent friction from anything else touching my sensitive skin.

I'm also trying a few herbal extracts that are suppose to be helpful.  So far, nothing has helped.  I'll get through these bottles of herbs and if nothing changes, I won't take them again.  I'm trying to cut sugar out of my diet.  I went four days without sugar this week.  Let me say that was not a good four days.  Despite getting rid of sugar and eating any sugary snacks, thus lowering my caloric intake by a good deal, I managed to gain four pounds.  WHAT'S UP WITH THAT???  I know that four days is nothing, but I had hoped it might make some sort of difference to my health, weight or skin, but all it accomplished was me being an awful witch during that fourth day.  Sometimes emotional health is more important.  Sooooo, I'm trying to go three days with no sugar and one day to enjoy a special sugary treat.  I think I can do that.  Three days is about my limit.  :)  Pathetic, I know.

OK, long post for my weird skin issues, but it is a 24/7 thing I deal with.  What a pain.

1 comment:

Linnea said...

Molly, my kids and I have had similar troubles. My daughter's dermatologist recommended that we use liquid bandaid on open sores, etc to seal them off so a lotion will not irritate the skin more. Sh said we should then use "Eucerin Plus" ( we found it at WalMart) several times a day.

My mom has a little psoriasis, and I started having similar growing areas of suspicious looking scaly, yucky, bloody skin last year. My mom gave me some OTC cream that totally worked for me: it's a psoriasis medicated moisturizer with moisture boosting zinc complex made by Dermarest. If I have open sores I still try to use liquid bandaid.

Good luck Molly!!