At the end of my itchy rope
June 11, 2014 8:13 AM Subscribe
As an eczema sufferer, how can I stop scratching in my sleep and give my raw, battered skin time to heal?
posted by rachaelfaith to Health & Fitness (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've had eczema since I was a toddler. Over the years, it's been in various stages of severity- right now probably being the most severe it's ever been.
I've had many recent episodes of rebound eczema after being off topical steroids, so I've discontinued my use of all steroids. I was using a very potent cream most recently, clobetasol propionate. Right now I'm hydrating my skin with Mustela Stelatopia (a cream intended for babies with eczema) and CeraVe, and using topical diphenhydramine to relieve severe itching. I'm trying not to use too many products that are new, or going too nuts trying multiple things, in an attempt to calm my skin.
My main problem right now is that my face and neck and upper arms are really getting the brunt of this flare (though the rest of my body all has active patches), and I scratch in my sleep. I've tried Benadryl, wearing gloves, wearing mittens, wearing oven mitts attached to a long sleeve shirt. The problem is, I've been using the gloves/etc to rub against my face and neck to relieve the itch, since my fingers can't get to it. The friction is killing my skin, leaving it red, sore, and swollen.
Short of handcuffing myself to the bed, I can't think of any method that will be comfortable enough to let me sleep, but not let me itch or rub at my raw skin.
I'm averaging 2-4 hours of sleep a night, and my quality of life as well as my performance at work is dropping dramatically.
Other things I'm trying right now: phototherapy (seems to have helped a tiny bit, nothing great yet), cold packs on hot itchy skin, mild diet, cool temperatures, wet wrap therapy.
My doctor is basically at her wits' end as well and has offered more steroids, but I declined. I am at least 3 weeks away from seeing a new dermatologist.