What It Is: Part 4 The Treatment
Hello everybody! I hope your month went well and your coming month of April looks good. Summer is right around the corner and we will soon be having fun in the sun. In this month’s blog we will be finishing up our discussion on what eczema is. The discussion today will be diving into the treatments available for those with eczema and the different options we can choose from as patients. My hope is to make it clear that this really comes down to personal choice, with the emphasis being on empowerment through knowledge. Due to the nature of the disease and the effect it’s treatment can have on the body long term, I felt it important to end with this to round out our topic.
Whether eczema is new to you, something you have been diagnosed within the last few years, or it’s something you have had for awhile, we all know about it’s discomfort. It’s because of this discomfit, the itching, the dryness, and the inflammation, that we eczema folks will go through great lengths to make it stop. A good example that I know of is my brother Joe, our Smiling Panda founder. At twenty years old he began suffering from symptoms of eczema so bad he taught himself how to sow, saved thousands from his part time job, and launched his own company, all because he was so miserable when he slept.
The relief that comes from treatment, the right clothes, soaps, or ointments will always be highly sought out. There are treatments available right now to relieve your toughest symptoms. It is in our nature to reach for solutions when we have a conflict, or a wound, or we are in trouble. It is in our nature to accept something that will relieve the stress of today, even if that means other, more deleterious stress will come your way tomorrow. It is because of this mentality, because of this inherent nature within us, I feel it is important to acknowledge the fact that just because something is labeled a cure or a fix for your medical problem, it does not mean it is going to get you back to the place you were before the issue started.
I have had three knee surgeries. I can walk and even run or get back into contact sports if I wanted. The fact is though I will never be the same person I was before. I will never have the same knees. I now have fully functioning knees, with newly minted and working ACL’s, but just the act of having surgery means my skin and tissue were cut and drilled into, changing forever the anatomical structure of my body. This change was not drastic, and for those on the outside it probably cant not even be noticed. I noticed it. The occasional pain and the hitch in my step are the side effects of both my injury in conjunction with my treatment.
What I’m saying is that you are not born with an infinite system. What you do with your body today determines what your body can do for you tomorrow. Sometimes, the suffering you bear today is better then what is found tomorrow. With this idea in mind, I would ask any who are reading this blog whether they know anything about the treatments available for eczema or not. If you have serious problems with eczema, or even mild to moderate, you may have benefited from the effect of steroids.
Steroids are quite helpful and work quickly to reset the unchecked immunological process. The steroids allow the skin to return to a natural state, but there is a cost. One of the first things your physician explains to you about steroids is the effect it has on the thickness of your skin. With its persistent use, the steroids make the integument thinner, diminishing its ability as a physical barrier. Imagine if your skin was more like paper, this would make normal activities a lot more difficult.
The question to mull over: Is it sometimes better to let eczema remain on your skin versus slathering it in steroids?
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. Listen to all instructions given to you by your physician and if steroids work and are needed for your ailment, don’t just stop because I said so. Just think about what the effect of using these medications could be over the course of decades. Will your skin be worse off in your older years because of how thin its structure has become?
There is a chance that consistent use may never be a problem, but that’s just the thing, no one really knows yet. Regardless of whether it is or isn’t known, is it more beneficial to be mindful of the fact it might be harmful then to just assume it isn’t a problem?
I think it is and not just for eczema but for all the things involved in our personal care. Evaluation of treatments for something versus its side effects is important to keep in mind. Alternative treatments should be kept in mind as well. These might be the first things to be changed and applied, making the medication the last option to be used. It just so happens that the items Smiling Panda sells are part of this alternate treatment option. Instead of going straight to a medication, what if a long term cure had to do with purchasing better clothes, or better lotions, or detergents, things we have been speaking about for months now.
What if instead of looking for the instant cure we looked for, found, and applied lifestyle changes?
Again, I know that making lifestyle changes might not be so easy. I also know that there may be preferences, so Smiling Panda may not be what will help you with this. We understand, and quite frankly hope you just find something that works. We hope that what works for you means Smiling Panda is part of that equation, but we wish more for those suffering with skin issues to find comfort. I really hope to get our readers thinking more critically about their diagnosis, with eventually developing a stronger ability to positively process their ailment. For now this wraps up our discussion on what eczema is, but these ideas should never really be forgotten. Progress not perfection!
Please feel free to reach out to myself or Joe, we would love to hear back from anyone interested in reaching out.