Challenges

The Skin I am in

I obviously wrote this piece before I turned fifty last year. But as I sit here trying bravely to resist the urge to scratch like a puppy ... I thought it was a good time to share this piece. Remember, if you are viewing this on live journal, click the link to access the full version. ...K

Itchy PicI have always had skin problems, dry skin to be exact. But because of my perpetually dry skin, I did not have acne as a teenager. I did not have to contend with pimples till the ripe old age of thirty. Funny, huh? A pimply thirty-something.

Now as I approach fifty, I finally understand my skin. I have eczema, an inherited skin condition. It usually occurs simultaneously in families with asthma. I also have asthma. I guess I am an overachiever to the last.

So I have desert dry skin everywhere except around my nose which gets oily at certain times of the month. Or is that certain times of the year. I am not really sure about the pimples or their regularity. So to summarize, I itch everywhere, all the time, except sometimes on my face, when the pimples erupt.

And oh yeah then there is the rash, the seasonal rash. That’s what doctors call a rash that only appears during the winter months. I have another name for it, the creeping crud of winter. I get the rash, or rather the crud, on my tummy, butt, thighs, arms and waist. The creeping part is because once it appears, it creeps from wherever it starts, and eventually covers my entire middle torso with red, itchy and flaking skin. The doctors were amazed with the crud. They scraped off skin samples, advised against wearing wool and prescribed very solemn medications. That is until I met Cheryl, the dermatologist. She prescribed an ointment for the outbreaks, but more importantly she told me how to prevent it in the first place. “Moisturize like your life depended on it.”

So each winter, I modify my standard lotion lathering routine, and take it to the next stage. It becomes search and rescue. I gather my troops at the front lines, the shower. As soon as the water is turned off, I begin the standard lathering of baby lotion while my skin is still wet. After a brief towel pat, the search begins in earnest. First I check my tummy and thighs, turning around to view my waist and butt. Lifting my arms I examine my armpits, always on the lookout for evidence of crud or crud advance.

Finally, after noting the size and appearance of each incursion into the neutral zone, I plan my attack. All crud settlements are treated with medicated ointment. The surrounding areas get an extra layer of night cream. Finally, my entire body gets a final application of a simple Keri-like lotion. I am triumphant as I whoop it up, celebrating this gloriously hard-fought battle.

By breakfast however, I will begin to itch again. Sigh.

When will Spring be here?

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