Adult Onset Atopic Dermatitis

Posted by sandrajune @sandrajune, Feb 10 11:09am

I was diagnosed after 14 months of mystery rashes and itching. I have had to switch all personal products and many household products to avoid triggers. I am wondering if anyone has found a good body moisturizer that lasts more than two hours or facial products that have enough moisture and don’t block pores and cause breakouts.

Hi @sandrajune and welcome to Connect. That must be so frustrating to have such a long period of mystery rashes and itching.

I'd like to introduce you to @gardeningjunkie and @kimass1 both have experience with skin conditions and may be able to offer suggestions for what household products they use.

Back to you @sandrajune, what moisturizer's or facial products have you tried?

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Have you tried Sarna? That was a life saver for me for a while.

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Thank you, Ethan. After I had to abandon my skin care products of 18 years, it was recommended that I try Vanicream products. The Vaniply ointment only lasted about 2 hours. I am currently using a CeraVe "Eczema Creamy Oil" which lasts about 4 hours. I am still using Vanicream soap and deodorant. For my face, the Vanicream facial wash is too caustic. I have switched to a LaRoach-Posay cleanser, but their moisturizers weren't enough. I was given samples of two Bioderma facial moisturizers, Cicabio Creme and Hydrabio Creme which I had to order on-line from Walgreen's. Hopefully, they will work out for my face. I am hoping to find a body moisturizer that has more staying power. I am flying through an 8 oz. bottle of the CeraVe in one week at $17.99 Walmart price. If anyone has any suggestions, I sure would appreciate it.

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@kimass1

Have you tried Sarna? That was a life saver for me for a while.

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Hello, kimass1! I are using a 1% hydrocortisone generic from Walgreen's when my body gets itchy. I might give Sarna a go when that's finished. My main struggle is trying to keep moisturized.

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Many swear by natural coconut oil as well. I also like eucerine but it's a little greasy. The sarna really helps with the itch especially after a shower.

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@kimass1

Many swear by natural coconut oil as well. I also like eucerine but it's a little greasy. The sarna really helps with the itch especially after a shower.

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Thank you your suggestions.

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You have been diagnosed with Adult Atopic Dermatitis, how did your doctor rule out Allergic Contact Dermatitis which is also a common type of adult onset eczema? Were you given the 5 Day Extended Patch Test?

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Hi, gardeningjunkie! Yes, I recently was tested with 12 groups of allergens of scratch tests and 80 items patch tested. I had one mild reaction to benzophenone, an ingredient used mostly in sunscreens.

Liked by gardeningjunkie

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Thanks for explaining your diagnostic history. Sounds like you have doctors on top of your eczema. Not all doctors do the needed testing to eliminate other forms. I have other types of eczema, not Atopic but have learned Atopic is often mysterious with less defined triggers. I know you are seeking a less occlusive topical, yet I can't help you there because of my ACD allergens and occlusive topicals are all I can tolerate. Too many additives in lotion like topicals, except I do surprisingly tolerate Vanicream Sunscreen which I wear on my face a few hours a day for about 3 days a weeks.
I would like to know your thoughts and your doctors thoughts on dietary changes. Most Atopic sufferers follow some variation of dietary restrictions. . After dealing with eczema for 2 decades now and blogging with others of all types the only advice I can give is to not discount diet. When treatments and physical avoidance's fail for most of us with eczema, diet is often the last and only resort. All of us would rather just rub on an ointment or take a pill to treat it. I reluctantly plunged in after 2 decades in Oct 18 and rigidly followed an anti-inflammation diet. I was amazed at how much it helped me with 2 of my 3 forms . Because of that I have not needed a cortico-steroid shot in 2 years now. This shot knocked out my internal skin burning,stinging and itching. Now following the diet maintenance plan (for life) these internal sensations have yet to return. We can offer many suggestions for anti-inflammation diets- some are complicated and the books to buy are expensive. I follow a basic, simple plan with clear cut restrictions and the book is inexpensive. Anyone with a Middle School education can understand what to eat, what to avoid and the whys. The Karen Fischer Plan, for example, is complicated and requires rigid study, yet because of this study of the chemistry of different fruits for example, one does have more food choices in certain food groups. The main idea in most anti-inflammation diets to control histamines is to cut out all processed and limit natural sugars. I never imagined it would demand the will power it required, but once you find a diet plan and it's helping you your motivation to continue is strong. I only had one thing on my" bucket list", "living eczema pain free" and my dietary changes are allowing me to live that way today.

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That's fantastic! I am what I call a Vega Wanna Be. I follow a whole food plant based diet for the most part but eat meat about twice a week. I don't eat eggs, oil, flour or sugar. Just lots of whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits and veggies. I would love to read more on your anti-inflammation approach. Can you recommend some books? I will look up Karen Fischer. Thank you!

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Hi there.

I've been struggling with rash(es) for two years and have seen 2 docs. The first one refused to even look at the rash (she literally would not let me take my shirt off to show her) and diagnosed it as dermatitis. The second one diagnosed Grover's based on a biopsy. The Grover's has gradually subsided, knock on wood, but the rash – in my mind it's all related but looks different in areas of different types of skin – has been excruciatingly itchy in my armpits and most recently in my inner elbows, to the point of waking me from sleep. The doc never gave me a name for it, but it looks exactly like the photos of atopic dermatitis that I've seen (thanks to @gardeningjunkie for helping to identify it) – an extremely itchy, inflamed redness in tender areas including neck, armpits, and inner elbows, especially streaking in the creases and, when it gets worse, erupting into bumps and even sores, looking a little like poison ivy. The only thing my doc's offered that's helped is prescription cortisone cream, which is thinning the skin to the point that I'm afraid to keep using it; but when I stop, the rash quickly worsens. (Even extra-strength over-the-counter cortisone does not noticeably help.)

I did have a comprehensive patch test, which turned up very slight allergies to a substances I don't use much if ever. I've been using non-allergenic soaps and laundry detergents for many months without noticing any improvement.

Sarna never did a thing for me. I do have a moisturizer I like called Epiceram – I'm not clear whether it's prescription, but my doc prescribed it and it comes from the pharmacy – but it does nothing for the itch. I've been cleaning my skin thoroughly at least once per day using a mixture of 2/3 witch hazel and 1/3 alcohol, which provides temporary relief from the itching but does dry the skin out, and then applying prescription cortisone and/or a non-greasy moisturizer such as Epiceram (rightly or wrongly, I gave up moisturizers with any oil in them during my initial struggles with Grover's, since I read that demodex are a suspected factor, and they feed on sebum, and it did seem to me that some of the oily things I tried made it worse). I've also been experimenting with adapalene gel, hoping it would help with healing and strengthen the thinning skin; not sure if it's doing anything.

Fwiw, I developed asthma around the same time the rash(es) started, and other members of my family have had eczema or other skin conditions I know less about.

As for diet, I can second gardeningjunkie's observation that a substantial subset of people in Mayo's Grover's forum say it's helped them greatly. So far it has not been convenient for me to do the cilantro smoothie they recommend for Grover's, but I have been taking Metal Magic, which is made from cilantro and chlorella, and it's possible that that is why the Grover's has been better lately. Apart from that, at present, my own diet consists almost entirely of whole grains, low-fat dairy (which I love and which I hope might help with my osteoporosis), fruit, nuts, and veggies – pretty healthy, but not exactly a strict anti-inflammation diet as I understand it.

I would love to hear what others struggling with atopic dermatitis have experienced, especially if they've found anything that helps.

Liked by gardeningjunkie

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@impatient

Hi there.

I've been struggling with rash(es) for two years and have seen 2 docs. The first one refused to even look at the rash (she literally would not let me take my shirt off to show her) and diagnosed it as dermatitis. The second one diagnosed Grover's based on a biopsy. The Grover's has gradually subsided, knock on wood, but the rash – in my mind it's all related but looks different in areas of different types of skin – has been excruciatingly itchy in my armpits and most recently in my inner elbows, to the point of waking me from sleep. The doc never gave me a name for it, but it looks exactly like the photos of atopic dermatitis that I've seen (thanks to @gardeningjunkie for helping to identify it) – an extremely itchy, inflamed redness in tender areas including neck, armpits, and inner elbows, especially streaking in the creases and, when it gets worse, erupting into bumps and even sores, looking a little like poison ivy. The only thing my doc's offered that's helped is prescription cortisone cream, which is thinning the skin to the point that I'm afraid to keep using it; but when I stop, the rash quickly worsens. (Even extra-strength over-the-counter cortisone does not noticeably help.)

I did have a comprehensive patch test, which turned up very slight allergies to a substances I don't use much if ever. I've been using non-allergenic soaps and laundry detergents for many months without noticing any improvement.

Sarna never did a thing for me. I do have a moisturizer I like called Epiceram – I'm not clear whether it's prescription, but my doc prescribed it and it comes from the pharmacy – but it does nothing for the itch. I've been cleaning my skin thoroughly at least once per day using a mixture of 2/3 witch hazel and 1/3 alcohol, which provides temporary relief from the itching but does dry the skin out, and then applying prescription cortisone and/or a non-greasy moisturizer such as Epiceram (rightly or wrongly, I gave up moisturizers with any oil in them during my initial struggles with Grover's, since I read that demodex are a suspected factor, and they feed on sebum, and it did seem to me that some of the oily things I tried made it worse). I've also been experimenting with adapalene gel, hoping it would help with healing and strengthen the thinning skin; not sure if it's doing anything.

Fwiw, I developed asthma around the same time the rash(es) started, and other members of my family have had eczema or other skin conditions I know less about.

As for diet, I can second gardeningjunkie's observation that a substantial subset of people in Mayo's Grover's forum say it's helped them greatly. So far it has not been convenient for me to do the cilantro smoothie they recommend for Grover's, but I have been taking Metal Magic, which is made from cilantro and chlorella, and it's possible that that is why the Grover's has been better lately. Apart from that, at present, my own diet consists almost entirely of whole grains, low-fat dairy (which I love and which I hope might help with my osteoporosis), fruit, nuts, and veggies – pretty healthy, but not exactly a strict anti-inflammation diet as I understand it.

I would love to hear what others struggling with atopic dermatitis have experienced, especially if they've found anything that helps.

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Dear Impatient,

You story sounds a lot like mine. I went through nearly two years of mystery rashes culminating in macerated weeping patches under my arms. I went to multiple practitioners, including two dermatologists before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. What I was told at Mayo was that I had become sensitive to products that I had been using for a long time. I changed by skin care to Vanicream products: soap, deodorant, moisturizer, skin screen. I had been using the same botanical/natural line for 18 years and discovered I had reactions to oils of many botanicals, shea butter, beeswax, which I hear is actually quite common. I switched to Tide Free & Clear. The changed their formulation recently and switched to All Free which has caused no problems. I found some face products after a bit of trial and error and I am still trying to find hair products that work for my curly, dry hair. I had a barrage of allergy tests that only showed a mild reaction to one ingredient used in suncreen. It is suggested that I have more test done; this time to fabrics. I also changed dish soap to Palmolive Pure & Clear.

I have seen an article recently published in the Next Avenue publication by NPT talking about how adult-onset atopic dermatitis is happening with more frequency. https://www.nextavenue.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-adult-eczema/?hide_newsletter=true&mc_cid=13b0c288bf&mc_eid=724dcaa435 It offers a good overview of the subject.

Find a new doctor. Get some Vanicream and move to non-allergenic products. See if that helps.

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Sandrajune, Please stop using Palmolive Pure and Clear today. There is a class action lawsuit against it presently because they are falsely identifying this product as pure and clear. The EWG rates it at F. Just because it is marketed as pure and clear doesn't mean it is. It contains the villainous methylisothiazolinone/methylchloroisothiazolineone, MI/MCI, these are potent cheap preservatives banned in many European countries and many companies like Cottenelle are removing from their products. MI/MCI was one of the causes of my hand eczema as it is in Dawn dish soap and Palmolive which I used. Do you need a bottle of dish soap to stay good for 100 years? NO you don't but the manufacturers save money by having products with a longer shelf life. It is a common allergy.
Allergy safe dish soaps which clean well are hard to find and I have tried many. The best product I have found that works fine is ecover zero, I buy a case at Amazon. It does contain SLS a foaming agent which is also in common commercial products like Palmolive Pure and Clear. SLS is an allergen for some, but so far I am not allergic to it. Fragrance is also in the Palmolive but ecover is fragrance free. I no longer need to wear protective gloves washing dishes. No more hand eczema.
I also read that article about how common adult atopic dermatitis is becoming and I am certain my allergies developed because of exposure to chemicals and elements which were never added to earlier generations products. Good article. So far I don't have atopic and I dread it very much. That is really a mysterious form of eczema to me which much less understanding of the triggers.
Excellent advice to impatient suggesting she find a new dermatologist. Over the years I have seen many and except for my first derms which were worthless, only treating the rash with prescribed steroids and not educating me about diet and avoidance or offering any testing, I have learned a great deal from other derms. Not all derms are equal and we the patient need to understand we are not being disloyal searching for other opinions. It's our duty to ourselves to keep searching for help. We owe it to ourselves and and family.

Liked by babbs

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@sandrajune

Dear Impatient,

You story sounds a lot like mine. I went through nearly two years of mystery rashes culminating in macerated weeping patches under my arms. I went to multiple practitioners, including two dermatologists before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. What I was told at Mayo was that I had become sensitive to products that I had been using for a long time. I changed by skin care to Vanicream products: soap, deodorant, moisturizer, skin screen. I had been using the same botanical/natural line for 18 years and discovered I had reactions to oils of many botanicals, shea butter, beeswax, which I hear is actually quite common. I switched to Tide Free & Clear. The changed their formulation recently and switched to All Free which has caused no problems. I found some face products after a bit of trial and error and I am still trying to find hair products that work for my curly, dry hair. I had a barrage of allergy tests that only showed a mild reaction to one ingredient used in suncreen. It is suggested that I have more test done; this time to fabrics. I also changed dish soap to Palmolive Pure & Clear.

I have seen an article recently published in the Next Avenue publication by NPT talking about how adult-onset atopic dermatitis is happening with more frequency. https://www.nextavenue.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-adult-eczema/?hide_newsletter=true&mc_cid=13b0c288bf&mc_eid=724dcaa435 It offers a good overview of the subject.

Find a new doctor. Get some Vanicream and move to non-allergenic products. See if that helps.

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I'm not suggesting you throw the Palmolive Pure and Clean away, just wear protective gloves like vinyl to block the toxins in it. Best vinyl gloves I have found for flexibility, comfort and quality are Clean Ones, pure Comfort Latex Free Gloves which are 100% vinyl. Amazon. I am not allergic to latex but another element in rubber, just because a glove says latex free doesn't mean it is free of rubber.

Liked by babbs

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@sandrajune

Dear Impatient,

You story sounds a lot like mine. I went through nearly two years of mystery rashes culminating in macerated weeping patches under my arms. I went to multiple practitioners, including two dermatologists before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. What I was told at Mayo was that I had become sensitive to products that I had been using for a long time. I changed by skin care to Vanicream products: soap, deodorant, moisturizer, skin screen. I had been using the same botanical/natural line for 18 years and discovered I had reactions to oils of many botanicals, shea butter, beeswax, which I hear is actually quite common. I switched to Tide Free & Clear. The changed their formulation recently and switched to All Free which has caused no problems. I found some face products after a bit of trial and error and I am still trying to find hair products that work for my curly, dry hair. I had a barrage of allergy tests that only showed a mild reaction to one ingredient used in suncreen. It is suggested that I have more test done; this time to fabrics. I also changed dish soap to Palmolive Pure & Clear.

I have seen an article recently published in the Next Avenue publication by NPT talking about how adult-onset atopic dermatitis is happening with more frequency. https://www.nextavenue.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-adult-eczema/?hide_newsletter=true&mc_cid=13b0c288bf&mc_eid=724dcaa435 It offers a good overview of the subject.

Find a new doctor. Get some Vanicream and move to non-allergenic products. See if that helps.

Jump to this post

Thank you, @sandrajune! I'm already using non-allergenic laundry products but will try the Vanicream line and look forward to the article. Have your armpits gotten better?

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