Skin Type: Eczema
Prominent Location: Hands
Trigger: Metals, Perfumes, Stress, Sleep (lack of)
As a nurse who has to wash her hands constantly, having painful eczema can be extra difficult for Angelica. Here she explains her story, her skin, and her tips for managing your skin, your way.
Instagram Account: @angelicathestudentnurse
“My mum has eczema, so I inherited it from her, but I’d say I’ve been more consistently poorly with it, as I have allergies and asthma too.”
With chronic eczema on her hands “that’s basically there 24-7,” she’s also had flares on her feet, eyelids, and all over her body. “When I’m really tired, really stressed, it can flare to my armpits and around my neck.”
One of the biggest challenges for Angelica is how her triggers differ on different parts of her body. “I know what my triggers are for my skin in general, but with my hands I feel like it's a completely different ball game!”
“I might go maximum of two to three weeks when my hands are good, and then straight away they will come back. It's just a vicious circle, all the time.”
Angelica’s job as a nurse also adds an extra layer of complication for her eczema, as controlling infection means regular, intensive, and often painful hand washing.
“I just have to use really gentle hand washing products, and then just have to moisturise my hands straight afterwards. I know what hand washes work for me, what hand creams work for me – and I do not touch antibacterial gel with a barge pole! It’s about figuring out what works for you.”
So how do you go about choosing the right products for you? “Everyone’s skin is completely different and everyone loves different products. Obviously I look for brands that don’t have harsh chemicals, or any of the things that I know I’m allergic and sensitive to – it’s kind of all trial and error to be honest.”
Luckily, there’s one product that Angelica can always rely on. “My mum has used Epaderm all her life, so I’ve grown up with having Epaderm in the house. I’ve never had a problem or issue with Epaderm, and that’s why I absolutely love it.”
“I use the tubs of Epaderm Ointment. I love the little 50g Cream's also. I just leave one of those in the kitchen, so I can access it any time.”
“I used to use it before getting in the shower, when I was younger and my skin was really bad – I’d use it as a barrier cream. And I used to wash with Epaderm. I really felt like that helped.”
“It’s just become a part of my life.”
Angelica also recommends talking about eczema on social media.
“It does become a community and you feel less alone. You get tips and tricks. Like have you heard of compression gloves? That’s what I will often do – literally cake my hands in Epaderm and then put my gloves on. That locks in the moisture. I do that a lot at night.”
“But at the end of the day, our skin massively affects our mental health, and you basically have to do what’s right for you.”
Angelica's Top Tips
From buying pre-chopped fruit and veg to help avoid the sting of cooking, to seeking out sunshine for the healing powers of Vitamin D, Angelica is full of useful tips when it comes to living with eczema. But perhaps the most surprising one for fellow itchers comes from her love of beauty:
“I’ve had nail extensions for years and years, because they’re blunt. It stops me scratching and causing more damage to my skin.” Handy!
Epaderm Cream 50g
Epaderm Cream is a 2-in-1 emollient & cleanser, suitable for all ages, including babies. Formulated with clinically proven ingredients, Epaderm Cream is non-greasy and easily absorbs into the skin.
Do not use if you are sensitive to any of the ingredients listed. If your condition worsens or you experience any undesirable effects, stop using Epaderm cream and discuss with your health care professional. For external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes. Do not use if the seal is broken or after the expiry date. Keep out of the reach of children. Fire Hazard. Do not smoke or go near naked flames; clothes & bedding with this product dried on them can catch fire easily.
[i] Talkhealth MyEczema Patient Support Programme survey, July 2018, National Eczema Society, http://www.eczema.org
Made in the UK
from globally-sourced ingredients
fragrances, colouring, SLS, paraben and steroids
All ages, including babies
Moisturises and softens
providing a film barrier which aids moisture retention