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This Eczema Sufferer Appreciates Our Itching Problem
from Anne T.

I came across the FlakeHQ website tonight.  Although I have eczema, I could relate to so much of what was on FlakeHQ, like the articles, "Don't Say This," and your Briefing.  I agree wholeheartedly that some product is needed that just stops the itching.

It was so good to hear that docs sometimes say the stupidest things to other people, too.  So much of the advice and meds for eczema don't work, either.  My latest tube of cream cost my insurance company $150!  I haven't figured out if it makes any difference at all.

I was itching so badly tonight and in desperate need of some diversion.  Thanks for providing a respite. Best wishes to you for improved treatment and better results!   -Anne  T.

*****

Ed’s Response:  Thanks for finding FlakeHQ and dropping us a note, Anne.  We know that eczema and P have many similarities.  Many of us were misdiagnosed with eczema at some point, including me. 

The itching associated with P is a real bone of contention.  I’ve read many “lay” definitions of P that state explicitly that it does not itch.  I have a hard time reading any further! 

Not long ago I was reading yet another definition of P that, thankfully, admitted that for some psoriatics, itching was a problem, and maybe not for all lesions or all the time.  So far I agreed with everything I was reading.  But then they wrote that when lesions do itch it’s because of bacteria. 

Hmmm.

I want to protest that, but it may, in fact, be true.  I’ve never seen a statistic comparing the bacterial content of skin with lesions to skin without lesions.  For the obvious reason that skin with lesions is rougher and thicker, measured at a microscopic scale it’s easy to assume there is more surface area for bacteria to occupy.  (Just like a rugged shoreline would actually be longer than a smooth one that covered the same distance measured as a straight line.) 

Another thing that bothered me about the assertion was its off-handed tone, as though everyone should know what makes lesions itch.  Of course!  It’s germs!

I think it’s a hypothesis that germs are the primary cause of lesion itch.  I know I don’t want to behave as though it were fact.  That would mean, when my itching is really bad, I must be very buggy, in bad need of a good scrub.  But I don’t think a good scrub would abate my itch.

If you were to tell me that my lesions make me more sensitive to the same amount of bacteria that would not make me itch on normal skin – well, that might seem more likely.  There seem to be lots of “environmental factors” that become aggravating to skin with lesions.  For example, certain fabrics will tend to “hang” on rough scaly skin.  Trying to move in clothes made of such fabric can definitely lead to itching.  I’ve personally possessed some lesions that itched in a light breeze!

Point being that to dismiss the itch factor of lesions by saying “germs are to blame” suggests a wrong approach to mitigating the problem.  Going after the germs probably isn’t going to get rid of  the itch, at least not entirely.  It is more useful language to say my psoriasis itches.  Or my eczema itches.  We may or may not have any more luck abating the itch by curing the P, but somehow I feel that fight might be more rewarding than waging war on germs. 

Good luck with your E, Anne.  As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got every right to itch.  It’s a characteristic all types of flakers tend to share.  -Ed

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