26 Jan 2013

GUEST POST: Eczema Herpeticum

I intend to write a series of posts on how I have been personally affected, what has helped me, and just general things relating to it.


Last year was horrible for me. I have no idea how I managed but I got through University, where I did a very hands-on course in Conservation & Restoration of Historic Objects... not exactly an eczema sufferers first choice, but alas, we all have our passions and hobbies - mine are just bad for my health!

In 2012 I developed the dreaded eczema herpeticum, not once, not twice, not even thrice but quadruple times!!! For those who aren't in the know, eczema herpeticum is essentially when the herpes simplex virus attacks and spreads throughout the eczema. It can be seen to be a dermatological nightmare and hospitalisation is often required if it is not caught at an early enough stage. In some cases it can even lead to death.

The first time I contracted it was after I'd taken a course of steroids to help with a severe bout of eczema, in April. So as you can see my skin is remarkably clear on that front (yay!) but not so great with the herpes simplex which you can note had reached my eye. 
This was the fourth time I got it, in October. One night I just had an excruciating pain behind my ear that hurt so badly I couldn't sleep. My lymph nodes were also rather prominent and I had just assumed it to be eczema at the time. But no, as you can see it has the characteristic blistered pustules. It stayed confined to my hair and neck that time thankfully!
As a consequence of having had the virus I am now on a permanent course of Aciclovir tablets, 400mg, twice a day. It also means that when my eczema becomes severe and infected I can no longer rely on steroids as a "quick fix" because the result will be this. As I have been infected with the virus I will probably have outbreaks from time to time which is just something that one has to kinda, well, get used to. Though I was rather upset by a remark from an ignorant woman who said under her breath with rather a lot of malice,  "oh God, I don't want what she's got!!!" which really annoyed me because all she'd get is ONE measly bloody cold sore. Not a whole face full of them.
But aside from that my advice is, if you suffer from severe eczema stay away from people with cold sores. Unluckily for me my partner bestowed this upon me as he gets coldsores from time to time. Tut. But I love him so I'll let it slide... xD

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