By Olivia Day for Daily Mail Australia
00:32 May 18, 2023, update 00:35 May 18, 2023
- Leilah Johnson suffers from dermatitis
- Her skin affected her self-confidence
- Baby suffered from eczema on face and scalp
A young woman has told how a debilitating skin condition shattered her confidence and kept her from going to the gym, work or college.
Leilah Johnson, 20, says her battle with eczema, a type of dermatitis, has impacted her self-confidence and cost her thousands of dollars.
Since she was just three years old, she has battled severe allergies and painful skin conditions, which cause very dry, itchy patches of skin.
Ms Johnson said the skin condition, which targets her cheeks, lips, legs, chest and eyelids, returned “with a vengeance” a few months before she turned 18.
Since then, the university student has chosen to study online to better treat her frequent breakouts at home using several expensive creams.
Her eczema forced her to quit her job in retail, after a terrible flare-up that left her eyes swollen, closed and with painful marks from head to toe.
She prefers to wear sports bras because they rub less on her skin, and she can’t wear fancy “office-appropriate” clothes because her eczema cream stains and sticks to the fabric.
“People look at me, and when they comment or suggest what I should do, I know they’re trying to help, but it’s frustrating and overwhelming because they don’t understand the amount of things I’ve tried. ” I have tried everything !’ she says.
Her skin, which is so thin and dry it looks like sandpaper, can also tear when Ms Johnson undresses, adding to her discomfort.
“Ninety percent of the time it’s horrible and it looks terrible,” she said of her skin.
“Last year I had a really big circle of eczema on my upper thigh, and it got so infected that my leg turned purple and I had to go back to the hospital.”
The 20-year-old had to be hospitalized after her whole head swelled up and her lips and eyes were stuck together with several painful blisters.
“I was hospitalized several times and tried everything. I hate to think about how much I’ve spent on creams and treatments over the years,” she said.
“I see a specialist every few months, but it’s disappointing because they just give me antihistamines and steroids, which ruin my skin.”
The college student said she ‘didn’t want to think about’ how much she had spent on various creams and was allergic to most of them.
Ms Johnson said her ongoing battle with her skin had affected her weight and body image because sweat was breaking out her dermatitis.
It comes as a mum whose four-month-old baby had eczema so bad it left her pillow bleeding was able to soothe her baby with a ‘miracle’ remedy.
Millie Zweifel’s mother, Jen, 35, said her daughter had eczema on her face and scalp which “crusts and comes off in yellow lumps”.
“Millie’s face is getting so sore she can’t stop crying,” Ms Zweifel said.
“She scratches her face and scalp. His pillow is sometimes covered in blood.
Ms Zweifel started using products from Australian natural skincare brand MooGoo, which offers products specifically designed for eczema and dermatitis.
‘As soon as I put it on his face, it immediately calms him down, and the redness disappears. It’s amazing and it really comforts her,” she said.
“Because she has such thick hair, I massage it into her hair and scalp like conditioner and leave it in for a few hours, then comb it. It comes out very easily, then I wash his hair.
Moogoo offers cleansers, creams, body washes and ointments specially designed for skin conditions such as psoriasis, keratosis pilaris and rosacea.
CEO Melody Livingstone said Moogoo had been inundated with orders from people suffering from flare-ups due to the dry, cold winter air.
The skin on people’s faces and bodies can become dry after long, hot showers and hours spent under an electric blanket or in front of a heater.
Ms Livingstone said Moogoo was selling an eczema cream every two minutes, with sales of face creams and moisturizers skyrocketing 80-90%.
Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of eczema in the world, and the situation is only getting worse – 50 years ago only one in 10 Australian children suffered from it,” says Ms Livingstone.
“Although eczema is becoming more and more common, there is still surprisingly little understanding of how to manage it.
“As there is no proven cure for eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, education and symptom control is essential.”
“The skin has a protective barrier, during the winter it can get very dry and if it’s broken that means it’s susceptible to infection. It is therefore important to start using a good quality moisturizer now to maintain skin barrier function.
Australia has one of the biggest eczema problems in the world with around a third of the population diagnosed with this debilitating skin condition. People with eczema often suffer from chronic itching, rashes, oozing sores and rough skin.
MOOGOO MELODY LIVINGSTONE CEO’S TIPS FOR ECZEMA
- Keep fingernails short to prevent scratches from hurting skin, and wear mittens or cotton gloves at night
- Wear 100% cotton or soft fabrics – avoid rough, rough fibers and tight clothing
- Have lukewarm baths and showers
- Use hypoallergenic products and avoid anything scented
- Pat gently, do not rub, pat skin dry with a soft towel
- Apply moisturizer within three minutes after bathing to “lock in” moisture
- Avoid rapid temperature changes and sweaty activities
- Use powders and detergents for sensitive skin
- Reduce daily stress