So this is going to be a bit long, but so worth the read for all of you. Since moving to Kentucky, I have had to make quite a bit of appointments - one daughter needed braces, new dentist for all, new doctor for all, ophthalmology appointment for my son, and then I had to make a dermatologist appointment for my other daughter. She had developed millia on her nose (clear cysts that form just under the skin - harmless but noticeable). She also had small itchy bumps on and off on her legs for the last 1-2 years. Nothing bad - didn't even look like eczema. But the millia was my biggest concern given she is very fair in complexion and I personally could have removed them with a needle, but I did not want to risk scarring her face. So with great trepidation I made an appointment which finally arrived this morning. Being that I have a distaste for dermatologists, I was nervous and ready to pounce at the first mention of steroids.
We arrived at this big glass building - all new and shiny. The waiting room alone was half the size of our house! They are a very big group which only made me more nervous. But I was willing to keep an open (however hesitant) mind. We were in and out in less than 30 minutes. So that alone spoke volumes given how long I have waited in the past - they were quick and very efficient. But back to the appointment - we gave the info to the nurse, then 3 minutes later, in came the doctor - she was very pleasant. She said the millia could be taken care of with retinol-A - a very low dose over 1-2 months and they would come to the surface and disappear. Then we came to the bumps on the legs - "atopic dermatitis" - UGH! I was just waiting to hear the word steroid - instead she went on about a few products newer on the market (over the counter) that would clear her right up. I'm like - yeah ok, do they contain steroids? Her answer - absolutely not! She was in and out so quick. But the nurse lingered. So I explained how I had a fear of steroids and was she 100% sure those products were steroid free. The nurse went on to explain that they do not use any steroids at all unless there is absolutely no other choice. She said they were very big on NOT using them. I then explained my reasons for being concerned - that I've seen multiple derms across the country and for 30 years was given steroid creams. She literally gasped! She said that was horrible. I then told her I came off of them 3 years ago and she said (no joke) that I must have flared terribly for a long time because coming off steroids would have been like an addiction! When I say I cried - I really cried. It's weird because even though I am healed, to hear that validation from a big dermatology group was HUGE and VERY OVERWHLMING! My poor daughter couldn't figure out why I was crying and there is no way to explain to her at 10 years old how I felt.
Then she asked if I was having any skin problems - I said I just got a bit of dry eczema from time to time related to what I ate. She then gave me free samples for a great hand cream (being a nurse I get dry hands now from hand washing). In fact I walked out with tons of free samples and won't even have to pay for the retinol-A for my daughter. My 13 year old daughter gets hand eczema so the creams I was given will be for her as well. I will post later on the products if they do any good.
But the bottom line is I came out of that appointment with a better attitude towards the medical community than I've had in a long time. The sense of validation I got was priceless and hopefully will give you all hope for the future of others living with eczema. Knowing that not all doctors jump right to steroids and even avoid them is amazing and shines a bright light on the dermatologists here in Lexington, KY.