Julia's story: Eczema when you don't expect it

Julia is a 52-year-old nurse who was used to seeing eczema on the young patients she treated, but certainly didn't expect to develop it herself just after her fiftieth birthday!

Julia's story: Eczema when you don't expect it

Here's her story of how it developed and what she does about it now.

"It was when washing my hands after treating a patient, just a few weeks after celebrating my fiftieth birthday, that I felt the stinging, burning feeling on the back on one hand. Then, a few days later, it started on the other hand. Both were red, flaky and unbearably itchy. Although it is usually quite rare in adults, I knew what it was almost right away: Atopic dermatitis, or eczema.

I hadn't thought about the consequences of having eczema on my hands while being a nurse, but these quickly came to light. You're expected to care for patients, not always with gloves on, and those big red, oozing blisters are not what you should be shaking hands with in an environment that's supposed to be as clean as possible.

So, instead of waiting for it to go away, I knew I had to do something quick. I couldn't go around wearing gloves all the time, and there are some tasks it's just not possible to do with your hands covered in latex. I went online and had a look at the different brands that specialise in atopy-prone skin, and found La Roche-Posay. I already had one of their thermal water sprays, so I was familiar with the brand.

I opted for their Lipikar Xerand hand cream, which is formulated for atopic skin conditions like mine. When I applied it the first thing I noticed was a relief from the discomfort of the dryness and the effect it had on my dry skin. Nowadays, I keep a tube in my locker just in case I feel the tingling starting".