I was first diagnosed with eczema whenever I was a child, but it didn't get really bad until I was 18. It started getting really bad on my hands. I couldn't bend my fingers without them bleeding. And it was to the point where I just couldn't hardly move. I actually had to stop doing hair for a little bit in order to get better.
At that point, I was on quite a few steroids. It was getting to the point where the steroids weren't helping anymore, so I decided to quit. Steroid withdrawal was definitely one of the hardest parts. My entire body hurt. I was constantly itching. I was bleeding. I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't hardly shower. I couldn't do normal things that other people do. And having to work through that was really hard, just thinking that that was going to be my entire life. But it's not.
I'm feeling pretty good these days. As far as specific treatment, I'm currently on a biologic. And it's definitely helped a lot. I have found a really good skincare routine. I look for, like, fragrance-free. Just anything that's more on the natural side I tend to lean towards. And I feel like that's helped quite a bit. Stress is a huge trigger for me, so making sure that I'm not overworking myself has helped a lot. Hanging out with my husband, having those moments are definitely important for my stress levels and bringing those down.
Around the time that I started getting really sick, I started getting really into plants. And it was a way for me to kind of get away from the everyday stress. And so, in turn, I bought a million plants. And I just really fell in love with being able to take care of them, and see them thrive and grow. And it really helped me realize that what I'm doing right now for my skin, and in the long run, I'm going to grow just like they are.
Seasonal changes are a huge factor for me. With our weather, it goes back and forth constantly. And I can definitely feel that. So it's definitely something I have to watch and kind of prepare for. We mostly need to be using humidifiers in the winter. We've got pretty dry winters, so anything to keep the humidity in the air definitely helps me and my skin.
Clothing is a huge deal. Certain fabrics, like wool and things like that, I will put on and I just -- I have to get it off. So whenever I go shopping, I have to try everything on. I also just make sure I'm drinking the most amount of water, because whenever I do, my skin is great, and whenever I don't, it's awful. And whenever I exercise, it definitely helps a lot. So just trying to stay in a good routine because I know all the things that help my eczema and all the things that don't.
It's taken me years to pick and choose and figure out what has worked best for me. It was hard. It was really hard. But knowing that if I work out and I drink a bunch of water and I eat healthy and all this will help my skin, and I can see that, it definitely helps keep me in my routine. And just changing that mindset of this is how it's always going to be to I'm going to get better. [MUSIC PLAYING]