UTI and Kidney Stones.

Yesterday, I was diagnosed with UTI and suspected to have kidney stones. See the thing about illnesses like these is that I never though it would happen to me. I had always thought that these are illnesses that affect older people and especially for UTI, I was always under the impression that it was more likely to occur among women who are more sexually promiscuous (you know, play anal then the dick go back into pussy kinda thing).

Well, after being diagnosed I had to reeducate myself on UTI, kidney stones, and to a larger extent, gout. I am reminded once again of an acquaintance of mine who at the age of 27 years old was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Illness knows no age, no youth, and no matter how healthy we try to keep our lives, bad things do happen too.

I admit that I hadn’t been taking care of my health as much as I should. I keep telling myself to exercise more and practice a healthier diet post-Ramadan. But I guess the illness had gone into motion in the time I was busy procrastinating about taking better care of my health. In a way, it’s good to have such an illness to compel me to be committed towards my health goals.

Currently, I am on antibiotics for the UTI and I have been prescribed with painkillers to deal with the pain until I pass out the kidney stones. I have to drink more water daily – am committing myself to drink at least 2L of water, like really committing myself and doing it. I have a company health screening in exactly 1 week from yesterday and hopefully by then the kidney stones have somehow dissolved and passed out from my system. Will update more about my condition after the health screening next week. Till then, I’m putting up with the pain and praying for the best.

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Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion.

For Face and Body

 

Remember my earlier post where I bitched about the baby version? Well guess what? Sia suay I kena prescribed by doctor to use the adult version when I went to see him last Sat after a bad flare up (infection, according to doctor). I told him that I have tried the body wash and it didn’t work for me and he was like “I don’t care about the wash, just get the moisturising lotion”. Grudgingly, I obliged.

So here’s my take after a week of using it.

IT STILL STINGS.

But it works.

 

I have to admit it was really effective in keeping my skin hydrated for a long time. I didn’t have to apply so much and it would seep into my skin. But if I slathered a lot of it on my skin, then it would be greasy. So I had to figure out the right amount to apply on my skin without it forming a greasy layer on top. It does not however relieve itch, but after a few times of application the itch gradually reduces because the skin is more hydrated and started to heal.

My only big problem is that it still stings upon application. I don’t know why. So each time I applied the lotion on me, I had to put up with the pain until it goes away. Somehow  the pain goes away. Like maybe when the lotion is fully seeped into the skin then the pain goes away. Don’t ask me why, I’m still baffled and trying to figure out why does it sting in the first place and then goes away.

Although it says that it’s for face and body, I’ve never tried it on my face. The lotion has a smell, it’s similar to the smell of Neal’s Yard Organics Create Your Own Face and Body Lotion (wow that was a mouthful) except that it is less strong. They have similar ingredients like aqua, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, and sodium levulinate but NYO’s has more organic ingredients. Once this Cetaphil bottle finishes, I’m gonna experiment on the NYO one to compare.

 

;tldr Verdict? 4/5. Would have been perfect if only it doesn’t sting. I can tahan pain, but it doesn’t mean I like it.

Balm Be Bee – Keep Calm and Soothe Balm & Lip Balm.

I think I have found the holy grail for my eczema!

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BARANG BAIK.

After limited successes with the other products that I have tried, I finally got down to trying this one out. Gotta give credit to my friend, Muz, who shared this product with me. At first, I was skeptical coz it seemed like one of those DIY salves that people cook from their own kitchen. But boy, was I proven wrong! I am really starting to believe the effectiveness of natural remedies for health.

I ordered the Keep Calm and Soothe Balm online in the travel-friendly 30g size, and I didn’t know it would come with the lip balm. Guess there was probably a promotion or something that I didn’t see while checking out the cart. Whoops. But I’m not complaining though. Hahaha.

The balm contains beeswax, extra virgin coconut oil, sweet almond oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender essential oils. The peppermint and eucalyptus is strong. At first impression, I was rather taken aback by the strong minty smell. Upon application, it was very cooling on the skin so it was very shiok. This was one main thing that I really liked about it. The cooling peppermint and eucalyptus really does relieve the itch. I would apply it before going to sleep so that I can have a good night’s sleep without scratching myself till I bled. Each time my skin was itchy, I would apply it as well, and the feeling would go away almost immediately.

Another thing that I liked about this balm is that it was not too greasy. After rubbing it into my skin, I was able to walk around the house without leaving grease footprints all over the floor and I was able to wear my socks without all the grease transferring onto the fabric. It was also waterproof so that also means that the oils in the balm can stay on longer in my skin and do its magic.

In my earlier post, I said that I used the Atopiclair cream. After the wounds on my skin have closed up and the skin was not so weepy as before, I switched over to using this balm.  I used it every day before going to work, and also before going to sleep. And my gosh, I saw immense improvement. It moisturises the skin without excess grease, and it is so effective at relieving itch. So impressed. Totally recommend it. I’ve finished using my 30g travel sized one now I’m gonna get the 50g one since I use it a lot. Seriously, it is such a blessing to finally find something that works for me!! I’m glad it sells in both the 30g and 50g size, so you can buy a smaller sized one just to try and see if it works.

As for the lip balm, I wasn’t too impressed with it. It was too greasy on the lips. But it had a great grapefruit flavour. I found it more useful for removing waterproof long-lasting liquid lipstick though. Haha. Just apply the lip balm over the lips. Then wait for a bit. Grab a tissue and then wipe it off. Simple. And it leaves a great taste and moisturising feel behind.

;tldr
Keep Calm & Soothe Balm = YAY! 5 stars. Much wow. Very recommend.
Grapefruit Lipbalm – Hmm ok lah. I would rather eat it though. Tastes so delish.

Atopiclair Cream.

After the disaster that was Cetaphil-gate, I sought advice from my friends on what products I should try. It helps that I got friends who are pharmicists and nurses, so they would have a better idea of what’s out there on the market that I could try. (Sayangggg korangggg)

One of the products that was recommended to me was Atopiclair Cream. It’s available off-the-counter and without any prescription required. I got mine at Guardian pharmacy and it cost me a whopping 60 SGD for a 100 ml bottle. What to do, desperate mah, so just buy lor.

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Why have I not discovered this earlier??!

It turned out to be great! Worth my money!

It is a non-steroidal cream so I didn’t have to worry about putting too much of it on my skin. I could apply liberally and as often as I wanted or as needed. I gotta admit that it’s greasy and has a weird medicinal smell to it. But, it does its job. I saw improvements with each day. All my wounds from stratching started to heal up, the rashes started to flatten, and the dry skin stopped flaking. It doesn’t relieve the itch though. So when my skin got itchy, and I absent-mindedly scratched it, the greasy layer would get scraped off from the skin and get stuck in my fingernail. On top of that, when I went to the toilet and washed my legs/feet, the grease does come off.

I would recommend its use for areas where you are least likely to scrape/wipe off the cream. The greasy layer does seep into the skin but it will take time. I have applied the cream on my skin and left them for hours or overnight, and the cream does seep in. As long as I can leave the cream on my skin, I can see daily improvement. My skin does heal. And it heals fast.

Personally for me, I find that this product is best used for the beginning stage when the skin is weepy and bleeding. But when the wounds have healed up and the skin is no longer weepy, I prefer to switch to another type of cream or balm. When the skin is recovering, the wounds would start to form scabs and the eczema would start to dry and flake off to reveal the new skin below. This is the point where the skin gets really itchy and I have to stop myself from scratching again as that would break the skin and cause the bleeding/weeping to come back again. Shedding of the old skin causes the itch, therefore it is necessary to find something moisturising to keep the skin hydrated thereby reducing the itch. It’s not that the Atopiclair cream is not moisturising – it definitely is – but due to it being easily wiped away or washed away, its moisturising property is diminished. I will cover what products I used to keep the skin hydrated for the rest of the recovery stage in my upcoming posts.

;tldr Verdict? Recommended, but only for early stage game lane pushing. (If you got that reference, I love you.)

Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion with Shea Butter.

Sucks.

HAHHAHHAHAHHAHAA.

Allow me to explain.

I walked into Cold Storage one day and happened to walk past a shelf which sold baby products. I read up online that baby products are more suitable for people with skin conditions like me. I saw that this product was on offer – it was about 4 plus SGD and bundled with the daily soap. Since they were both in 50 ml bottles, I thought ‘Hey why not just try it out?’

I made sure to use this daily lotion together with the daily wash. Let me just clarify first that I have tried the adult version of the body soap. It was not suitable for me because after a few washes, I started getting itchy red spots on various parts of my body. Something in the formula just ain’t right. So when I saw the baby version of this, I decided to give it a second shot because who knows perhaps the formula would be different and it would be more suitable for me.

The Cetaphil bath soap unfortunately did nothing for me. Like absolutely nothing. It did not moisturise my skin at all or improved it. But thankfully it did not give me itchy red spots like the adult version did. Verdict? Meh. Nothing much to say because it did nothing.

The killer one was the body lotion. Hypoallergenic, skin barrier, baby, shea butter, bla, bla, bla, whatever. As someone who has made herself a lab rat testing out all these so-called hypoallergenic products, I can’t take all these words seriously. You know the saying, walk the talk? Well, not all products walk the talk. And this one is a prime example. The first time I put it on me, I was shocked by how painful it was when the lotion touched my skin. Wtf? This is for baby? For baby??? I was just so confused and pissed off as to how a product that is marketed for babies can be so painful to the skin. It made me wonder what in the hell was in the formula that caused it to be so harsh on the skin. How can something so harsh like this be marketed for babies? I tried not to panic and decided to give it a few more chances to see if there was any improvement.

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Heng never buy big bottle, if not, sure waste money liao.

 

 

There was none.

-_______________-

After using it till it was finished (after a few weeks) there was no improvement to my skin. It did not clear the rash, it did not moisturise my skin, it did not heal my skin, it did practically nothing – EXCEPT FOR GIVING ME PAIN WHEN I APPLIED IT. Let me just highlight that it was painful upon first application but after the lotion seeped into the skin, the pain would go away. Actually, let me correct myself there. I’m not sure if it seeped into the skin or it just dried and formed a layer over the skin. It’s not greasy, which is a good thing. But it wasn’t nice smelling either.

After I was done with experimenting the product on myself, I concluded that the product did not provide any benefit to me at all. I’m done giving chances to Cetaphil. I think their products are just not suitable for my skin. The formula got something wrong somewhere ah. But if it works for you, carry on.

Zam-Buk.

When I was down with rashes, the doctor prescribed me with a cream that was a combination of cortisol and atopiclair cream. After about 2 weeks, the cream finished and I was left high and dry with my skin itchy as hell. I first used calamine lotion but that failed badly; it was smelly, left a white mess everywhere, and didn’t relieve the itch at all. I had no clue what else I could use. In desperation I walked into Unity and saw this ointment on the shelf. So I grabbed it. I figured that since it contained natural ingredients like camphor oil and eucalyptus oil, so I assumed all these ~natural healings thingies~ could help me out.

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Nasib bukan Tum-Buk

It’s an oily balm; its texture is much like its cousins Vicks and Tiger Balm. And of course, it had that minyak kapak smell. The balm is green in colour in the tin. It’s a bit viscous when I first slather it on my skin. When spreading it out and massaging my skin with it, it becomes oily and transparent.

After application, there is a cooling sensation on the skin which does alleviate the itch. For a while only though. After the oil has dried (seeped into?) on the skin, then the skin will start to itch again. So when I scratched myself, the oil gets scraped off by my nails.

So does it help to relive itch? Yes, but not for long.

Does it mositurise the skin? Yes, unless you start scratching and scraping it off with your nails.

Is it greasy? Not after you rub it and massage it on your skin.

Does it smell nice? No. Although I like the fresh crisp medicated ointment smell, this is way too pungent for me to put it on before going out.

Verdict? Meh. I would use it for relieving mosquito bites but not for rashes. If I recall, it was about 5SGD. It’s available in so many pharmacies in Singapore. With that price, I would rather get a Tiger Balm. Yes, I prefer to support Singapore’s iconic ointment (and probably our best export to date. Hahahahaha sedih pe)

Stay tuned for more of my product reviews! Feel free to comment and recommend what products I could next to speed up the recovery of my skin!

Road to Recovery.

Early January this year, I had an eczema flare-up. In the same month, this was followed by rashes that developed on my legs and my arms. It was the worst rash I ever had. I was put on antibiotics for the rash, and paracetamol for the high fever that I had. The fever went away very quickly but unfortunately the rash took so long to recover.

It’s March already, but I am still on the road to recovery. The rashes are no longer spreading but they are still itchy. The rash scars still remain, and I am still desperately finding all sorts of creams that can reduce the itch while getting rid of the rash scars.

I found that I’ve accumulated a couple of products in my desperate attempt to regain my beautiful smooth legs that I was once so proud of (Oh, hubris!). I thought I’d share my honest opinions on the products used. I’m not sponsored to do this by the way, but gosh I’d love to be sponsored. I’ve blown so much money buying various products and testing them out on myself (Always got that Cetrizine ready in case things get crazy!)

So without further ado… please check out my reviews on these products in the upcoming posts tagged under Product Review or Eczema.