Thursday, May 29, 2008


I have eczema.

Two years ago, during the late spring, these weird round patches show up all of a sudden-like on my legs. They were red and bumpy, about the size of a dime, but whatever. I decided to wait for them to go away.

They didn't. But whatever, I moisturize one or two nights in a row and then forget about them. I see them again and slap some aloe on for a few weeks and then forget about them.

Maybe around June or so, I notice a new patch on my arm. And its itchy as shizz. I FAH-reaked out. In my highly trained medical background, when weird things travel, or disappear and reappear, propagate, or otherwise change in any way, you know its cancer.

So, I went to the dermatologist. Vincenzo, my Italian-stallion doctor with de expensive silk ties and de wavy shoulder-length gray hair, takes one look at my patches and says,

"Eet iz de exxxzzema. De exxxzzzema, it iz froma de ge-ne-tics, maybe you getta it from your mama or your papa. Dey is no cure. You moisturize eve-r-y day, you use de esteriod crema twice a day, ok? Come back inna month."

So I did and I did and it went away. I went back in a month and Vincenzo says,

"Yes, the exxxzzema, eet iz alla clear-ed up! You keep moisturizing, ok?"

And I did. I moisturize like its my new religion. And it came back and I used the esteriods and it came back and I used the esteriods and it came back. Finally, you know, two years have passed and I'm all, fuck this noise. I'm going to that doctor and I'm getting some answers!

Vincenzo, he says,

"De exxxzzema, eet iz de genetics, whattyagonnado?"

And then he shrugs. Like a damn Italian shrug right out of those goomba movies where all the goombas sit around and shrug and say "fuggedaboudit". But ze eczema, its not going away! It keeps coming back!

I went looking for advice on teh internets. And basically, its all like this:
  • Moisturize frequently

  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity

  • Avoid sweating or overheating

  • Reduce stress

  • Avoid scratchy materials (e.g., wool or other irritants)

  • Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, and solvents

  • Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies (e.g., pollens, molds, mites, and animal dander)

  • Be aware of any foods that may cause an outbreak and avoid those foods

I'm really sorry, but how the hell am I supposed to avoid temperature changes, sweating, and potentially allergenic environmental factors?? I mean, that's like saying, "global warming is bad for you, so you should avoid it."

Like, moisturizing and avoiding trouble foods, ok, I can do that. Stress? Again, I can do it, its maybe a little more difficult, but I can work on it. But the temperature of the earth? Producing sweat? Pollen? I have no control over these things.

There is no moral to this story. It iz de exxxzzema.