2 years ago I was off all immunosuppressants and I was struggling. I saw a commercial for Dupixent, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm not a fan of needles, so I was nervous about trying it, but fast forward to today and my skin looks so much better! Yes, I still have eczema, but I can live a normal life again! Dupixant has changed my life!
THE not so SCARY NEEDLE!!!
It's the smallest needle you've ever seen and the design of it makes it so simple to use. You take an injection 2 times a month. You should have seen how nervous I was when I first starting using it. It took so much courage for me to do it, and at some point I realized, wait... this doesn't really hurt and you don't even feel the needle go in, it's all mental! Once you get past your mental issues of sticking yourself, it's super easy. As far as side effects, I notice that I am more susceptible to cold sores. So I try and manage that more closely and I take Valtrex more often. Some people experienced conjunctivitis, however I have not had any issues with that. Compared to the negative side effects of some of the immuno's, this is pretty good.
The Cost. So far I have not paid one single dollar! I do have health insurance, and the $200/mo that is not covered, dupixent picks up.
I am still steroid free (6 years), and mostly lotion free. My Dr's always freak out and tell me I need to use lotion because of my eczema, and every single time I give lotion another try, my skin gets worse. For some reason, my skin doesn't not tolerate any lotions, creams, or oils. The best thing I can do is try and avoid drying out my skin unnecessarily (essentially I just try and not take long, hot showers.) I even tried the topical prescription ointment Eucrisa (non steroid), and my skin kept getting worse every day I used it. After a month it occurred to me I needed to stop using it! I did, and my skin got better. I may use it for spot treatment now and then, but I hardly use it at all. When I was using it on my face, my face would burn immediately after application. This is known side effect. The only way I could mitigate the burn was to apply just after I got out of the shower, and that seemed to help. So be careful with it if you decide to try it.
Here are some other things that really help my eczema and they are worth trying if you need help:
1. Don't drink alcohol. It disrupts your sleep, and for me, a good nights sleep is crucial to reducing inflammation in the body. Plus, alcohol makes me flush and itchy. Try quitting drinking for a week and I bet you'll feel a whole lot better.
2. Hot beverages always make me flush. As much as I love a hot cup of coffee, it always makes me itchy. I have found cold brew coffee to be better if I need some coffee, but caffeine is not particularly helpful for people with eczema. If I replace my coffee with a green drink in the morning (not one of the sugary drinks, but a real green/healthy drink), I have a lot more energy with no negative side effects.
3. Wash your bed sheets regularly if itching is a problem. Dust mites live off of dead skin, and many people with eczema are allergic to dust mites. My skin and allergy tests show dust mites as one of the highest irritants for me.
4. You might think I'm crazy for this one, and I thought it was crazy too at first, until I read some articles on it, and then I tried it. But don't believe me, do a google search for Eczema Bleach Bath, and you'll see results from reputable organizations. I don't take baths, so I just dilute a small amount of bleach into a 3 oz travel size shampoo container and use it once a week or less. If you use it too much your skin will dry out and it'll be detrimental to you. But I use it on my scalp and body, and it reduces inflammation and dandruff.
That's it for now. Good luck everybody!