Monday, February 20, 2012

Exfoliative Keratolysis - February update

It's interesting to see that people from around the world are looking for info on exfoliative keratolysis (EK) and they're finding my blog.  For a condition with so little information available on the internet, I find it interesting that so many people are searching the cyber world for answers. 

I found out about EK back in August of 2011 after searching, almost endlessly, for information about the peeling skin on my hands and feet.  In June of '11, my hands were peeling and bleeding and I couldn't get it to subside no matter how much lotion or Aquaphor I used, or how much water I drank.  Hydrating my body from the inside out wasn't working.  Even slathering Bacitracin on my hands at bed time and wearing gloves and socks overnight didn't seem to help my hands or my feet. 

I started using hand lotion and foot creams containing urea, and haven't looked back.  I've continued to use the Gold Bond Restorative CoQ10 on my hands, and Kerasal on my feet.  My feet look better than they have in years, especially the heels.  I don't use it daily, I use it about once a month, maybe twice, or whenever I see a dry blister begin to form.  My feet are so happy.  My hands are equally happy.  I apply the lotion a few times a day, but by no means do I need to apply it any more than that unless I am washing my hands more than usual. 

EK is said to flare up in the summer, and since I've only been aware of the condition since August, I'm anxious to see how my skin handles the upcoming spring and summer season.  Looking back, June and July tend to be the worst months for me, so I know I'll be keeping my lotions close to me during those months. 

I have to admit that I never realized how much EK impacted my life until I got it cleared up.  My hands seemed to be covered in greasy lotions almost all the time, and the heels of my feet were cracked and painful.  Today, I'm not ashamed to extend my hand for a hand shake, and I rarely have much more than a small dry blister on my feet, which is usually gone in a day or so once I use the Kerasal for a night or two.  It's really amazing.

I hope that by knowing someone else has EK, that others are able to find a solution to the painful condition.  I'd love to hear from others who have it, and learn what they have done to manage their condition, and what solutions might have worked for them.  How long have you suffered?  Where is your skin in the worst condition (palms, fingers, feet, etc)? 

In the meantime, I'm always checking out labels on topical treatments for the skin, looking for urea and lactic acid in the content list.  I now use the Gold Bond lotion on my legs and arms, and wherever I find dry, itchy (winter zaps moisture right out of your skin) areas that need some extra attention.