Three years ago (starting in February 2007), I endured at least 12 weeks of some kind of mysterious skin problem that manifested in a severely itchy torso. My back and stomach showed no visible indication of a problem (as long as I managed to keep my hands off of them), but nothing brought relief. I tried the standard, “eliminate products with fragrances, scents, harsh ingredients, etc.” (not that I had used too many things in those categories to start with), along with an intense moisturizing (fragrance-free, for sensitive skin, of course) regime to no avail.
Finally, at my wits’ end and THIS CLOSE to going crazy, I gave in and went to the doctor, where I had to endure lots of questions about what products I used and my skincare routine. And I was this close to being all, “Hello, I’m not an idiot; I already considered all of those things, why am I paying you to ask me these questions?” In the end, the doctor had NO CLUE what was going on and suggested I try a 24-hour OTC antihistamine. Ah, the old, “Let’s throw some drugs at it” solution. Unfortunately, the OTC antihistamine left my skin problem completely unfazed. Was it all in my head?
After suffering through a few more weeks, I visited the dermatologist. You can just reread the above paragraph for a summary of the dermatologist visit, the one difference being that she prescribed a prescription antihistamine. More drugs! What a novel idea! This new “solution” proved as ineffective as the first. Skin: still itchy. Me: this close to going over the edge.
During those however-many weeks, I learned how to be creative with the limited subset of my wardrobe that irritated my skin to a lesser extent. This meant nothing tight (goodbye bra and undies) and mostly cotton. Sometime in May (or was it June?), after what seemed an eternity of suffering, my mysterious skin problem just went away, and I breathed a great sigh of relief. I had forgotten what it felt like to NOT have an extremely itchy torso.
Stay tuned for Disrobed II, coming soon to a theater near you.