Well, to be completely honest, some of it didn't take much thinking about - I just have to do it! After months (and months) of feeling poorly on-and-off and having severely irritated skin (not just eczema as I originally thought), I finally had my trips to the hospital to see what was up.
As a child, I suffered with eczema but like most people, I grew out of it as I got older. However, over the past year or so, my skin seems to have gotten worse again, especially since September of last year - rashes, dry patches, horrible itchiness, the lot. I tried all sorts to get rid but any lotions and potions just seemed to work for a short time and then stop. My doctor finally referred me to a dermatology specialist at the hospital and last week, I had some patch tests to see what it is I'm allergic to.
I had two patches on my back with 24 samples of common allergies which I had to keep on for two days. On the Wednesday, the nurse labelled them up and then I went back on the Friday to see which samples had reacted.
It turns out I am allergic to nickel and some perfumes...
So, this means that I can no longer wear 'cheap' jewellery (so long New Look and Primark bargains) - nothing less than 22 carat gold or platinum according to my help sheet! (Good for me, not so good for DC...) but I can no longer eat foods which have high levels of nickel, most notably chocolate! Anybody who follows my blog knows what a chocoholic I am - What am I going to do?!
As for the perfumes, I do not know where to start. The sample was a mixture of eight different kinds and I don't know which sort reacted. All I know is that I have to look for 'parfum' in my products and do little tests - unfortunately, parfum seems to be in everything I use! I've been advised to use 'fragrance free' products but these still contain very small amounts of perfume, so I will just have to wait and see...
Now, I wouldn't call these New Year's Resolutions (it is too late and I have completely gone off that idea!), but doing the best I can to cut out nickel and the bad parfums from my life is the little kick I needed to change my lifestyle.
1. The FoodSo, in addition to cutting out nickel rich foods, I am making sure I try extra hard to make my own lunches to take to work - no more buying sandwiches from the shop! I've wanted to cut bread out from my diet for a while now but I just like it so much! But I am feeling inspired. Since late last week, I have making my own little 'salad bars' - salad and small portions of potato salad, pasta and pesto and some kind of meat (continental meats, chicken or tuna, for example) - its filling and much healthier than what I was acting before. Plus, the variety means I don't get bored!
2. The FitnessIn addition to this, I am getting back into fitness. I really enjoyed going to the gym and Zumba but unfortunately, when my skin flared up, exercising became very uncomfortable and I was frightened to go in case I made the irritations worse - I'd be out for nearly two weeks at a time! But now, I have been to the gym first thing in the morning before work and I WILL keep this up! I just feel so productive and I love that I can go straight home after work and have time to blog!
3. The ProductsAs much as I love using certain brands, I am going to give more natural products a try. I already use Simple on my face and Aveeno after showers, but now I am going to expand my make-up collection. Of course, I will look into the likes of The Body Shop and Bare Minerals, but if you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below for me - I'd appreciate the advice!
My skin is something that has troubled me for what feels like a long time now, and I know it is not a major health problem as such but anybody who may suffer from this will know how down you can feel at times - feeling like you have to cover up, that people might be looking; it causes stress even though (sometimes) stress may be the cause! Going to the doctors and seeing the Dermatologist was definitely the best thing I could do; I have another appointment in May where hopefully I find out more from a blood test results, so for now, lets see if theses changes do the trick...