It’s rare that my own skin deviates from its usual dryness and sporadic eczema flares. But right now, if I look at things from a detached perspective, things are interesting.
By any measure my skin’s been terrible since I left for vacation with the family. The return trip, which involved a 17-hour moisturizer-free delay in Newark, did me no favors. My scalp is a disaster. And since I got back I have had two weird episodes where my face and torso have gotten all puffy, tight, and red.
Last weekend we spent Saturday night on my kids’ preschool campout. I woke up Sunday with a red face and a weird crusty oozing above both eyelids.
Maybe I brought this on by standing next to the campfire. Maybe it's a reaction to pollen. All I know is that I had to grit my teeth and get through the morning until I could have a shower and moisturize at home. I took an Allegra. I felt pretty shitty.
I even thought I was going to miss work on Monday. But Monday morning my skin had calmed down enough for me to go in.
Then, after I went swimming on Wednesday, a co-worker asked if anything was wrong. “Your face is all red,” she said. It was starting up again. Even my wife, who is quite the diplomat, was looking at me strangely in the evening.
So today I had an appointment with the doctor. He doesn’t know what’s going on, and I don’t think he even expects to find out, but he mumbled something about oedemic urticaria and gave me a shot of prednisone in the butt. Also at some point soon I need to go in for a blood test to see if I have a “complement deficiency"—something wrong with a particular arm of my immune system. But, as with most aspects of eczema, I expect it will remain a mystery.