Happy new year all!
I know it’s a bit late to be saying this in February. I was unwell with COVID 19 last month hence why this is the first blog post for 2021. Now recovered, I am happy and blessed that my symptoms were not severe. I still have some bouts of fatigue at times and that’s improving too.
Testing positive for COVID 19 and symptoms
I had itchy and watery eyes at first but thought nothing of this. I assumed that this was just allergies. I have a lateral flow kit which I used to myself twice a week. A few days after the eye symptoms I got a positive result from the lateral flow test. Due to this I had to go a test centre and have a PCR test. On my way to the test centre I had an unusual splitting headache. I thought this was stress and tension of the thought that I might have COVID 19. However this was actually the start of my symptoms. The following morning I received a text to say my PCR test was positive. My body and muscles ached all over from waist downwards and my temperature increased. The following day I had a slight cough and lost sense of smell (I could still taste food). I was really tired, worn out and couldn’t do much apart from lie down watch TV and sleep. During this time I definitely made use of YouTube and Netflix! These symptoms had gone by the time I finished self-isolating for 10 days except fatigue.
While having COVID 19 symptoms eczema flared up around my eye lids, face, neck, chest, armpit and arms. These areas became dry, white and started to flake. Once those skin areas had become dry the skin would feel tight and uncomfortable when trying to move. I also didn’t realise the how dry the air in my bedroom was and with central heating going on all day. This may have been one of the reasons that caused the flare up. I used a small humidifier in my room to increase moisture. I also made sure I drank lots of water and fluids. During this time I arranged a video consultation with my GP (to discuss COVID 19 as well as eczema symptoms) who prescribed hydrocortisone cream to put on those areas. Although there was some improvement I am still experiencing really dry skin.
My personal anxieties of having COVID
During the whole pandemic I’ve always been anxious about self-isolating. I was more concerned about this than having COVID 19. I’m someone who likes to be occupied whether it’s working on this blog, exercising and seeing people. I don’t like feeling alone and trapped. For 10 days I felt like I was in prison basically. I didn’t want to infect anyone at home so the only time I left my room was to prepare meals.
I also had anxieties about not being at work and felt guilty. I was off for just over 2 weeks in total and kept worrying about work load piling up. Of course when I returned there was a lot to do. However, I was glad that I listened to my body and took extra time to recover.
I became conscious about having eczema on my face and neck. This made me a little paranoid when I was able to go out, but has not affected me too much.
My personal tips
Below are my personal tips based on my experience:
- If you live with others and have to self-isolate in one room definitely ensure that the air in the room is not dry to avoid skin completely drying out.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep skin moisturised and also to help get rid of toxins from the virus.
- Make sure you rest and don’t feel guilty about sleeping more than necessary.
- Take your mind of things that makes you anxious. As well as watching movies and other TV series try out things such as listening to music or reading.
- Having a support network of people who can help with food etc. while self-isolating is useful. I was lucky to have my mum and a friend who bought me food.
- Do not feel guilty about taking time off work. I was glad that I did not return immediately after 10 days of isolation. If you still feel tired after the 10 day isolation period try doing things to build up strength. I went out on mini walks to see how my body felt. When I was able to walk for an hour and go the whole day without sleeping, I knew that I was getting my strength back.
Hopefully this information is useful to you. Please note that this is my personal experience of COVID 19 and eczema. What happened to me may not be same for everyone. Therefore, please seek medical advice from your GP surgery, NHS 111 helpline or online.