So the bubbles did indeed return and a few days later my hands were as bad as they’d ever been, but I decided to follow the doctor’s plan for a few more days until my appointment. I cut down the hydrocortisone cream to every other day and then every third day , and the strangest thing happened – the skin started to look a little better. Cue House M.D. epiphany moment…could my hands be reacting to the cream that was meant to be stopping the reaction to some still unidentified substance?
Dad, who has a PhD in chemistry, did a little research and decided it was definitely possible that I could have developed a sensitivity to hydrocortisone (though it wasn’t the original cause of the eczema and it did make it better initially). This theory also explains why the eczema has gradually spread from finger to finger, as the cream on each inflamed patch caused a reaction on the skin that touched it.
The doctor agreed that it was a possibility and prescribed an alternative steroid cream to treat any new flare ups, but for the last few days I’ve used nothing but vast quantities of emollient and the improvement has continued. I can now cross my fingers again – so I am doing!