You’ve got a killer itch. Worse, it’s The Itch. It’s driving you insane. The urge overcomes you and you go for it. But sometimes your fingernails just aren’t enough, and you turn to external help. But what? What do you turn to in a desperate, and ultimately self-destructive attempt to silence the screams of The Itch? I thought I’d mention some of mine, not to recommend any of them, because I surely don’t – but to see if you’ve found yourself turning to any…
The belt loop on denim jeans. Because my fingers often harbour The Itch, the belt loop is a convenient and attractive option. It’s extremely easy to get carried away and before you know it, my finger is glowing, red, stiff and missing a few layers of skin almost all the way around. Yet despite the damage, the relief is deeply unsatisfying. One to be avoided at all costs.
The teeth of a zipper. A focused scrubbing itcher, this one can hit The Itch hard, but press too hard and it’s pretty sharp. It can take out chunks, especially in already damaged, uneven, skin. Plastic zips are often kinder, but can still be sharp.
Cheese graters. No, really. Not along the grain, that would clearly grate my skin, but sideways with tiny movements. More trying to crush The Itch into submission on the edge of one of the grater’s teeth. Not that I haven’t glanced at the garlic-crushing side and wondered…
Teeth. I’ve got quite sharp teeth. Pointy canines. Scrabbling the backs of my fingers on them is also a kidney-punch to The Itch, but it’s not one you can do for long – not just because it’ll tear your skin easily (that is what they are for, after-all!), but because it makes you look like an idiot, and tends to make you drool. Plus it doesn’t exactly taste nice. There’s also a danger that you’ll move on to nibbling and if you’re too rough you could even damage your teeth.
Those little plastic popper studs that close duvet covers. Vicious little things, a sharp circular lip that just bites into any bumps it come across. Fortunately they’re not exactly convenient, but when you find one, The Itch is going to lure you. They’re not even very good at hitting it.
Towels. Wet and either macerated or crunchy, damaged skin,and a fluffy towel. That couldn’t be too bad, right? You’d be surprised. It’s like sandpaper, The Itch driving you to grind it harder and harder while it goes a sort of numb tingly. But by the deities, it’s hitting the spot and you just can’t stop. Then the pain fades in and you realise you’ve shorn a good few layers off, and there’s probably blood. Honestly, fluffy towels are evil and must be destroyed.
Like the fluffy towel, a seam can be deeply damaging, and unfortunately they’re everywhere. Even my cotton gloves have seams, which I have found myself itching against without even realising. Under clothing, the damage being done is temporarily hidden, but it’s there and you will have to deal with it.
Stubble. This will make eczema worse, by adding a stubble rash. You’d think those pointy little hairs would help penetrate The Itch, but instead all you get is tiny holes. This one activity adds to The Itch, and does it’s fair shair of damage.
My missus. Her nails are long, like blades, and are great for scratching. She’s reticent to let me borrow them, understandably.
So what of you? Shoot @eczemaSupport a tweet and perhaps we can get a conversation going. My aforementioned missus rates the edge of a mattress and a foot rasp highly. The foot rasp is a bit “feety” for me to use, and the mattress edge comes under “seam”. Let’s hear yours!