I am a chef, and have been for 14 years now.
I used to get your bog standard eczema on my feet when I was a child, and it was manageable with hydrocortisone creams etc. It went away altogether when I hit puberty I reckon.
Then I didnt have anything until I went to work at a restaurant in Wigan when I was 19. Id worked in many kitchens before that with no problem. It flared up in a BIG way all over my hands, and it wasnt the same type of thing I had on my feet either. This was painful. My doctor and family both said it was eczema again but it was completely different! It started out with tiny itchy little fluid filled bumps on my fingers and palms. If I scratched this, it would weep and then the next day it would be red raw, with lots more little bumps spread all over the place. I worked this way for 3 years utilising gloves, and creams, I tried a lot of things but nothing seemed to help. Then as I got promoted higher up in my job I got a little more stressed, and it spread so fast. It went all the way up my arms and on to my neck and face. Dry skin in my eyebrows and on my nose but generally patches of red itchy skin on my neck and arms. The itchiest being my hands, still with those weird fluid filled bumps.
Then i left catering and went to university because it got too much, and all I could think of was that it was my job, the chemicals or certain foods or something. It did calm down a lot but still remained on my hands. Then when Uni finished 3 years later, I got back into cooking in Leeds, and expected a big flare up again but it never happened. In fact after 6 months all traces of it had gone! I put it down to drinking coffee as I stopped around the same time. I was over the moon, and pretty much forgot all about it. I still continued to wash in Aqueous cream and try and look after my skin, but it didnt come back.
Anyway, I changed jobs just before xmas and was suprised that it flared up again. I was managing it using Canesten HC cream as I didnt have a doctors sorted, but have mde an appointment for later this week finally. I dont know how much help they can be though as they were useless before!
Its getting to the point now where I know what happens next and its going to spread and make life a living ***l all over again.
Has anyone any suggestions of how I can manage this or any clues as to why it went away so suddenly in the first place? I know how lucky that was and would give anything to have that happen again, but Id settle just to be able to control it.