A Woman In Hospital With Persistent Eczema Was Astounded By A €9 Ointment That Cleaned Her Skin Overnight
Due to her flaky skin, Kimberly Reardon slept in a balaclava at night to prevent her skin from "weeping" and clinging to the pillow, and changed her bed sheets every few hours.
A woman who was left hospitalised with excruciating eczema says her skin was cleared overnight after using a "life-changing" €9 miracle cream.
Kimberly Reardon, a Scots call centre operator from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, slept in a balaclava at night to stop her skin "weeping" and sticking to the pillow and changed her bed sheets every few hours due to her flakey skin.
However, this all stopped after she tried an over-the-counter cream a few months ago, having lived in chronic pain from her skin condition for a decade.
The 30-year-old suffered from mild baby eczema until she was three years old, but it didn't flare up again until her teens, WalesOnline reports.
However, by her 20s, the condition was causing her catastrophic problems as she was covered in red raw patches of dry, flaking skin.Her eczema frequently developed into painful, weeping sores for the next decade. Kimberley tried numerous steroid creams, which worked briefly, but her condition would return with such vigour she would be unable to move without her skin weeping or peeling.
After several hospitalisations, infections and periods of being bedbound, by March 2022, Kimberley had lost hope until a €9 cream cleared her skin overnight. Kimberley, who lives with her boyfriend of 12 years, healthcare assistant Scott Hannah, 31, said: "I was exhausted and hopeless. It felt like it was never-ending.
"I had spent nearly ten years in chronic pain, and it was an achievement for me to just get myself washed and dressed in the morning. I have tried so many creams that don't work, so when my mum suggested I tried this one, I was very sceptical about it working.
"But, when I woke up the next day, my face was almost clear. It was unbelievable."
Despite suffering from mild baby eczema, Kimberley's skin complaints only really started in her teens.
She said: "My parents would usually use a cream on me as a baby, which would work, but then the eczema appeared again when I was going through exams at 15.
"It started on my back and spread to the creases in my elbows, with patches of redness. It bothered me, but it hadn't spread to my face at that point, so I could just hide it."
To ease the eczema, Kimberley was prescribed a steroid cream which was steadily increased in dosage to match her increasing flare-ups.
But when she hit 20, the steroid creams seemed to stop working, and during the next three years, her condition intensified and spread to her face.
She said: "I was studying for my social sciences degree at university, working part-time in a call centre and caring for my grandad because he was poorly and he had pneumonia. Stress was definitely a trigger for my eczema, which went from some scaly patches to covering my whole body in red, inflamed dry skin that was just falling off my face."
She added: "My arms looked like red sleeves, while my legs were also covered and my neck was incredibly sore. It was unmanageable. I was trying to use creams, emollients and moisturisers and wrapping myself in bandages to try and help them to be absorbed into my skin."
Diagnosed with severe and widespread erythema at 23 - a rash caused by injured or inflamed blood capillaries, usually in response to a drug, disease or infection - Kimberley's skin became worse and worse.
"I wasn't functioning at all. I was exhausted," she said.
"I felt ruined like my body was fighting against me constantly. It felt like I had severe sunburn over my whole body - as if it was burning me from the inside out. "
After years fighting eczema without success, Kimberley felt depressed, although she still tried to go out and have an everyday life.
She said: "I remember putting foundation on the top of my hands to try and cover the red patches.
"One time, a woman saw my hand when I pushed the lift button at work, and she said, 'Oh! Have you been burnt?' I felt so embarrassed.
"I started wearing foundation to try and cover the patches, as well as long sleeves and big jumpers, even in the summer to try and hide my skin. I felt so out of control of my skin that I started to micromanage everything else that I could to compensate.
"Even though it hurt to move, I was hoovering six times a day to clear my skin up. I was in so much pain, but I became obsessive about things. I couldn't leave dishes out, and I became totally over the top with cleaning and constantly checking my money, even though I knew I could pay my bills."
In 2018, Kimberley's skin condition became so bad she was hospitalised.
She said: "My mum took one look at me and was horrified.
"Ninety-five per cent of my body was covered in red, swollen and burning skin. I was losing too much fluid through my skin, where I was oozing out."
She added: "And the doctors said I was critically ill. My skin was so weak, and I wasn't able to regulate my temperature."
After two weeks on an IV drip in hospital, Kimberley was placed on immunosuppressants and five months of oral steroids to try and tame her severe eczema. And when 2020 hit, she found herself completely bedbound.
She said: "From January to March, my skin was the worst it had even been. Doctors doubled my doses of immunosuppressants, but nothing worked.
"I had to have spare sheets to change and lie on every few hours. I was ruining the bed sheets where my skin was so flaky and oozy.
"I was spending hours lying in really hot baths because they seemed to be the only thing that relieved my skin, although it would be worse when I got out."
She added: "I was crying constantly, and I didn't look like me at all. I would think, 'Am I ever going to get better? Is this it?'"
The March 2020 lockdown was a turning point for Kimberley, as she could better manage her pain while she was working from home.
She was prescribed new immunosuppressants, and her skin briefly cleared - but even then, she was plagued with a litany of other side effects.
"My skin was amazing, but I was having other problems," she said. "I was vomiting all the time, sleeping all the time, and I couldn't keep food down."
Then, in July 2020, her skin flared up again so severely that she was hospitalised once more and signed off work for five months.
She said: "I was bitten by an insect, which caused an abscess and cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection because I had no immunity."
Kimberley added: "I was in hospital for two weeks on a drip again and antibiotics, followed by another three weeks of antibiotics at home. I was bedbound, I barely got up, and my poor boyfriend was carrying me to the toilet and running the bath for me.
"There's no awareness of TSW for people using steroids, and it was hugely detrimental for me. I wish I had known about more natural remedies like Balmonds. The difference it has made is incredible."
With her newfound confidence, Kimberley is now filling up her social diary.
She said: "I have been out and about with my mum and dad, and I have gone to yoga.
"It is such a relief to be comfortable again. There is still some eczema on my left hand and arm, but it isn't bad, and the rest of me is clear. It is nothing short of a miracle. "