Gladskin Eczema Gel
Anyone who suffers from a chronic illness will be familiar with the late night Google search that accompanies health-induced panic. A particularly harrowing period had my face flaring-up and weeping every week and I had been treated with antibiotics for infection three times in the space of six months. Misery.
That is how I found this BBC video about the Dutch pharmaceutical company behind Gladskin's Eczema Gel with Staphefekt™: an enzyme that targets and kills the bacteria Staphycoccolus Aureas (Staph A), while leaving the bacteria that is good for skin unharmed. (You can see my *uhum* artistic take on this bacteria above based on microscopic images showing Staph A as purpley-blue balls).
Staph A lives on the bodies of one in three people and can be harmless; it is very likely to be present on the skin of those with eczema and if it enters broken skin it can cause an infection. The Gladskin website states that its eczema range is designed to reduce itching, redness, irritation and inflammation with results from immediately to within two months.
There is a choice of cream or gel and I went for the latter as I felt the gel would be more comfortable to apply on weeping skin and I would follow up with moisturisers anyway (be aware that the cream version contains a lanolin derivative). To get the maximum benefit I decided I would use the gel everyday as the first step after cleansing, twice a day on my face, neck and chest.
The gel is unfragranced and clear, it feels slightly cooling as you apply to the skin with no stinging (unless I've really gone to town with scratching in which there is a sting that passes quickly). It is a thin watery gel that spreads easily. It sinks in quickly enough and when dry it feels slightly tacky which is when I follow-up with the rest of my routine (no use of a topical steroid or immunomodulator (e.g. Protopic) on my face during the trial period). The pump dispenser is controllable but the packaging is opaque so annoyingly you cannot see how much product remains.
I had let myself hope that, with this treatment I would not suffer the weekly flare-up that I had become so sadly accustomed to - I am a seasoned-sufferer and I know there are no miracles in a bottle but I had just become so desperate! Obviously I was disappointed when that unbearable itch reared it's scratchy head and my skin became inflamed once again.
But there was a difference - that first flare-up after I started this treatment did not involve weeping skin! Praise be! In the last six months, even though I continue to battle extremely dry and itchy skin, I have only experienced a handful of occasions where part of my face has weeped and the gel would quickly get rid of the wetness. I have not suffered a single infection so far.
So I've concluded that Staph A is not causing my face to flare-up, but when I was going through one, Staph A was infecting and making my skin a whole lot weepy and worse. I no longer use Gladskin Eczema Gel on a daily basis but reserve its use as a treatment when my skin is inflamed and starts to weep. By stopping an infection developing, I get over a flare-up so much quicker with less damage to my skin and without having to ask for antibiotics. It has become part of my flare-up arsenal as somewhat of a skin - and sanity - saver.