Protopic / Tacrolimus Followup

Well, since it has been two weeks since I was given the tacrolimus, I figured I should post a follow-up. The stuff is magic. Cleared up the really bad stuff very quickly.

However, the first night of using it was hell. I had been warned that “some people find it to be irritant… kind of like smearing chile pepper sauce on your face”. Oh dear. I thought it would sting like mad when I put it on (kinda like E45 for me), and when I did smear the 1% formulation over my face right before bed… it was fine. No stinging, not even a twinge.

The horror started a couple of hours later. I had fallen asleep, but was woken up sweating and scratching (well, tearing at my face). I was only half-awake and so very dopey most of the time, but eventually I woke up properly. Then I realised the skin on my face felt like it was being heated from the inside (like those “Deep Heat” / ralgex type muscle pain alleviators). Not nice. However, I washed my face (mainly to cool it down) and reapplied the ointment – somewhat more thinly this time – and went back to sleep.

Now, before being seen by dermatology my face had been pretty bad, eczema-wise. After this, I thought it would be… well, fucked. To my surprise the next morning I found that despite all the damn scratching the inflammation in my face had gone down. Overnight, it had made a significant difference. Within a couple of days, my face had almost regressed to normal. Certainly by now it’s looking great.

Would I recommend tacrolimus for persistent moderate-to-severe eczema? HELL YES. It’s not nice when you first use it, but it’s more than worth it.

Pro-topic / Tacrolimus

(not sure where the last few months of posts have gone… there wasn’t much of importance anyway)

I was at the dermatologists yesterday. I’ve had what turned out to be pretty bad eczema on my face now for the past 12 months, which has been annoying, sore and unpleasant to look at. So the dermatologists gave me some Pro-Topic (aka tacrolimus), an immunomodulator which should help my skin calm down and heal up and generally stop being so red and itchy. I’m very happy with them giving me this – I’d heard good stuff about Elidel (pimecrolimus) and was kinda hoping to get that; well Pro-Topic is Elidel on steroids 😉

That last sentence was a joke, because they are both non-steroidal topical… You normally get steroids to treat eczema… Uh… Never mind. About 3 biologists laughed.

Anyway, this stuff is the equivalent of a nuke (consultant’s words, not mine), so I’m glad to have it. They warn me a bit about a stinging / burning sensation, which I dismissed as something I could handle. I mean, my skin was getting so inflamed that even putting water on it was hurting. Also, E45 (a moisturiser) would sting for *ages*. I had it covered.

How wrong I was.

I put the ointment on before going to bed, somewhat very apprehensively, but it all seemed fine. I go to bed and am drifitng off to sleep when my left eye starts itching. So of course I scratch it it a bit, but that only makes the itching worse. Oh and scratching also spreads it a bit. I don’t need to spell out the whole sequence – suffice to say after a few minutes my whole face was itchy like never before. Oh, and this isn’t just an itch, it’s a hot itch, like someone has smeared chile around my face. This happened a couple more times through the night, except on the subsequent occasions I had the compounding factor that I was actually asleep and had been scratching for a while before I woke up.

So today, how is my skin? Well, worse. There’s no two ways about it, the scratching took its toll. However, my skin does look less inflamed, and it definitely doesn’t feel as sore as it normally would. Essentially I think if I’d been able to avoid scratching in the night, it would have been a whole ton better. So today and tonight I just have to exercise some self-contrl (easier said than done) and hopefully it shou;d start healing nicely!