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.