Do you ever look at your hands? I caught myself doing that the other day. No real reason except perhaps reminding myself of my dermatology appointment today. Years before, I'd look at my hands and feel very ashamed due to the marks left from purging. It wasn't a pretty sight, and I distinctly remember people asking about it. I lied saying they were rug burns. I'm not sure how I came up with that one.
I no longer have those reminders, however, I do have something else to contend with: incredibly dry hands.. Though this happens year around, winter makes it much worse. It's only the first day of December and already there are cracks in several places as well as that dry, chapped look. Last winter, it got to the point of my hands feeling like they were on fire if there was anything remotely touching them.
The ironic thing about this is that my hands would look lovely if I washed my hands less! So herein lies the problem, I simply cannot. I really hate the feel of grimy, dirty hands and find myself washing them quite a lot in any given day. Even trying to use hand sanitizers like my dermatologist suggested still left my hands feeling "unclean." Don't ge me wrong if I have to use hand sanitizers, I of course will--think like porta-potty or something of that nature.
At today's dermatology appointment, my Dr. noticed my awful looking hands. I really thought she was going to be upset with me since I didn't adhere well to the hand sanitizers. Surprisingly, she understood and said some people just don't do well with them. She said it was something that had to work into your life. For example, at her office, she uses hand sanitizers all the time, but that makes sense. A CNN article talked about that here since there are many superbugs in a hospital environment.
My dermatologist gave me something new to try--a script for Tetrix, a cream that is supposed to act like a barrier against allergens, irritants, and gentle hand washing. (Another study is found here) I'm not too keen that this is another steroid-based medication, but they do seem to be the only thing that provide real relief. I've used many, many different lotions and creams, and all are short-lived relief.
For some reason, this whole hand washing thing is bothering me a lot. I don't *think* it is compulsive. I do not think I'm going to die, get some disease, get sick, etc. if I do not wash my hands X times a day. I'm not trying to get some stain out either. (bonus points for that reference) I simply do not like dirty hands. I guess I'm wondering if I'm obsessing about this too much. Anxiety is already a problem for me (that's an upcoming post), and :sigh: I don't want to have to add another thing to my already enough disorderedness. Oh yeah, and did I mention I have a horrible nail biting habit?