Last week, I was happy to visit the dermatologist for my yearly skin once-over.
I’ve written about skin things before (the one about melasma, and the weird toe, and dry skin like whoa), and lately, I feel like there have been more issues than usual. I blame the weather turning mind- blowingly cold all of a sudden, as my hands are chapped messes and my fingertips are splitting and oh yeah, the colder weather also makes residual diabetes device adhesive rashes go into bloom.
So when the dermatologist asked me if I had any concerns, I had two specific issues: the split fingertips and the fact that my skin would become red and scaly wherever I had put a Dexcom or a pump site in the last month.
“Your skin does not like adhesives, does it,” she murmured almost under her breath as she ran her finger over where my older CGM sensors had been placed. “Is it scaly like this all the time?”
“Not entirely. I showered about 40 minutes ago, so sometimes it’s more irritated after a shower. But the cold weather makes those patches crop up.”
“You can see exactly where your device was attached,” she said, pointing to a few different spots. “This must itch like crazy.”
I think I nodded aggressively as a response.
Then she busted out her magnifying glass that had headlights on it so she could look at my fingertips. “This … is this split only in the winter or all the time?”
“It’s becoming almost all the time, to be honest. I have a toddler so we do diaper changes and handwashing several times a day, plus all the other weather-related concerns. My hands see a lot of action.”
We talked a bit more and developed a game plan.
For the rash and the split fingertips both, she prescribed betamethasone cream, advising me to use it for a week or two straight, then take a few weeks off so that my skin doesn’t become compromised or more irritated. It’s a corticosteroid, and marked as a strong one, and she hopes that it will help my skin heal. I picked the prescription up on the way home from the appointment.
It’s been four days since she examined the skin I’m in and so far, my hands are improving daily. Now, in addition to the cream, I’m also using CeraVe Healing Ointment on the particularly nasty split. Stuff is turning out to be greasy af but it seems to be working. Unrelated but related: I also bought some super fresh yellow gloves to use when washing dishes, which makes my transition into domestic goddess complete. (Look Pam, I soaked ’em!) It’s these small changes that will hopefully help my hands heal. Nothing like rotten hands to ruin a day.
Any relief is awesome. It’s not so much the pain as it is the annoyance of constantly needing to tape my fingers (which makes it really hard to open my phone, especially when I’m taping my thumb. “Use passcode, use passcode, argh!!!!”), apply hand cream, make sure I press on my son’s car seat release button in exactly the right way so my fingers don’t split further … it’s clear that I use my hands a lot.
And yeah, this is a boring post, but if you’re someone who is also dealing with skin issues in this kind of weather, you might like this post. You might even bookmark this post. And if you’re feeling super wild, you can print this post out and circle the beginning letter of each sentence of the second-to-last paragraph and find the secret message. *
* There isn’t a secret message. But I respect your effort.**
** Just kidding. It’s in the third-to-last paragraph.