A mother of six suffering from a rare skin condition has shared her experience of living with the pain of eczema.
Nicole Preece, 34, is currently unable to wear most types of shoes due to extreme blisters covering her feet and hands.
She lives with a rare form of eczema, palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP), which she was diagnosed with within minutes of her baby’s birth.
The condition causes huge blisters. and burn-like appearances on parts of the body.
About six years ago, Ms. Preece saw her first eczema flare-up just after giving birth to her daughter.
After two years of trying to deal with it, the skin condition went into remission before it returned in 2021.
The psoriasis that covers her hands and feet hasn’t responded to regular treatments, and Ms Preece went to great lengths to try to ease the symptoms, including trying a pill intended for cancer patients that caused her hair loss.
With more than 15,000 followers on Instagram, Ms. Preece has turned to the platform to normalize and spread awareness of skin conditions, among other life experiences.
Ms Preece, from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, said she can’t wear anything other than trainers as the condition makes her shoes very uncomfortable.
“I would love to be able to wear thongs and play on the beach with my kids without pain,” Ms. Preece said.
“I look like a burn victim. I even have to wash my hair with gloves in the shower.
“Sounds stupid, but it’s the little things that really bring me down.”
The current climate also influences your breakouts, as both hotter and colder weather affect your skin.
“It’s a catch 22, because eczema gets better in warmer weather, but psoriasis gets worse,” he said.
“It depends a lot on how your body reacts.
“In the first outbreak, I tried over 60 different diets, treatments, and natural ‘cures’, which made it worse, so they gave me a drug designed for cancer patients.”
After years of trying products, both over-the-counter and natural, Ms. Preece hasn’t been able to cure her skin as such, but she has found some relief in a natural product, as well as some curious additions to her shower.
Using a MooGoo eczema-specific lotion has helped soothe her breakouts, but she has yet to find something that will “cure” it completely.
He said he contacted someone in the US with the same condition, who recommended using oatmeal in his shower routine to soothe the blisters.
“He said to put oatmeal in a sock and put it in the shower faucet,” he said.
“They help soothe the skin, and eating them helps too.”
She hopes to encourage her Instagram followers to be more understanding of people, even though to others “it might look like a little rash.”
“Other people don’t see how it can slowly undermine your mental health, which is a big deal.”