Hey there, I’m Lisa. I’m the Co-Founder of Buzzn along with Dr. Min.
I know you don’t hear from me a lot so I thought I would introduce myself and share my own story about how CBD helped in my healing journey.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Min shared his story about his experience with CBD, if you missed it, you can read it again here. My story is a little different.
How it all started…
I spent the majority of my life before 8-years-old in Hong Kong with my grandparents (my parents moved to New York City to go to school in the U.S.). When I was 8 years old, I moved to New York City to finally reunite with my parents. Moving to the U.S., especially New York City as a little kid should have been a fun experience, but for me, it caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. I didn’t speak the language and I didn’t have any friends, and most importantly, I wouldn’t have my grandparents. Somewhere between the climate change and the anxiety, I developed Atopic Dermatitis (also known as eczema).
In Hong Kong, the weather is mostly subtropical and humid and other than chicken Pox, I never had a problem with my skin as a child. When I moved to New York, it was fall and the weather was dry. First, I started to breakout into what looked like hives on my arms, my parents thought I was having an allergic reaction so I went to an Allergy Specialist and a Dermatologist. Then, it started to spread in patches from the inside of my arms to the back of my legs and my neck. I would wake up in the middle of the night crying and bleeding because of the itching. Finally, the doctors said I had Eczema and it could go away when I was older. They sent me home with instructions to purchase a jar of Vaseline, Cerave and a prescription for 0.05% fluocinonide which was an upper mid-strength topical steroid (and eventually escalated to 0.05% clobetasol propionate which is super potent and probably not the best for your health).
So my life continued on with me either slathered in Vaseline (super shiny wasn’t the trend at that time) and topical steroids or with dry, white and scabby patches all over me. As a kid that was trying to figure out her new life, this was detrimental to my self-confidence.
Those awkward years…
Contrary to what my doctor said, my eczema did not get better as I aged. With the trauma left over from being picked on as a kid in school that looked diseased, the pressure to get good grades and trying to fit in, my eczema actually worsened. I didn’t know it at the time but eczema can also “relocate” to different parts of your body. So mine spread to my head (Seborrheic dermatitis) and my chest in addition to all the places that it was already placed. It made living life difficult because I was extremely self-conscious. Doing everyday things was not only painful physically (sweating triggers eczema flare-ups) but it was also done with the awareness that people were staring at me with disgust towards the white flakes falling from my body.
When I was in my late twenties, two things happened that stopped me on my eczema rollercoaster ride and forced me to take a hard look at the way that I was living my life and make some serious changes.
The first thing was innocent enough. I went to donate blood and when I sat down, the nurse looked at my arm and asked me what was wrong with my skin. The area which had the most severe eczema and seen the most topical steroid use was completely discolored and the skin texture felt different. This discoloration was surrounded by some reddish scale-y looking dry patches. I told the nurse that I had eczema, she rejected my offer to donate blood and sent me on my way.
The second thing that happened was more traumatic and if you don’t like to read about graphic things, please skip to the next section. Remember when I said that eczema can “relocate?” One day, I unexpectedly started bleeding and blistering on my breasts. The blistering was so severe that I couldn’t wear a bra. The affected areas on my breast didn’t itch, it was just painful. It made dating difficult for imaginable reasons. Obviously, this was a cause for concern. After about a month, I went to a doctor who told me that this looked like a rare form of breast cancer called Paget’s disease and I needed to have a biopsy and a mammogram immediately. After a few weeks of waiting and testing, luckily, I found out that I didn’t have Paget’s disease and it was a very severe form of eczema but I should not be using topical steroids so there was not much to do but moisturize.
Going through these two events made me realize that I had to live my life in a much different way. I started to change my diet, heal my mind, change the way I think and looking for alternative ways to treat me skin topically.
CBD to the Rescue…
After the Paget’s disease scare, I sought out a healthier way to live. Eczema is an Autoimmune Disease and it’s not just about taking care of it topically, I had to learn how to eat cleaner and take care of my body on the inside. I started to work on my self-confidence and truly heal mind and body.
To help my skin, I asked my dad (an Ophthalmologist specializing in Glaucoma) if he knew of any natural remedies. Since he specialized in Glaucoma, he was well aware of the benefits of medical marijuana so he told me to look into trying CBD due to its anti-inflammatory properties. We spent the next few years creating a homemade lotion for me to use so I can prolong the periods in between my topical steroid use.
What I have been using is not trendy, it’s not cool and it’s not a miracle cream that makes my eczema go away completely but it’s effective and it’s helped me live a much simpler life. I still have flare-ups and I’m still itchy and flakey at times but when I use the CBD cream on my skin, it helps to sooth the flare-ups and I can get away with using it alone and not having to combine it with a topical steroid. Since I have been using CBD on my skin, I can now go about a month or two before I have a REALLY terrible flare-up and have to use my steroid creams.
As Buzzn grows, I hope to add this to our product mix someday so that it can help you with your skin and your life like it did for me.
More than 30% of people with atopic dermatitis were diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety. If you find yourself in that position or if you have a story and you want to share, I’m here for you and would love to hear your story and chat with you. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not all eczema experiences are as severe as mine. Many times, mild eczema are often treated because they can be confused with a rash. If you want more information on eczema, the National Eczema Association has many amazing resources. But no matter what you feel, you’re not the only person with this skin issue. We’re here for you!
Love + Health,