When I was 14 I started getting itchy. It was winter time, and I thought it was dry skin on my lower legs, except they weren’t visibly dry. The itch never went away, I just learned to live with it. If you’re itchy for years, you stop remembering what it’s like to not be itchy.
When I was a teenager I also suffered from acne. Not terribly, but still enough to get me to really learn how to apply foundation. When I was 19 I started getting tiny itchy blisters on my fingers. When I was 20 they appeared on my toes, and knees and elbows. Obviously that’s not a normal occurrence, or at least shouldn’t be. When I was 21 I started getting something like cystic acne. Extremely painful bumps under my skin that would eventually break, but it almost seemed like they’d blister. It started happening about twice a year, and eventually was happening all the time. In 2015 Christmas, I had 4 bumps on my face that broke open and wouldn’t heal for 5 weeks. Doctor’s thought I was doing this to myself.
I started researching rashes. I would get these bumps on my upper back and my bum and worst of all, my face. I researched different types of skin disorders for years. I didn’t know where to start. I started looking at skin issues when I was 19 and finally when I was 23 I came across dermatitis herpetiformis, characterized as an itchy blistering rash. I had never connected the itchiness to the blistering! The itchiness has started so much earlier that I forgot it was even there.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is a rash caused by gluten, for some people with Celiac disease. I looked at pictures, thought “YES FINALLY all I have to do is cut out gluten, hell, maybe my arthritis is even a celiac thing”.
I went to tell my dermatologist and he laughed at me. Didn’t go back to see that guy again, but I did cut out gluten.
Now it did help, But it only helped about 10%. I was a bit disappointed but also encouraged by the minor change I did see.
That’s how my entire food process started. Thank god I had terrible skin, because neither the depression nor the arthritis, and not the chronic fatigue made me look towards diet. (What can I say, having bad skin as a girl reallllyyyy gets you down).