A woman who was diagnosed with eczema at the age of 10 reveals how it became so severe after having breast augmentation that it forced her to resign from her job as an aesthetician and caused her to have suicidal thoughts, according to the Mirror.
In April, 2013, Christine Nguyen, 27, of Colorado, underwent surgery to get breast implants to go from a "small B cup to a small C cup." All she wanted was for her clothes to "fit better, basically. I think boob jobs are often frowned upon, but it's your own body, there's nothing wrong with doing something for yourself."
However, she was in for a shock four months later when her eczema returned so severely that it caused excruciating "flaking, blistered skin" that prevented her from moving. She had to rely on her mother for everything, including being taken to the bathroom for baths but even that would cause her to cry out in pain. She became so helpless that Nguyen came close to calling it quits with her 26-year-old financial planner boyfriend, Gerard Mota, because the pain prevented her for having sexual intercourse with her boyfriend, and she had no interest as she felt so "unattractive."
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Christine Nguyen, 27, of Colorado, had a boob job in 2013. Months later, her eczema flared… http://t.co/ayRFda809nAlthough it has yet to be proven, Nguyen claims that the silicon in her breast triggered her eczema.
— World Health News (@WorldHealthNews) September 30, 2015
"It started with my face swelling up," said Nguyen. "My friend said I looked like a blown-up Mulan – from the Disney films. Then my face blistered in third-degree like burns."
"No doctor could figure out exactly what was going on. They still can't."Although Nguyen was taking steroids for her condition, her body continued to shut down and "by 2014, she became very ill." According to the Daily Mail, she stated that "I literally could not get out of bed for a whole four months. Even eating became ridiculous – my face was so inflamed it would crack or ooze when I opened my mouth."
During the night, she claimed that she would often "scratch her flaky skin to bits" and would wake up to see her pillow and sheets covered in blood. But the worst of it all was the public and her family's reaction to her skin. When she'd go out in public, people would often stare at her skin and make her feel "disgusting." However, "The worst was my niece saying, 'I'm not giving you a kiss till your itchy goes away,'" she said. And as a result, she refrained from going to groceries stores and even quit her job as an aesthetician and began collecting disability checks.
Nguyen admitted that the horrifying experience left her wanting to take her own life. She said "Looking in the mirror, I just thought, 'What's the point? This nightmare is never, ever going to end.' I felt so helpless, like I had no purpose in the world any more. My family was supporting me financially and having to care for me at home – I felt like a burden, nothing more."
However, after finding a girl group on Facebook called Topical Steroid Withdrawal, who is going through a similar experience gave her hope.
"Those girls who I met through social media were just amazing," she said. "Never underestimate the power of strangers to change your world." She then turned to the public for help by setting up a Go Fund Me page and was able to raise enough money in May to get treatment at Avène – "a world-famous hydrotherapy treatment center in the South of France."
Since having breast augmentation that apparently triggered severe eczema, her skin has improved 80 percent and she says she feels attractive again. She's able to walk and "feel like I'm seeing the world in color now for the first time. I want to go back to work. I want to jump into bed and have fun with my boyfriend – I want to take on the world."
"I'm not naive enough to think this will be the end of it. There will probably be what sufferers call 'anniversary flare-ups' but I can deal with anything now.Nguyen will continue to get treatments until her skin has completely healed, and she plans to repair her relationship with her boyfriend.
"It's like a fog has lifted. I have my swagger back."
[Image courtesy of Care SMC / Flickr / Creative Commons]