A mother whose eczema was so painful she would struggle with basic tasks revealed how a £9.95 skin salve helped ease her symptoms in a matter of weeks.
Marketing manager Rosa Enfield, 46, from Winchester, has long struggled with dry skin but suffered a particularly painful eczema flare-up following a difficult divorce three years ago.
The condition spread to her fingers, palm and wrist, leaving her in excruciating pain while dressing, gardening and washing her hair.
‘It was hard some days to even cook dinner for the kids as holding pans was so painful,’ Rosa admitted.
The mother-of-two was prescribed two rounds of steroids and tried a string of alternative treatments but to no avail.
Marketing manager Rosa Enfield, 46, from Winchester, has long struggled with dry skin but suffered a particularly painful eczema flare-up following a difficult divorce three years ago. Pictured, an eczema patch on her wrist during a particularly bad period
She finally found relief after she started using Hydrosil Turmeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve, which is made from donkey milk, and credits it with rapidly improving her condition. Pictured, the same patch of skin after regularly using the product for just four weeks
Mother-of-two Rosa, pictured after her skin cleared, was left in excruciating pain while dressing, gardening and washing her hair
However she finally found relief after she started using Hydrosil Turmeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve, which is made from donkey milk, and credits it with rapidly improving her condition.
‘The first time I used the salve it was like immediate relief,’ she said.
‘I patch tested in the morning as advised and it didn’t sting or cause any swelling and so before bed that night I slathered it on and instantly felt my hands feeling slightly soothed.’
She continued: ‘Most creams I’ve used overnight are completely gone by the morning and my hands are dry as a crisp again and sore.
‘This salve was still there in the morning, I could feel it on my skin and my hands were less crispy and sore.’
Rosa said this turmeric butter and hypoallergenic skin salve from Hydrosil (pictured) helped heal her skin condition
Rosa has long struggled with dry skin, which would get worse in times of stress of illness. However she was previously able to treat herself with a regular moisturiser.
Following her divorce three years ago, Rosa found herself facing her worst ever flare up.
She continued: ‘I was sleeping badly, working long hours and dealing with all the emotional turmoil that comes with a messy divorce and that was when my hands went from being just very dry and flaky to becoming red, swollen, cracked and extremely painful.’
The cracks then spread to Rosa’s whole palm and wrist, leaving her to endure excruciating pain.
‘It hurt every time I touched something,’ she said. ‘I got to the stage where by any creams I wanted to use on the rest of my body or to wash my hair I had to use rubber gloves as any product I got on my hands was complete agony, it felt like pouring acid on my hands.’
After the skin condition spread to her wrist, Rosa went to her GP, who recommended she use an emollient before prescribing a steroid cream.
‘This stung to high heaven when I applied it but it did, eventually start to improve the condition of my hands,’ she said.
‘But after two months when I went back for a repeat prescription, I was told to stop using the steroid cream as it was quite strong and not to be used permanently.’
The eczema returned within a week and she was prescribed another round of steroid cream.
Rosa’s painful wound pictured in April, before the new treatment, during a bad eczema flare up
‘But this time it didn’t work as well. It stung more than before and made my skin red and hot,’ she said. ‘The cracks did begin to heal but the rest of my hands were really red and swollen.’
Rosa came off the steroid cream and wa stold there was little medicine could do for her hands, and to let them ‘heal up’ on their own.
Skeptical that this would work, Rosa went through several creams and salves from the chemist and other products found online, but said nothing would help.
She continued: ‘I also tried going vegetarian, taking flaxseed supplements, using various different essential oils and giving up lactose and alcohol to see if any of this helped. It didn’t.
‘For about a year my hands would fluctuate from just being very dry and sore to cracked, infected and red raw, depending on what product I was using.’
At their worst, her hands would be so sore that she had to give up her joint passions of mountain biking and gardening.
A picture of Rosa when her eczema flare up was painful (left) and after it cleared (right). Her condition was so severe her hands would crack and bleed when she tried to dress up
A picture of Rosa taken in August, five weeks after starting the new treatment shows that her wrist and hand are free of sores
‘My hands would bleed inside the gloves,’ she said. ‘When I was gardening, I found it too painful to put enough pressure on the secateurs to even clip the weakest of stems.’
She added: ‘Looking back now, I think at one point I was really quite depressed as I felt I literally couldn’t do anything I loved.’
The condition also impacted her professional life.
She said: ‘My job involves a lot of travel to trade shows and when my hand and wrist eczema was at its worst a year ago, some people refused to take brochures from me after seeing my hands.
‘My boss asked me on more than one occasion what was wrong with my hands and couldn’t I do something about it.
In July, three weeks after using the Hydrosil treatment, the wound’s appearance has significantly improved and Rosa was able to ride her bike again
‘I was able to explain to him, but to clients and people I didn’t know, it was awful as I could see them looking with horror at my hands when I handed them information.’
Rosa finally found relief when she answered an advert looking for people to trial the Hydrosil Turmeric Butter & Hypoallergenic Milk Salve.
Rosa explained she noticed a clear improvement in her skin within a week of using the salve three times a day and wearing cotton gloves overnight.
‘The cracks had started to close and the swelling had dramatically reduced,’ she said.
After a month, the woman said her hands ‘virtually [came] back to normal.’
‘The relief I felt is indescribable. Aside from the look of my hands it was just incredible not to be in so much pain every day.
Six weeks after using the salve, Rosa (pictured) said she was back to her old self and enjoyed the same intense activities as before
‘My hands were still a bit red after a month and you could see the patches on my wrists where the eczema had been but the cracks, swelling and flaking had all but gone.’
Rosa said she’s been using the salve for the past three months twice daily and that her hands feel ‘new.’
She is now back to gardening and mountain biking, two activities she had to forgo to her extremely painful palms, fingers and wrists.
‘I’m still very careful not to get detergents on my hands and I still use rubber gloves when I wash my hair or apply other moisturisers to my body, but other than that my hands feel more or less normal again,’ she said.
‘Which feels frankly miraculous after what I have been through the last few years with them.
Is donkey milk good for eczema?
Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed herself in donkey milk to keep her youthful looks, but it appears that donkey milk soap and salve have also been known to help people with eczema and other skin conditions like psoriasis.
Atopic eczema is common and is usually caused by inflammation of the tissue. It manifests in the form of itchy, dry, red and painful skin.
Because eczema involves dry skin, the NHS recommends that people use emollients (moisturisers) topically.
The condition is subject to flare-ups (meaning the eczema goes through phases of good and bad). The NHS recommends topical corticosteroids (cream and ointments) during these.
Eczema cannot be completely cured and will come back every so often.
Donkey milk is the animal milk that comes closest to human milk, which is known to help build an infant’s immune system
Is it extremely hydrating, which is why it could sooth people with itchy and dry skin.
Donkey milk is different from other types of dairy, and contains more Omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains substance that have been shown to benefit people who suffered from asthma, eczema and psoriasis.
In 2016, the Cyprus University of Technology did follow people who drank donkey milk for months and found they reported improvement with asthma, coughs, eczema and psoriasis.
However, female donkeys do not produce a lot of milk, which is why the product