In undertaking what would appear to be a miniature vanity project (or as I disguise it; ‘research’), it would seem that the most popular post on my blog is 'Hair Today, Crohn's Tomorrow', and the most searched topic, is ‘how does Crohn’s affect your hair?’ or ‘My hair is falling out with Crohn’s!’. The same question is asked again and again in a similar style in varying degrees of panic and with incredibly varying degrees of bad spelling. *shakes fists*
For me it’s an issue I suffer from regularly and if this tiny bit of ‘research’ is anything to go by it seems I’m not alone in my hairy worries.In considering writing about the misfortunes of my follicles again, I got to thinking about my body as whole. My mind tends to drifts from time to time and I have to take a moment to appreciate what the big man upstairs blessed me with...
No, what I mean by that, is that along with the headache that is my head, Crohn’s also affects multiple parts of the body on the inside as well as the inner. Although, it is definitely a MASSIVE blessing that the ugliness on the inside stays there.
It’s true to say that feeling like Crohn’s is ruining the outer shell too can be depressing. One of the few positives about suffering from Crohn’s is that it’s ‘invisible’, meaning you don’t necessarily have to tell anyone you are going through Hell on the inside because they normally can’t tell on the outside. This isn’t always the case though as often the disease makes itself known in your physical appearance in little ways that no amount of Maybelline can fix.
So what can be do to keep these horrible little foibles at bay? From the experience I’ve gained in living with Crohn’s and in having skin and hair and stuff, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a small list of tips I’ve found to be a help in keeping the outside looking a million times better than the inside.
Hair LossThere are many causes linked to hair loss with Crohn’s. In the majority of cases this particularly awful affliction is caused by drugs and the medication we unfortunately have to take to keep our disease under control. There is usually little can be done to help delay or ease this; discussing increasing your Folic Acid intake or starting Biotin, Zinc and various Multivitamins and supplements with your Doctor can be a good place to start. Other more natural solutions to ease a sore scalp and help treat your hair are to create a mask with Olive Oil – coat the entire scalp, wrap for up to an hour (depending on the amount of hair you have) and wash thoroughly. Another tried and tested tip from a friend would be to create a mixture of Olive Oil, Honey and Egg and massage into scalp for up to 20minutes. Anything with Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil are also lovely. If nothing else these help to keep the hair in good condition and stop the scalp throbbing quite so much.
Dry SkinThis is something I only began to suffer from after my surgery. My face is the worst and during flares can really break out, especially around the nose and forehead (which is most of my face to put it bluntly). Oil comes into play again here, a good tip is to mix together Olive Oil and Castor Oil then gently spread evenly over the affected area. Remove and repeat a few times until the skin feels soft. When I was younger I read somewhere that Honey on the face was a good tip to keep it soft, this led to an embarrassing moment when my Mum walked in on me in the bath, but needless to say it was a mess but does the trick.
Mouth UlcersDrink plenty of fruit juices where possible as lack of Vitamin C can be a major hindrance. Always ensure you are keeping your whole mouth as sparklingly clean as possible by mouth washing along with brushing. Mixing a solution of Sodium Bicarbonate and water is a good way to cleanse the mouth if no mouthwash is available. When ulcer-ified avoid foods with sharp edges, like crisps toast and nuts. Also stay away from chewing gum as it can lead to biting the inside of the mouth. A couple of final weird but wonderful solutions are Peppermint Oil and eating raw onions. (Obviously in a salad or something please don’t start chomping on a raw onion, it’ll only end in tears) Ahahahahahaha…. Ha..ha..
Red Raw Rear-EndSteer clear of perfumed products when cleaning that area and avoid flannels and sponges or anything that may irritate the skin. Do not rub, and stay away from talcum powders and lotions and potions. Wear cotton drawers when you can and finally, WET WIPES ARE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND.