A woman lost her vision for days in an agonising eczema flare-up that saw her hospitalised. Beatrice Gaucahas, from Ireland, has suffered from the skin condition for most of her life, which often caused rashes to appear on the skin around her joints.
But the 22-year-old’s eczema — which causes redness and blistering of the skin — took a turn for the worse when it spread to her face and left her hospitalised.
The children’s gymnastics instructor was left with dry, scaly skin covering her face that robbed her of her vision for days.
Now fully recovered, Beatrice is sharing her skin journey on TikTok, where she has gained more than 41,300 followers.
Beatrice Gaucahas’s eczema (pictured during her hospital stay) — which causes redness and blistering of the skin — took a turn for the worse when it spread to her face and left her hospitalised
Beatrice (pictured in March 2021), from Ireland, has suffered from the skin condition for most of her life, which often caused rashes to appear on the skin around her joints
When Beatrice was 20, she experienced the ‘worst flare-up’ of her life when her eczema started affecting the skin on her face.
It made her face swell up and crust form around her eyes — sealing them shut and leaving her unable to see for two days.
She also had ‘no skin left’ on her face, as it had peeled off — leaving her with a ‘burning sensation’.
‘It was one of the most painful and traumatic experiences of my life,’ Beatrice said.
She went to hospital and stayed there for two weeks.
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to redness, blistering, oozing, scaling and thickening.
It usually appears in the first few months of life and affects around 10 per cent of babies.
Eczema’s cause is not fully understood but it is thought to be brought on by the skin’s barrier to the outside world not working properly, which allows irritants and allergy-inducing substances to enter.
It may be genetic due to the condition often running in families.
As well as their skin being affected, sufferers may experience insomnia and irritability.
Many factors can make eczema worse. These may include:
- Heat, dust, soap and detergents
- Being unwell, such as having a cold
- Dry skin
There is no cure for eczema, however, 70 per cent of childhood sufferers no longer have the condition in their teens.
Patients should avoid known triggers for flare ups and use emollients.
Five biopsies were performed by doctors to try and find out what was wrong with her.
Doctors confirmed her excruciating symptoms were due to an eczema flare-up.
Also known as dermatitis, eczema affects around a fifth of children and one in 10 adults in the UK and US.
The skin condition, which is not contagious, can be unbearably itchy. During a flare-up, it can also become red, cracked, sore and raw.
Treatments for the condition, which has more than a dozen types, include medical moisturisers and medication.
Beatrice said: ‘I thought I would never have my skin on my face back to normal ever again. I thought I would be scarred for life.
‘I felt like I had no one to turn to for comfort or support.
‘Most of my family were abroad visiting my grandfather as he was severely ill at the time, which had me more down as I wasn’t able to see him since I was also in hospital myself.
‘Of course, I spoke to my family every day on the phone, and they helped me a lot in regards to staying strong and having faith that I will recover, but virtual support and comfort is very different to an interaction in person.’
Since her agonising flare-up and hospital visit, Beatrice has made a full recovery and has learnt to manage her skin condition.
She now follows a strict diet that helps keep her skin condition under control and lessen the symptoms.
Her diet consists of greens, fruit, vegetables, fish oil and a collagen supplement every day. She has also completely cut wheat, gluten and dairy from her diet.
Since this change in routine, she has not suffered from a flare-up.
But she has also learnt to better cope when her symptoms worsen.
‘I am doing much better now, mentally and physically’, says Beatrice.
She added: ‘Before I learned to accept my skin condition, eczema had taken a large toll on my mental health and social life.
‘I stopped going out to see friends, even stopped going anywhere when I had the slightest flare-up as I was so embarrassed at the time and didn’t want anyone seeing what I was going through.’
Beatrice has been detailing her experience with eczema on TikTok, under the username @beatrice_gauca, where one of her most popular videos has amassed more than 2.4million views and 256,000 likes
Beatrice Gaucahas (pictured during her hospital stay) showed her TikTok followers every stage of her recovery. The now 22-year-old began sharing her skin journey on TikTok (@beatrice_gauca ) gaining over 41,300 followers
Now fully recovered, Beatrice (pictured in June 2023) is sharing her skin journey on TikTok, where she has gained more than 41,300 followers
The video, captioned ‘My skin will never recover from this, I’m going to be scarred for life’, shows a collection of clips during the episode that hospitalised her.
Her followers left supportive comments on the video.
‘Omg!! This is such a relieving ending. I know eczema brings a lot of insecurity, but ur glow up is just phenomenal!!’, wrote @zhaoxiaoxx.
Another TikTok user, @jade_huper, said: ‘You are so amazing for pushing thru this and taking the time to recover your such an amazing girl’.
Beatrice added: ‘I have come to accept my condition and no longer see it as a flaw but as a reason to get out there and help others that are suffering with the same condition as me.
‘It is important for me to share my story to show others going through the same situation that they are not alone and that it does get better, and you will heal your skin.
‘My main motive is to spread awareness about eczema to everyone around the world.’