Eczema a living horror

2017-01-11 06:02
Lehlohonolo Mpatsi displays painful sores under his left armpit due to eczema, a common skin condition not fully understood. Photos: Teboho Setena

Lehlohonolo Mpatsi displays painful sores under his left armpit due to eczema, a common skin condition not fully understood. Photos: Teboho Setena

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A man suffering a severe case of eczema describes his struggle to find a cure to the horrifying condition as life-threatening.

Lehlohonolo Mpatsi has begun experiencing the shedding of skin, hairloss, and painful sores all over his body.

He is confined to a bed in his one-room shack in which he stays with his wife and daughter in Caleb Motshabi, a settlement being formalised in Bloemfontein.

Mpatsi started experiencing the symptoms six months ago. He says the disease has made life unbearable.

“These past six months have been the hardest of my life. It is very emotional and has affected me physically. I don’t shop or visit anyone anymore,” he says.

The severity of the condition has also affected his sexuality.

Using a cream he got from a local clinic to control his condition is a daily ritual for Mpatsi.

However, there has been no improvement.

“My situation has just worsened. Itchy and painful sores that ooze fluid continue developing and some reoccur at the same spot before healing completely. The doctor who examined me at the clinic only gave me the name of the condition, but I want to know what causes it. I’m desperate for any professional medical assistance,” says Mpatsi.

According to an article on, the cause of eczema is not fully understood.

Eczema is a common skin condition characterized by itchy, dry, rough, flakey, inflamed and irritated skin.

It is also known as atopic dermatitis. It is more common in babies and young children and often occurs on the faces of infants.

It often appears on the elbows and behind the knees of children, teenagers and adults.

Eczema can flare up, subside and then flare up again.

It can occur anywhere, but usually affects the arms, elbows, knees or head, particularly the cheeks and the scalp.

It is not contagious and becomes less severe with age.

Unemployed, Mpatsi is unable to get the best medication that can properly treat the condition which has made life so miserable.

He used to make a living by working for construction companies until May 2016, when eczema began affecting him.

According to Mpatsi, the first symptom to appear looked like a pimple rash on his head, but it did not bother him much.

“But soon I saw more of them. They were very painful and itchy. Within no time I saw them spreading all over my body, resulting in swelling.

“They developed into painful sores all over my body, including genitals. I started losing my hair, too.

“The condition forces me to scratch myself,” he says.

Night times and extreme hot and cold conditions are the hardest for Mpatsi.

“My whole body will be itchy, forcing me to scratch. I no longer share a bed with my wife.”

Those willing to help can phone contact person David September on 063-598-2557.

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