For reference, I have had an extreme case of full-body eczema for three years now after not having any flare ups for seven years, with the intensity varying depending on the season (worse in cold weather usually in winter, less terrible in hot weather usually in summer), but the symptoms have always persisted.
My condition was at its worst in year one, with acute irritation, inflammation, and badly dry skin. No moisturiser or emollient could help, and it was impossible to ignore the itching, so I'd wind up scratching at all regions of my skin all day, waking up every morning with a fresh little ant-sized mound of dead skin.
As you may expect, this much scratching had a bad impact on my skin. Throughout the first year of coping with this, the skin pigmentation all over my body darkened, eventually turning from my natural light brown to a dark brown/black, while also developing visible scratch marks from all the itching; this is what I understand to be lichenification.
I ultimately obtained a prescription for a corticosteroid ointment containing salicylic acid (diprosalic), which I was advised to take for two months. The principal symptoms of itching and inflammation were mainly alleviated by the end of the prescription period, with just moderate irritation remaining at the end of the two months, but I still had visible scratch marks and my skin tone had not returned to its original light brown color.
Every piece of information I've read on the internet says that my skin's natural color should return between 6 months to 2 years, but this has not been the case. In years 2 and 3, my eczema flared up many times in the spring, generally lasting until the beginning of summer. Although it has never been as bad as year one and only causes minor irritation and scratching, my skin seems to darken and get very dry out at the conclusion of each flare up.
My concern is that my skin color change and apparent scratch marks are permanent, and I'd like to receive some medical counsel to confirm this or to determine whether there are any therapeutic alternatives available to me to alleviate my color change and the scratch marks.