a woman with eczema spots on her back gets ready for her day with her lotions and medications

Acceptance and Atopic Dermatitis 

When it comes to atopic dermatitis, the story is never really over. Our family understands that the road to healthy skin is full of wins and losses. During the times when there is clear(er) skin with less itching, dryness, or redness, it’s easy to feel confident. When a bout of messy skin settles in and seems to camp out on my granddaughter's neck, it can feel like a big loss. It seems like we keep moving through different layers of acceptance and atopic dermatitis.

Trying a new product

From the time she was a baby with atopic dermatitis, I’ve always played a big role in helping research and purchase the extra items she needs. She is independent and has become very good at watching everything that affects her skin, such as diet, seasonal temperatures, fabrics, products, and medications, to name a few.

Eczema foundation

She and I recently discovered how having foundation-free days helped with dryness, and we also purchased a good foundation for her to use when she needed it. She has found a balance and is super happy with her skin. When she traveled this summer, I made sure she had travel sizes of what she needed for camps and family vacations.

Dry skin and eczema flare-ups

A few weeks ago, she squeezed in a night out of her busy schedule for me. We got a hotel in a nearby town to swim and relax. When I suggested the pool, she declined.  Her skin was in dry mode – head to toe. In addition, she had a few blemishes. She didn't have a travel size of her cream. My heart sank as I watched her moving through the “itch - try not to scratch” routine. I went into overdrive and we hit the closest mall.

Healing from a flare-up

The shop we went to didn’t have her cream, but they let her try a different moisturizer on the spot. She felt some relief, so I whipped out my credit card and we walked out with a skip in our step, feeling pretty. When I saw her again 2 weeks later, she was wearing heavy makeup. She hadn’t wanted to tell me that the new product ended up making her skin burn. “It’s ok, Nana. Don’t worry,” she said. “I took my paycheck and got a jar of my favorite cream. It’s going to take it a few weeks to calm down. I've got this.”

Acceptance and atopic dermatitis

My heart sank, but her next words reassured me. She said, “I have eczema, and always will have. I have to buy certain creams, for my face and neck especially. I don’t stress about it, because it’s just a skin problem.” I sat in silence, tears welling up. It was one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced with this sweet kid.

Ups and downs of eczema

She has fully accepted her skin condition and is taking responsibility for it. She knows that today a product might work, but tomorrow, she may need to try something else. She also knows that trying new things may not be easy. We have had 17 years of wins and losses and we are going to have more skin issues in the future. We are constantly finding new levels of acceptance and atopic dermatitis. I think I can learn a lot from following my granddaughter’s lead.

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