How To Support A Loved One With Eczema

Just as with anything in life, but particularly the more unpleasant experiences we go through, such as eczema and TSW (topical steroid withdrawal), having support from those close to us is crucial.

Why am I sharing what has helped me?

Throughout my life, my skin has always had an impact on me on some level, and it’s something that has often been hard to understand for those that aren’t going through it and those close to me. While our loved ones and oftentimes caretakers - whether it’s parents, partners, or friends - have the best intentions for us, and want to help us as much as possible, sometimes it is hard for them to navigate and know what to do as well. So, I hope sharing my story and main takeaways of what has helped me personally on my healing journey will help give others an idea on how to support their loved ones who may be struggling with eczema, TSW, or any other skin condition.

What should loved ones know about eczema?

One of the most important things to do for anyone is simply to educate themselves. Whether it’s family, friends, or a partner, if you are close to someone with eczema, TSW, or another health condition, it’s important to know more about it and understand it. Learning about the challenges we face daily will help you offer more compassionate support.

How can we be supported at our worst?

Living with eczema and TSW is very challenging, to say the least. It feels like a battle we have to face every single day. Although I have dealt with eczema since I was a baby, and am now nearly 10 years into TSW, it’s still a daily struggle for me. Some days are better than others. And sometimes there are still weeks at a time where I have worse flare ups and go through a more rough patch. It’s incredibly draining and takes a toll on our mental and emotional health. During those times especially, compassion is truly one of the most important things you can offer those of us struggling with it.

How can loved ones help with triggers?

It’s important to know a loved ones triggers (if they are aware of them), or work on finding them together. While we all have some common ones in eczema, such as foods, allergens, stress, environment, etc. they still vary from person to person. By knowing about your loved ones triggers, you can better help them avoid them, and accommodate your lifestyle and environment to suit what they need and improve their well-being.

How can we be emotionally supported?

Emotional support has been one of the major factors for me on my healing journey. Stress has always been my #1 trigger, and this is the most important one to be mindful of for me personally. Having a loved one who is aware that this can be an issue for us, and can provide an ear to listen to us, a shoulder to cry on if needed, and encouragement in other times when we don’t feel so confident, makes a world of difference.

How can we be made to feel cared for?

These are just some of the few things to keep in mind when supporting a loved one who deals with eczema, TSW, or another other health condition. Everyone’s story is different, and we all have different needs. Communicating with your loved one is important. I personally truly appreciate when someone asks me questions on how they can help, and when they really take an interest in understanding what I’m going through. It helps me feel less alone. And in many ways, less ashamed and embarrassed of it (which is something I still struggle with daily).

This kind of support has been such an important part of my healing journey. Having caring, supportive, accepting, loving people around me changes everything. On days when I feel lowest, when I feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, my loved ones have helped me find that light. Or at least, sit with me in that darkness until we found it together. And oftentimes, that's the most powerful thing you can offer to someone - simply be there.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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