5 Tips For Flares

I've had atopic eczema since I was a child. While my skin isn't always terrible, at times it does feel like I've spent the majority of my life in a flare. Flares aren't easy. They hurt. Mentally and physically. They hurt even more because a lot of us were lead to believe it's a "childhood condition" and we will "grow out of it." At almost 30 years old, how much more growing do I really need to do?

You can't hide an atopic dermatitis flare

I live with another condition, Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Nothing about it is easy, but because it's somewhat of an "invisible illness," - meaning you can't tell I'm sick by just looking at me, it almost makes it a little more tolerable sometimes. While an IBD flare is hard, I can still hide it, unlike atopic dermatitis.

It's not like other conditions that you can hide. Having a condition that's visible to the naked eye can cause a lot of doubts, insecurities and pain. I hate that people can judge me based on how well my skin is doing. I don't like that the only way for me to hide my condition is to basically cover my entire body. Sometimes that includes my face!

Our condition will never be easy. With time you learn to cope. You learn little tricks to make living with AD bearable.

Here are 5 tips for flares

  1. Stay calm!Don't stress yourself out over a flare. As with anything else, the first step to healing is acceptance. Accept that you are not perfect. - No one expects you to be. You are more than your outward appearance. You are more than atopic dermatitis. Don't allow your condition to control your emotions. Take it one day at a time.
  2. Use your resources: Think. Do you have a product or regimen that works? Is there a dermatologist you've been meaning to see? Use your resources and find/do what works for you!
  3. Keep it simple: Now is not the time to go overboard with the lotions and fragrances. Keep it simple. Use unscented soap. Maybe lay off of the perfume for now. Focus on your health and less on other things for now. This also may not be the time to make any major changes. You may want to sit out certain outdoor activities like camping or anything that may cause your skin to become more irritated.
  4. Bathing: If you're like me, sometimes baths can help. I love a good oatmeal bath when my skin starts to give me issues. It's overall relaxing and helps me to unwind from a long day as well.
  5. Focus, don't dwell: You're flaring and it sucks. Don't dwell on the negative. If you can do things to help your skin and lessen the burden of the flare, by all means, do! - But if you can't, don't sweat it! You dwelling on your skin is only going to make you paranoid and feel as if everyone is worried about your skin too. In reality, we are our own worst critics.

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