The Eczema Community: Different But Connected
What's something that you feel is universal to the eczema community?
As a long-time eczema patient, I wanted to share some thoughts from my perspective as I am familiar with this topic and what it means to be in this community.
We are connected but different
As fellow eczema patients, we are all connected, despite being diverse physically, emotionally, and geographically. However, we are all united with this unique blessing of walking on this path.
We are different physically
When it comes to being diverse physically, each of us has different variations of eczema, whether its dyshidrotic eczema, varicose eczema, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, varicose eczema, etc.
We have a different genetic makeup
With each different form, we have a different and unique genetic makeup. They could have allergies and asthma or another health issue or ailment.
We use different medications
For each of us, we use different types of medications: creams/topicals, pills, or biologics. Others of us may choose to alter the foods that we eat. The methods of treatment can vary as to what works for one person. One may not be best for another. However, its best for each patient to consult with their own trusted medical professional for their care plan.
We are different emotionally
Eczema patients are diverse emotionally. This chronic issue is incredibly important to me. I discovered this community a few years ago, and it has been very valuable. Because of technology, I have maintained connections, friendships, and contacts within and outside the country. I look forward to seeing this continue to grow.
We don't need to hide
Eczema is incredibly unpredictable, and its waves of flares hit hard. There were many years that I deliberately and creatively hid my skin. The catalyst for change was that it stopped my whole life and daily activities for at least a year. It took more effort and pain to try to do that. When I did stop trying to hide, I felt a little relief. Thus, I did not have to spend as much time getting ready in the mornings, including wearing makeup, which I never thought I would ever do.
We are different geographically
For being diverse geographically, there are many ways that the community can connect in person and virtually. One major benefit that came from the current pandemic is the ability to participate in events or via online meetups. There have been more physical and virtual events in the past few years to make it possible for those of us in the community (regardless of location) to connect and build friendships, network, and grow. The great advantage is that depending on the patient's current health status, or if there is a travel delay and complications, they do not have to miss out on participating. There have been many wonderful advances that we get to experience.
We are a community
In conclusion, I did not know about this community until a few years ago. I learned how different and diverse all of us patients are. I am blessed to be part of a community where we can have a voice to help provide some input to those fellow patients who may be newly diagnosed and just looking for some information.
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