A chain of people embracing each other with eczema shown on various parts of their bodies.

It's Not Just One Thing

Living with atopic dermatitis and/or atopic eczema can often feel like you're fighting an uphill battle. It's difficult and during some of the most painful and annoying flares, it can start to seem never ending. I've been dealing with my atopic eczema for much longer than any other condition I've been diagnosed with. I'm sure I was diagnosed within my first year of life. Although I've grown used to my condition, managing it along with other things can quickly become a tiring task.

How is eczema a full-time job?

When my other conditions are not under control, my skin is the first sign. When my body is suffering internally, I begin to show external signs almost immediately. Managing that is a job in and of itself. Not to mention scheduling doctor's appointments, trying new medications, visiting new doctors because of my other conditions.

What other complications add to the burden?

I think if atopic dermatitis was my only issue, I might just be okay...but it's not. For any of us. All of us have problems, things we have to worry about. Whether you're like me (and living with multiple chronic conditions), or you're (also like me) struggling with medical bills, or household bills, chores, whatever. We all have issues - things we need to handle.

When do I fit in my "me" time?

It's hard to really focus on self-care and skin care when there are so many other things we have to take care of as well. When I get overwhelmed with things, whether it be my condition/s or finances, I try to take a step back and allow myself time to think. As people living with chronic conditions, we have to remember to incorporate time for ourselves. We have to set aside time dedicated to rest and rejuvenation, whatever that looks like for you.

Can you get everyone to understand the struggle?

Not everyone will understand. Although we live with conditions that are very visible, in a way it's still very much invisible. The true issues we face are very much invisible. The struggles, the embarrassment, the financial side of things - all things many people don't truly see nor understand about those of us living with atopic dermatitis. Change won't happen overnight and we can't expect people to understand a side of us we hide away. This is why taking a step back is so important.

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What can you do?

Give yourself time to put everything going on in your life into perspective. Give yourself time to think and make a plan. Allow yourself to release frustrations. Explain your situation to friends and family members. Let people know about your hardships. Help can't come if you won't let it in.

The burdens we bear are our own, but we don't have to face them alone. We can handle a lot, but we can't handle everything. We are human. If you're facing problems like these or really anything, face them head on, but not alone.

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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 AtopicDermatitis.net 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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