How Did We Find the Courage to Start Talking About Eczema?
Eczema is already a visible condition, drawing attention to itself and making it challenging to talk about. Most of the hesitation comes from feeling judged or rejected by others or seeing eczema as a flaw. With so many feeling ashamed and afraid to draw more attention to their skin, we want to do our part to help normalize eczema by talking about it.
So, the Editorial Team at AtopicDermatitis.net asked our advocate team how they got out of their comfort zone to start talking about eczema. This is what they said:
I'm still working on feeling comfortable
Cora Lyn: I'm still not out of my comfort zone when talking about it. But getting better. When I started writing about my macular degeneration, I realized that with every page, I grew in my self knowledge and self confidence. When the opportunity arose to write about my atopic dermatitis, I thought writing about something so visible could only benefit me as well. Probably more.
Being part of a workout community helped
Peter: Being part of a workout environment helped me. My workout community helped me get out of my comfort zone because like I'm facing my workouts head on I'm now facing my condition head-on.
I didn't see enough "me's" out there
Ashley: I first openly shared my story in 2016 because I had enough of not seeing "me's" out there. Seeing others who looked like me. Seeing others who had eczema. Seeing others giving tips about what works for them. I needed more "me's" in my life and what better way to start than by sharing ME authentically and vulnerable.
Talking about eczema is important at home
Karen: As a caregiver, I felt it important to help support my daughter as she taught my granddaughter about her skin problems. We used simple and direct language. It was a bit of a desensitization period for us. That's because, with an infant, the allergy included her gut also. We were spending a lot of sleepless nights with crying, trying different formulas, and visiting pediatric gastrointerologists as well as dermatologists. As we became able to talk about it at home, we were able to converse more freely in public. I always followed my daughters lead.
I was desperate to connect with eczema patients
Harrison: I was browsing the internet and searching every corner in online forums that mentioned the word eczema. As I was desperate for answers, I tried everything anecdotally reported by patients online. Dieting worked for me and ever since I wish to help others do the same.
I wanted to support eczema warriors who feel alone
Jude: I recognized all the benefits of my learning how to love myself from the inside out, honoring the person I became as a result of having to shift my focus and develop myself as a human being. And, my mission has become to be a support for all those suffering and who feel alone. It is given me meaning and purpose way beyond me.
I needed a fresh start for my skin
Linette: My life as I knew it had come to an end. I had just ended a toxic relationship, my skin was at it’s worst, I had to quit the job I loved, I had to move all the way across country to be back with my family. There was just nothing left to lose at this point. I decided to look on Instagram to see if there was a skin community there, and when I found the eczema/TSW community, it was one of Ashley Ann Lora’s posts encouraging us to share our stories that really pushed me over the edge to just go for it.I started to feel more comfortable in my skinJeff: Honestly, I think it all had to do with the fact that I really started to own my condition instead of hide it from others. For most of my life I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin so I wasn’t exactly inclined to discuss it freely. Now that I’m older, and don’t really care what people think about my eczema, I’ve finally broken down the barrier that stood between secrecy and advocacy. I needed to rewrite my eczema story for myselfRaelle: Once eczema which turned into TSW completely stopped me from living my regular life and caused me to be unrecognizable as an adult, it was clear I have to rewrite my story with eczema and get a grip on it once and for all, whether my skin cleared or not. I had to shift my mind towards acceptance and to love myself in any form. Editorial Note: If you are interested in writing for and connecting with other eczema patients on AtopicDermatitis.net, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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