Dating: Coming Clean About Eczema
When is the right time to tell my new significant other that I have eczema? I’ve spent so much time trying to cover it up. I will consciously avoid scratching my face while around him. I’ve been more diligent with avoiding triggers and relieving stress. At some point, honesty must win over my feelings to cover up what is a part of who I am. Here’s what worked for me.
When is the right time to bring it up?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. I felt that when my boyfriend and I were spending more time within each other’s personal space, then it became something that I wanted to share. At this point in our relationship, I no longer felt that I could or should always hide behind a face of make-up.
What do I call it?
Should I refer to my itchy, flaky skin in generic terms or technical terms? I could call it atopic dermatitis, but that seemed too technical and I didn’t want to scare him. I could just say I have itchy, flaky skin and attach no specific name to this skin condition. However, that didn’t seem to convey that this is a serious and chronic issue. What if I just called it eczema, the more common term? I decided on the last option.
To me, the word eczema appropriately conveyed what I was trying to get across to my boyfriend. I still described it as red, itchy, flaky skin, but giving it a name meant that it was more than just an occasional skin issue. Letting him in on why this skin condition was challenging for me to control also gave him a better understanding of my daily struggles, particularly the triggers, the difficulties with treatment, and feeling self-conscious.
How do I bring it up?
I don’t shy away from having serious conversations in a more formal face-to-face, let’s sit down situation. That being said, I didn’t think that type of approach was best for this topic. I decided to bring it up when my eczema was having a flare-up. It wasn’t enough to describe to him in words how eczema feels, what it looks like, and how it changes my day.
I truly felt that having the visual of an eczema flare-up on me in one of its more severe states was a better descriptor. My boyfriend could not only see it, but better understand my experience with how I have to handle my eczema. Although I brought it up in a casual way, he understood my struggles and was supportive of my decision to share this with him.
After sharing with my boyfriend my secret medical condition, I felt liberated. I no longer felt the need to hide my eczema all the time. We also worked together on my triggers and ways to alleviate myself of the itchiness. Telling him was the right decision. I’m glad I waited to share and that my approach worked for us. Everyone’s life is a little different, but hopefully, this helps you in making the decision to tell your partner so you can both embrace how eczema is a part of who you are.
How often do you downplay your eczema to other people?