Eczema Excuses for Strangers
Earlier this year I was in attendance at the National Eczema Association Expo in Chicago. While there, I was lucky enough to make a new friend that is also an eczema patient. It turns out that we were both students at Michigan State University at the same time, we were both in the same college, and we both have severe eczema. We both joke about how awesome it would have been if we became friends in college—oh well!
Eczema excuses, excuses
While hanging out, we both started sharing some excuses we tell strangers to “hide” our eczema. Despite the annoyance we feel when we’re being asked, the conversation was quite comical as we reflected on what our creative minds have come up with over the years. One of the common excuses that Lainie and I shared, was the reasoning behind our clothing choices during the summer months. Since Lainie works in a doctor’s office, she decided to wear long sleeves under her scrubs to cover her skin. When questioned, she would say that she was cold. On the other hand, I’d wear Under Armor under my t-shirt in the summer, and when questioned, I’d say that I had just come from working out or from the gym. Same concept; different situation.
Long sleeves, I’m relieved
During the summer I frequently find myself wearing long sleeved button-down shirts. Is this something I like to do every day? Not at all. Does it provide me with an awesome excuse? Heck yes. When I receive the standard, “Aren’t you hot wearing that long sleeved shirt today?” I always respond, “Yes, a little, but I wanted to dress nice today.” More often than not, I wouldn’t receive a follow up question.
Real red rashes
Unfortunately for me, my face tends to flare a lot during the summer months. Whether it’s from environmental allergens or from sweating in the heat, it’s a constant struggle. Fortunately for me, the sunshine provides a great excuse—sunburn! Look, I know its not the best excuse in the world but it definitely gets the job done. No one ever seems to question sunburn in the summer… unless it is extremely patchy. Then you’re going to need to come up with a better excuse.
Curling or straightening for a cure?
This next example provides a fresh twist on an outdated excuse. We’ve all heard the old curling iron/straightener burn bit for a hickey, right? Well, it can also be used as an excuse for eczema patients. According to Lainie, this works wonders for women with eczema. I’ve never used this one but maybe I will if I go back to my longhaired college days.
If you’re an eczema patient, odds are (in my opinion) that you’ve used one or two of these excuses in the past. Maybe you’re the anomaly and haven’t. Whichever side of the line you fall on it all boils down to one simple fact. You need to do what makes you feel comfortable. If you’re the type of person that likes to be upfront about your condition—own it. If not, give one of these excuses a try.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?