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Having Friends with Eczema

A lot of people know about eczema or atopic dermatitis. They’ve at least heard of the condition(s), or know someone who knows someone impacted by them. I think it’s great in many ways, but it can also be a bit of a curse. Because people “know so much,” they often make assumptions regarding life with eczema or AD, and a lot of the time, those assumptions are wrong. 

Misunderstood conditions

I don’t like people passing judgment on me, nor my condition, but I especially hate people undermining the struggles I face. Because I also live with Crohn’s disease, I often get this twice over.

People without chronic inflammatory conditions don’t understand the trouble it causes and the pain it constantly brings into your life. They can’t understand. They can empathize, or try at least, but unless you’re living with such a condition, it’s impossible to know what a day in our shoes entails.

My friends with my condition

Having Crohn’s disease really gave me a greater appreciation for the people in my life, more specifically, my friends. Friends don’t have to be people who understand, but people who at least try (to). My friends who are also living with Crohn’s disease just get that aspect of me. I don’t have to explain things as much as I do/would to someone not living with the condition. I never imagined the weight that comes with constantly explaining the unexplainable, but I’ve found the same true for my eczema.

People don’t understand eczema

Living with a condition that people “know,” but actually know nothing about can get a bit… complicated. If I don’t agree with a treatment or recommendation from someone, they often take offense, explaining how it worked for their kid, pet, or relative. As if every person is the same and will respond in the exact same way. This is also true for living with Crohn’s disease, but even more tiring when living with eczema. At least with my Crohn’s people understand after I mention a surgery or really expensive medication. With my eczema? They just continue on. Well, everyone but my eczema and AD friends that is.

Understanding eczema

The people I know who are living with eczema/AD are completely different. Why? Because they understand we are not the same. They understand what works for me, may not work for them (and vice-versa). They know the struggles I face so I don’t have to ask for empathy, they understand. It’s great having friends, but having friends that have gone through the battles you face are priceless. Being able to be 100% yourself with people who just get you is priceless. I’m so grateful to have friendships with those who not only see past my condition, but also can be there for me, with or without advice or products. Just there supporting me through the times others often don’t see (or choose to ignore). I love how I’m never just “making a big deal” out of anything with my friends who have eczema/AD. They get it. They’ve been there too.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.