I Am Not Broken, I Am Unique
I truly believe my skin is a reflection of me. When I am happy, I glow, and when I’m having a bad day, I usually have dry or flaky skin. At least this is how it is, not including my eczema.
Feeling good in my skin
I love when people think I am younger than I am because it shows that my hard work taking care of my face has paid off. I love when bartenders would card me. It’s honestly flattering to me. To me, I’ve done something right. But if only they could see what’s going on near the places I’ve hidden. My arms. My legs. At times, so torn with scratches and marks I can barely recognize myself. That portion of my skin is not a reflection of me. But when I’m in a flare, it’s hard to remind myself of that.
How an eczema flare changes that
When I’m in a flare I feel ugly. I feel like my body is not what a woman should appear to be. I feel damaged. Like no matter what I do, there will always be a part of me that is 100% out of my control. There will always be something about me that stands out and not in a good way.
Hiding out of embarrassment
My eczema is no longer just eczema. Since the pandemic, it’s become hives as well. It’s become extremely red and out of place on my dark body. It’s embarrassing to be so different and I often hid it when I was younger. I didn’t want anyone to know my secret. I feel ugly now, but then? I felt isolated.
I felt as if no one fully knew me because I couldn’t fully get to know myself. I wouldn’t allow myself to accept my condition. I tried to pretend as if it didn’t exist while I had it under wraps.
Everyone has insecurities
On days when I feel less than, I try to remind myself that we all have our issues. Everyone has their problems and many people share the same issues and insecurities that I do. My body is a temple. Sure, some portions don’t always reflect the true me, but I appreciate those that do.
My skin complicates things.
It makes me insecure and at times it even makes me sad. I know it’s not my fault, but at times I feel like it is. On days like this, I started listing all of the things that make me beautiful just recently. Boosting confidence for me starts from within. I list character traits and at times even physical traits that make me special. I remind myself that who I am and what I have to offer is in no way impacted by my condition.
I will continue to do what I can, but I refuse to allow my condition to break me down. Or anyone else for that matter. I am not broken. I am unique.
Life with atopic dermatitis can be frustrating. Will you help others understand by taking our survey (US only)?
Join the conversation