Poison ivy personified sits with vines wrapping around her limbs as she extends a vine from her hand into the frame.


You might have come across this cheeky hashtag on Instagram when searching about eczema - #theitchisab*tch. And you might be wondering to yourself why it exists or maybe you are chuckling in agreement. Either way, I’m here to tell you why.

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea who the first person was who came up with this hashtag. All I know is that they are obviously awesome and just plain get it. And I bet they have eczema, or they ran into a bush of poison ivy.

According to Urban Dictionary, “B*tch” is defined as:

Inconsiderate and insensitive eczema

Someone who is inconsiderate and insensitive.

Let’s address this first part right here. I mean, who thinks that a great way to wake up in the morning is to incessant itchiness? Anyone? Those few precious moments in the morning when you barely have enough time to breathe, stuff something down your throat, and roll out of your house even semi-presentable, that’s when your eczema decides it’s a good time to get all itchy? Obviously, she is very inconsiderate. And then to leave you to deal with that itch fest, then have to face the aftermath of what you look like after all that clawing and scraping? So insensitive. And now, there’s a nice pile of flakes for you to clean up later. Later, because if you even thought about doing it now, you would never make it to work on time. Great.

Not good enough

Someone who used to be kind to you, but then decided that you weren't good enough for them anymore.

Just when your eczema has been manageable and tame for a few seasons now, all of a sudden, before your friend’s wedding, it flares. And to add insult to injury, you’re in the entourage. Yup! So you get to stand in front of all the guests and smile through that pain, itchiness, and discomfort as these memories are forever frozen in that photographer’s hands. Those same hands which will later use good intentions to unsuccessfully and heartbreakingly photoshop your eczema. And what do you end up resembling in this seemingly warm photo of friends and family? A plastic doll. And not in a “perfect-looking” kind of way, but instead a very odd, cold, fake, you-don’t-even-look-human kind of way. Sorry. I appreciate each photographer’s eager attempt to make my skin look “normal.” But it’s tough when you look back at photos of you as the one life-size blow-up doll trying to fit into a sea of humans.

Betrayal from your skin

Someone who you thought was your friend, but turned out to be the opposite.

You just never predict such a harsh betrayal from your very own skin. Your skin who is always there for every up and every down in your life. Who is literally there for every moment, big and small. But it happens. The itch betrays us, knowing that the itchiness alone will make our condition worse. You thought that after all this time together, that she was your friend - but that is not the case!

So according to this definition, #theitchisab*tch

At least you now have a fun new hashtag to use on social media! Sans the asterisk, of course. ;)

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.