Larissa Shares Her Skin Journey Online
The Editorial Team at AtopicDermatitis.net is highlighting people in the eczema community and their healing journeys in a series of Instagram Interviews. We talked to Larissa, aka @the_eczema_diaries to learn more about her story and how she gets support through the eczema community on Instagram.
Larissa's eczema story
My experience with eczema dates back to early childhood. I was diagnosed when I was around 3 years old. After years of relying on steroid creams, I noticed that they were becoming less effective and that I was developing patches on new parts of my body. So this last year I took my healing into my own hands. I decided to cut out steroids completely and consulted a naturopath to help me identify my allergies and the supplements I should be taking. It’s been a challenging journey, but I can honestly say I’ve made tremendous progress and have found relief.
Using Instagram to share the not-so-pretty
Editorial Team: How has posting skin/life updates impacted your healing journey?
Larissa: On a platform like Instagram that is so centered on aesthetics - where people tend to only post the attractive and appealing aspects of their life - it almost seemed counterintuitive to post progress pictures of my not-so-pretty skin journey. That said, the eczema community on Instagram is one of the most supportive and loving group of individuals I have come across. They don’t hesitate to lift you up on your rough days and are there to celebrate with you on your good days.
Sharing skin and symptom updates
Posting updates has given me reassurance about my symptoms, provided me with new insights, and opened my eyes to new methods of healing. At times it can be hard to be vulnerable, but it’s made more of a difference on my healing journey than I could have imagined.
On mental health and positivity with eczema
Editorial Team: How do you stay positive?
Larissa: What many people don’t realize about eczema is that it’s just as much a mental hurdle as it is a physical one. Some days it can be hard to look in the mirror because you already know how you are feeling. To stay positive, I try to carve out time in my day to unplug and focus on my mental health. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to acknowledge all there is to be thankful for. Getting outside and getting fresh air can do a lot to clear the mind as well. Finally, before bed I will usually do a short mindfulness meditation to reflect on the day.
Getting inspiration from others
Editorial Team: What advice do you have for other eczema warriors who want to start sharing about their healing?
Larissa: If you are looking to begin sharing your journey, start out by checking the eczema hashtags to see what people are posting. Maybe even reach out to a few people who inspire you. This will not only give you insight into what people are sharing, but it will help you get involved in the community. If you are at all nervous about sharing vulnerable content, start off slow until you feel more comfortable.
Listen to your body to find what works
Editorial Team: Anything else you'd like to add?
Larissa: Everyone’s journey with eczema is different. What works for one person may not work for the next. While it can be discouraging when certain remedies don’t work the way you want them to, try to stay positive. Listen to your body and be the detective in your own healing process to identify what helps you achieve progress.
Follow Larissa’s healing journey on Instagram at @the_eczema_diaries!
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