Eczema and Navigating Intimacy in Relationships
So despite your thoughts that you would never find love while having eczema and perfect skin first, you still found yourself struck by Cupid's arrow and are dating an amazing person! And they find you so attractive on so many levels that they want to take the next step together.
Tips for eczema and intimacy
What do you do? How do you even start to talk about getting this close to someone physically? Especially when you know that you have certain parts of your body that are really painful and can be sensitive to potential friction that will be going on between the sheets. Well, after being in seven committed, monogamous relationships with different men, I have a solid heterosexual female perspective that I could offer to this conversation. So if you are finding yourself in this situation, I have some top tips for you on how to navigate intimacy in relationships when you have eczema.
Honesty is the best policy
The foundation to any good relationship is honesty and I believe in being very direct, upfront, and unapologetic about the state of my skin at any point in my dating experience. In my experience, having eczema has never gotten in the way of intimacy and that is because I was willing to take the leap and see how far it could go. I think because my partners knew exactly what to expect of me physically, they made their assessments and still chose to continue dating me and being with me in bed. I think that when you get to a place with your eczema where you feel like you have nothing to lose, it can potentially come off really confident and sexy to some people even though you are expecting rejection and doom.
Express your sensitivities
Going along this vein, once you both have decided that you would like to go all the way together, I think it is helpful for you to state your needs while in the act. So, if you have a really itchy neck, communicate to your partner that they should avoid touching your neck area to make the experience as comfortable for both of you as possible. Maybe there are some rashes that are aggravated in certain angles or positions, so maybe you brainstorm a position that will avoid reopening a scab or rubbing against a rash. Believe me, true love can conquer all and can also inspire creativity. If people can get married and have multiple babies with eczema, the rest of us can at least get it on! Hehe.
Know your environmental irritants
If you know that certain temperatures or environmental factors like fabrics or bed sheets create irritation, communicate that with your partner so that they can help you set up an ideal environment for you both to let loose. If sweating makes you itchy, have a fan blowing or the AC on in the room. If polyester or certain colored dyes to make you scratch, switch them out for skin-friendly ones for you.
Practice good hygiene and sanitation
Hygiene and sanitation can be a really big one with this. If you have open wounds or rashes that get irritated with sweat or dirt, then having those rashes make contact with your partner's sweat and dirt can add even more irritation and potential contamination. This would be due to foreign bacteria potentially getting into your wounds. So, maybe you and your partner make it a point to shower before you see each other or right before you become intimate or right after you become intimate depending on what you can stand and prefer.
I hope that these tips helped you and your amazing partner enjoy yourselves to gather more closely and hopefully forever! Have you ever been intimate while having eczema? How did you navigate that conversation and experience?
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?