Person meditating, practicing mindfulness with deep breaths.

Mind Over Matter With Gregg

It always seems the people who know the lowest of lows are the ones who are there to help others up after they have fallen. In our community, one such man is Gregg.

What was Gregg's childhood like with eczema?

Gregg Clark, Jr., 36, is no amateur when it comes to dealing with eczema. It's all he's known all of his life. Having parents who dealt with minor eczema, the use of topical steroids were the usual routine to help his ailing skin. "Topical steroids were the standard treatment practice in our household," he explains. "Our dermatologist would write prescriptions that would last the family about a year."

As he got into high school, his skin was out of control. It got to the point where it not only hindered his education, but his athletic abilities. Imagine, a D1 athlete on the cusp of not graduating because he had missed too much school due to his skin. Luckily, an appeal was made. However, that was only the beginning of Gregg's need to conquer hurdles over his worsening eczema.

Side by side comparison of a man with eczema

How has his skin been in adulthood?

As we know, stress can be a major fire-starter for our eczema. At age 30, Gregg found himself in the worst flare ever while going through a painful divorce. Not only did he realize that a change needed to be made, but that he would have to fight through the discomfort to get there.

How did he turn his life around?

"If it weren’t for my mother who was also my caregiver, I could’ve found myself homeless while overcoming the biggest eczema/TSW flare of my life," Gregg recalls. After being let go from his job, his savings going down the drain, and his car being repossessed, Gregg turned to his faith. For six months while being in the care of his mother, he realized that he could overcome his circumstance. In 2022, after 3 years of stepping away from education to better understand himself, he graduated with a graduate’s degree in Mental Health and Professional Counseling.

What has being a coach done for him?

"Coaching allows me to create a living designed around what I love - helping others," Gregg states. After being in such a low place for so long, he found ways to push through and, in turn, wishes to share it with others. With his degree in place and newfound purpose, Gregg has been able to be the life raft for others in the eczema community that he needed during his own struggles.

It is apparent that, with eczema, it is not only a physical battle, but a mental one.

What 3 things affected his eczema?

"From my experience," Gregg shares, "the three biggest factors that affected my eczema journey were hereditary elements, 'environmental' mental stress, like work and life balance, along with 'internal' stress on the body. That being said, 2/3 of my journey had a foundation starting with my mindset. It reminded me that at least 66% of what I was experiencing started with how I was thinking."

Because of this revelation, it's important to remember that how we think and perceive the world can translate onto our skin. What he think, we become.

How can you change your mindset?

Photo of a man smiling

Gregg graciously shared some thoughts in order to help breathe life into our weary, itchy bones. He hopes that we can take some comfort in knowing that we have the ability to heal our internal, mental strife in order to create a better environment for our skin to heal.

Here are his three gems:

  1. Our internal thoughts and feelings create our external reality. What thoughts and feelings are you giving your energy to?
  2. Think, feel and create a vision of the life you want, not the life you’ve had. Our ability to feel what we want before we receive it is a super power!
  3. It is not necessarily about what we want for our lives, more so our ability to align our mind state with having faith and living through love knowing what we want is coming to us.

Never forget to take a breath, loves. With grace, we can overcome so many hard things. So, if your skin is in pain today, settle your mind and allow yourself space to feel it, but then let it go. Release the pain. Put that energy into envisioning the life you want, not the life you have. Baby steps.

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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.

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