I’ve always thought of myself as someone with good skin – this is not a humble brag, stay with me! I am not prone to breakouts, I don’t get many sunburns, and my skin tone is fairly consistent. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of other things to worry about, but my skin hasn’t been one of them.
So a few months ago when I suddenly couldn’t stop itching I was concerned and perturbed. “I’m not supposed to have to worry about my skin,” I thought! Bratty but true.
A trip down memory lane
Fast forward a few weeks to when I got in to see the dermatologist and she asked if I had a history of skin problems. “Nope!” I answered cheekily. Not me!
Itchin’ since I was a child
Oh, but there was this thing when I was a kid, I remembered. I had been given a silver ring as a present and it made my finger break out in an itchy rash. My pediatrician said it could be an allergy to nickel or contact dermatitis. I had to stop wearing that ring and even now, I wear mostly gold to avoid an itchy reaction.
High school skin happenings
Oh, and in high school, when it was time to apply to colleges, I had to see a dermatologist because my scalp was so itchy I was causing it to bleed. Seborrheic dermatitis was the verdict that time and I went home with some new shampoo (and encouragement to not worry so much about where I got in!).
Not another flare…
Itching around my ears when I was selling my house… a new skin cream when I was helping with my stepfather in hospice… itchy, blotchy calves when I started a new job…
Stress is my skin’s achilles heel
You get the picture. I may have thought of my skin as a reliable, trouble-free area but a quick medical history told a starkly different story. Though stress plays a role in nearly all of these instances, it’s clear to me now that there is an underlying issue here and that my skin is asking for me to pay more attention to it. On top of that, it’s basically a harbinger of stressful times and perhaps I should take heed – an itchy body part could be a sign that I need to take a step back and practice self-care.