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The Physical and Emotional Scars from a Life with Eczema

I've been living with eczema all my life. This skin disease has affected me in all aspects of my life - socially, professionally, and privately. It is still an ongoing struggle that I face as an adult. Simple daily activities like taking a shower, sleeping, sitting, and even walking can be challenging, and there are seasons in my life I feel like I can never catch a break. The average healthy person has no idea about the hardships endured by eczema sufferers like me and I hope they never will. I even don't wish this disease on my worse enemy. Here are some of the frustrating experiences I go through.

What did others assume about my scars?

One of the most embarrassing moments I can remember as a young child was when people inquired about the scars on my skin. In truth, many of these scars are caused by my eczema flare-ups. No average person would know that. They assumed my scars were from an accident or worse abuse from a family member. I vividly remember a teacher asking if I was spanked or beaten at home. I was shocked by the accusation because obviously that never happened and I felt embarrassed and scared. I felt such a deep embarrassment from those comments and accusations that I sometimes lied and attributed them to falling off a bike or getting hit in the face by a ball. Those seems more acceptable to say that rather than really saying I have a skin disease.

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How does eczema impact my social life?

I also experience depression, which obviously is bad because I'm naturally a happy person. I'm a fun guy who likes to be around people who like to make jokes. I'm a social butterfly by nature, I love to talk and listen to people. I love to connect with people when attending family events or social gatherings, even when my flare-ups are bad. I have to conceal my rashes by wearing a hat and glasses, I would wear stylish hats that hide my face or big eyeglasses so I could avoid making eye contact because I hate the way people stare at my flared-up face. Engaging in conversations becomes difficult because I feel overwhelmed by the constant stares and insecurities my mind makes up. This is very depressing and when I have a flare up on that day of the event I often cancel and stay home and be depressed.

Why are people always offering their advice?

The other thing I experience and dislike is when people recommend or offer services to help me. I understand that people have good intentions, but I hate it when they recommend treatments or products they believe will help, such as miracle juice, special elixir drinks, or special healing lotions. It's hard to take advice from someone who has no experience or even have or had eczema, but because they heard it helps and they can make some kind of money from me then they are the experts in the field. It's challenging for them to truly understand what I endure on a daily basis. I recognize that their suggestions and comments are well-intentioned, but if they are trying to sell me something that ensures your gain then I don't want to do anything with it.

What have I learned in my experiences?

Living with eczema is an ongoing battle that affects me physically and emotionally. It's disheartening to face judgment and misconceptions from others, but every day I learn something about my condition as well as myself and how I cope with these struggles every day. Truthfully this condition has made me better despite of all the challenges it comes with. Lots of self-reflection and deep connections with my faith have made me accept myself. I think that is a big takeaway is accepting myself and understanding that this disease is a part of my identity and my unique journey of why I'm here in this world.

I have to be comfortable with my own skin, and so far keeping that thought in my head has kept me to have a better outlook in life. Life is still a struggle but this time I try not to hide or better yet reject my condition. What does not kill you can and will make you stronger.

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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