Woman surrounded by menacing makeup products

All The Pretty Things: Going, Going, Gone

Thanks to eczema, my skin has become so delicate. It rebels against anything – many skincare products or the “wrong” type of clothing or jewelry materials. I have found that all the pretty things I used to enjoy are going, going, gone.

Poll

Avoiding eczema triggers: How much impact does it have on your daily life?

Wearing minimal makeup

I used to buy any kind of makeup without a second thought. This was pre-eczema, and even during some of the years with eczema, my skin was less reactive. The people at Sephora recognized me. If I liked it, I bought it, and never thought twice about using it. I still subscribe to several monthly beauty boxes, even though I’ll never use most of the products. (My daughters enjoy experimenting with makeup too!) Now, I have to worry if my skin will react to makeup, and I can’t just get a whole haul of new beauty products and try them. I have to try 1 thing at a time to see if my skin reacts. If I try 4 new products at once and my skin reacts, I won’t be able to identify the “culprit.” Or on the other hand, I could be using something for years, and suddenly it will irritate my skin. The quarantine gave me months of not having to worry about makeup. Even at work with a mask, I would just use a little foundation and eyebrow pencil, and the mask hid everything else! Still, most days, I continue not to wear makeup unless I see people at work or socially. And I usually keep it minimal so as not to aggravate my skin. When I do wear more makeup, I feel so much better about myself, but I have to worry about my skin reacting.

Avoiding jewelry

Growing up, my mom always made sure any earrings I had were 100% 14 karat gold. I was always so disappointed when I couldn’t wear the trendy earrings from Claire’s! Over the years, my eczema has gone through better and worse phases. A few years ago, a local mom was selling jewelry, and all my friends were having those jewelry parties. I don’t even want to think how much I’ve spent on bracelets and necklaces! At the time, my skin was not so bad, and I wore all the pretty things I purchased. Now, almost any jewelry that touches my skin makes me crazy after a few minutes, so all the pretty things sit untouched. Even my 14 karat gold earrings are sadly in a drawer – despite never bothering me before, my earlobes start to itch like crazy when I wear earrings, so for now, I’ve sadly retired them all. It took a very long time not to feel naked without them. Those earrings were the last bit of jewelry I could tolerate.

Wearing cotton clothing

We all know that with eczema, the best clothing is loose-fitting cotton clothing. We hear it again and again. In my less reactive eczema times, say I was going out to a nice dinner. I would wear something like jean leggings, a nice sweater, and boots (and of course jewelry and makeup). Now, there’s minimal (if any) jewelry and makeup. The thought of a sweater makes my skin itch. Now, I usually wear black cotton leggings, a top that won’t make me itch, and whatever makeup I feel I can handle that day. If I feel EXTRA brave, maybe I'll slip on 1 of those trendy bracelets (but it usually ends up in my purse during the evening, too itchy to keep on).

Eczema has taken all of the pretty things

I enjoyed the times – that were few and far between – when I could wear any makeup, jewelry, and clothing I wanted. Sure, I might have been a little itchy, but it was bearable. A little steroid cream and/or an antihistamine cleared it right up. As I sit here typing, not a speck of jewelry or makeup, and in cotton clothing, I feel sad that all the pretty things have gone away. And yet I still itch, all the time. Have you given up any of your favorite things for eczema? Has it helped?

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