A large red cross showing eczema patches on it is surrounded by multiple hands holding thumbs up.

Quality Eczema Patient Care: Why Is It So Hard?

Have you ever thought, when will this endless cycle ever stop? You may not have simply because having a chronic illness and imagining that something that cannot be healed has an end to it is not logical in this lifetime. The cycle I am referring to is the endless cycle of the doctor-patient dermatology system for people with eczema.

My frustration with western medicine

I recently expressed that I lost all faith in the western healthcare system while I was going through topical steroid withdrawal for two years because out of 26 years there has never been a solution or suggestion that did not include steroid creams or the same general information given.

Topical steroid addiction

I was convinced that I had to figure everything out on my own because I have been through the endless cycle of dermatology tests, blood work, and more only to be responsive to topical steroid ointments. I found clear evidence that what I was experiencing with TSW was because of the addiction to the drug that I have been given my entire life.

I was never asked about my emotional well-being

Please do not think I am “bashing” the health system or profession of dermatology. I am grateful for the relief I was blindly given in order to live a relatively normal life, but I am sadly the most disappointed in the quality of care and resources that are considered acceptable in the practice of medicine. I have dealt with doctors my entire life, I even have a great love for a doctor or two who are my relatives. But not speaking of those amazing human beings and helpful resources, the place that I am in as an adult is wondering why I was never asked basic questions of my emotional health, mental health, and quality of life dealing with eczema.

Doctor's should not just treat symptoms

Doctors have always treated the symptoms instead of questioning the impact the disease has had on an eczema patients' quality of life. Quality of life should be a basic conversation when talking to a doctor. With that information, a doctor should be able to have a set number of questions to see if referring to mental health resources is necessary. Even having the question asked by a respected professional could spark the idea that this is more than just a surface condition although the greatest immediate pain is physical.

Self-image wasn't talked about

I have written previously on the connection of perfectionism and eczema and that should not have taken me over 20 years to come to that realization. Something as simple as that should not be this outstanding awakening that has never been questioned before even by a professional, who sees that a child is consistently experiencing minor to severe traumatic emergency instances in her life.

Mental and emotional health matters

Regardless of the condition or reasoning, if there was better systemically imposed quality and care required by those in the profession for skin disease it would cause for much less daunting undertaking in the future to unpack my experiences as even being something worth speaking on. To doctors, personal caregivers, family members, eczema patients it really doesn’t have to be that hard. Give resources to cope with the obvious elephant in the room, that mental and emotional health matters with eczema.

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