''
An hand scratches the dry patches on its opposite arm as flakes fall down and create a pile.

Flaky (Skin, That Is) Thoughts

So I don’t know about you, but I currently have a pile of flakes right next to me on my desk. And this isn’t my first pile of the day. It’s my 4th. And this isn’t a special day by any means. But as far as skin, a 4-pile day is pretty average for me. And instead of looking at this all-too-familiar sight in disgust, I'm going to reframe my thinking and see it as a pile of evidence of my healing. And let’s be honest with ourselves - creating that pile of flakes was an incredibly satisfying albeit at-times frustrating process.

Eczema is a flaky disease

I don’t really know what my point will be in this piece. I just know I want to discuss flakes. Because I feel like for a pretty f*cking flaky disease, we skin warriors have a pretty negative attitude towards these little guys. *Cue Ashlee Simpson’s "Pieces Of Me"*

Tell us about your frustrating symptoms by taking our Atopic Dermatitis In America survey.

Surrounded by skin flakes

So first thing in the morning, you look in the mirror and you see what? Flakes. Maybe you didn’t even have to get to the mirror to see flakes, because they were lying right underneath you and when you painfully sat up, there they were. That unsightly mess of flakes. That mini sandbox you seem to magically create every night. I understand. It’s incredibly annoying and just gross. But why don’t we try to reframe our minds as we take in our daily reality?

It's as though our skin is magnified

First of all, when I describe my skin to my friends, I like to say that it’s like taking a magnifying glass to their normal skin. Because my skin looks like theirs, except it has been magnified. And when it comes to all these flakes? Well, normal healthy skin has dead skin cells too! And that creates the dust in a person’s environment, just as ours does. Except of course our shedding is obvious to the naked eye and our flakes are definitely much bigger. And we definitely have to dust way more often.

Changing my perspective on skin flakes

But how about we look at this whole process with appreciation rather than disgust, annoyance, and hate, shall we? Recently, fellow eczema/TSW warrior, Ashley Wall (IG: @itchin87) recommended the Netflix TV show “Selling Sunset” to me. I was a little hesitant to watch it of course, mainly because I don’t normally follow reality shows. But also because I’m homebound and going through TSW, financial opportunities are scarce, and I didn’t want staring at gorgeous multi-million dollar mansions to make me feel like sh*t. Little did I know that I would actually love the show, and honestly cannot wait until season 4 drops!

Our skin is like a construction zone

I mention “Selling Sunset” because a particular image comes to mind - before we got to see some of those completed, gigantic, opulent multi-million dollar mansions, they were messy construction zones. Bricks, marble, and concrete were strewn everywhere on these dusty construction sites. So can we just look at your messy piles of flakes as the leftover building materials from erecting the future magnificent and pristine mansion that is your body? I mean, not to get biblical (I’m not religious) but the bible does say that your body is a temple. Just sayin’.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

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.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.