3 Ways to Socialize Like A Champ With Eczema

Ever tried to walk a tightrope over a sea of snakes and spiders crawling all over your skin? Neither have I! Haha. Socializing with eczema has often felt like that to me. Over the years, I have learned that the right people and the right friends will not be swayed by my rashes no matter how visible and obvious they are. Yet despite my luck with finding good friends, sometimes being in so much pain has still kept me from hanging out and having as much fun as I would like.

In this blog, I share some of my best tips when dealing with social dilemmas like this.

How do I manage people seeing my flares?

Expect the worst, accept it, and have fun anyway. I think that I am someone who sometimes does things differently than what most people might expect. Whenever I've had social anxiety around other people seeing my rashes, I would try to cover up my skin with baggy clothes. But I would be limited when it came to rashes that were on my face. In those situations, I resigned myself to expecting people to be shocked by my rashes — possibly mean and judgmental, too.

How did it show me who's worth my time?

In those cases, I would just continue to socialize and be in the moment because I really do enjoy meeting new people and being present. I just figured whoever sticks around me is someone worth talking to and getting to know.
Anyone else who could not stand to be around me or look at me at my worst I figured I was not meant to know at that time. I would just let it go and enjoy the company of the people who could stand to be around me and my visible rashes. Having this social criteria helped me make a lot of good quality friendships. I so appreciated and valued the people who could see past my appearance and enjoy my personality and sense of humor no matter what.

How do I handle canceling plans?

Don’t make it about your skin even if it is. If I had to cancel plans or not feel up to accepting an invitation to go out, I would not mention my skin being the reason for it. I would just say that I was busy or tired or preoccupied with something else. I figured my friends and family would assume that my skin would be a part of the reason, so there's no need to reiterate it and make myself feel worse about myself. Or have others feel even more sorry and sad for me than they already did. Also, this way it just sounded like I just had a lot of things going on and that I wasn't just trapped at home because of my skin even though that was the truth much of the time.

What about people who make rude comments?

Distance yourself from discomfort. Eventually there would be times where I would deal with rude people making comments about my skin while I was out with friends in public. In these incidents, sometimes I just needed to take a step away to regain my composure. These moments would usually surprise me and catch me off guard. Sometimes I would just excuse myself, go to the bathroom, maybe cry and just try to find another person or group of people to socialize with and hopefully forget that other person. Usually that person would get the clue to leave me alone for the rest of the event. I can only I guess that eventually they felt embarrassed or bad that they kind of drove me away with the rudeness or comments

What do you need to manage social situations with eczema?

Navigating social situations with eczema is not always pretty, but it is doable with enough self-awareness of boundaries, being in touch with ourselves when we feel uncomfortable in the moment, and taking action to make ourselves and times with our loved ones as enjoyable as we can make them.

What are some awkward social situations you’ve had to deal with while having visible rashes? How did you handle the situation? Please share your experience in the comments section below and let’s help each other out!

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