Receiving "The Talk" Eczema Style
Have you ever received the "talk"? When I say this, I mean people who always recommend creams, lotions, ointments, and other "magical potions" that will help "cure your eczema." So you stand there listening to them about how well XYZ products can be and act like you haven't tried it all. I've had several talks with younger people, older people, friends, and even strangers that pass by to share their concern for my skin.
Facial eczema takes over
How can people sometimes be more concerned about my well-being than my self? A few years back, I remember I never had any facial eczema. It wasn't until I was put on several steroids and my face became affected by it. My face is now very sensitive. I can literally be doing nothing, and it will turn bright red like a tomato. Also, when I work out and exercise, it tends to get more irritated and red — when in fact, most of the time, when my face is red, it is not itchy, inflamed, or bothering me. My face is actually very soft and does not have any acne at all.
Skin isn't all the same
Many people do not understand that one cream or skincare product will not work the same on everyone's skin. From my experience, I used to use vaseline all the time, which would help out my skin when it was having trouble. Now my skin cannot tolerate vaseline and now only likes Aquaphor. Maybe, in a few months, it will be something new again. We also have to understand our skin changes what it likes and what it dislikes.
Another thing I have seen in the community is people pushing others to try a certain product that they swear by, which is not helpful at all because it just pushes people to buy products when they are vulnerable. I have bought plenty of creams and products that I've wasted my money on. I always hoped when I would try the new cream, that one would be the one that would clear me away from all eczema. As sufferers, we want to do anything to clear our skin condition, but it can come with a price tag. Many people cannot afford to try all these products.
I'll start the conversation
I have come to the conclusion that people need to mind their own business. If I want to talk about my skin condition with you, I will address it the first time we meet, allowing us to start on the right foot. It prevents strangers from staring at me and wondering what is wrong with my face. I do not address my skin condition to everyone but some people when I meet I do. I let them know that I have eczema and have tried it all. Also, I kindly let them know that I would rather not have them share their advice. That is why I have my medical professionals who help me and know what they are doing.
What will you do next time you get the "talk"? Will you stand there and act like you are interested? Or will you tell the person to mind their own business? You are in charge of your skin and decide who you want to talk to about your life.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?