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A woman sits at a desk with a computer showing the Google homepage, with typing fingers at the ready.

Have You Experienced Your Rude Awakening?

Imagine it taking over 20 years to gain information that would alter your life dramatically. Like trying ice cream or pizza or french fries in your adulthood for the first time. One of the statements you’d probably say is “OMG! Why has no one told me about this?!” right?

This is exactly how I felt when I was 22 years old and experienced a cataclysmic moment. I had finally Googled the word "eczema" for the first time in my life and overwhelmed with information, I thought, and said out loud, “OMG! Why has no one told me about this?!”

Eczema was not talked about

At that time, in 2014, eczema was not the sexiest of topics to discuss. I didn’t see it anywhere - not on social media, not at my job, not in tabloids or TV. Nowhere. It was as if eczema was on some type of taboo list that could not be publicly discussed.

In fact, there were only two occasions where my eczema would be out in the open:

  1. When I was suffering from it at home and my parents were taking care of me
  2. When there was no other alternative than to go to the doctor’s office

No wonder I thought I was the only one in this world living with eczema.

Everything I knew about eczema changed

Until I was 22 years old that is. After seeing what resulted from my Google search, everything I knew about this skin condition and how it made me feel came to a screeching halt.

I was confronted with statements and information that overpowered everything I thought I knew about eczema up until that point. From reading bloggers’ perspectives on the skin condition to researching the different vitamins our particular bodies lack and need, to seeing before and after pictures of people actually fully healing -- my mind was blown away. Again I said, "OMG! Why has no one told me about this?!”

We need to correct the misinformation about eczema

Although there is now an immense amount of information and misinformation on eczema (arguably a dangerous amount), there are still many people who have not experienced this awakening. There are still too many people suffering in silence and assuming that there is no hope for healing. They have given up just as I had.

Here are a few tips to experience a rude awakening in your healing:

Stay curious about new eczema information

Don't be afraid to ask "what, when, how, and why" questions. What new articles regarding eczema and upcoming medications are out? When did this product come out? How will consuming natural vitamins through vegetables help me heal? Why has he or she healed and not me? Questions always lead to answers. We just need to be sure we are asking the right ones.

Ask for eczema support

You're not alone. Find a person in our community who is dealing with the same or similar condition and see how they have healed over time. Follow what has worked for them and try it! I I actually remember messaging one of the bloggers immediately after my Google search in 2014 and she educated me on so much in regards to how to heal from eczema.

Take risks

This is the only way through our suffering and into healing. If I didn't take the risk of Googling "eczema" and potentially being disappointed at the results, who knows where my healing journey would be at this point. If I didn't try what had worked for other people - dieting, exercising, intermittent fasting, taking particular vitamins, etc.- who knows where my healing journey would be at this point.

22 years

To sum up this message, I wanted to share what I wrote a few months ago when I was in deep reflection of how grateful I am to know what I know now about eczema. How grateful I am to have Googled "eczema" back in 2014.

It took 22 years to find out I wasn’t the only one living with eczema.
It took 22 years to learn that there are over 30 million Americans living with eczema.
It took 22 years to realize that topical steroids are NOT the only drug to treat eczema.
It took 22 years to find the National Eczema Association - an organization that is solely dedicated to the eczema community.
It took 22 years to find other people who looked like me.
It took 22 years to learn that I’m not crazy for thinking that eczema affects more than just my skin; it affects me mentally and psychologically.
It took 22 years to learn that diet matters.
It took 22 years to learn that exercise matters.
It took 22 years to learn that my mental health matters.
It took 22 years to feel confident in my own skin.
It took 22 years.
Don’t let it take 22 years for you.

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