Half Clothed: Showering and Dressing with Eczema
Last updated: July 2020
Half clothed, you sit at the edge of the tub, watching as now 20 minutes have snuck by. You try, yet again, to convince yourself that you shouldn’t be afraid of water.
Checking for the monster in the shower
As the rigid, cold tile presses against the bottoms of your feet, a shiver travels up your spine. You see yourself once again as a little child, shivering at the door of your bedroom, waiting for someone to please check and make sure that the monsters under the bed aren’t there. But the monsters are here, surely they’re in the bathroom. Maybe that’s where they’ve hidden. You are certain they are in the water and that they’re very real. No one can see them - that’s just the thing, they’re sneaky like that! Surreptitious little ninja monsters.
Showering with sensitive skin
You can’t see them either, but once the water hits, that’s when you feel them. But since you nor your family can spot them, as soon as Lola (grandma) places her hand under the running water, she tells you they aren’t there. Monsters aren’t real. That it’s just your imagination. But she can’t feel them the way you can. You don’t have a sixth sense or anything like that, but you do have incredibly thin, damaged skin that is sensitive to everything, and right now, your skin is telling you that there are monsters in the water.
Is showering or bathing typically painful for you?
Figuring out what to wear
Half clothed, you stand in front of your closet, pondering your next move. At least you finally squeezed into a pair of pants, but you’re still cold just from that slight breeze you created when you tossed yet another unwearable shirt to the side.
Fabrics irritating sensitive skin
You can hear the car in the driveway, but you still can’t find a shirt to wear. It’s not from indecisiveness that you can’t choose. It’s because your skin is extra sensitive again, and most of those shirts catch onto your flakes, pulling and taunting you throughout the day.
Overworn go-to clothing
Oh wait - there it is! Your favorite shirt is washed, thank goodness — ugh, there’s a hole in it. And not in some not-so-obvious place where you can’t get away with it. Right in front on the right side of the chest. Man. This sucks. You remember that the hole was there before, but you made do because it was the only shirt you felt comfortable in. But now that hole is much bigger than you last recall, so definitely can’t get away with it. Crap.
Skin irritated by sleeves
Well, you didn’t want to, but you’ll have to go with the second option, the one you’ve been trying to avoid. It’s fine. It’s just annoying because you already move kinda weird because your skin is flaring and you don’t have your full range of motion. But now you have to roll up your left sleeve whenever it falls because there’s an irritated lesion there, right on the inner part of your upper arm, right near your armpit. And the seams of the shirt! Why does something so seemingly insignificant irritate you so much? Whatever, you’ll just have to hunch slightly whenever sitting, and then hold the front of your shirt away from your body when you’re walking.
It’s fine. You’re fine. Well...it’s not fine. And you’re not fine. But what option do you have?
How does your eczema reoccurring make you feel?