What I Wish People Knew...

It would be nice to have a little pamphlet to hand out when people get chatty or are curious about our skin condition. Helping others understand what we go through would be a lot easier if we did not have to explain so much. Besides trying to illuminate others, we really have to educate them. It’s either that or listen to their well-meaning, but often wrong, guidance. Whether we are a caregiver, patient, or advocate… here is what we wish people knew about atopic dermatitis.

We’re not stupid

Just because our face is a little scaly doesn’t mean we are lacking in intellect. We know that our nose looks shiny and has white dead patches of skin around it. Please don’t try and “pick it off” for us. It’s isn’t like we’re not smart enough to wash our face before we leave the house.

We’re not dirty

When you see that our skin is oily, it doesn’t mean that it’s not clean. In many instances, we apply oil to protect our skin. Sometimes our own body creates an overproduction of oil in order to try and protect itself. In either case, it is not dirty.

We’re not lazy

We may not have the energy to run around doing a lot of stuff all the time. Outdoor activities may not be wise for us during certain weather conditions. It’s okay. We get our exercise in other ways, but we're not lazy.

We’re not fashion challenged

Just because we seem to wear the same old shirt everywhere doesn’t mean we don’t change clothes. That soft long sleeved shirt protects our skin from the sun. It keeps us warm without irritating us. It folds up easily and stays with us through every season.

We’re not mean

This whole thing about telling you what we wish you knew is just so that you don’t have to worry. It must be hard on you keeping us informed on everything you think about our skin.

We’re not shy

We don't see the need to run up and greet everyone at the social gathering. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to meet people. We may be feeling a little self-conscious or it could be that we are comfortable right where we are. Please don’t make assumptions when we don’t always talk to people.

We’re not dirt poor

Getting adequate medical care is fairly easy. Some of the more expensive medications may be a stretch for our budget. Not all insurances are created equal. In spite of that, we can afford the basic generic skin lotions and get our more expensive medical creams, pill, and injections when possible.

We’re not pitiful

If you feel sorry for us, that’s on you. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. Well, not too much anyway. And when we do, we’re probably not going to tell anyone who would judge us for it.

This little article would make a nice pamphlet. Print and pass out when you feel the need.

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