Monday, 26 March 2012

The emotional toll of eczema

Hi all, I wanted to touch on something close to my heart, something that I don't find doctors can really help with and that is, the emotional toll eczema takes on a person.

The thing about eczema is, it's not just annoying, during a flare up it can be emotionally damaging. I can remember not wanting to leave the house during the summer as I always damage my skin so badly in the winter and the marks are there for everyone to see.  Just to pop to the local shop, I'd have to ensure I'm covered up, making me hot and uncomfortable, but the thought of members of the public looking at my skin in disgust just upsets me to the core. Mind you, this could all be in my head, but it feels very real to me. If I ventured out without a shrug or cardigan, I'd estimate the likelihood of someone being close enough to be scrutinising my imperfections, what were the odds? Was it worth taking the risk? As dramatic as it may seem, I know other sufferers who feel like this.

During a flare up, I tend to be very miserable and snappy, at my family, so support is very key, I'll post about that later. 'Gosh, aren't you hot in that long sleeved top' 'You must be boiling in that cardigan' Sound familiar? I wish people would mind their own business, but curiousity is part of our nature, you can't really blame them! I guess I do look odd in a long sleeved top or cardigan in the blazing August heat!  My confidence was so low that at one stage (When I had a flare up on my eye lids) I wouldn't look my husband directly in the face when he spoke to me, I just couldn't make eye contact.

The staring does get on my nerves though, I mean, you'd have thought I left the house and forgotten my head or something!!! Aaaaaah

But seriously though, that's why I love blogs and Twitter, because you can tap into people who feel the same. People who don't think you're over reactive or super sensitive, people who just GET it.

With all that said, I do have occasions where I just get up, get dressed and go about my daily business as if I had the silky smooth clear skin of a celebrity!! Besides, the sun helps to heal my skin, so it's a win win situation!


  1. I relate to this 100% and I did a post similar to this when I first started my blog because it is important for others to understand. I used to have horrible self confidence because of my eczema, and no one really understands the emotional aspect of it. I can deal with the eczema on my legs and arms since it can be covered up, but flare ups on my face are almost unbearable. I have gotten a lot better since I realize there is not much I can do about it(my eczema is mostly triggered by stress rather than allergies). My entire forehead and eyelids are flared up right now, so I know what you mean about not being able to look at people. It feels like they are anayzing you and trying to figure out what is wrong. But I have come to realize that this stems a alot from my own insecurity and they likely do not notice as much as I think they do(or at least that is what I would like to think). Thank you for addressing this; people that don't have eczema need to understand that it is not an easy condition to live with.

  2. Hi Kristen, thanks for responding! It's great to know others feel the same and I think you're right, it's more about our own insecurities rather than what we 'think' others are seeing! Will check out your blog. xx

  3. Totally get where you are coming from. Several times in the year my eczema flares up on my face, especially in the summer months; patches under my eyes, cheeks and eyelids. So when everyone is dressing up for the sun, applying precision makeup, I shy away to the comfort of the PC to research the latest cream or concoction which may keep it under control. Having eczema on other parts of my body is horrific enough especially during intimate moments but having it on my face where modern living expects us to carry ourselves a certain way and conform to what is the "norm" can really take it's toll. Having support is key even though you will occasionally get the "I know how you feel" comments it is most likely well meaning. Dealing with the emotional side is just as challenging as the physical, especially when the "world" can see. Great post x

  4. Thank you so much for sharing Trin, it really sucks, but it really does start with loving ourselves which includes our flaws!! If we didn't have eczema, I bet we'd be complaining about spots, uneven skin tone or a bad hair style!

    I just wish people were a little more sympathetic to our chronic skin condition!!

    Love and hugs. xx