Share your story feature: “Consistency and simplicity”
Jamie graciously reached out to ESC and volunteered to share her story. She hopes that by coming forward, she can shed light on eczema’s emotional and social effects, and help others who are living with eczema too.
“It is ironic to assume that we understand eczema as much as we do, especially given how widespread and common it is, yet we fail to recognize its effects on many facets of a patient’s life. As someone who has suffered from eczema since childhood, it’s astounding to only realize now how this condition shaped me socially and emotionally growing up, ultimately influencing who I am now as an adult.
Eczema runs in my family, and despite being familiar with it, my condition was still extremely difficult for my parents and myself to manage. I received treatment and care from a dermatologist, but I continued to be stuck in this cycle of discomfort and frustration that stemmed from my eczema. This frustration manifested into a short temper that I often acted upon as a child. Was I angry because of my flare-ups or did my flare-ups anger me? I had so many sleepless nights that my mother would tell me that she wishes she could take away my pain and experience it herself instead. Although they tried, my parents were helpless and couldn’t understand.
The sores of my childhood morphed into insecurity as I entered my teenage years. I grew increasingly self-conscious with feelings of unworthiness. Memories of classmates calling my skin “ugly” would endlessly echo in my mind, haunting me. I dreaded the summer, as I struggled with the choice to cover up or show the rashes and scars on my legs. When I finally gathered the courage to wear shorts, people would stare and make comments. I could never hide my biggest insecurity despite how much I tried. These childhood sores eventually became scars, quite literally and figuratively.
For years, I felt trapped in a cycle that would never end. But it got better when I decided that I will get better. For me, the key was education, consistency, and simplicity. Regular moisturizing (at least once a day, but twice would be ideal) all over my body helped prevent broken and irritated skin.
All my life I have looked for the solution to my condition. With time, I learned that consistency and simplicity helped me cope and heal. While I still experience eczema today, my journey is one of education; learning how to become better, but also learning how it has affected me.”
ESC sincerely thanks Jamie for her submission. If you would like to share your story with ESC and help raise awareness for this often misunderstood condition, please email us at [email protected].
If you live with eczema and struggle with managing your symptoms, please consult a qualified health care professional, and reach out to ESC for additional support. We are here to help.