american academy of dermatology, chronic eczema, cronic disorder, eczema, health, itchy, mental health issues, mental-health, mis, psychology, random, skin
Today I am having a bit of a rough time, my skin is inflamed and the itchiness is driving me up the walls. As a life long sufferer of quite bad eczema this is not a new thing, I am quite use to outbursts of dermatitis every now and then, but this doesn’t makes it easier nor does it lessen my suffering.
But while I was scratching my neck and rubbing my face I started wondering about the saying “being comfortable in your own skin”. Of course I know that doesn’t only mean that you are happy in your own body, but also means to be content with your mind and soul, but whoever came up with that saying didn’t know what eczema really feels like. And on days like today I’d rather be in anyone else’s skin but my own, sacrificing my mind for the joy of relief from itchiness.
I have always said (and stand by it) that I believe that itching can drive you mad, literally insane. And while I have no data to back up this statement, just a little bit of research does show that the American Academy of Dermatology agrees on some level. The findings of studies they have done proves that people with chronic skin disorders are more likely to suffer from depression, think about suicide more often than non-sufferers and can also be more withdrawn from society, suffer from anger and lack confidence. And about 26% of people with chronic eczema can’t take part in many every-day activities, isolating them, sometimes even causing long-term unemployment.
A child growing up with the condition can develop low self-esteem and mental health issues, which is not surprising when you consider that more than one quarter of our self-esteem is built on our outer appearance. Call it vanity if you like, but our society does spend more on appearances than on health and education combined. So if you are carrying a blemish for all to see, your self-confidence takes a hit, which in turn effects your mental health.
So while the eczema may only be skin-deep the effects of it go beyond our outer walls, not only is our skin scarred for life but our souls are too. And sadly our sallow society doesn’t do much to help in that matter either, if you don’t appear perfect you sadly seem to be worth less. And since I know the feeling I just hope all my fellow sufferers out there can believe that even when we feel anything put beautiful, we still are loved and beauty can truly be in the eye of the beholder. And I hope I can believe it too!
I’m right there alongside you with my lifelong skin issues ; getting rid of all processed foods, martial arts, tai chi , and meditative practices have cleansed me almost completely if you want to try them out as alternatives 🙂
food doesn’t seem to make much of a difference (have tried) but obviously too much sugar etc is never good so try to eat lots of fruit and veg … mediating isn’t for me (have tried) but find that trying to be happy does 🙂 … glad you are doing much better 🙂
I hate my dermatitis and eczema, I get it in my ears on my scalp and on my neck, they get terribly itchy and bleed etc.Not to mention I also suffer with adult acne.
I shove a lot of over the counter extra strength vitamin E cream everywhere. Stops them being so itchy however, its just horrible, especially if i have my hair up, and skin everywhere ugh, and my neck is gross too.
Make up makes stuff worse, so I cant wear any of that either.
However, not wearing makeup is somewhat of a relief, I dont have to pay ridiculous amounts of money or spend an hour sorting myself out before I leave the house. That’s good I guess.
I dont really think of it as a problem though, Im sure at some point or other every human has suffered with a skin condition. However, it makes me feel dirty and thats why I hate it, and always felt self conscious about it. I dont think anyone really cares what you look like, unless you’re a celebrity and on the front of magazines.
People that really care what other people look like, are shallow and not worthy of your attention anyway.
Beauty is definitely on the inside. Id much prefer to spend time with someone who had a lovely personality and was intelligent, like you, than someone who was perfect looking, but was totally soulless and shallow.
Hugs beautiful x
ah thanks .. and yes by not wearing make-up you do save loads, i don’t either (only on rare) occasions but wearing black can be an issue as the little skin flakes like to sparkle on it 🙂
Yes, and I always wear black, because I feel most comfortable in it, so it’s annoying. Oh and probably going to the hairdressers is the most self conscious thing for me, because they get up close and personal with my falling off skin – ugh. Apart from that, I dont think other people would notice so much, and its one of the reasons I dont go anywhere without ear phones in my ears. However, that makes it worse as well. Better off letting air get to it. Sigh. That extra strength e45 cream is awesome though, when my scalp flares up when stressed, i put a lot on before I go to bed, then shower it off in the morning – makes me feel “fresher”.
My hands peel as well when stressed, but Im sure this is probably because of cleaning making it worse. I dunno xxx
As a fellow sufferer, I empathize. Mine isn’t so bad, though. Just on my hands (between my fingers mostly) but can wake me up in the night wringing my hands with fingers intertwined to try and relieve the itch. Warm/ hot water can almost feel cold and it can about dry you insane (which I kind of am already!)
oh i know, i need creme all the time
Wanting to help but not knowing how…sending thoughts your way, and your fellow sufferers, for much needed and wanted relief.
thanks … that always helps
Carrie Rubin said:
Eczema is a miserable condition with no cure but only disease management strategies. The lucky ones outgrow it. Sadly, it appears you were not one of them. I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable. May your skin cells offer you better cooperation in the days ahead.
I hope … normally it’s one day of misery and then a few of a little bit annoyance and then it’s okay again till the next change in weather or something 🙂
Carrie Rubin said:
My sons mostly outgrew theirs, but every now and then a change in the weather chaps up those hands and elbows. They both have big tubs of Aquaphor in their rooms for those occasions. Love that stuff.
don’t know what it is … but I have tubs of cream too, can’t take a shower without lotion afterwards and even have my special mixture made for me in Germany (for hands, neck and face)
Carrie Rubin said:
Just another emollient, which I’m sure you have plenty of. 🙂
Celiac and Allergy Adventures said:
Oh wow. I just wrote about a very similar issue, with my life long struggles with severe eczema, and bullying. You know how there are days when you take a hot shower, get into something nice and comfortable and then go lay in freshly washed sheets? And you just feel so comfortable and relaxed? Whenever my eczema is bad, I’m totally unable to feel that way – relaxed and comfortable in my own skin as you say. The itching, the KNOWING that my skin looks awful, the pain…. it’s the worst. And because mine was seriously severe growing up, it did affect my self-esteem for the longest time (and I can’t say it still doesn’t on some days). I would avoid the mirror, wouldn’t believe anyone who gave me a compliment, would have a hard time looking people in the eye…. it can definitely wreak havoc on a person’s self image.
I know, I think people really don’t understand what i can do to someone’s psyche. And for me it’s hard when I need to get work done because I just can’t concentrate
Celiac and Allergy Adventures said:
I feel the same way. It’s hard for me to focus on anything when I’m that itchy and uncomfortable. 😦 Hope you feel better soon.
thanks normally it’s better within a day or so
Great post. It is so dry in Colorado, I suffer from itchy skin all winter. you are so right about the vanity thing. I never realized how vain I was until I needed braces at age 30. It is a hard thing to kick! Hope your skin is soothed soon!
thanks and yes we are way more vain than we think
Take a bath with a whole (small for the refrigerator-sized) box of baking soda. This will help to balance the acidity in the body and also help to calm the nerves. Rinse with a quick shower when you are done. When you get out of the shower, use olive oil for your body when the temperatures are warmer and coconut oil when it is colder. (The coconut oil is heavier and doesn’t allow your body to perspire as easily as olive oil). Taking milk thistle can help too. This helps to detoxify and rebuild your liver. Professional drinkers, like me, know this trick. The a dropper-full of liquid milk thistle with yellow dock from gaia herbs in a glass of water really helped me 20 years ago when I used to get bad eczema with blisters on my hands. Hope some of this helps!
thanks , don’t have a bath but when I did always dis bath in seasalt, was great. But will try the thistle sounds like something I haven’t done before so must give it a go
If you are looking for visible results for eczema from milk thistle, you really need to try a liquid like this one: http://www.gaiaherbs.com/products/detail/302/Milk-Thistle-Yellow-Dock-Supreme- (I am not affiliated with this company, but this is the mixture that helped me). I would do a whole eyedropperful in a glass of water twice a day. It doesn’t taste too good, but I would think you should see some results within two weeks time. Drink lots of in between taking the herbs to help flush out toxins.more quickly.
You can make a warm footbath in a small basin to soak your feet in with the baking soda if you want to balance alkalinity. Good luck!