Are you a burn victim?
Why are your hands so dry?
Just drink some water and you’ll be fine.
That’s just a snippet of some of the comments I have heard over the years with my Eczema. It’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t battling with my skin. I’ve had Eczema since I was a young child. It tends to come in waves.
Sometimes you have a good skin day, other days you are trying to figure out what has flared your skin. Is it stress? Is it the little bit of dairy I had the day before? Is it my body failing me? Though Eczema is typically associated with the itch, it is much more than just that. It’s the consistency of that itch, the dry skin, the oozing, the flaking, the pain you feel when you have cuts in your skin, the lack of sleep, the non stop feeling of being uncomfortable, the hyperpigmentation that no one ever asked for and most importantly the part it plays on your mental health.
Over the years, my feelings towards my Eczema has gone from assuming I’d grow out of it to wondering, Why am I being punished? to eventually finding some acceptance.
To me, acceptance is acknowledging the things you cannot control and being at peace with them. To me, it means knowing that things may not always go the way you want but just doing your best is enough.
I have learned to listen to my body when it talks. I now treat my body like a first class passenger, giving it the care and attention it deserves and needs. It took me a very long time to say that I am grateful for my Eczema, yes I said it, grateful! I am grateful because it forces me to take control of my health. There may be no known cure for Eczema but one thing I will always do is take ownership of my health and live the best quality of life I can.
In most recent years, taking a holistic approach to my health has 100 percent helped me along the way.
I am also grateful as it has allowed me to birth my platform of Jen’s Lifestyle Edit online. A place where I show my skin on its good days and bad days. I share tips I use for optimum health and sometimes just sometimes I make fun of myself because at the end of the day what is life without laughter?
For so long, I felt like no one fully understood what I was going through and so coming online was a complete game changer for me. I found a whole community who was going through the same thing as me and I found people whose skin looked like mine.
I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time. There is reassurance in knowing that there are people going through the same thing as you but also knowing that they are just trying to figure it out, too.
Not only do I get to connect to like-minded people, but it also makes me accountable as I have to actually stick to what I am putting out there. Never did I think I would be relating to people over the internet about how Eczema has aged our hands, or how we use everything under the kitchen sink to relieve that itch. Posting yourself raw, with imperfect skin can be daunting but at the same time can be so invigorating as that’s what people relate to the most and that help people the most.
If there is one thing I have learned, is that no matter what you are going through, nothing is permanent and so it does get better. Always be kind to yourself and know that you’ve always got this. I see us as the special ones who get a heads up on when we need to take extra care of ourselves.