No one will argue that having eczema is no way near as bad as having cancer. The latter is clearly life-threatening and is one of the worst pieces of news you can be given. I have various friends who suffer from really bad eczema.
However, eczema makes people feel self-conscious about their appearance and also how others might perceive them because of their skin condition. It's clear for everyone to see, you have red, dry and often bloody skin due to scratching. It makes people think that it can spread to them even though it cannot. It can also make it seem as if you are unhygienic when this is clearly not right either. In fact if you do have eczema that is widespread and at an alarming state of irritation, you are probably showering or bathing too much. Water saps your skin of natural oils so this would mean your skin becomes even drier. So how do you cope with eczema and take care of your body image in public?
Loose and soft
Firstly, cover up until you have a lid on the scratching. You don’t want to expose dry skin to the sun or air because the moisture will eventually be sapped away causing your skin to crack causing it to become irritated. Wear clothes that are loose fitting, so there’s no chafing of your skin and rubbing together. Also, wear something that is soft so there’s less chance of your skin being grazed and cut open easily. Avoid wearing jeans even if they are baggy as denim is a coarse material and will often be uncomfortable to skin that is tender, raw or bleeding. Jeans also tend to also spread your moisturizer around because denim isn’t very absorbent compared to cotton. By that same token you shouldn’t wear pure cotton or pure wool as they are too absorbent and will sap your natural oils too. Find something made out of nylon or acrylic to wear.
Express your anxiety
It's a good idea to write a blog about your daily life with eczema if you are quite self-conscious of how you look in public. However you might find that joining an Inspire Psoriasis support group will help you more as you will be talking to other people that have a similar skin condition. You’ll find out new ways to cope, different tips and tricks to make your skin less irritable with clothes. Bathing techniques are also discussed and this is helpful for people that have psoriasis on their private parts and are struggling to find a way to clean this area without drying it up and making it hurt. Talk about your social anxiety due to eczema and how you can avoid feeling bad about your body image. There are many people in your position and others that have climbed out of that negative space.
Any kind of skin condition that is visible and looks abnormal makes us feel quite self-conscious in front of other people. We tend to cover up but not in the right kinds of clothes. Avoid denim if you can and stick to soft and loose clothing until you irritation is under control.