"You got egsma?"



Throughout my life I have struggled with two skin conditions. Eczema and photosensitivity, also known as a sun allergy (yes, I'm black and allergic to the sun - crazy but possible).


Although I was diagnosed with eczema at a very young age, my skin wasn't bad until I was around 11. I had the worst breakout and my eczema spread all over my body. Having a shower was painful because I had so many cuts from the continuous scratching. The look of my skin resulted in a huge drop in my confidence levels, I remember sitting in class one time and just bursting into tears. I didn't understand why my skin was acting this way. Thankfully, it cleared up but ever since I started university my skin is trying to go back to its old ways. My eczema flare ups were on and off. One week my face was clear and smooth. The next week it was far from it.

Over the Christmas holidays my eczema flared up pretty badly on my face, neck, arms, hands and shoulders (and a little on my back). I couldn't understand why because I didn't eat anything to cause my skin to react so badly. I wasn't stressed or anything, even if I did have exams coming up in January. So right now I am dealing with one of the worst flare ups I have had in a while...

After a trip to the doctors I knew they wouldn't be able to help. They would only be able to prescribe me a steroid cream. My skin is way too dependent on steroid creams, it has even become resistant to it. I already tried all the creams they prescribed me, again, none of them worked. They never actually tried to identify the underlying problem, why my skin is reacting the way it is. I have stopped using steroid creams and I am suffering from TSW (Topical Steroid Withdrawal). When your skin gets worse before it becomes better.

I have tried 100 different moisturisers over the years and instead of making my situation better, it made it worse. It's easy to say "just moisturise" if you have dry skin. When you're really sensitive you have to be really cautious about what you use. It's annoying but it won't stop me from trying 100 more. There has to be something out there that works, right? Here are the products I'm trying right now:



CeraVe Moisturising Cream 177ml
I have heard loads of good reviews about this so I decided to give it go. I did a patch test first for two days and it seemed to be okay. I put it on my eczema on my arm to see how it would react. The next day I didn't see a reaction or anything, it just seemed dry. More dry than it was before (not sure how but???). I'm going to continue to use it for a week, not all over my body though, just parts of my skin to see how it goes.

Aveeno have some great products, sadly their original cream doesn't agree with my skin. I'm trying the Emollient Body Wash out and it hasn't been too bad. I haven't been using it long enough to give it a review but it does soothe the itching a bit.
Image result for xbc aqueous cream

I went for a wax the other week and the beautician suggested I use Aqueuous Cream because it is a great moisturiser. I bought the 100ml to test it out first and was happy to find it was only 99p from Savers (love a bargain!). Recently I have been using it on the parts I got waxed, this morning I decided to put it on my face and put Vaseline petroleum jelly on top. My face feels so smooth!

Starting from today, I decided I am going to cut all sugar out of my diet for a month and slowly add it back. Yesterday I had a lot of sugary stuff KNOWING I shouldn't. Well, I'm suffering the consequences now (smh). If you know me, you know how much I love sugary things so it is going to be difficult. If I really love myself and my skin I'll do it. The increase in insulin levels makes your eczema worse and all you want to do is ITCH! I need to adjust my diet because the food I eat plays a huge part in how quickly my skin will heal.

The itching drives me crazy sometimes because I itch ALL the time! I try to stop myself but I can't help it (Yes, I'm itching as we speak). There was one time I was revising and two boys were sitting at the back of the room. I would write, then scratch, then write again, scratch for a couple of minutes. I heard them laughing because they were probably thinking why the hell is this girl scratching herself every minute??? And the sound of scratching dry skin, well... it isn't exactly what you want to hear if you are studying.

The knock on my self-esteem is hard to handle sometimes. I feel like I can't live a normal life especially with my sun allergy. I'm really self-conscious about what I wear and how I look. Some people observe my face when I speak to them and I hate it. The pigment of my skin has gone darker where the eczema is and I can't wear make up right now because it will just make it worse. When I find a good moisturiser for my face I'll definitely start wearing it.






I refuse to wear short sleeved tops and I try to wear things that covers my neck. It makes it difficult to find an outfit when I want to go out so I end up staying at home. You can't exactly wear a turtleneck in a rave (especially Blueprint).

I have break downs here and there but I try to not drown in self-pity, it's waaay too time consuming (you know me and how much I hate wasting time). At the the end of the day, my eczema will eventually clear up and my skin will heal again. It will take some time but I need to be patient. I'm trying some herbal stuff right now, I hope it works well for me. As long as I eat the right things, use the right products and take the right medication/supplements it will go, hopefully for good.

So how do I deal with the days when my skin condition affects my mood:

Reminding yourself you are not alone

Often, some of us have this idea that "it's only me" or "it's always me". Well you're wrong. 65% of the time (a made up stat, don't take my word for it - it emphasises my point) there is someone in the world who is going through the same thing as you.

I'm not the only person in the world who has eczema. When I look at instagram or snapchat and see people's wonderful smooth skin, sometimes I observe mine and get upset. I think about how horrible it looks and how I'm the only person in the world to have shitty skin but I'm not. You may not see other people suffering around you, yet it doesn't mean there is no one else in the world suffering too.


Remaining grateful

What did you have for dinner yesterday?  How was your sleep last night? What's the latest series you watched?  You all have an answer to these questions because you are fortunate enough to have the necessities other people are unable to have. My point is people have it worse than you. I'm not saying this to belittle my problem but it gives me hope.

Of course you're allowed to moan and complain about how shit your situation is. Just remember you're lucky enough to be better off than loads of people out there. I was reading a women's eczema story yesterday and her skin has completely healed. Her eczema was really severe compared to mine. If her skin can heal, mine definitely can.

Don't allow negative feelings to linger

There is so much self-pity you can drown yourself in. Feel angry, feel upset, cry if you need too but don't let it ruin your day or your whole week even. Look at it this way, life's too short. You could die tomorrow and you would not want to take all that negative energy to your grave. Allow yourself to feel bad but don't let it take over you.

Focus on the positives and what you can control. Yes, I have a skin disease which is out of my control but I can manage it. I can also control other aspects in my life that seem to affect my mood and bring me down. Believe your situation will get better, wholeheartedly.


Listening to music

I have a self love playlist on Spotify for low moods. It's a great playlist filled with songs about self-confidence as well. Putting on some feel-good music allows you to take your mind off things.

Positive Affirmations

Regardless of how my skin looks, I can still tell myself "My body will heal and my skin will be soft" and "I will have beautiful skin". I have to keep believing it will not last forever because it will not. If I can't imagine my skin healing, how can I expect it to heal?

As I said before, it's difficult sometimes. It will affect how you feel and how you view yourself. If you have a skin condition remember you're not alone. It's hard to believe you're beautiful but you need to keep reminding yourself that you are. Never tell yourself it will never get better because it will.



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