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My Journey as a Skin Influencer: Battling Eczema By Showcasing The Skin I’m In

Eczema, a skin condition that’s often ignored, has been a continuing companion in my life. As a skin influencer and educator, I’ve made it my mission to make clear the silent struggles of eczema and the devastating consequences of topical steroid addiction. My journey has been marked by a lifelong battle with eczema, and it’s only within the last three years that I’ve begun to heal from the detrimental effects of topical steroid creams.

Eczema’s impact extends far beyond the surface of the skin, affecting each the physical and emotional features of life. The sporadic nature of topical steroid withdrawal signifies that some days I’m housebound, while on others, I’m fully functional. This unpredictability adds to the challenges of managing chronic skin conditions, making it difficult to keep up a consistent routine.

Eczema has the ability to show seemingly bizarre activities, like happening holiday, right into a source of hysteria and concern. The emotional toll it takes is profound, resulting in restless nights full of tossing and turning. The incessant itching will be maddening, and the sensation of not being at my best affects my self-esteem and overall well-being.

One of probably the most disheartening features of my journey is how eczema stays normalized and rarely discussed. Even when it significantly impacts productivity or disrupts sleep patterns, I’ve often internalized my struggles, enduring the pain in silence. The stigma related to eczema will be isolating, leaving me with the sense that my suffering just isn’t valid or significant enough to warrant attention.

Children with eczema face unique struggles as well. Research has shown that children with eczema are inclined to perform worse in class. The sleepless nights they endure take a toll on their ability to focus and learn. Moreover, the constant itching and discomfort they experience could also be stunting their growth attributable to their inability to sleep soundly (you possibly can read more about this topic in this text). The lack of empathy and understanding that eczema receives in society is a serious challenge. I’ve often heard the phrase, “It’s not cancer,” getting used to downplay the condition, as if it were one way or the other less important. The severity of eczema depends upon where it manifests on the skin, making it either noticeable or invisible. When others fail to acknowledge the condition, it becomes difficult for me to receive the sympathy and support I would like.

This lack of recognition and empathy is especially pronounced amongst individuals with black and brown skin, like mine. Eczema on such skin types is ceaselessly undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or diagnosed late. This issue is exacerbated by the limited representation of eczema on black and brown skin in medical literature and public awareness campaigns. The result’s a major disparity in access to proper treatment and support.

Comparing eczema to other health conditions highlights the dearth of empathy and understanding it receives. An individual with a broken leg is quickly sympathized with since the injury is visible and simply recognized. Even the after-effects of heart attacks, though not visible, are comprehensible to most individuals, which makes the condition more more likely to garner sympathy. This stark contrast underscores the plight of chronic skin victims like me who struggle with an invisible condition that usually goes unnoticed.

The financial burden of eczema shouldn’t be underestimated. I’ve personally spent a considerable sum of money on treatments, trying to search out relief and maintain my skin’s health. This financial strain can further isolate those of us who are suffering from the condition, limiting our ability to enjoy hobbies, socialize with friends, or lead fulfilling lives.

In conclusion, my journey as a skin influencer and educator is a testament to the indisputable fact that eczema extends far beyond skin-deep. The emotional distress, sleep disturbances, and societal indifference have made it a silent but substantial burden in my life. It’s essential to interrupt the stigma surrounding eczema, offer support to all individuals, no matter their skin type, and acknowledge it as a major comorbidity of the disease. Increased awareness and understanding are crucial steps in addressing the silent struggles of eczema and providing higher care and empathy to those living with this condition.

It’s essential to interrupt the stigma surrounding eczema, offer support to all individuals, no matter their skin type, and acknowledge it as a major comorbidity of the disease.

—Harriet Williams

If you’d prefer to connect with me and learn more about my journey and advocacy, you could find me on Instagram and TikTok @eczemawithharrii. Your support and engagement are greatly appreciated as we work together to spread awareness and understanding of eczema and topical steroid addiction.

For further resources and data on eczema and topical steroid addiction, I like to recommend visiting the International Topical Steroid Awareness Network. It’s a useful resource for those looking for more information and support on this topic.

Credit to Daria Szotek for featured photos (Website & Instagram).

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