Yes, just having eczema itself can stress you out.
It’s on your mind 24/7.
Sometimes you space out mid-conversation and think about your eczema.
The minute someone’s eyes shift to your eczema, you start to wonder what they think about it? What they think about you? Are they going to comment on it? Are you going to give me unsolicited advice or do you really understand eczema? Maybe you have eczema and we can relate to one another?
After that happens, you then stress about eczema a little bit more because someone noticed it.
You then think to yourself, “I thought my eczema looked fine today…Is it more red than usual? Is my skin dry and visible with flakes?! I think it’s time to look in the mirror and re-apply some moisturizer so no one notices my eczema.”
There are times where I stressed about not having any moisturizer around me so I could “hide/fix” the visible eczema/dry skin.
Because of being in this situation multiple times, I started stressing about always having some sort of moisturizer before I left the house so I wouldn’t stress in case my skin got dry in the middle of the day.
But what happened when I forgot to pack moisturizer?!
I stressed out even more.
There were multiple times throughout my life where I would go out of my way just to buy a moisturizer in case my skin got dry so I could avoid social situations about my eczema.
Do I still stress about my eczema today?
But it’s a lot less than before.
Partly because my eczema has gotten better through my diet. I’ve switched over to the vegan diet after my progress stalled.
But I stress less about it because I can’t control 100% of my eczema. I stress about what I can control which is diet, skin maintenance and just being mindful and present (which takes a lot of practice).
Now when someone notices my eczema or asks about it, I’m less defensive, I don’t get offended or upset.
I use this opportunity to explain what eczema is and what I’m doing to improve it.
Most of the times, this conversation becomes a segway into healthy living.
Some times, the person has had eczema before or knows someone who has eczema.
Another reason I stress less now is that I’ve started to not care what other people think of my skin. This is extremely hard but I’m trying each and every day.
I just didn’t flip the switch on not caring, this mentality is still a work in progress after living so many years of wondering what people think of my skin.
Over time, as you get better and stop caring about what other people think about your skin, you eczema stress will decrease as well.
Until then, focus on what you can control.
Doing things that keep you present, focusing on your diet and having a