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Coping with Eczema? Read These Tips for Emotional Health

By Abby Lai (Bio below) 

Eczema was the hardest time of my life. For those who suffer with it (or have a close friend or family member who suffers with it), you’ll probably know that eczema comes with a lot of physical and psychological baggage.

When I was going through my own personal journey with eczema, I dealt with lots of issues, including: low self-esteem, insecurity, frustration, resentment (at myself and others), disappointment, fear, worry, and pain. You’ll probably understand this if you have eczema. The hardest part was that my emotions were constantly; one moment I would be happy, and the next moment I would be worried and frustrated at the state of my skin.

My eczema was all over my face and body – so much so that I was unable to look people in the eye; I was so ashamed of it and myself. I was resentful at why this had happened to me (instead of the other 7 billion people in this world). Inside, I was crying out daily that I wanted to be “normal.” I would compare myself to others who didn’t have it, and it made me miserable.

The feeling of being disappointed, unhappy, and frustrated was the biggest driving factor for me to get my eczema healed. I had been searching for healing for years and I didn’t want to go through it anymore. I went from doctor to doctor determined to get it healed, and I was willing to do whatever it took to find a cure. (P.S. If this is you going through something like this, don’t lose hope – you’ll eventually get there as well!)

When the eczema was at its worst.

When the eczema was at its worst.

Now looking back and having clients who are going through the same thing, I realize that there are some things I would’ve done differently. I wish I had found other eczema sufferers that I could talk to then because I know I would have felt a lot better. However, I do have a few tips for emotionally and psychologically coping with eczema.

  • Don’t lose hope – although the journey gets discouraging and frustrating, you have hope to carry you on. They say that when you visualize things, it helps bring things to pass – so use visualization techniques and affirmations to imagine your skin healed. To stay positive place post-it notes around your house with affirmations such as “Your skin will heal” or “You have beautiful skin!”
  • Surround yourself with a great support group – you need to find a group of people who will instill hope in you. Remove anyone who is negative and who brings negativity in your life. Go on forums, talk to other eczema sufferers, or join Facebook groups with other eczema sufferers. EczemaVoice is a good platform that helps eczema sufferers find and give support.
  • Be thankful – despite everything, count your blessings for what you do have in life and be grateful. The reason is that being thankful for what you have will bring your focus to the good things in your life, so that you can stop focusing on what you don’t have. For example, you can be thankful that you have food, that you have a place to live, and that you have a wonderful family. Some people will also start and end their day with saying 5 things they’re grateful for. It’s scientifically proven that people who do this are happier.
  • Get plenty of rest – as hard as it may be to sleep for some eczema sufferers, try to sneak in more rest by taking naps, or going to bed earlier to try to get more sleep. Sleeping will help your skin heal. I used to try to stay awake the whole entire night because I was so scared that I would wake up with blood on my fingers and dead-skin flakes all over my bed. It was an incredibly scary time. I survived by taking naps throughout the day, or trying to get to bed early so I could at least have more sleep (even if it was disrupted sleep).
  • Use stress coping techniques and do something that relaxes you (and that you enjoy!) – for example, watching a feel-good movie, praying and spending time with God is something that really relaxes me and allows me to find hope. I also enjoy dancing and taking nice walks in nature. This helps me get my  mind off of frustration and it allows me to reflect, find peace, and joy.  Journal writing is also a big thing – it helps me release my emotions and lift the burden off of my chest. Invest in a hobby, keep busy, or do something that will take your mind off of the frustration.
  • Don’t be afraid to cry – don’t’ be afraid to let out your emotions, cry and scream if you need to. Do whatever it takes so that you don’t suppress what you’re going through. The journey is not easy, but you will get there. In the meantime, enjoy life and allow yourself to cry when you need to.
  • Stop the negative thoughts – you live with yourself more than any other person. The thoughts you have will affect how you feel throughout the day.
After - the eczema mostly gone!

After – the eczema mostly gone!

If you’re reading this, you are probably just as determined as I was to heal my eczema. I don’t think people understand how emotionally and physically painful and draining eczema can be – so pat yourself on the back for making it through so much!

 

If you suffer (or know someone who suffers with eczema), try to avoid pity parties and avoid criticizing yourself for what you’re going through. It’s not your fault – so try to count the good things in your life that you can be grateful for. You need to realize that you can always handle more than you think! I had so many doubts and even had suicidal thoughts, but I was determined to make it through – and I finally have today.

I hope that with these tips will be able to cope with eczema and feel better!

abby bio pic
Bio: Abby Lai is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a blogger who blogs about natural eczema remedies and is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives.  As someone who suffered from severe eczema in the past, she hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help transform and educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube  for more updates! Learn more about Abby on her website and blog

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michaella #

    I’m 15, and while getting increasingly frustrated at my fairly severe case of eczema, I came across this website. As other people have mentioned, I do feel very lonely sometimes because of my eczema, which I had when I was young just on my arms, then came back to spread all over my body and face when I was 11. It was so nice to see such an amazing website where I felt that I was getting personal attention – I do feel that eczema needs more attention, both in schools and medically. What you said about nighttime, I get that too! I have to shake and wipe my bed until I’m absolutely positive all of the dead skin cells are off of it, or I can’t sleep at all. Thank you so much for taking the time to post the information – I will try all of the things that you have suggested. I should start being more thankful – your eczema was worse than mine is now, I am so sorry you had to go through that and I am so happy that you are better now! My eczema that made its reappearance was actually caused by me wearing a ‘fashionable’, cheap necklace – it started on my chest before getting to my neck, arms, face and legs. I can only stay positive and strong now, which is what you have helped me to do :). Really sorry for the novel I just wrote (I would like to be an author when I’m older!) but I needed to express myself.

    Best thoughts go to you, even though I don’t know you personally x

    Like

    June 20, 2015
    • Hi Michaella – Thank you so much for your comment! I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve gone through too! But you are definitely not alone – HUGS!!! Jennifer

      Like

      June 23, 2015
  2. LM #

    Oh wow! I wish I found this blog a long time ago. I’ve been struggling with ezcema for over 10 years (I’m now 22)…it just occurred to me that I probably haven’t been in touch with sufferers because my coping mechanism has always been to be alone or hide it as much as possible. Right now I’m going through one of my flare-ups and really glad to have found this community on the web. Thank you!

    Like

    May 26, 2015
    • Hi there – I’m so glad you found us too – welcome! I hope this blog will help you see that you absolutely shouldn’t ever hide! There are many people that have eczema, but they don’t let it define them or keep them back from doing anything. You are beautiful inside and out. Don’t EVER forget that!

      Like

      May 28, 2015
  3. I came upon this by chance, as I type this I am actually crying. I’ve had eczema since I was born, and I’m 21 now. I’d lost hope of “growing out of it” by the time I hit 18 and it just got worse. I looked to eating a healthy diet, taking extra care of myself and regular routines of skin care…and recently the flare ups have been so bad that I can barely leave the house without being an emotional wreck or in pain from the raw skin in the wind and rain. I’ve been so down, depressed and have so many fears and frustrations, just as you said. Reading this makes me feel a bit better, to know there are others who have gone through it and are better, maybe I’ll be better too at some point, but I admit it gets so lonely…But I’ll just have tough it out and carry on! *sorry, I posted a life story*

    Like

    December 4, 2014
    • Hi there – Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment! I think you’d really connect with The Allergista as well as Prime Physique Nutrition. They’ve both been through some very hard times with eczema as an adult, but have pulled through and are doing much better. Do you have any support groups in your area? I would highly recommend joining one so you can connect locally with many others who are going through exactly what you are going through. And finally, sending a virtual hug. Sometimes we just need hugs. Jennifer

      Liked by 1 person

      December 8, 2014
      • Sorry, I never saw this message till now! Thank you for your reply ^-^ I will go check those people out! And tbh I don’t know anyone else at all who has eczema as serious as mine, not in person or online or anything – hence it’s lonely, I could talk about it to people I’m close to but they don’t really understand or know what to say, then I end up apologising profusely for making them uncomfortable :/ I don’t know of any support groups here either actually.. I don’t really think there is much support or anything here, or if there is they must be terrible at getting word out because I’m clueless and have been looking for something like that for a while 😄 And yes, hugs are wonderful! Thank you (> ;¬;)> ❤

        Like

        December 23, 2014
      • Hi – Definitely reach out to NEA about a support group. They can help you find the right local resource for sure. Plus, they do have a good online group too that you might be interested in. Take a look at their online forum here.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 6, 2015
  4. I agree. Don’t be afraid to cry. Crying doesn’t mean that you are weak. Being vulnerable at times is a sign of strength. We may not have the control over some things, but we can choose how to respond in our situation. Thank you! 🙂

    Like

    September 10, 2014
  5. For me this post has came in just right time. My husband is dealing with contact dermatitis these days.. I hope this information will help him out 🙂

    Like

    September 5, 2014
    • Hi there – I sure hope it helps too! Fingers crossed for you! Jennifer

      Like

      September 8, 2014
  6. Hi Amy – That’s great to hear your family has seen a positive impact with diet change. So has ours. Curious, what kind of changes have you made? Regarding your recent flare up, could it be seasonal allergies maybe? My kids flare up in spring and fall behind the knees – it’s directly linked with pollen. Jennifer

    Like

    September 4, 2014
    • Hi Amy – That’s interesting. I’m not familiar with that book – I’ll take a look. Thanks for sharing the title. Good luck figuring out this difficult trigger of yours! Jennifer

      Like

      September 8, 2014
  7. DrB #

    That’s brilliant! Positive thinking at it’s best. I hope you will like
    http://www.atopicskindisease.com/articles/LiveWithoutEczema

    Like

    September 2, 2014

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