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What do people ask or say about your skin?

Our skin is our biggest organ, on display all the time. I've had people say the weirdest things over the years about my skin or my DD's skin.

Right now, my biggest fight with eczema is with a chronic flare on my eyelids, and it can cause my eyes to swell and look crusty and red at its worst. People have asked me if it's pink eye. (Uh, no.) They've asked if it's catching. (Uh, no, again.) Some nice ones ask if it hurts. (Only sometimes.) And others don't say anything, but just stare.

I try to explain to the ones who are genuinely concerned for me. 

What are some comments people have asked you about your skin? What are some of your usual responses?

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  • Melissa G

    So sorry about the eczema on your eyelids, that sounds so painful. 

    Bekah had a terrible time with her eczema on her face when she was little, and people would always make comments. Like I wasn't doing anything to treat it….. She went several years without issues until this summer and it is back in full force. Being a teenager and having eczema on the face is not easy. She is very self conscious about it. We have been very fortunate no one has said anything recently.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I have a flare up of eczema on the top of my right cheek that itches alot….gets worse when it feels like it. I've heard Oh….is that rosacea? No it is not. About the eczema on my hands….when it flares. .Oh…poison ivy! Don't you wear gloves? No and yes. 

    About the psoriasis on my left arm and elbow… People stare like they think my arm was burned in a fire.

    I don't let this bother me. I am sick. I have a right to go places as much as THEY do. Heaven help THEM ( aka the gawkers and the talkers ) if and when they get a skin affliction.

    I am so sorry that we all have to go through this. But at least we are all here finding happiness and feeling useful. All of you fine people have a great day…please! 

            Hugs,  Debbie

  • Pljohns

    Deborah-I applaud you for not letting it get to you.  Every time I end up in the hospital with a really bad flare, I have IV steroids for at least 5 days to get it back under control.  IV steroids blow out veins like all get out and every time I look like a junkie.  The one time it was during the summer, I kid you not-I had 2 people come up and give me the names and phone numbers for drug rehab and just walk off.  I was like REALLY????  Needless to say, I never go out after I've been in the hospital without sleeves-no matter what the season now.  Please just assume the worst!

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh, ladies — people can be thoughtless, can't they?

    Debbie, you're right! We do have a right to be in a place — and a right to privacy, as well. Once again, you're teaching me what to let go of and what to hold onto.

    Melissa, you're so spot on about teens. DD commented only this AM that her eczema is returning to her arms. I guess we're going to have to start back with some of our old eczema routines.

    Lynn, I can't imagine being given drug rehab phone numbers! I guess they were trying to be helpful, but my goodness, couldn't they have asked what is going on first?

    You know, I think I don't mind a direct question as much as either gawking stares or people jumping to the wrong conclusion. If people would say something (in a kind voice) like, "I noticed that your eyes are red and swollen. What's up with that? It looks painful. Is it?" … I think that would give me the space to decide how to respond. 

    I also have to remember that it's not my job to answer every question. Some questions I'll answer — some of the time. Other times, maybe it's better if I practice my best Mona Lisa smile.

  • Pljohns

    I've been on the receiving end of a few doozies-guy in the mall food court a few years back called the mall cops on me for being in the food court with 2 small kids (our boys were much younger then) using a CRACK PIPE!  It was my hand held neb!!!  

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Pardon me for saying this. Oh my God!! Aren't those people ignorant. 👿  You have rights as a human being. I am so sorry you had to go through that. 

  • Melissa G
    Pljohns posted:

    I've been on the receiving end of a few doozies-guy in the mall food court a few years back called the mall cops on me for being in the food court with 2 small kids (our boys were much younger then) using a CRACK PIPE!  It was my hand held neb!!!  

      Uumm, wow! I have no idea what to say about that? How did the officers respond?

  • Pljohns

    Once I explained to them that I had asthma and it was my nebulizer, they thought it was the funniest thing around-they were dying laughing.  I didn't think it was so funny and the poor guy that ran through the food court yelling at the officers-well, lets just say I wasn't too nice to him.  I know I should have calmly explained to him what it was but by then-there was nothing calm about me.

  • Pljohns

    Calling the mall cops was bad enough but when they got there and he saw them laughing, he came running from about 5-6 tables down yelling at the top of his lungs "that's her, that's her-see a crack pipe and small kids-DHR needs to come take those kids away".  I was absolutely mortified-and then my temper got the best of me-I guess the mall cops though I deserved to have a temper at him-they just stood back and let me be not very nice

    I've not been able to do a neb in public since-work wasn't much better when one of our PT's thought it was a vape pipe and said so pretty loudly.

  • Melissa G

    Why oh why can't people keeps their mouths shut! They can privately ask you what it it is. Why be so public about things?!

    I am so very sorry that happened to you. It is definitely not right. 

  • Pljohns

    Guess it left a mark-if I need a neb in public-I go to a restroom stall or just don't do it until I can get to my car.  I can laugh about it now and the boys(now 17 and 20) still laugh about their Mom and the crack pipe.but it's not so funny that I can bring myself to be put in that situation again-

  • K8sMom2002

    Lynn, I totally get why you would NOT want to put yourself in that situation again. 

    I never know quite what to say at the time when someone is staring at me. Of course, later, I think of all kinds of things to say!

  • Dar007

    I have Eczema on my legs (around my calf and ankles) and upper arms.  I have had to stop going to the gym on my flare days because it was just too embarrassing. I go for the fitness classes. My favourite is the kickboxing one. The weights one was scary since I have asthma and almost fainted in class (but didn’t. Made it to the bathroom before anyone knew I was feeling bad. So embarrassing!).  Anyway, nobody wears high socks or a sweatshirt to the classes so a I have no way of hiding my eczema, so I just don’t go. I am sure people will think it is contagious or something. I was given a cream (Diprosone) and it works pretty well for me. Three applications  and the third day it is almost clear. But it keeps coming back when I am stressed, which is most of the time lately with so much on my plate. Just can’t win I guess. lol

  • Melissa G

    Uuugghh, Dar! Bekah is easily embarrassed by her eczema too! Does sweating aggravate it? Bekah will be getting clearer, then sweat some and boom! it's back. Very frustrating. What kind of moisturizer do you use?

  • Dar007

    Sweat, stress, if it is dry (like right now during the winter months). These always cause me to flare. And getting sleep is almost impossible! So itchy. Ummm I have tried so many moisturizers. Right now I am trying Aveno. My skin is so dry. I really should go out tomorrow to buy something to measure the humidity in the house. I think I need a humidifier. I don’t drink enough water either. But I would love to hear what moisturizer everyone uses. I think it is trial and error but so far I haven’t found anything that works exceptionally well for me. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I use Eucerin lotion. Any lotion I use has to be fragrance free. I keep a pump bottle in the kitchen, master bath and a tube on the headboard of the bed. My back is itching me like crazy!!!! 😬 My eczema is flaring and my psoriasis is a pain too. DH does not understand what it is like to feel itchy 24/7. 

  • Dar007

     Deborah, I know what you mean. This itching is driving me crazy., The past week I haven’t had more than 2-3 hours of sleep every night! I have to have fragrance free also or I start to have trouble breathing. It is awful. The steroid cream I was given is actually working well, but the relief doesn’t last. Stress is a huge trigger for me, and these days I have so much of it.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    DAR~~~   What may help bring a small amount if relief is Aveenobath. It is pure colloidal oatmeal. It helps to soothe the skin and it is natural. My ex DH used to bathe in it to help sooth poison ivy itch.

  • Dar007

    I am going out to do some shopping. I should be getting Christmas gifts but I want to get ME something for once! I may get that bath thing. I love to take baths but don’t get much time for it these days. Thanks for the info! I am excited to try it. 

  • Kathy P

    Ugh eczema itching us miserable. I realized recently that mine has been pretty well behaved lately. This recent research about the affect of allergy shots on eczema has me wondering if that's why - 

    When A was little, her eczema was sooooo bad! Mainly behind her knees, but she would also get it on her face especially under her eyes. She had a bad flare in first grade. Another parent brought it up to the teacher saying it was impetigo. So the teacher was obligated to send A to the office to get it checked. A was traumatized. 

    Our doc would have us use one of the Rx eczema treatments on it. I asked about using it so close to her eye and we did need a specific opthalmic medicine. He said no and that the med was studied for use around the eye. I can't remember what the med was though. Elidel maybe?

  • Dar007

    I am going out to get something better than what I am using now soon. I went out today and bought some gifts but tomorrow there will be less people at the stores. I have no patience for crowds at this time of year. lol 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    It can be annoying to be out in the crowds. I try to avoid that and go out early. I have asthma and COPD. I have a very low immune system. My medications cause that to be even worse. Prednisone makes it very bad as well. For me, being out in the crowds this time of the year is just plain stupid. 😬

  • Breatheeasy

    I currently have a case of itchy crusty eczema under my lower lip and the sides of my chin. At first it was just under the lip but now it spread to the sides of my chin. This is the first time I have such a thing so I’m suspecting it could be a side effect from some medication. And I also have itchy lower back where I got some eczema. I need to go the doc to get something. I also have itchy conjunctivitis in the eyes which gets worse when I use my contact lens instead of my glasses. My prescription is high and I need my contacts for 360 degree vision. It’s a bit of a problem when driving. Hope it clears up soon. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Deborah Bartlett posted:

    @Breatheasy. Do prescription creams help with the eczema itching? 

    They might. I have no idea. 

    Calendula oil is supposed to calm itchy skin. And I know there are anti itch creams that can be used for a short period of time.

    The only thing that works for me is pure olive oil. I’m going to the dermatologist to get the eczema checked.

    Someone that had eczema told me cerave eczema forumla cream/lotion helps. 

  • Melissa G

    Breatheeasy when are you seeing the dermatologist? Severe weather changes can definitely flare asthma.