NEA Ambassador Abby Cramond shares her story of becoming a beauty & fashion influencer who embraces her eczema as part of her image.
Published On: Apr 20, 2020
Last Updated On: Sep 29, 2020
I’ve grown to appreciate and view my eczema as a sort of guiding force in my life. Having an extremely sensitive and compromised immune system can be like having a heightened sixth sense.
I’ve learned to pay close attention to tiny details. I read the ingredients on every product I buy and take note of any changes I experience to identify possible triggers. It is incredibly important and powerful to know and identify as many triggers as possible, and while it may sound like a lot of work, I promise it becomes second nature.
The more you know what to absolutely avoid, the more you can focus on what you’re able to enjoy. Allergens from plants, trees, food and animals are pretty easy to pinpoint over time.
I’ve also learned to closely monitor how my body reacts to various weather and environmental conditions. Too cold of a climate can be extremely harsh on the skin, while too hot of a climate can lead to excess sweat, which is a trigger.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid all locations where you may experience extreme weather, it’s just important to know what to expect.
I personally choose to take extra care with my hygiene routines and to avoid as many triggers and unnecessary spreading of germs as much as humanly possible.
One example of this is using disposable razors. I dispose of the razors after each use in order to avoid cross-contamination and the spread of germs that can lead to infected ingrown hairs knows as folliculitis.
Another tip is using peroxide on compromised skin and occasionally taking bleach baths (consult with a physician, as I did, before taking any bleach baths) – both of which help get rid of excess germs that can easily invade due to the compromised barrier.
I also use bleach to clean my exfoliating shower gloves. I strongly believe this helps me prevent an excess of bacteria from plaguing my skin.
Having chronically dry skin is uncomfortable and incredibly inconvenient, but the bright side is … moisturizer! Most of us eczema warriors have a serious skincare regime that involves lotions, creams, oils and hydration.
Not only is moisturizing crucial for treating eczema, it also helps guard against aging, hyperpigmentation and many other conditions. As I’m applying my lotions and creams, I like to think of all the additional benefits and payoffs for my skin.
I’m sure I’m not the only eczema warrior who has missed social gatherings due to eczema outbreaks. It can definitely be disappointing and lead to feelings of being left out or even reclusive. All of these feelings are normal and healthy, but I like to look at the situation in a different light.
Maybe our skin is trying to tell us that we need to take this time to focus on ourselves. Maybe our day-to-day lives are wearing us (and our skin) down.
Instead of dwelling on what I’m missing, I try to treat myself to a night of relaxation, pampering and self-evaluation. Reflect on my week or month. Have I noticed any changes in my skin or mood? Have I changed my diet or skin regimen?
Once we take the time to care for ourselves, our skin will thank us, and we’ll be more than ready to attend the next gathering or event that comes our way!
Instead of looking at our eczema as a disability or a hindrance, I suggest we try to view it as an asset or an extra keen sense. Our skin lets us know ahead of time when an environment isn’t the cleanest, purist or most ideal. If life was a fairytale, our eczema would be Goldilocks, and it won’t rest until our skin is in an atmosphere that is juuuuust right! 😛
Much luck and many blessings to my fellow eczema warriors, and remember, don’t miss out on life because of your skin!