Board-certified allergist Dr. Michael Pistiner shares what he wishes more of his patients knew about the association of eczema and allergies.
Published On: Aug 5, 2017
Last Updated On: Jul 15, 2021
Our community of eczema warriors – and those who love them – dropped these pearls of wisdom to help others deal with strangers who do not know what it’s like to live with this disease.
People think my 4 year old has a contagious skin condition and question why I’m out in public. I may not be able to fix her condition, but I make sure she sees her mom stand up for her.
I try to help my son realize that if you own this disease by facing it, dealing with it, and sharing its struggle with others, it will not own you.
We have people ask us about our 3 year old, “is he ok?” And he gets strange looks when we go out. His flares cover most of his face. But now that he is getting older we talk a lot about his eczema and his allergies to try and empower him.
I have eczema on the back of my legs and thighs and it becomes very painful if I have to sit too long. I get to the point where I can’t sit still and am moving the entire class. I felt that this was distracting my peers so I just decided to be honest with them and tell them about it. It was such a relief! Most of them knew about it and were completely understanding! Don’t try and hide it because it only makes it harder!
My arms are so bad I haven’t worn a short-sleeve shirt since June of last year. But I’m going to Disney World in three weeks and I don’t really care if anyone stares at me. I think some of us can build a “wall” around our problem areas in our minds and say, “It’s not really my problem but their problem.”
My daughter’s eczema has put a tremendous burden on her self-esteem. When she gets upset she almost always experiences a problem with her eczema.
When I’m stressed out about a prospective employer noticing my skin during an interview, I imagine that fear as a wall standing in my way, and I am a steam roller. All I need to do is align myself with people who aren’t ignorant. Some people are cruel. And it hurts. But I jump back up and soldier on. Those people are [also] just walls I need to flatten.
My six year old son has to explain that it’s not contagious, happens a lot as younger kids tend to ask very open/personal questions. Thankfully at this age children have been kind, now if we could just get adults to stop staring and asking inappropriate questions.
Eczema is terrible to have and it’s not our fault that we were born with this. Let people stare if they want, just walk proudly and confidently and smile if they stare. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile to make them aware that they are being a bit rude. Be brave and courageous and walk and smile as if you don’t care, because their staring is their problem – don’t let it be yours.
We homeschool. My daughter has been left out, made fun of, bullied, talked down to, you name it. Public school is too hard for “different” kids. Homeschool has been a great decision for us.
I am 13 and have atopic dermatitis. Sometimes we need to talk to ourselves and say, “We are beautiful, confident and we are not ashamed of our skin disease.”
I want to say everyone, “Please don’t be embarrassed.” When my eczema was at it’s worst, I even avoided going out. Later, my friends and family let me know that they didn’t even notice it. You only think people are seeing it, but remember they are looking at the whole person, not the skin.