Having eczema has been rough, but I finally learned to outsmart it. I recently decided to write a letter to eczema as a way to cope with having this disease. Writing this letter made me realize how much I have suffered emotionally and physically.
There are millions of people that are affected by this disease, and we all share similar symptoms. There was a time when I lost faith in doctors because nothing seemed to help me. I even tried purchasing a cream on the internet, but it only made my skin worse.
Sometimes I would get used to the idea of having horrible skin for the rest of my life. I thought to myself, “Oh well! I look and feel horrible and I can’t do anything about it.” It would make me negative most of the time.
Eczema didn’t just affect me—it affected my mother and husband. My mother took me to dermatologist most of life and didn’t lose hope when I did. I’ve known my husband for seven years and he has always been there for me. Whenever I’m negative about myself because of my skin, he tells me I’m beautiful.
I’m thankful to know there are more treatment options available now. I have found one that works for me. It has changed my life and has made me a more positive person. I sleep and live better now.
You’re never going to feel what I feel. Every time you come back into my life, I wish I could push you right out of it. I wish you never existed! Instead of you controlling my happiness and health, I have turned it around. Now I control you most of the time.
You came into my life before I was 5 years old. Unfortunately, you didn’t come to bring happiness. Instead, you brought discomfort and low self-esteem. You can’t even imagine what I’ve gone through since my childhood.
You’ve also ruined the most exciting moments of my life. During my honeymoon, at the beaches of Cancun, you made my legs red, inflamed, rough, and crusty and burn. I was only swimming in the ocean for 10 minutes, and I felt an instant sting. I ran out of the water and felt like crying.
For the rest of my vacation, you made me feel so insecure about my legs. I felt so ugly because I had so many bumps all over legs. That’s not the worst! You also left dark colored patches. Since then, I don’t like to wear shorts. My doctor told me it would take more than a year for my normal skin color to come back.
Eczema, you’ve made me cry at night because my whole body gets itchy, and it burns so much. No matter how much I try to take care of myself, you always come back to haunt me. At this point, it is strange whenever I don’t have dry, crusty and inflamed skin.
You’re also expensive. Because of you, I’ve gone to several dermatologists. Every time I go to the doctor, it’s like replaying the same tape recorder over and over again. They prescribe me the same steroid cream and give me same advice. Stay away from hot showers. Moisturize your skin with thick cream four times a day. Don’t use fragrances. Only use a special soap to wash clothes.
Unfortunately, you came into my life without asking. You were genetically passed down to me. You’ve showed me how life is rough, and you’re an obstacle I’ve learned to overcome.
Recently, I met a great dermatologist, and he has finally managed to push you out of my life—at least for now. It feels great to have a break from you. Now I’m in control of you.
Samantha Loya is a 23-year-old eczema warrior who is happily married to her husband, Alejandro. She is a student at Salt Lake Community College in Utah and plans to become an elementary school teacher.
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